What caused the spatial variability of strong ground motions near the epicentre of 2016 M7.8 Kaikōura earthquake? The role of the local geologic condition.
During the 2011 M7.8 Kaikōura earthquake, ground motions recorded near the epicentre showed a significant spatial variation. The Te Mara farm (WTMC) station, the nearest to the epicentre, recorded 1g and 2.7g of horizontal and vertical peak ground accelerations (PGA), respectively. The nearby Waiu Gorge (WIGC) station recorded a horizontal PGA of 0.8g. Interestingly, however, the Culverden Airlie Farm (CULC) station that was very closely located to WIGC recorded a horizontal PGA of only 0.25g. This poster demonstrates how the local geological condition could have contributed to the spatially variable ground motions observed in the North Canterbury, based on the results of recently conducted geophysical investigations. The surficial geology of this area is dominated by alluvial gravel deposits with traces of silt. A borehole log showed that the thickness of the sediments at WTMC is over 76 metres. Interestingly, the shear wave velocity (Vs) profiles obtained from the three strong motion sites suggest unusually high shear wave velocity of the gravelly sediments. The velocity of sediments and the lack of clear peaks in the horizontal-to-vertical (H/V) spectral ratio at WTMC suggest that the large ground motion observed at this station was likely caused by the proximity of the station to the causative fault itself; the site effect was likely insignificant. Comparisons of H/V spectral ratios and Vs profiles suggest that the sediment thickness is much smaller at WIGC compared with CULC; the high PGA at WIGC was likely influenced by the high-frequency amplification caused by the response of shallow sediments.
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