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Wave propagation and site response in the Santa Clara Valley

January 1, 2003

Forty-two portable digital instruments were deployed across the Santa Clara Valley from June until early November 1998; this array recorded 14 small and moderate local events and 7 large teleseismic events. We analyze the ground motion from these events to determine station delays and relative site amplification within the Valley. P waves from an event at the southern edge of the valley are early (??t > -0.35 sec) at stations over an axial ridge in the basement interface in the middle of the valley, but late (??t < 0.20 sec) for stations over the Cupertino and Evergreen basins to either side. The S-wave delays are approximately twice as large. Teleseismic P-waves from an M = 7.0 event beneath the Bonin Islands show a similar pattern in travel-time delays. The P waves are amplified by factors of 1.5-3 for frequencies below 2 Hz at stations within either basin, compared with stations on the axial ridge. The P-wave coda appear enhanced at 2-3 sec, but coda Q estimates at frequencies from 0.2 to 1.1 Hz are not markedly different at stations over the basin compared with stations on the ridge with the possible exceptions of consistently high values over the northern end of the Evergreen Basin. We invert the S-wave spectra for site-specific attenuation and amplification from the 14 local events by assuming a common source spectra for each event, 1/r geometrical spreading, and constraining the inversion using the 30-m velocity profile at four stations in the array. The largest amplifications occurred in the 1- to 6-Hz band at stations near the northwest edge of the Evergreen basin. While the highest amplifications occur at stations with the lowest S-wave velocities, the scatter obscures the correlation between velocity and amplification. The stations in the basins are characterized by higher attenuation than the stations on the basement ridge.

Publication Year 2003
Title Wave propagation and site response in the Santa Clara Valley
Authors Joe B. Fletcher, J. Boatwright, A.G. Lindh
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Index ID 70026035
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse