Style-of-faulting in ground-motion prediction equations

Bommer, Julian J. and Douglas, John and Strasser, Fleur O. (2003) Style-of-faulting in ground-motion prediction equations. Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, 1 (2). pp. 171-203. ISSN 1573-1456 (

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Equations for the prediction of response spectral ordinates invariably include magnitude, distance and site classification as independent variables. A few equations also include style-offaulting as a fourth variable, although this has an almost negligible effect on the standard deviation of the equation. Nonetheless, style-of-faulting is a useful parameter to include in ground-motion prediction equations since the rupture mechanism of future earthquakes in a particular seismic source zone can usually be defined with some confidence. Current equations including style-of-faulting use different schemes to classify fault ruptures into various categories, which leads to uncertainty and ambiguity regarding the nature and extent of the effect of focal mechanism on ground motions. European equations for spectral ordinates do not currently include style-of-faulting factors, and seismic hazard assessments in Europe often combine, in logic-tree formulations, these equations with those from western North America that do include style-of-faulting coefficients. In this article, a simple scheme is provided to allow style-of-faulting adjustments to be made for those equations that do not include coefficients for rupture mechanism, so that style-of-faulting can be fully incorporated into the hazard calculations. This also considers the case of normal fault ruptures, not modelled in any of the current Californian equations, but which are the dominant mechanism in many parts of Europe. The scheme is validated by performing new regressions on a widely used European attenuation relationship with additional terms for style-of-faulting.


Bommer, Julian J., Douglas, John ORCID logoORCID: and Strasser, Fleur O.;