Flagship Programme 1


Ground Motion Simulation and Validation

Leader: Brendon Bradley
Deputy Leader: David Dempsey
Industry Representative:
 Didier Pettinga


This flagship will provide a paradigm shift in strong ground motion prediction in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally through the use of high-fidelity physics-based prediction methods, which merge state-of-the-art knowledge in strong motion seismology and geotechnical earthquake engineering. The impact of this flagship will result from the reduction in the design level seismic hazard in many regions through an increased prediction precision, identification of regions with an increased seismic hazard resulting from systematic basin and topographic ground motion phenomena; quantification of ground motion intensity affecting spatially distributed infrastructure networks. 


Key Thrust Areas


1: Simulation Methods

Development and refinement of ground motion simulation methods that enable the generation of acceleration time series for the seismic response analysis of infrastructure.

    • Deliverable 1.1: 100%
    • Integrate existing codes used in Aotearoa New Zealand into NeSI computational resources.
      Timeline: 1/01/2016 - 31/12/2016
    • Deliverable 1.2: 100%
    • Validate simulations using historical Aotearoa New Zealand earthquakes.
      Timeline: 1/01/2016 - 31/12/2020

2: Velocity Model Development

Development of ‘velocity models’ of the earth’s crust in new regions of Aotearoa New Zealand, or improvements in existing regions.

    • Deliverable 2.1: 100%
    • Develop enhanced 3D velocity models in two regions of Aotearoa New Zealand.
      Timeline: 1/01/2016 - 31/12/2018
    • Deliverable 2.2: 100%
    • Utilise full waveform tomography for high-resolution velocity modelling.
      Timeline: 1/01/2018 - 31/12/2020

3: Nonlinear Site and Topographic Response

Develop, validate, and apply models for nonlinear near surface site and topographic response for use in conjunction with ground motion simulation methods.

    • Deliverable 3.1: 100%
    • Directly integrate site response and topography into ground motion simulations vs. the use of Vs30. Examine the effects in Canterbury and Wellington.
      Timeline: 1/01/2016 - 31/12/2019
    • Deliverable 3.2: 100%
    • Perform detailed analysis on when site-specific account for nonlinear and topographic effects is justified vs. simplified approaches.
      Timeline: 1/01/2018 - 31/12/2020

4: Application for Major New Zealand Scenarios

Utilise ground motion simulations to forecast the severity of ground shaking over spatially-distributed regions in future major Aotearoa New Zealand earthquakes.

    • Deliverable 4.1: 100%
    • Perform ground motion simulation case studies for cross-flagship research and outreach and compare with empirical predictions.
      Timeline: 1/01/2016 - 31/12/2018
    • Deliverable 4.2: 100%
    • Develop a ‘Ground motion simulation atlas’ illustrating seismic intensity over a region for 50 earthquake ruptures which are greatest risk to Aotearoa New Zealand.
      Timeline: 1/01/2017 - 31/12/2019

5: Uncertainties and PSHA

Examination of modelling uncertainties in ground motion simulation methods and utilisation for probabilistic seismic hazard analysis.

    • Deliverable 5.1: 100%
    • Develop advanced ground motion simulations with treatment of modelling uncertainties.
      Timeline: 1/01/2017 - 31/12/2020
    • Deliverable 5.2: 100%
    • Perform ‘Cybershake’ simulations performed for T>1s in Aotearoa New Zealand. Compare with hazard from codes and GMPEs.
      Timeline: 1/01/2017 - 31/12/2020

6: Use of Simulations in Earthquake Engineering Analyses

Explore the role of simulated ground motions for use in seismic response analysis of engineering infrastructure, including comparisons with as recorded ground motions and development of procedures for simulated ground motions in infrastructure seismic design guidelines.

    • Deliverable 6.1: 100%
    • Develop a co-created industry working document on the use of ground motion simulations in engineering design.
      Timeline: 1/01/2016 - 31/12/2018
    • Deliverable 6.2: 100%
    • Compare and assess simulated vs. recorded ground motions with archetype engineering structures used to determine bias in simulation methods for feedback to developers.
      Timeline: 1/01/2017 - 31/12/2020