On October 21, 2016, an earthquake with Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) magnitude 6.6 hit the central part of Tottori Prefecture, Japan. This paper demonstrates two notable effects of the surface geology on strong ground motions due to the earthquake. One is a predominant period issue observed over a large area. A seismic intensity of 6 lower on the JMA scale was registered at three sites in the disaster area. However, the peak ground acceleration ranged from 0.3 to 1.4 G at the three sites because of the varying peak periods of observed strong ground motions. The spectral properties of the observations also reflect the damage around the sites. Three-component microtremors were observed in the area; the predominant ground period distributions based on horizontal to vertical spectral ratios were provided by the authors. The peak periods of the strong motion records agree well with predominant periods estimated from microtremor observations at a rather hard site; however, the predominant periods of the microtremors are slightly shorter than those of the main shock at the other two soft sites. We checked the nonlinear effect at the sites by comparing the site responses to small events and the main shock. The peak periods of the main shock were longer than those of the weak motions at the sites. This phenomenon indicates a nonlinear site effect due to large ground motions caused by the main shock. A horizontal component of the accelerogram showed rather pulsating swings that indicate cyclic mobility behavior, especially at a site close to a pond shore; ground subsidence of ~20 cm was observed around the site. The peak periods of weak motions agree well with those of the microtremor observations. This implies an important issue that the predominant periods estimated by microtremors are not sufficient to estimate the effect of surface geology for disaster mitigation. We have to estimate the predominant periods under large ground motions considering the nonlinear site response of soft sediment sites.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]
Earth, Planets and Space – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 15, 2017
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