Site correction of a high-frequency strong-ground-motion simulation based on an empirical transfer function

Jyun Yan Huang, Kuo Liang Wen, Che Min Lin, Chun Hsiang Kuo, Chun Te Chen, Shuen Chiang Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In this study, an empirical transfer function (ETF), which is the spectrum difference in Fourier amplitude spectra between observed strong ground motion and synthetic motion obtained by a stochastic point-source simulation technique, is constructed for the Taipei Basin, Taiwan. The basis stochastic point-source simulations can be treated as reference rock site conditions in order to consider site effects. The parameters of the stochastic point-source approach related to source and path effects are collected from previous well-verified studies. A database of shallow, small-magnitude earthquakes is selected to construct the ETFs so that the point-source approach for synthetic motions might be more widely applicable. The high-frequency synthetic motion obtained from the ETF procedure is site-corrected in the strong site-response area of the Taipei Basin. The site-response characteristics of the ETF show similar responses as in previous studies, which indicates that the base synthetic model is suitable for the reference rock conditions in the Taipei Basin. The dominant frequency contour corresponds to the shape of the bottom of the geological basement (the top of the Tertiary period), which is the Sungshan formation. Two clear high-amplification areas are identified in the deepest region of the Sungshan formation, as shown by an amplification contour of 0.5 Hz. Meanwhile, a high-amplification area was shifted to the basin's edge, as shown by an amplification contour of 2.0 Hz. Three target earthquakes with different kinds of source conditions, including shallow small-magnitude events, shallow and relatively large-magnitude events, and deep small-magnitude events relative to the ETF database, are tested to verify site correction. The results indicate that ETF-based site correction is effective for shallow earthquakes, even those with higher magnitudes, but is not suitable for deep earthquakes. Finally, one of the most significant shallow large-magnitude earthquakes (the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake in Taiwan) is verified in this study. A finite fault stochastic simulation technique is applied, owing to the complexity of the fault rupture process for the Chi-Chi earthquake, and the ETF-based site-correction function is multiplied to obtain a precise simulation of high-frequency (up to 10 Hz) strong motions. The high-frequency prediction has good agreement in both time and frequency domain in this study, and the prediction level is the same as that predicted by the site-corrected ground motion prediction equation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-415
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Asian Earth Sciences
StatePublished - 1 May 2017


  • Empirical transfer function
  • Site correction
  • Stochastic simulation
  • Taipei Basin


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