Journal of Seismology

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 345–369 | Cite as

Stochastic ground-motion simulation of two Himalayan earthquakes: seismic hazard assessment perspective

  • Ashish Harbindu
  • Mukat Lal Sharma
  • Kamal
Original article


The earthquakes in Uttarkashi (October 20, 1991, M w 6.8) and Chamoli (March 8, 1999, M w 6.4) are among the recent well-documented earthquakes that occurred in the Garhwal region of India and that caused extensive damage as well as loss of life. Using strong-motion data of these two earthquakes, we estimate their source, path, and site parameters. The quality factor (Q β ) as a function of frequency is derived as Q β (f) = 140f 1.018. The site amplification functions are evaluated using the horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio technique. The ground motions of the Uttarkashi and Chamoli earthquakes are simulated using the stochastic method of Boore (Bull Seismol Soc Am 73:1865–1894, 1983). The estimated source, path, and site parameters are used as input for the simulation. The simulated time histories are generated for a few stations and compared with the observed data. The simulated response spectra at 5% damping are in fair agreement with the observed response spectra for most of the stations over a wide range of frequencies. Residual trends closely match the observed and simulated response spectra. The synthetic data are in rough agreement with the ground-motion attenuation equation available for the Himalayas (Sharma, Bull Seismol Soc Am 98:1063–1069, 1998).


Strong ground motion Site amplification Stochastic simulation Response spectra 



Thanks are due to anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions for improving the article. We are also thankful to the Department of Earthquake Engineering, IIT Roorkee and the Indian Meteorological Department for providing Earthquake data. The support of the Centre of Excellence in Disaster Mitigation & Management, IIT Roorkee is gratefully acknowledged.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earthquake EngineeringIndian Institute of TechnologyRoorkeeIndia
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesIndian Institute of TechnologyRoorkeeIndia

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