Site amplification in the Kathmandu Valley during the 2015 M7.6 Gorkha, Nepal earthquake

S. Tallett-Williams, B. Gosh, S. Wilkinson, C. Fenton, P. Burton, M. Whitworth, S. Datla, G. Franco, A. Trieu, M. Dejong, V. Novellis, T. White, T. Lloyd

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The 25th April 2015 M7.6 Gorkha earthquake caused significant damage to buildings and infrastructure in both Kathmandu and surrounding areas as well as triggering numerous, large landslides. This resulted in the loss of approximately 8600 lives. In order to learn how the impact of such events can be reduced on communities both in Nepal and elsewhere, the Earthquake Engineering Field Investigation Team (EEFIT) reconnaissance mission was undertaken, aiming to look at damage patterns within the country. Passive, microtremor recordings in severely damaged areas of the Kathmandu Valley, as well as at the main seismic recording station in Kathmandu (USGS station KATNP) are used to determined preliminary shear wave velocity (Vs) profiles for each site. These profiles are converted into spectral acceleration using the input motion of the Gorkha earthquake. The results are limited, but show clear site amplification within the Siddhitol Region. The resulting ground motions exceed the design levels from the Nepalese Building Codes, indicating the need for site-specific hazard analysis and for revision of the building code to address the effect of site amplification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3301–3315
Number of pages15
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Issue number12
Early online date20 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

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