Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Ground motion in Anchorage, Alaska, from the 2002 Denali fault earthquake: Site response and displacement pulses

January 1, 2004

Data from the 2002 Denali fault earthquake recorded at 26 sites in and near Anchorage, Alaska, show a number of systematic features important in studies of site response and in constructing long-period spectra for use in earthquake engineering. The data demonstrate that National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) site classes are a useful way of grouping stations according to site amplification. In general, the sites underlain by lower shear-wave velocities have higher amplification. The amplification on NEHRP class D sites exceeds a factor of 2 relative to an average of motions on class C sites. The amplifications are period dependent. They are in rough agreement with those from previous studies, but the new data show that the amplifications extend to at least 10 sec, periods longer than considered in previous studies. At periods longer than about 14 sec, all sites have motion of similar amplitude, and the ground displacements are similar in shape, polarization, and amplitude for all stations. The displacement ground motion is dominated by a series of four pulses, which are associated with the three subevents identified in inversion studies (the first pulse is composed of P waves from the first subevent). Most of the high-frequency ground motion is associated with the S waves from subevent 1. The pulses from subevents 1 and 2, with moment releases corresponding to M 7.1 and 7.0, are similar to the pulse of displacement radiated by the M 7.1 Hector Mine earthquake. The signature from the largest subevent (M 7.6) is more subdued than those from the first two subevents. The two largest pulses produce response spectra with peaks at a period of about 15 sec. The spectral shape at long periods is in good agreement with the recent 2003 NEHRP code spectra but is in poor agreement with the shape obtained from Eurocode 8.

Publication Year 2004
Title Ground motion in Anchorage, Alaska, from the 2002 Denali fault earthquake: Site response and displacement pulses
DOI 10.1785/0120040606
Authors D. M. Boore
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Index ID 70026133
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earthquake Science Center