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Seismic Site Classification from the Horizontal-to-Vertical Response Spectral Ratios: Use of the Spanish Strong-Motion Database

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
2
Geophysics and Seismology Area, Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
3
National Seismic Network, Instituto Geográfico Nacional, 28003 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(7), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9070294
Received: 17 May 2019 / Revised: 26 June 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 4 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What Is Really New in Seismic Response Analysis of Soil Deposits)
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Abstract

Normally, the average of the horizontal-to-vertical (H/V) ratios of the 5% damped response spectra of ground motions is used to classify the site of strong-motion stations. In these cases, only the three-orthogonal as-recorded acceleration components are used in the analysis, and all the vector compositions that can generate a different response for each period oscillator are excluded. In this study, the Spanish strong-motion database was used to classify the sites of accelerometric stations based on the predominant periods through the average horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratios (HVSR) of recorded ground motions. Moreover, the directionality effects using the vector composition of the horizontal components of ground motions were also considered in the estimations of H/V ratios. This consideration is a relevant novelty compared to the traditional H/V ratios methods. Only earthquakes with magnitudes above 3.5 and hypocentral distances below 200 km were selected, which resulted in 692 ground-motion records, corresponding to 86 stations, from events in the period between 1993 and 2017. After the analysis, a predominant-period site classification was assigned to each station. On the whole, the obtained mean and standard deviation values of the spectral ratios are comparable to those shown by other researchers. Therefore, the advantages of the proposed procedure, which takes the directionality effects into account, can be summarized as follows: (a) The obtained information is richer and gives enables more sophisticated and realistic analyses on the basis of percentiles and (b) it is easier to detect anomalous stations, sites, and/or accelerograms. Moreover, the method eliminates the effect of directionality as a contributor to epistemic uncertainty. View Full-Text
Keywords: H/V response spectral ratio; seismic site classification; 5% damped response spectra; Spanish ground-motion network H/V response spectral ratio; seismic site classification; 5% damped response spectra; Spanish ground-motion network
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Pinzón, L.A.; Pujades, L.G.; Macau, A.; Carreño, E.; Alcalde, J.M. Seismic Site Classification from the Horizontal-to-Vertical Response Spectral Ratios: Use of the Spanish Strong-Motion Database. Geosciences 2019, 9, 294.

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