Uncertainties in attenuation relations for New Zealand seismic hazard analysis
McVerry, G. H.
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Probabilistic techniques for seismic hazard analysis have come into vogue in New Zealand for both the assessment of major projects and the development and review of seismic design codes. However, there are considerable uncertainties in the modelling of the strong-motion attenuation, which is necessarily based largely on overseas data. An excellent agreement is obtained between an average 5% damped response spectrum for New Zealand alluvial sites in the 20 to 59 km distance range and 5.4 to 6.0 magnitude class and that given by a Japanese model. Unfortunately, this corresponds to only about half the amplitude levels of 150 year spectra relevant to code design. The much more rapid decay of ground shaking with distance in New Zealand has led to a considerable modification based on maximum ground acceleration data from the Inangahua earthquake of the distance-dependence of the Japanese response spectra model. Less scatter in New Zealand data has resulted in adopting a lower standard deviation for the attenuation model, which is important in reducing the considerable "probabilistic enhancement" of the hazard estimates. Regional differences in attenuation shown by intensities are difficult to resolve from the strong-motion acceleration data, apart from lower accelerations in Fiordland.