Spatial correlation of broadband earthquake ground motion in Norcia (Central Italy) from physics-based simulations

Erika Schiappapietra, Chiara Smerzini

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This paper investigates the spatial correlation of response spectral accelerations from a set of broadband physics-based ground motion simulations generated for the Norcia (Central Italy) area by means of the SPEED software. We produce several ground-motion scenarios by varying either the slip distribution or the hypocentral location as well as the magnitude to systematically explore the impact of such physical parameters on spatial correlations. We extend our analysis to other ground-motion components (vertical, fault-parallel, fault-normal) in addition to the more classic geometric mean to highlight possible ground-motion directionality and therefore identify specific spatial correlation features. Our analyses provide useful insights on the role of slip heterogeneities as well as the relative position between hypocentre and slip asperities on the spatial correlation. Indeed, we found a significant variability in terms of both range and sill among the considered case studies, suggesting that the spatial correlation is not only period-dependent, but also scenario-dependent. Finally, our results reveal that the isotropy assumption may represent an oversimplification especially in the near-field and thus it may be unsuitable for assessing the seismic risk of spatially-distributed infrastructures and portfolios of buildings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4693-4717
Number of pages25
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Issue number12
Early online date24 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2021


  • spatial correlation
  • 3D physics-based numerical simulations
  • ground-motion components
  • near-source ground motion
  • seismic hazard


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