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New PEER Report 2017/03: “NGA-East Ground-Motion Models for the U.S. Geological Survey National Seismic Hazard Maps”

PEER has just published Report No. 2017/03: “NGA-East Ground-Motion Models for the U.S. Geological Survey National Seismic Hazard Maps.” It was authored by Christine A. Goulet, Yousef Bozorgnia, Nicolas Kuehn, Linda Al Atik, Robert R. Youngs, Robert W. Graves, and Gail M. Atkinson.

Visit the PEER publications page to download a free color pdf of the document.


The purpose of this report is to provide a set of ground motion models (GMMs) to be considered by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for their National Seismic Hazard Maps (NSHMs) for the Central and Eastern U.S. (CEUS). These interim GMMs are adjusted and modified from a set of preliminary models developed as part of the Next Generation Attenuation for Central and Eastern North-America (CENA) project (NGA-East). The NGA-East objective was to develop a new ground-motion characterization (GMC) model for the CENA region. The GMC model consists of a set of GMMs for median and standard deviation of ground motions and their associated weights in the logic-tree for use in probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA).

NGA-East is a large multidisciplinary project coordinated by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER), at the University of California, Berkeley. The project has two components: (1) a set of scientific research tasks, and (2) a model-building component following the framework of the “Seismic Senior Hazard Analysis Committee (SSHAC) Level 3” [Budnitz et al. 1997; NRC 2012]. Component (2) is built on the scientific results of component (1) of the NGA-East Project. This report does not document the final NGA-East model under (2), but instead presents interim GMMs for use in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Seismic Hazard Maps.

Under component (1) of NGA-East, several scientific issues were addressed, including: (a) development of a new database of empirical data recorded in CENA; (b) development of a regionalized ground-motion map for CENA, (c) definition of the reference site condition; (d) simulations of ground motions based on different methodologies, (e) development of numerous GMMs for CENA, and (f) the development of the current report. The scientific tasks of NGA-East were all documented as a series of PEER reports.

This report documents the GMMs recommended by the authors for consideration by the USGS for their NSHM. The report documents the key elements involved in the development of the proposed GMMs and summarizes the median and aleatory models for ground motions along with their recommended weights. The models presented here build on the work from the authors and aim to globally represent the epistemic uncertainty in ground motions for CENA. The NGA-East models for the USGS NSHMs includes a set of 13 GMMs defined for 25 ground-motion intensity measures, applicable to CENA in the moment magnitude range of 4.0 to 8.2 and covering distances up to 1500 km. Standard deviation models are also provided for general PSHA applications (ergodic standard deviation). Adjustment factors are provided for hazard computations involving the Gulf Coast region.