Major Projects &
Ground Motion Prediction (GMP)
The primary goal of the Ground Motion Prediction focus group is to develop and implement physics-based simulation methodologies that can predict earthquake strong motion waveforms over the frequency range 0-10 Hz. At frequencies less than 1 Hz, the methodologies should deterministically predict the amplitude, phase and waveform of earthquake ground motions using fully three-dimensional representations of the ground structure, as well as dynamic or dynamically-compatible kinematic representations of fault rupture. At higher frequencies (1-10 Hz), the methodologies should predict the main character of the amplitude, phase and waveform of the motions using a combination of deterministic and stochastic representations of fault rupture and wave propagation.
Research topics within the Ground Motion Prediction program will include developing and/or refining physics-based simulation methodologies, with particular emphasis on high frequency (1- 10 Hz) approaches (B3) and the incorporation of non-linear models of soil response (B2, B4, B5). Source characterization plays a vital role in ground motion prediction and research is needed to develop more realistic implementations of dynamic or dynamically-compatible kinematic representations of fault rupture that are used in the simulations (B1, B2). Verification (comparison against theoretical predictions) and validation (comparison against observations) of the simulation methodologies will continue to be an important component of this focus group with the goal being to develop robust and transparent simulation capabilities that incorporate consistent and accurate representations of the earthquake source and three-dimensional velocity structure (B4, C). It is expected that the products of the Ground Motion Prediction group will have direct application to seismic hazard analysis, both in terms of characterizing expected ground motion levels in future earthquakes, and in terms of directly interfacing with earthquake engineers in the analysis of built structures (B6). In addition, activities within the Ground Motion Prediction group will be closely tied to several special projects, with particular emphasis on addressing ground motion issues related to seismic hazard and risk. These special projects include the CEA Project, the Extreme Ground Motion Project, the NGA-H Project, the NSF Implementation Interface Project, and the Tall Buildings Initiative (see SHRA and Section VIII, below).
Long Term Research Goals
Problem Statement. Given the gross parameters of an earthquake source, such as its magnitude, location, mechanism, rupture direction, and finite extent along a fault, we seek to predict the ground motions at all regional sites and for all frequencies of interest. The use of 3D velocity models in low-frequency (< 0.5 Hz) ground motion prediction was pioneered in SCEC1 (§II.A), and this type of simulation, based on direct numerical solution of the wave equation, has been taken to new levels in SCEC2 (§II.B.6). The unsolved basic research problems fall into four classes: (a) the ground motion inverse problem at frequencies up to 1 Hz; (b) the stochastic extension of ground motion simulation to high frequencies (1-10 Hz); (c) simulation of ground motions using dynamically consistent sources; and (d) nonlinear wave effects, including nonlinear site response. In addition, there remain scientific and computational challenges in the practical prediction of ground motions near the source and within complex structures such as sedimentary basins, as well as in the characterization of the prediction uncertainties.
Goal and Objectives. The principal SCEC3 goal is to predict the ground motions using realistic earthquake simulations at frequencies up to 10 Hz for all sites in Southern California. The SCEC3 objectives are:
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© 2013 Southern California Earthquake Center