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Evolution of design ground motions in California: NEHRP 2009 to 2020

September 20, 2022

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Seismic Hazard Model (NSHM) is used in construction codes, such as the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP) Provisions, to develop ground motions for structural and geotechnical design. When the NSHM is updated (e.g. changes to its earthquake rupture forecast or ground motion models), or the manner in which it is implemented in construction codes changes, design ground motion values can increase or decrease at a given location. This study presents an analysis of 21 sites in California to characterize how design ground motion values (SS, S1, SMS, SM1) have changed from the 2009 to 2015 to 2020 NEHRP Provisions. Four sites are presented in greater detail: two in Southern California and two in Northern California. The results show that significant changes in design ground motion values between NEHRP releases are explained by major changes in the NSHM science (e.g., inclusion of basin effects) and its use (e.g., for a broader range of site classes), but in ways that are difficult to ascertain beforehand. It is therefore likely that design ground motion values may continue to evolve between NSHM and construction code updates as the earthquake science and engineering field's understanding continues to advance.

Publication Year 2022
Title Evolution of design ground motions in California: NEHRP 2009 to 2020
Authors Stephen Eugene Waldvogel, Andrew James Makdisi, Katrina Sanguyo Peralta, Henry (Ben) Mason, Nicolas Luco, Sanaz Rezaeian
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70232986
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geologic Hazards Science Center