Natural Hazards

, Volume 84, Issue 3, pp 2195–2210 | Cite as

A study of characteristics of ground motion response spectra from earthquakes recorded in NE Himalayan region: an active plate boundary

  • Babita Sharma
  • Sumer Chopra
  • P. Chingtham
  • Vikas Kumar
Original Paper


In the present work, acceleration response spectra are determined from earthquakes which have occurred in the NE region and the effect of local geology on its shape is studied. One hundred and ninety-five strong ground motion time histories from 45 earthquakes which have occurred in the NE region having a magnitude range of 3.5 ≤ Mw ≤ 6.9 and a distance range of 20–600 kms are used. It is observed that the shape of the normalized acceleration response spectra is influenced by the local site conditions and regional geology. The influence of magnitude and distance on the spectra is also studied. The present study is carried out for three categories of rocks: Pre-Cambrian, Tertiary and Quaternary. It is inferred that the acceleration response spectra in the current Indian code designed for the entire country are applicable for NE region as it is within the spectral limits prescribed in Indian code. The ground motion is amplified at higher frequencies for stations located on hard rock, while for stations located on alluvium sites, it is amplified at lower frequencies. The sites located on hard rock show lowest values of spectral acceleration than the sites located on alluvium sites. The results obtained in the present study are compared with the similar results obtained in the stable continent region like Gujarat. It is found that the dominating period of response spectrum of similar rock types is found to be at higher side for NE region as compared to Gujarat region. This may be attributed towards the tectonic complexity of the NE region than the stable continent region like Gujarat.


Acceleration Response spectra Spectral acceleration Alluvium 



Authors are thankful to the Dr. Shailesh Nayak, former Secretary, MoES, for encouragements to carry out this research work. We are also grateful to Dr. Vineet Gahlaut, Director, NCS, for providing the support to accomplish the present study.


  1. BIS (2002). Criteria for earthquake resistant design of structures, part I—general provisions and buildings. Bur Indian Stand. IS 1893 [part I]Google Scholar
  2. Borcherdt RD (1994a) Estimates of site-dependent response spectra for design (methodology and justification). Earthq Spectra 10:617–653. doi: 10.1193/1.1585791 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Borcherdt RD (1994b), U.S. Geol. survey prof. paper; 1551-A, pp A77–A108Google Scholar
  4. Borcherdt RD, Glassmoyer G (1992) On the characteristics of local geology and their influence on ground motions generated by the Loma Prieta earthquake in the San Francisco Bay region, California. Bull Seismol Soc Am 82:603–641Google Scholar
  5. Chopra S, Choudhury P (2011) A study of response spectra for different geological conditions in Gujarat, India. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 31:1551–1564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. De R, Kayal JR (2003) Seismotectonic model of the Sikkim Himalaya: constraint from microearthquake surveys. Bull Seismol Soc Am 93:1395–1400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. De R, Kayal JR (2004) Seismic activity at the MCT in Sikkim Himalaya. Tectonophysics 386:243–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hayashi S, Tsuchida H, Kurata E (1971) Average response spectra for various subsoil conditions. In: Proceedings of third joint meeting, U.S. Japan panel on wind and seismic effects. UJNR, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  9. Holt WE, James NF, Wallace CT, Haines AJ (1991) The active tectonics of the Eastern Himalayan syntaxis and surrounding regions. JGR 96(B9):14595–14632CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Housner GW (1959) Behavior of structures during earthquakes. J Eng Mech Division Proc ASCE 85(EM4):109–129Google Scholar
  11. Kayal JR (2008) Microearthquake seismology and seismotectonics of South Asia. Springer, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  12. Kayal JR (2010) Himalayan tectonic model and the great earthquakes: an appraisal. Geomat Nat Hazards Risk 1:51–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kayal JR, De R, Charkraborty P (1993) Microearthquakes at the main boundary thrust in eastern Himalaya and the present day tectonic model. Tectonophysics 218:375–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kumar A, Mittal H, Sachdeva R, Kumar A (2012) Indian national strong motion network. Seism Res Lett 83(1):29–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mittal H, Gupta S, Srivastava A, Dubey RN, Kumar A (2006) National strong motion instrumentation project: an overview. In: 13th symposium on earthquake engineering. Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, Dec 18–20. Elite Publishing, New Delhi, pp 107–115Google Scholar
  16. Mittal H, Kumar A, Ramhmachhuani R (2012) Indian national strong motion instrumentation network and site characterization of its stations. Int J Geosci 2012(3):1151–1167. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2012.326117 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mohraz B (1976) A study of earthquake response spectra for different geological conditions. Bull Seismol Soc Am 66:915–935Google Scholar
  18. Newmark NM, Hall WJ (1969) Seismic design criteria for nuclear reactor facilities. In: Proceedings of fourth world conference earthquake engineering, vol B-4. Santiago, pp 37–50Google Scholar
  19. Oldham RD (1899) Report on the great earthquake of 12th June, 1897, vol 29. Geological Survey of India Publishing, Memoir, p 379Google Scholar
  20. Raghukanth STG, Iyengar RN (2007) Estimation of seismic spectral acceleration in peninsular India. J Earth Syst Sci 116:199–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Seed HB, Ugas C, Lysmer J (1976) Site dependent spectra for earthquake-resistant design. Bull Seismol Soc Am 66:221–243Google Scholar
  22. Su F, Anderson JG, Zeng Y (2006) Characteristics of ground motion response spectra from recent large earthquakes and their comparison with IEEE standard 693. In: Proceedings of 100th anniversary earthquake conference, commemorating the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  23. Tandon AN (1954) Study of the great Assam earthquake of Aug. 15, 1950 and its aftershocks. Ind J Meteorol Geophys 5:95–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Thingbaijam KKS, Nath SK, Yadav A (2008) Recent seismicity in northeast India and its adjoining region. J Seismol 12:107–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Yamazaki F, Wakamatsu K, Onishi J, Shabestari KT (2000) Relationship between geomorphological land classification and site amplification ratio based on JMA strong motion records. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 19(1):41–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Babita Sharma
    • 1
  • Sumer Chopra
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. Chingtham
    • 1
  • Vikas Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.National Centre for SeismologyMinistry of Earth SciencesNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Institute of Seismological ResearchGandhinagarIndia

Personalised recommendations