Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Nevada System of Higher Education


This project aims to understand the characteristics of the free-field strong-motion records that have yielded the 100 largest peak accelerations and the 100 largest peak velocities recorded to date. The peak is defined as the maximum magnitude of the acceleration or velocity vector during the strong shaking. This compilation includes 35 records with peak acceleration greater than gravity, and 41 records with peak velocities greater than 100 cm/s. The results represent an estimated 150,000 instrument-years of strong-motion recordings. The mean horizontal acceleration or velocity, as used for the NGA ground motion models, is typically 0.76 times the magnitude of this vector peak. Accelerations in the top 100 come from earthquakes as small as magnitude 5, while velocities in the top 100 all come from earthquakes with magnitude 6 or larger. Records are dominated by crustal earthquakes with thrust, oblique-thrust, or strike-slip mechanisms. Normal faulting mechanisms in crustal earthquakes constitute under 5% of the records in the databases searched, and an even smaller percentage of the exceptional records. All NEHRP site categories have contributed exceptional records, in proportions similar to the extent that they are represented in the larger database.


Earthquake hazard analysis; Earthquake magnitude -- Measurement; Nevada – Yucca Mountain; Seismometry


Earth Sciences | Geophysics and Seismology | Tectonics and Structure




Report Document Identifier: TR-NQ-022-2
Cooperative Agreement # DE-FC28-04RW12232
Project Activity ORD-FY06-022
Final Technical Report Part B (for subtask 2)