Seismic Ground Motion Expected for the Eastern District of Naples

Authors: Nunziata, C.1; Vaccari, F.2; Panza, G.F.2; Luongo, G.1; FÄH, D.3

Source: Natural Hazards, Volume 15, Numbers 2-3, May 1997 , pp. 183-197(15)

Publisher: Springer

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The seismic ground motion of a test area in the eastern district of Naples is computed with a hybrid technique based on the mode summation and the finite difference methods. This technique allows us the realistic modelling of source and propagation effects, including local soil conditions. In the modelling, we consider the 1980 Irpinia earthquake, a good example of strong shaking for the area of Naples, which is located about 90 km from the epicenter.

The detailed geological setting is reconstructed from a large number of drillings. The sub-soil is mainly formed by alluvial (ash, stratified sand and peat) and pyroclastic materials overlying a pyroclastic rock (yellow neapolitan tuff), representing the neapolitan bedrock. The detailed information available on mechanical properties of the sub-soil and its geometry warrants the application of the sophisticated hybrid technique.

As expected, the sedimentary cover causes an increase of the signal's amplitudes and duration. If thin peat layers are present, the amplification effects are reduced, and the peak ground accelerations are similar to those observed for the bedrock model. This can be explained by the backscattering of wave energy at such layers, that tend to seismically decouple the upper from the lower part of the structure.

For SH-waves, the influence of the variations of the S-wave velocities on the spectral amplification is studied, by considering locally measured velocities and values determined from near-by down-hole measurements. The comparison between the computed spectral amplifications confirms the key role of an accurate determination of the seismic velocities of the different layers.

The comparison performed between a realistic 2-D seismic response and a standard 1-D response, based on the vertical propagation of waves in a plane layered structure, shows considerable difference, from which it is evident that serious caution must be taken in the modelling of expected ground motion at a specific site.

Keywords: Naples; finite difference methods; numerical modelling; seismic ground motion

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Dipartimento di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Universita' Federico II di Napoli, Italy 2: Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Universita' di Trieste, Italy 3: Institut für Geophysik, ETH-Hoenggerberg, CH-8093 Zürich

Publication date: May 1, 1997

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