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Conducting 1D site response analyses to capture 2D VS spatial variability effects


One-dimensional site response analyses (1D SRAs) with shear-wave velocity (VS) randomization are commonly performed to estimate median site-specific amplification factors (AFs) under the implicit assumption that this approach yields a realistic response. In this work, an investigation is conducted to determine the appropriate amount of VS randomization (σlnVs) needed to capture a median response that accounts for 2D VS spatial variability effects. Results from 2D SRAs and 1D SRAs with VS randomization show that the median 2D seismic responses are generally higher than 1D responses at the site’s fundamental frequency, and that higher VS variability has a mild impact on the median 2D seismic response amplitude at the fundamental frequency, whereas it significantly reduces the median 1D response. Findings indicate that the 84th percentile AFs based on 1D SRAs conducted with VS randomization using σlnVs = 0.25, approximate well with the more realistic median 2D SRA-based AFs around the fundamental frequency, while the 70th to 60th percentiles might be more appropriate at higher frequencies. The benefit of using percentiles of the 1D SRA-based AFs higher than the median is shown for different site conditions and supported by comparisons against empirical data from four downhole sites.

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