Multiscale site-response mapping: A case study of Parkfield, California

Eric M. Thompson, Laurie G. Baise, Robert E. Kayen, Eugene C. Morgan, James Kaklamanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The scale of previously proposed methods for mapping site-response ranges from global coverage down to individual urban regions. Typically, spatial coverage and accuracy are inversely related.We use the densely spaced strong-motion stations in Parkfield, California, to estimate the accuracy of different site-response mapping methods and demonstrate a method for integrating multiple site-response estimates from the site to the global scale. This method is simply a weighted mean of a suite of different estimates, where the weights are the inverse of the variance of the individual estimates. Thus, the dominant site-response model varies in space as a function of the accuracy of the different models. For mapping applications, site-response models should be judged in terms of both spatial coverage and the degree of correlation with observed amplifications. Performance varies with period, but in general the Parkfield data show that: (1) where a velocity profile is available, the square-rootof- impedance (SRI) method outperforms the measured VS30 (30 m divided by the S-wave travel time to 30 m depth) and (2) where velocity profiles are unavailable, the topographic slope method outperforms surficial geology for short periods, but geology outperforms slope at longer periods. We develop new equations to estimate site response from topographic slope, derived from the Next Generation Attenuation (NGA) database.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1100
Number of pages20
JournalBulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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