A Refined Vs30 Map for Taiwan Based on Ground Motion Attenuation Relationships

  • Author(s): Kun-Sung Liu and Yi-Ben Tsai
  • DOI: 10.3319/TAO.2015.05.11.01(TC)
  • Keywords: Attenuation relationship, Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA), Peak Ground Velocity (PGV), Taiwan, Vs30

Seismic hazard evaluations require an estimate of the expected ground motion at the site of interest usually by using attenuation relationships. The mean shear-wave velocity over the top 30 m (Vs30) is incorporated in the ground motion attenuation relationships in this study. By comparing the standard deviations of the residuals between the observed and predicted values before and after incorporating the site effect term Vs30, the reduction in standard deviation for the peak ground velocity (PGV) is significantly reduced by about 11%. Clearly, the refined attenuation relationships will be more useful for engineering purposes. Analyzing the site effect term using the amplification factor (relative to a site with Vs30 = 760 m s-1), has revealed that the Changhua Plain, Chianan Plain, Pingtung Valley, Ilan Plain, and Taipei Basin have high values, implying large ground motion amplification. Following a disastrous earthquake, quick assessment and timely peak ground acceleration (PGA) and PGV map reporting will be critical for effective emergency response operations. After an earthquake we can combine the simple attenuation relationships, as determined from Model 1, to provide near real-time estimation and reporting of the PGA and PGV values for the Taiwan area. We can also use the relations between the intra-event site residual and the Vs30 to estimate the Vs30 for stations that have recorded strong motions, but do not yet have Vs30 information. Our approach including sites with estimated Vs30 has resulted in a refined Vs30 contour map that can be used for more realistic seismic hazard assessment for Taiwan. This approach is especially applicable to the foothill and mountain areas.

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