The Canadian Association for Earthquake Engineering 

L'Association Canadienne du Génie Parasismique

EARTHQUAKE RECORDS

     Please scroll down to view the list of records and click on Record Number to view accelerations. You may cut and paste to use the record.

REPRESENTATIVE ENSEMBLES OF STRONG EARTHQUAKE RECORDS

Nove Naumoski

Adjunct Professor, Department of Civil Engineering

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario

 
INTRODUCTION

       Since the first set of strong motion records obtained during the Long Beach, California earthquake of 1933, thousands of strong earthquakes records have been recorded in seismic regions around the world. Many of these records have been used by earthquake engineers for the investigations of the characteristics of earthquake ground motions, investigations of the behaviour of structures due to seismic excitations, evaluations of the seismic codes, and for the design of earthquake resistant structures. 

       It has been observed that the characteristics of recorded motions vary greatly from record to record. The intensity, the duration of strong shaking, and the frequency content of the records depend on a number of factors including the magnitude of the earthquake, the epicentral distance, and the local site conditions. The differences in the characteristics of the recorded ground motions can lead to substantial differences in the structural response. One major factor that has significant effects on the structural response is the frequency content of the recorded motions. A simple approach based on the peak ground acceleration to peak ground velocity ratio (A/V ratio) is commonly accepted for the estimation of the frequency content of earthquake records (Heidebrecht and Lu, 1988). Statistically, records with high A/V ratios are normally associated with moderate to strong earthquakes at small epicentral distances, and records with low A/V ratios are associated with large earthquakes at large epicentral distances.
 

SELECTED ENSEMBLES OF RECORDS

       For the purpose of research studies, Naumoski at al. (1988) selected three ensembles of recorded accelerograms with different A/V ratios, i.e. accelerograms with high A/V ratios (A/V > 1.2), with intermediate A/V ratios (0.8 < A/V <1.2), and with low A/V ratios (A/V < 0.8), where A is in g, and V is in m/s. Each ensemble consists of 15 accelerograms. With respect to the A/V ratios, the ensembles are referred to as high, intermediate, and low A/V ensembles. Information for the accelerograms of the three ensembles are listed in Tables 1, 2, and 3. The mean A/V ratio is 2.12 for the high A/V ensemble, 1.02 for the intermediate A/V ensemble, and 0.6 for the low A/V ensemble. All the selected accelerograms are recorded on rock or stiff soil sites. Of the 45 accelerograms, 29 are from the United States, 7 from Japan, 5 from Mexico, 3 from Former Yugoslavia, and 1 from Canada.

 
USE OF THE RECORDS

       The acceleration records posted on this web site have been extensively used in the past in various research studies and practical applications. A number of studies related to the seismic provisions of the current edition of the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC 1995) have been conducted using these records.

      The demand for earthquake accelerograms increases with the improvements in the codes and the design practice. These accelerograms are used as excitation motions in dynamic time history analyses. It is believed that the use of earthquake accelerograms will increase significantly with the release of the new edition of the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC 2005). The seismic provisions of NBCC 2005 require the use of dynamic analysis as the primary procedure in the design of buildings. The Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code also requires the use of dynamic time history analysis in the design of more important and complex bridges. Depending on the objectives of the studies, proper scaling should be conducted to the accelerograms. Some scaling methods for accelerograms for use in the analysis of building structures are given in Naumoski et al. (2004).

 
REFERENCES

Heidebrecht, A.C., and Lu, C.Y. 1988. Evaluation of the seismic response factor introduced in the 1985 edition of the National Building Code of Canada. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, 15: 382-338.

Naumoski, N., Tso, W.K., and Heidebrecht, A.C. 1988. A selection of representative strong motion earthquake records having different A/V ratios. Earthquake Engineering Research Group, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont., EERG Report 88-01, 60 pp.

Naumoski, N., Saatcioglu, M., and Amiri-Hormozaki, K. 2004. Effects of Scaling of earthquake excitations on the dynamic response of reinforced concrete frame buildings. 13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, paper No. 2917, 15 pp.

 

Table 1.  Description and peak ground motion parameters for “High A/V Records” [A/V > 1.2]

Rec. No.

