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A deterministic seismic hazard analysis was conducted to address the effect of local soil conditions on earthquake-induced strong ground motion in the Las Vegas Basin, Nevada (US). Using a large geological and geotechnical database, two response units were defined: a fine-grained unit, predominantly clay; and a coarse-grained unit, predominantly gravel. A moderate number of high-quality shallow shear wave velocity measurements were collected from which characteristic shear wave velocity profiles were developed for each response unit. An equivalent-linear one-dimensional site response model was used. The model was calibrated using a basin-wide, small-strain ground motion database. Calibration tests showed that ground motion projections become increasingly conservative with increasing ground-motion amplitude. Projections were overconservative for the coarse-grained response unit, likely due to the sparseness of the velocity database. For the earthquake response analyses, historical ground motions were used to model characteristic ‘bedrock’ motion for earthquakes on 10 faults judged to be critical. Response spectral envelopes were generated for each unit through Monte-Carlo simulations. For the fine-grained response unit, 95th percentile peak ground acceleration, peak spectral acceleration and predominant period were 310 cm/s2, 1100 cm/s2, and 0.29 s, respectively. With respect to codified design spectra, projections are lower at short periods and higher at long periods. Projections of peak spectral accelerations for the coarse-grained response unit, were more than double that of codified spectra; however, they are believed to be overconservative. Near-fault effects and basin-edge effects, though potentially important, were not considered in these analyses.


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Construction Engineering and Management | Environmental Engineering | Geotechnical Engineering | Structural Engineering


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