Project Title/ID Number Calibration of Basin Simulations—1A03
Start/End Dates 8/1/02 – 3/31/04
Project Leader Thomas Henyey (USC/SCEC), Steven Day (SDSU/F), Douglas Dreger (UCB/F)
Team Members Shawn Larsen (LLNL/O), Kim Olsen (UCSB/O), Arben Pitarka (URS Corp/I), Robert Graves (URS Corp/I), Jacobo Bielak (CMU/F), Antonio Fernandez (CMU/GS)

F=faculty; GS=graduate student; US=undergraduate student; PD=post-doc; I=industrial collaborator; O=other

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1. Project Goals/Objectives:

The project will foster the integration of 3D ground motion simulation methods and results into engineering applications. We will validate 3D simulation methods and apply them to complex geological structures, with emphasis on urban sedimentary basins. This is collaboration between the Pacific Earthquake Engineering (PEER) Center and the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC).

2. Role of this project in supporting PEER’s mission (vision):

Project provides improved input motion for performance-based design by developing analytical methods to account for effects of sedimentary basins.

3. Methodology Employed:

3-D finite element and finite difference simulations of wave propagation, with kinematically described propagating earthquake sources.

4. Brief Description of past year’s accomplishments (Year 6) & more detail on expected Year 7 accomplishments:

Previous work under PEER Lifelines projects 1A01 and 1A02 has documented the mathematical soundness of the simulation codes to be used for the project. Exercising the codes on a systematic, collaboratively defined set of test simulations carried out code verification. In the first stage of these tests (1A01), the codes were validated for simple sources and geometries. The second stage (1A02) tested the codes for simple sources in the SCEC 3D Reference Model, a seismic velocity model that we believe captures many of the types of complexities present in realistic applications. Especially significant is that the model covers a wide range of scale lengths, representing, for example, variations occurring on a scale of tens of meters in the near surface soils and kilometers in the crystalline basement. The SCEC model also incorporates a realistic range of S velocities, from ~100 m/s in some near-surface deposits to thousands of m/s in basement rock. Comparisons show that all codes are accurate for this class of problems.

5. Other Similar Work Being Conducted Within and Outside PEER and How This Project Differs:

PEER Lifelines project 1D02 (Utilization of Physical Model Data to Validate Numerical Procedures for Simulating Near-Field Motions) addresses the problem of source representation through the use of a physical model to validate earthquake source representations for use in numerical modeling.

The PEER project “Empirical Characterization of Basin Effects on Site Response” seeks to develop (through formal regression analysis) statistical models of ground motion amplification associated with basin effects. The proposed project will improve and validate the simulation procedures underlying basin response estimates, as well as provide extensive scenario simulations for use in statistical studies.

6. Plans for Year 8 if project is expected to be continued:


7. Describe any actual instances where you are aware your results have been used in industry:


8. Expected Milestones & Deliverables:

The project will deliver a report that:

  1. Documents and compares the results of applying multiple modeling techniques to past earthquakes and future earthquake scenarios,
  2. Estimates statistical biases and uncertainties in ground motion estimates obtained by 3D numerical modeling, and assesses the strengths and weakness of 3D methodologies (in comparison with each other and with simplified methods such as 1D simulations and standard empirical methods), and
  3. Applies numerical simulations to develop engineering rules to correct for basin effects in empirical estimates of ground motion.
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