Earthquake

Date

Magn

Site

Epic. Dist. (km)

Comp.

 

Max. Acc. A(g)

Max. Vel. V(m/s)

A/V

Soil Cond.

1

1-doc

Parkfield California

June 27 1966

5.6

Temblor No. 2

7

N65W

0.269

0.145

1.86

Rock

2

2-doc

Parkfield California

June 27 1966

5.6

Cholame, Shandon No. 5

5

N85W

0.434

0.255

1.70

Rock

3

3-doc

San Francisco California

Mar. 22 1957

5.25

Golden Gate Park

11

S80E

0.105

0.046

2.28

Rock

4

4-doc

San Francisco California

Mar. 22 1957

5.25

State Bldg., S.F.

17

S09E

0.085

0.051

1.67

Stiff Soil

5

5-doc

Helena Montana

Oct. 31 1935

6.0

Carroll College

8

N00E

0.146

0.072

2.03

Rock

6

6-doc

Lytle Creek

Sep. 12 1970

5.4

Wrightwood,

California

15

S25W

0.198

0.096

2.06

Rock

7

7-doc

Oroville California

Aug. 1 1975

5.7

Seismogr. Station

Oroville

13

N53W

0.084

0.044

1.91

Rock

8

8-doc

San Fernando California

Feb. 9 1971

6.4

Pacomia Dam

4

S74W

1.075

0.577

1.86

Rock

9

9-doc

San Fernando California

Feb. 9 1971

6.4

Lake Hughes,

Station 4

26

S21W

0.146

0.085

1.72

Rock

10

10-doc

Nahanni N.W.T., Canada

Dec. 23 1985

6.9

Site 1, Iverson

7.5

LONG

1.101

0.462

2.38

Rock

11

11-doc

Central Honshu

Japan

Feb. 26 1971

5.5

Yoneyama Bridge

27

TRANS

0.151

0.059

2.56

Stiff Soil

12

12-doc

Near E. Coast of Honshu, Japan

May. 11 1972

5.8

Kushiro Central

Wharf

33

N00E

0.146

0.060

2.43

Stiff Soil

13

13-doc

Honshu Japan

Apr. 5 1966

5.4

Hoshina–A

4

N00E

0.270

0.111

2.43

Stiff Soil

14

14-doc

Monte Negro Yugoslavia

Apr. 9 1979

5.4

Albatros Hotel,

Ulcinj

12.5

N00E

0.042

0.016

2.63

Rock

15

15-doc

Banja Luka Yugoslavia

Aug. 13 1981

6.1

Seism. Station,

Banja Luka

8.5

N90W

0.074

0.032

2.31

Rock

 

Table 2.  Description and peak ground motion parameters for “Intermediate A/V Records” [0.8<A/V<1.2]

Rec. No.

Earthquake

Date

Magn

Site

Epic. Dist. (km)

Comp.

 

Max. Acc. A(g)

Max. Vel. V(m/s)

A/V

Soil Cond.

1

1-doc

Imperial Valley California

May 18

1940

6.6

El Centro

8

S00E

0.348

0.334

1.04

Stiff

Soil

2

2-doc

Kern County California

July 21

1952

7.6

Taft Lincoln School Tunnel

56

S69E

0.179

0.177

1.01

Rock

3

3-doc

Kern County California

July 21

1952

7.6

Taft Lincoln School Tunnel

56

N21E

0.156

0.157

0.99

Rock

4

4-doc

Borrego Mtn. California

April 8

1968

6.5

San Onofre SCE Power Plant

122

N57W

0.046

0.042

1.10

Stiff

Soil

5

5-doc

Borrego Mtn. California

April 8

1968

6.5

San Onofre SCE Power Plant

122

N33E

0.041

0.037

1.11

Stiff

Soil

6

6-doc

San Fernando California

Feb. 9

1971

6.4

3838 Lankershim Blvd., L.A.

24

S90W

0.150

0.149

1.01

Rock

7

7-doc

San Fernando California

Feb. 9

1971

6.4

Hollywood Storage P.E. Lot, L.A.

35

N90E

0.211

0.211

1.00

Stiff

Soil

8

8-doc

San Fernando California

Feb. 9

1971

6.4

3407 6th Street, L.A.

