Multi criteria study for seismic hazard assessment of UNESCO world heritage Ahmedabad City, Gujarat, Western India

  • Vinay Kumar DwivediEmail author
  • R. K. Dubey
  • Vasu Pancholi
  • Madan Mohan Rout
  • Pawan Singh
  • B. Sairam
  • Sumer Chopra
  • B. K. Rastogi
Original Paper


Ahmedabad, the most populous city of Gujarat, assigned zone III in the seismic zone map of India (BIS 2002), has experienced moderate earthquakes in the past. Several high-rise buildings were collapsed or severely damaged in the city during 2001 Bhuj earthquake (Mw 7.6), which was 240 km from the city. Keeping this in view, micro-level seismic hazard assessment in the city is carried out using geotechnical, geological, and geophysical inputs, which may help in designing buildings and other civil engineering structures and will reduce the probability of loss of life and property in this region. A total of 23 boreholes (11 boreholes of 80 m, 7 boreholes of 40 m and 5 boreholes of 35 m) were drilled at the different locations in the city. To estimate the shear-wave velocity, we have employed direct and indirect methods. PS logging is carried out in 11 boreholes, and shallow geophysical investigation (multi-channel analysis of surface waves, MASW) is carried out at 54 sites. The field and laboratory tests on soil samples, geophysical investigations, and seismotectonic information enabled us to estimate soil overburden thickness, shear-wave velocity, factor of safety against liquefaction, and site response in terms of amplification factor. The peak ground acceleration was estimated at engineering bed rock level (Vs 760 m/s) by PSHA. All this information is used in preparing an integrated seismic hazard (SH) map of the Ahmedabad City using analytical hierarchal process. The seismic hazard map is characterized into three broad categories: low, moderate, and high. The western part of the Ahmedabad shows the highest hazard. The northern and the eastern parts show moderate seismic hazard. It is observed that the presence of sand and flood plain deposits along the Sabarmati river increases the hazard. The study has also highlighted that the presence of a paleochannel increases the overall hazard, which is clearly visible in integrated hazard map.


Seismic hazard assessment Analytical hierarchy process Geographic information system 



The authors are grateful to Dr. M. Ravi Kumar, Director General, Institute of Seismological Research, ISR Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India for his kind support and encouragement for doing this research work. The authors are also grateful chief editor Resat Ulusay and the reviewers for their valuable suggestions, which have improved the manuscript.

Funding information

The study was supported by the Ministry of Earth Science under the project MoEs/P.O.(Seismo)/1(41)/2009.


