Progress of the Southern California Earthquake Center Technical Activity Group on Ground Motion Simulation Validation

Nicolas Luco, & Thomas H. Jordan

Published 2012, SCEC Contribution #1686

Strong ground motion records are fundamental to engineering applications, such as nonlinear response history analysis of geotechnical or structural (e.g. building, bridge) systems for building code or risk assessments, and to the development of prediction models for ground motion intensity measures (e.g. spectral acceleration). Despite the thousands of strong ground motion records readily available online, there remains a shortage of records for large-magnitude earthquakes at short distances, as well as records that sample specific combinations of source, path, and site characteristics. Owing to the development of numerical source-excitation and wave-propagation codes, deterministic and stochastic simulations of strong ground motions now offer increasingly realistic, physics-based models of strong ground motions. In order to be useful in engineering applications, however, simulated records must first be statistically validated against available strong ground motion data. The development and implementation of validation methodologies requires collaboration between ground motion modelers and engineering users. With this goal, the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) has recently established a Technical Activity Group (TAG) focused on Ground Motion Simulation Validation (GMSV). An initial planning workshop was held in January of 2011 to prioritize the activities of the GSMV TAG, which resulted in a number of recommendations ( Building on this outcome, a plenary session at the 2011 SCEC Annual Meeting identified six priority activities and topics (, pages 18-19). The presentation summarized here describes these initial priorities and the SCEC research projects subsequently undertaken to address them. It also outlines plans for future work based on a workshop held to coordinate these GMSV TAG projects.

Luco, N., & Jordan, T. H. (2012). Progress of the Southern California Earthquake Center Technical Activity Group on Ground Motion Simulation Validation. Seismological Research Letters, 83(2).