Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Estimates of site-dependent response spectra for design (methodology and justification)

November 1, 1994

Recent borehole-geotechnical data and strong-motion measurements constitute a new empirical basis to account for local geological conditions in earthquake-resistant design and site-dependent, building-code provisions. They provide new unambiguous definitions of site classes and rigorous empirical estimates of site-dependent amplification factors in terms of mean shear-wave velocity. A simple four-step methodology for estimating site-dependent response spectra is specified herein. Alternative techniques and commentary are presented for each step to facilitate application of the methodology for different purposes. Justification for the methodology is provided in terms of definitions for the new site classes and derivations of simple empirical equations for amplification as a function of mean shear-wave velocity and input ground-motion level. These new results provide a rigorous framework for improving estimates of site-dependent response spectra for design, site-dependent building-code provisions, and predictive maps of strong ground shaking for purposes of earthquake hazard mitigation.

Publication Year 1994
Title Estimates of site-dependent response spectra for design (methodology and justification)
DOI 10.1193/1.1585791
Authors Roger D. Borcherdt
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Earthquake Spectra
Index ID 70234112
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earthquake Hazards Program