Emerging art: Earthquake ground motion

Paul Somerville*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines concepts and trends in earthquake strong ground motion that have emerged in the past decade, and identifies trends and concepts that are anticipated during the coming decade. The scope of this paper includes earthquake source effects and wave propagation effects along the path from the source to the site. Site response, including nonlinear soil response, is addressed in a companion paper by Professor I.M. Idriss. Space does not permit a review of the entire state of knowledge of the field; the review is focussed on applied knowledge. The paper begins by describing new knowledge of earthquake ground motion characteristics. Next, methods of estimating the ground motions from a specified earthquake are described. Finally, the broader question of the representation of ground motions for design and analysis in earthquake engineering is addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-38
Number of pages38
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue number75 I
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


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