  1. Aki K (1988) Local site effect on strong ground motion. Proc Earthq Eng Soil Dyn II, 27-30 June. ASCE, pp 103–155Google Scholar
  2. Atkinson GM, Boore DM (2006) Earthquake ground-motion prediction equation for eastern North America. Bull Seismol Soc Am 96:2181–2205. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bard PY, Czitrom C, Durville JL, Godefroy P, Meneroud JP, Mouroux P, Pecker A (1995) “Guidelines for seismic microzonation studies” Published by delegation of 54 major risks of the French ministry of the environment-direction for prevention, pollution and risks, p–50Google Scholar
  4. BIS (2002) IS 1893–2002, Indian standard criteria for earthquake resistant design of structures, part 1 - general provisions and buildings. Bureau of Indian Standards, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  5. Borcherdt RD (1994) Estimates of site dependent response spectra for design (methodology and justification). Earthquake Spectra 10:617–653CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. BSSC (2003) NEHRP recommended provision for seismic regulation for new buildings and other structures (FEMA 450), Part 1: Provisions. Building Safety seismic council for the federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington D. C.Google Scholar
  7. Caruso S, Ferraro A, Grasso S, Massimino MR (2016) Site response analysis in Eastern Sicily based on direct and indirect vs measurements. 1st Imeko Tc-4 International Workshop on Metrology for Geotechnics, Benevento (Italy), pp 115–120Google Scholar
  8. Cavallaro A, Grasso S, Ferraro A (2016) Study on seismic response analysis in “Vincenzo Bellini” garden area by seismic dilatometer Marchetti tests. - Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Geotechnical and Geophysical Site Characterization, ISC 2016"Google Scholar
  9. Cavallaro A, Capilleri P, Grasso S (2018) Site characterization by in situ and laboratory tests for liquefaction potential evaluation during Emilia Romagna Earthquake; Geosciences, Special Issue: Site-Specific Seismic Hazard Analysis: New Perspectives, Open Issues and Challenges. Geosciences 8(7), 242):1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Census of India (2011) Provisional population totals paper 2, Volume 1 of 2011 Rural-Urban Distribution GUJARAT Series-25,
  11. Choi Y, Stewart JP (2005) Nonlinear site amplification as function of 30m shear wave velocity. Earthquake Spectra 21:1–30. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chopra S, Kumar D, Rastogi BK (2010) Estimation of strong ground motions for 2001 bhuj (mw7.6), India earthquake. Pure Appl Geophys 167:1317–1330. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chopra S, Kumar D, Rastogi BK et al (2012) Deterministic seismic scenario for Gujarat region, India. Nat Hazards 60:517–540. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chopra S, Kumar D, Rastogi BK et al (2013) Estimation of seismic hazard in Gujarat region, India. Nat Hazards 65:1157–1178. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dwivedi VK, Dubey RK, Thockhom S, Pancholi V, Chopra S, Rastogi BK (2017) Assessment of liquefaction potential of soil in Ahmedabad Region, Western India. J Indian Geophys Union 21(2):116–123Google Scholar
  16. Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) (2002) 2001 Bhuj, India, earthquake reconnaissance report. Earthq Spectra, pp 18–398Google Scholar
  17. Eurocode 8 (2011) Seismic design of buildings worked examples, Workshop “EC 8: Seismic Design of Buildings”, Lisbon, Feb. 10-11, 2011, 3-522Google Scholar
  18. Field EH, Jacob KH, Hough SE (1992) Earthquake site response estimation: a weak motion case study. Bull Seismol Soc Am 82:2283–2307Google Scholar
  19. Fioravante V, Giretti D, Abate G, Aversa S, Boldini D, Capilleri PP, Cavallaro A, Chamlagain D, Crespellani T, Dezi F, Facciorusso J, Ghinelli A, Grasso S, Lanzo G, Madiai C, Massimino MR, Maugeri M, Pagliaroli A, Ranieri C, Tropeano G, Santucci De Magistris F, Sica S, Silvestri F, Vannucchi G (2013) Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering Aspects: The 2012 Emilia Romagna Earthquake (Italy); Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering, Wheeling (Chicago), 29 April - 4 May 2013, paper no. EQ-5 (ISBN:1-887009-17-5)Google Scholar
  20. Ganapathy GP (2011) First level seismic microzonation map of Chennai city - a GIS approach. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 11:549–559. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Goel RK (2001) Performance of Buildings during January 26, 2001 Bhuj Earthquake. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California, pp 1–8Google Scholar
