Ground-motion prediction equations for subduction slab earthquakes in Japan using site class and simple geometric attenuation functions

John X. Zhao, Fei Jiang, Pan Shi, Hao Xing, Haifeng Huang, Ruibin Hou, Yingbin Zhang, Pengcheng Yu, Xiaowen Lan, David A. Rhoades, Paul G. Somerville, Kojiro Irikura, Yoshimitsu Fukushima

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63 Citations (Scopus)


The frequency content of strong ground motions from subduction slab earthquakes differs significantly from that of ground motions produced by other categories (tectonic locations: shallow crustal, upper mantle, and subduction interface) of earthquakes in subduction zones. In the last two decades, a large number of records from subduction slab events have been obtained in Japan.We present a ground-motion prediction equation (GMPE) for this category of earthquakes. We used a large dataset from reliably identified slab events up to the end of 2012. The GMPEs were based on a set of simple geometric attenuation functions, site classes were used as site terms, and nonlinear site amplification ratios were adopted. A bilinear magnitude-scaling function was adopted for large earthquakes with moment magnitude Mw ≥7:1, with the scaling rates for large events being much smaller than for the smaller events. A magnitude-squared term was used for events with Mw <7:1 as well as the bilinear magnitude-scaling function. We also modeled the effect of volcanic zones using an anelastic attenuation coefficient applied to a horizontal portion of the seismic-wave travel distancewithin possible volcanic zones. We found that excluding the records from sites with inferred site classes improved the model goodness of fit. The within-event residuals were approximately separated into within-site and between-site residuals, and the corresponding standard deviations were calculated using a random effects model. The separation of within-event residuals into within-site and between-site components allows for the possibility of adopting different standard deviations for different site classes in a probabilistic seismic-hazard analysis if desired.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1535-1551
Number of pages17
JournalBulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


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