Characteristics of vertical ground motions in the Canterbury earthquakes
This paper presents a critical evaluation of vertical ground motions observed in the Canterbury earthquake sequence. The abundance of strong near-source ground-motion recordings provides an opportunity to comprehensively review the estimation of vertical ground motions via the New Zealand Standard for earthquake loading, NZS1170.5:2004, and empirical ground motion prediction equations (GMPEs). An in-depth review of current GMPEs is carried out to determine the existing trends and characteristics present in the empirical models. Results illustrate that vertical ground motion amplitudes estimated based on NZS1170.5:2004 are significantly unconservative at short periods and near-source distances. While conventional GMPEs provide an improved prediction, in many instances they too underpredict vertical ground motion accelerations at short periods and near-source distances.