39

N90E

0.165

0.166

0.99

Stiff

Soil

9

9-doc

San Fernando California

Feb. 9

1971

6.4

Griffith Park Observatory, L.A.

31

S00W

0.180

0.205

0.88

Rock

10

10-doc

San Fernando California

Feb. 9

1971

6.4

234 Figueroa St., L.A.

41

N37E

0.199

0.167

1.19

Stiff

Soil

11

11-doc

Near East Coast of Honshu,Japan

Nov. 16

1974

6.1

Kashima Harbor Works

38

N00E

0.070

0.072

0.97

Stiff

Soil

12

12-doc

Near East Coast of Honshu,Japan

Aug. 2

1971

7.0

Kushiro Central Wharf

196

N90E

0.078

0.068

1.15

Stiff

Soil

13

13-doc

Monte Negro Yugoslavia

Apr. 15

1979

7.0

Albatros Hotel, Ulcinj

17

N00E

0.171

0.194

0.88

Rock

14

14-doc

Mexico Earthq.

Sept. 19

1985

8.1

El Suchil, Guerrero Array

230

S00E

0.105

0.116

0.91

Rock

15

15-doc

Mexico Earthq.

Sept. 19

1985

8.1

La Villita, Guerrero Array

44

N90E

0.123

0.105

1.17

Rock

 

Table 3.  Description and peak ground motion parameters for “Low A/V Records” [A/V < 0.8]

Rec. No.

Earthquake

Date

Magn

Site

Epic. Dist. (km)

Comp.

 

Max. Acc. A(g)

Max. Vel. V(m/s)

A/V

Soil Cond.

1

1-doc

Long Beach California

Mar. 10 1933

6.3

Subway Terminal, L.A.

59

N51W

0.097

0.237

0.41

Rock

2

2-doc

Long Beach California

Mar. 10  1933

6.3

Subway Terminal,  .A.

59

N39E

0.064

0.173

0.37

Rock

3

3-doc

Lower Calif.

Dec. 30 1934

6.5

El Centro

58

S00W

0.160

0.209

0.77

Stiff

Soil

4

4-doc

San Fernando California

Feb. 9 1971

6.4

2500 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.

40

N61W

0.101

0.193

0.52

Stiff

Soil

5

5-doc

San Fernando California

Feb. 9 1971

6.4

3550 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.

39

WEST

0.132

0.216

0.61

Stiff

Soil

6

6-doc

San Fernando California

Feb. 9 1971

6.4

222 Figueroa St., L.A.

41

S37W

0.129

0.186

0.69

Stiff

Soil

7

7-doc

San Fernando California

Feb. 9 1971

6.4

3470 Wilshire

Blvd., L.A.

39

S90W

0.114

0.186

0.61

Stiff

Soil

8

8-doc

San Fernando California

Feb. 9 1971

6.4

4680 Wilshire

Blvd., L.A.

38

N15E

0.117

0.215

0.54

Stiff

Soil

9

9-doc

San Fernando California

Feb. 9 1971

6.4

445 Figueroa St., L.A.

41

S38W

0.119

0.173

0.69

Rock

10

10-doc

San Fernando California

Feb. 9 1971

6.4

Hollywood Storage L.A.

32

S00W

0.106

0.170

0.62

Stiff

Soil

11

11-doc

Near E. Coast of Honshu, Japan

May 16 1968

7.9

Muroran Harbor

290

N00E

0.226

0.334

0.68

Stiff

Soil

12

12-doc

Near E. Coast of Honshu, Japan

June 17 1973

7.4

Kushiro Central Wharf

112

N00E

0.205

0.275

0.75

Stiff

Soil

13

13-doc

Mexico Earthq.

Sep. 19 1985

8.1

Zihuatenejo, Guerrero Array

135

S00E

0.103

0.159

0.65

Rock

14

14-doc

Mexico Earthq.

Sep. 19 1985

8.1

Teacalco, Cuerrero Array

333

N00E

0.052

0.074

0.70

Rock

15

15-doc

Mexico Earthq.

Sep. 19 1985

8.1

Mesa Vibradora C.U., Mexico City

379

N90W

0.040

0.110

0.36

Rock

 


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