Three-Dimensional Simulations of Ground Motions in Sedimentary Basins

by Arthur Frankel, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structural Engineering in Natural Hazards Mitigation


This report describes work being done at the U.S. Geological Survey on 3-D simulations of earthquake ground motions in sedimentary basins. The ultimate goal of this research is to predict strong ground motions in sedimentary basins for expected large earthquakes. This report emphasizes the inadequacy of using flat-layered models for synthesizing ground motions in sedimentary basins. 2-D and 3-D simulations have demonstrated how the slope of the alluvium-bedrock interface can trap S-waves in the basins, producing prolonged surface wave trains. These large surface waves are not generated in 1-D flat layered models, which underestimate the duration and peak amplitude of shaking. We present results of 3-D simulations for the San Bernardino and Santa Clara valleys, California, for earthquakes on the San Andreas fault.

Subject Headings: Three-dimensional models | Surface waves | Ground motion | Sediment transport | Basins | Computer models | Simulation models | California | United States

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