Site-specific earthquake response study for hazard assessment in Kolkata city, India

Gobindaraju L, S Bhattacharya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The assessment of local site effects on seismic ground motions is of great importance in earthquake engineering practice. Several destructive earthquakes in the past have demonstrated that the amplification of ground motion and associated damage to structures due to local site conditions is a significant consideration in earthquake hazard analysis. A recent paper published in this journal highlights the hazard posed by earthquakes in the megacity of Kolkata in India due to its seismic and geological settings. The seismic hazard assessment study speculates that the deep alluvial deposit in the city may increase the seismic hazard probably due to the amplification of the seismic energies. This paper focuses on the seismic response studies of the various soil strata (i.e. for local subsurface conditions) obtained from various construction sites in the city for predicted earthquake. It is very well recognized that site response studies (a part of seismic microhazard zonation for urban areas) are the first step towards performance-based foundation design or seismic risk analysis and mitigation strategy. One of the problems for carrying out site-specific study in Kolkata is the lack of recorded strong motion data in the city. Hence, this paper outlines a methodology to carry out site-specific study, where no strong motion data or seismic data are available. The methodology uses wavelet-based spectrum compatibility approach to generate synthetic earthquake motions and equivalent linear method for seismic site response analysis. The Mega City of Kolkata has been considered to explain the methodology. Seismic hazard zonation map by the Bureau of Indian Standards classifies the City of Kolkata as moderate seismic zone (Zone III) with a zone factor 0.16. On the other hand, GSHAP(Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program) map which is based on 10% probability of exceedance in 50 years specifies a maximum peak ground acceleration (PGA) of 1.6 m/s2 (0.163 g) for this region. In the present study, the seismic response has been carried out based on GSHAP. The results of the analysis indicate the amplification of ground motion in the range of 4.46–4.82 with the fundamental period ranging from 0.81 to 1.17 s. Furthermore, the maximum spectral accelerations vary in the range of 0.78–0.95 g.
Translated title of the contributionSite-specific earthquake response study for hazard assessment in Kolkata city, India
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalNatural Hazards
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

Other identifier: DOI 10.1007/s11069-011-9940-3


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