Site-specific estimation of spatial incoherence of strong ground motion

Paul G. Somerville*, James P. McLaren, Chandan K. Saikia, Donald V. Helmberger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The large spatial variability that is observed in strong ground motion has significant effects on the seismic response of structures such as dams and bridges that are supported on large foundations. The authors have formulated and tested a site-specific procedure for the estimation of spatial incoherence of strong ground motions. The procedure entails the estimation and combination of two contributions to spatial incoherence. One contribution represents the effect of a nearby extended source, which causes interference between simultaneous arrivals from different regions of the fault. It is estimated from closely-spaced simulated acceleration time histories of design basis earthquakes. The other contribution represents complex aspects of wave propagation and local site response that are not modeled in the simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-202
Number of pages15
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue numbern
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


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