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Estimation of Near-Fault Strong Ground-Motion

Abstract : Accumulated data of strong ground motions have been providing us very important knowledge about rupture processes of earthquakes, propagation-path, site-amplification effects on ground motion, the relation between ground motion and damage... However, most of the ground motion databases used in the development of ground motion prediction models are primarily comprised of accelerograms produced by small and moderate earthquakes. Hence, as magnitude increases, the sets of ground motions become sparse. Ground motion databases are poorly sampled for short source-to-site distance ranges (‘Near-fault’ ranges). However, the strongest ground shaking generally occurs close to earthquake fault rupture. Countries of moderate to high seismicity for which major faults can break in the vicinity of its major cities are facing a major seismic risk, but the lack of earthquake recordings makes it difficult to predict ground motion. Strong motion simulations may then be used instead. One of the current challenges for seismologists is the development of reliable methods for simulating near-fault ground motion taking into account the lack of knowledge about the characteristics of a potential rupture. This thesis is divided into 2 parts. Part 1 focuses on better understanding the seismic rupture process and its relation with the near-fault ground motion. The mechanisms of peak ground motion generating are investigated for homogeneous as well as for heterogeneous ruptures. A quantitative sensitivity analysis of the ground motion to the source kinematic parameters is presented, for sites located in the vicinity of the fault rupture, as well as far from the rupture. A second chapter is dedicated to a major near-fault source effect: the directivity effect. This phenomenon happens when the rupture propagates towards a site of interest, with a rupture speed close to the shear-wave speed (Vs); the waves propagating towards the site adds up constructively and generates a large amplitude wave called the pulse. The features of this pulse are of interest for the earthquake engineering community. In this chapter, a simple equation is presented that relates the period of the pulse to the geometric configuration of the rupture and the site of interest, and to the source parameters.Part 2 is dedicated to better estimate the seismic hazard in Lebanon by simulating the strong ground motion at sites near the main fault (the Yammouneh fault). Lebanon is located in an active tectonic environment where the seismic hazard is considered moderate to high. Historically, destructive earthquakes occurred in the past, the last one dates back to 1202. However, strong motion has never been recorded in Lebanon till now due to the presently infrequent large-magnitude seismicity, and therefore facing an alarming note of potential new ruptures. The Yammouneh fault is a large strike-slip fault crossing Lebanon, making all its regions located within 25km away from the fault. At first, the crustal structure tomography of Lebanon, in terms of Vs, is performed using the ambient noise, in order to characterise the wave propagation from the rupture to the ground surface. To our knowledge, this is the first study of the 3D Vs tomography in Lebanon. Afterwards, a hybrid approach is presented to simulate broadband near-fault ground motion . At low-frequencies (≤1Hz), potential ruptures of M7 are simulated (as defined in the previous chapters), and the generated slip rate functions are convolved with the Green’s functions computed for the propagation medium defined by the Vs tomography. The ground-motion is complemented by a high-frequency content (up to 10Hz), using a stochastic model calibrated by near-fault recordings and accounting for the presence of the directivity pulse. The computed peak ground acceleration is compared to the design acceleration in Lebanon.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 8:48:20 AM
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Rosemary Fayjaloun. Estimation of Near-Fault Strong Ground-Motion. Earth Sciences. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018GREAU031⟩. ⟨tel-01990328⟩

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