New PEER Report 2018/08: "Central and Eastern North America Ground-Motion Characterization - NGA-East Final Report"

January 25, 2019

PEER has just published Report No. 2018/08: "Central and Eastern North America Ground-Motion Characterization - NGA-East Final Report." It was authored by Christine Goulet, Yousef Bozorgnia, Norman Abrahamson, Nicolas Kuehn, Linda Al Atik, Robert Youngs, and Robert Graves

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


This document is the final project report 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 new ground-motion models (GMMs) for median and standard deviation of ground motions and their associated weights to be used with logic-trees in probabilistic seismic hazard analyses (PSHA).

NGA-East is a large multidisciplinary project coordinated by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER), at the University of California. 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 documents the tasks under component (2) of the project.

Under component (1) of NGA-East, several scientific issues were addressed, including: (a) development of a new database of ground motion 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; and (e) development of numerous GMMs for CENA. The scientific tasks of NGA-East were all documented as a series of PEER reports.

The scope of component (2) of NGA-East was to develop the complete GMC. This component was designed as a SSHAC Level 3 study with the goal of capturing the ground motions’ center, body, and range of the technically defensible interpretations in light of the available data and models. The SSHAC process involves four key tasks: evaluation, integration, formal review by the Participatory Peer Review Panel (PPRP), and documentation (this report).

Key tasks documented in this report include review and evaluation of the empirical ground-motion database, the regionalization of ground motions, and screening sets of candidate GMMs. These are followed by the development of new median and standard deviation GMMs, the development of new analyses tools for quantifying the epistemic uncertainty in ground motions, and the documentation of implementation guidelines of the complete GMC for PSHA computations. Appendices include further documentation of the relevant SSHAC process and additional supporting technical documentation of numerous sensitivity analyses results. The PEER reports documenting component (1) of NGA-East are also considered “attachments” to the current report and are all available online on the PEER website (

The final NGA-East GMC model includes a set of 17 GMMs defined for 24 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 site-specific analysis (single-station standard deviation) and for general PSHA applications (ergodic standard deviation). Adjustment factors are provided for consideration of source-depth effects and hanging-wall effects, as well as for hazard computations at sites in the Gulf Coast region.