  22. Hansancebi N, Ulusay R (2007) Empirical correlation between shear wave velocity and penetration resistance for ground shaking assessment. Bull Eng Geol Environ 66:203–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. IBC (2009), International Building Code, published by International Codes Council.Google Scholar
  24. Idriss IM, Boulanger RW (2006) Semi-Empirical procedures for evaluating liquefaction potential during earthquakes. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 26(2-4):115–130. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. ISR (2016-17) Institute of Seismological Research Annual report (
  26. Iyengar RN, Raghukanth STG (2004) Attenuation of strong ground motion in peninsular India. Seismol Res Lett 75:530–540CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kaila KL, Tewari HC, Krishna VG, Dixit MM, Sarkar D, Reddy MS (1990) Deep seismic sounding studies in the north Cambay and Sanchor basins, India. Geophys J Int 103:621–637. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) (2010) Surfseis: seismic processing software, Version 3. KGS, Lawrence, KansasGoogle Scholar
  29. Kayen RE, Mitchell JK, Seed RB, Lodge A, Nishio SY, Coutinho R (1992). Evaluation of SPT-, CPT-, and shear wave-based methods for liquefaction potential assessment using Loma Prieta data, in Technical Report US National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (NCEER), Vol. 1, 177–204 pp.Google Scholar
  30. Kockar MK, Akgun H, Rathje EM (2010) Evaluation of site conditions for Ankara Basin of Turkey based on seismic site characterization of near-surface geologic materials. Soil Dyn Earthquake Eng 30(1):8–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mandal P (2009) Ground-motion attenuation relation from strong-motion records of the 2001 Mw 7.7 Bhuj Earthquake Sequence (2001–2006), Gujarat, India. Pure Appl Geophys 166(3):451–469. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Merh SS (1995) Geology of Gujarat. Geological Society of India, BangaloreGoogle Scholar
  33. Mohanty WK, Walling MY, Nath SK, Pal I (2007) First order seismic microzonation of Delhi, India using geographic information system (GIS). Nat Hazards 40:245–260. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Murty CVR, Goel RK, Goyal A, Jain SK, Sinha R, Rai DC, Arlekar JN, Metzger R (2002) Reinforced concrete structures. Earthquake Spectra 18:149–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nath SK (2004) Seismic hazard mapping and microzonation in the Sikkim Himalaya through GIS integration site effects and strong ground motion attributes. Nat Hazards 31:319–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nath SK, Sengupta P, Sengupta S, Chakrabarti A (2000) Site response estimation using strong motion network: a step towards microzonation of Sikkim Himalayas seismology. Curr Sci 79:1316–1326Google Scholar
  37. Nath SK, Vyas M, Pal I, Sengupta P (2005) A seismic hazard scenario in the Sikkim Himalaya from seismotectonics, spectral amplification, source parameterization, and spectral attenuation laws using strong motion seismometry. J Geophys Res 110:B01301. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nath SK, Thingbaijam KKS, Raj A (2008) Earthquake hazard in the Northeast India - a seismic microzonation approach with typical case studies from Sikkim Himalaya and Guwahati city. J Earth Syst Sci 117:809–831CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Nath SK, Raj A, Thingbaijam K, Kumar A (2009) Ground motion synthesis and seismic scenario in Guwahati City–a stochastic approach. Seismol Res Lett 80:233–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (1997) NCEER workshop on evaluation of liquefaction resistance of soils. T. L. Youd and I.M. Idriss eds., Technical Rep. No. NCEER, 97-022Google Scholar
  41. National Disaster Management Authority (2011) Development of probabilistic seismic hazard map of India technical report. National Disaster Management Authority publication 126. National Disaster Management Authority, Government of India.Google Scholar
  42. NEHRP (1997) Recommended seismic provisions: seismic regulations for new buildings and other structures Part- 1, (FEMA 302).Google Scholar
  43. Pal I, Nath SK, Shukla K, Pal DK, Raj A, Thingbaijam KKS, Bansal BK (2008) Earthquake hazard zonation of Sikkim Himalaya using a GIS platform. Nat Hazards 45:333–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pande P, Kayal JR (eds) (2003) Kutch (Bhuj) Earthquake 26 January 2001, in Special Publications, no. 76. Geological Survey of India, Kolkata, India 282ppGoogle Scholar
