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Evaluation of six NEHRP B/C crustal amplification models proposed for use in western North America

April 1, 2016

We evaluate six crustal amplification models based on National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) B/C crustal profiles proposed for use in western North America (WNA) and often used in other active crustal regions where crustal properties are unknown. One of the models is based on an interpolation of generic rock velocity profiles previously proposed for WNA and central and eastern North America (CENA), in conjunction with material densities based on an updated velocity–density relationship. A second model is based on the velocity profile used to develop amplification factors for the Next Generation Attenuation (NGA)‐West2 project. A third model is based on a near‐surface velocity profile developed from the NGA‐West2 site database. A fourth model is based on velocity and density profiles originally proposed for use in CENA but recently used to represent crustal properties in California. We propose two alternatives to this latter model that more closely represent WNA crustal properties. We adopt a value of site attenuation (κ0) for each model that is either recommended by the author of the model or proposed by us. Stochastic simulation is used to evaluate the Fourier amplification factors and their impact on response spectra associated with each model. Based on this evaluation, we conclude that among the available models evaluated in this study the NEHRP B/C amplification model of Boore (2016) best represents median crustal amplification in WNA, although the amplification models based on the crustal profiles of Kamai et al. (2013, 2016, unpublished manuscript, see Data and Resources) and Yenier and Atkinson (2015), the latter adjusted to WNA crustal properties, can be used to represent epistemic uncertainty.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2016
Title Evaluation of six NEHRP B/C crustal amplification models proposed for use in western North America
DOI 10.1785/0120150242
Authors David Boore, Kenneth W. Campbell
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Series Number
Index ID 70178117
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earthquake Science Center

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