Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Gail Atkinson


Commonly-applied methods to estimate ground-motion amplification for earthquake hazard applications in southern Ontario are highly generalized. Site amplification effects have typically been estimated by a parameter that is not well-known in the region, the time-averaged shear-wave velocity in the top 30 metres of soil; VS30. Moreover, VS30 is not well correlated with site amplification in this region. This study develops a model that can better estimate ground motions and shaking intensities in southern Ontario based on readily-available information. The model is based on a site’s peak response frequency (fpeak), which can be estimated from depth-to-bedrock. This fpeak-based model estimates ground motions differently compared to a VS30-based model, as given by the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC). Field surveys show that the estimate of fpeak is stable over a distance of 1 km. The developed model can be used to estimate site response for building code and ShakeMap applications.