  45. Park CB, Miller RD, Xia J (1999) Multi-channel analysis of surface waves. Geophysics 64(3):800–808CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Robertson PK, Wride CE (1997) Cyclic liquefaction and its evaluation based on the SPT and CPT, NCEER Workshop on evaluation of liquefaction resistance of soils. National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah 31 DecemberGoogle Scholar
  47. Rout MM, Chopra S, Sairam B (2019) Probabilistic seismic hazard assessment at surface level for Gujarat state, Western India-an active intraplate region. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng (Under review)Google Scholar
  48. Saaty TL (1987) The analytic hierarchy process: what it is and how it is used. Math Model 9:161–176. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Saaty TL (1988) What is the analytic hierarchy process? In: Mitra G, Greenberg HJ, Lootsma FA, Rijkaert MJ, Zimmermann HJ (eds) Mathematical models for decision support. NATO ASI series (Series F: computer and systems sciences), vol 48. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  50. Saaty TL (2003) Time dependent decision-making; dynamic priorities in the AHP/ANP; generalizing from points to functions and from real to complex variables. In: Proceedings of the ISAHP 2003, Bali, Indonesia, August 7–9Google Scholar
  51. Saaty TL (2008) Decision making with the analytic hierarchy process. Int J Serv Sci 1:83. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sairam B, Singh AP, Patel V, Pancholi V, Chopra S, Dwivedi VK, Ravi KM (2018) Influence of local site effects in the Ahmedabad Mega City on the damage due to past earthquakes in Northwestern India. Bull Seismol Soc Am 108(4):2170–2182. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Sareen BK, Tandon SK, Bhola AM (1993) Slope deviatory alignment, stream network and lineament orientation of the Sabarmati river system: neotectonic activity in the mid-Late Quaternary. Curr Sci 64:827–836Google Scholar
  54. Seed HB, Idriss IM (1971) Simplified procedure for evaluation of soil liquefaction potential. J Soil Mech Found Div 97(9):1249–1273Google Scholar
  55. Singh SK, Bansal BK, Bhattacharya SN et al (2003) Estimation of ground motion for Bhuj 26 January 2001; Mw7.6 and for future earthquakes in India. Bull Seismol Soc Am 93:353–370. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sitharam TG, Anbazhagan P (2008) Seismic microzonation: principles, practices and experiments. EJGE special volume bouquet 08. p. 61. Online: />
  57. Talwani P (2014) Intraplate earthquakes. Cambridge University press, Cambridge, United Kingdom Google Scholar
  58. Tandon SK, Sareen BK, Someshwararao M, Singhvi AK (1997) Aggradation history and luminescence chronology of late quaternary semi-arid sequences of the Sabarmati basin, Gujarat, western India. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 128:339–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. UBC-1997 (1997) Uniform Building Code. International Conference of Building Officials, Whittier, California, U.S.A. (Latest Edition: International Building Code-IBC-2000)Google Scholar
  60. Wani MR, Kundu J (1995) Tectonostratrigraphic analysisin Cambay basin India: leads for future exploration, Proc. Petrotech Conf. Technology Trends in Petroleum Industry, New Delhi 147-164 ppGoogle Scholar
  61. Xia J, Miller RD, Park CB (1999) Estimation of near surface shear-wave velocity by inversion of Rayleigh wave. Geophysics 64(3):691–700CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Yadav RBS, Tripathi JN, Rastogi BK, Chopra S (2008) Probabilistic assessment of earthquake hazard in gujarat and adjoining region of India. Pure Appl Geophys 165:1813–1833. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Youd T, Idriss I, Andrus R, Arango I, Castro G, Christian J, Dobry R, Finn W, Harder L, Hynes M (2001) Liquefaction resistance of soils: summary report from the 1996 NCEER and 1998 NCEER/NSF Workshops on Evaluation of Liquefaction Resistance of Soils. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 127:817–833CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vinay Kumar Dwivedi
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. K. Dubey
    • 2
  • Vasu Pancholi
    • 1
  • Madan Mohan Rout
    • 1
  • Pawan Singh
    • 1
  • B. Sairam
    • 1
  • Sumer Chopra
    • 1
  • B. K. Rastogi
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Seismological ResearchGandhinagarIndia
  2. 2.Indian Institute of TechnologyIndian School of Mines IIT (ISM)DhanbadIndia

Personalised recommendations