Soil profile characterisation of Christchurch Central Business District strong motion stations
This paper presents an overview of the soil profile characteristics at strong motion station (SMS) locations in the Christchurch Central Business District (CBD) based on recently completed geotechnical site investigations. Given the variability of Christchurch soils, detailed investigations were needed in close vicinity to each SMS. In this regard, CPT, SPT and borehole data, and shear wave velocity (Vs) profiles from surface wave dispersion data in close vicinity to the SMSs have been used to develop detailed representative soil profiles at each site and to determine site classes according to the New Zealand standard NZS1170.5. A disparity between the NZS1170.5 site classes based on Vs and SPT N60 investigation techniques is highlighted, and additional studies are needed to harmonize site classification based on these techniques. The short period mode of vibration of soft deposits above gravels, which are found throughout Christchurch, are compared to the long period mode of vibration of the entire soil profile to bedrock. These two distinct modes of vibration require further investigation to determine their impact on the site response. According to current American and European approaches to seismic site classification, all SMSs were classified as problematic soil sites due to the presence of liquefiable strata, soils which are not directly accounted for by the NZS1170.5 approach.