Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

NGA-East Ground-Motion Characterization model part I: Summary of products and model development

July 13, 2021

In this article, we present an overview of the research project NGA-East, Next Generation Attenuation for Central and Eastern North America (CENA), and summarize the key methodology and products. The project was tasked with developing a new ground motion characterization (GMC) model for CENA. The final NGA-East GMC model includes a set of 17 median ground motion models (GMMs) for peak ground acceleration and velocity (PGA, PGV) and response spectral ordinates for periods ranging from 0.01 to 10 s. The NGA-East GMMs are applicable to horizontal components of ground motions on very hard rock, for the moment magnitude range of 4.0–8.2, and distances of up to 1500 km. The aleatory standard deviations of GMMs are also provided for site-specific analysis (single-station standard deviation) and for general probabilistic seismic hazard analyses (PSHA) applications (ergodic standard deviation). In addition, adjustment factors are provided for source depth and hanging-wall effects, as well as for hazard computations at sites in the Gulf Coast Region. During the course of the project, several innovative technologies were developed and implemented to increase the transparency and repeatability of the GMC building process. This involved expanding on a set of candidate median GMMs to define and capture an appropriate range of epistemic uncertainty in ground motions. We also developed a new approach for modeling the aleatory variability that was completely independent of the median GMMs. The development made extensive use of the CENA database but also borrowed data from other parts of the world when relevant and led to an integrated suite of models. Through this repeatable process, epistemic uncertainty could be quantified more objectively than before, relying less on expert opinion. The NGA-East project went through a comprehensive Seismic Senior Hazard Analysis Committee (SSHAC) Level 3 peer review process before its release.

Publication Year 2021
Title NGA-East Ground-Motion Characterization model part I: Summary of products and model development
DOI 10.1177/87552930211018723
Authors Christine A. Goulet, Yousef Bozorgnia, Nicolas Kuehn, Linda Al Atik, Robert Youngs, Robert Graves, Gail M. Atkinson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Earthquake Spectra
Index ID 70222607
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earthquake Science Center