Testing the applicability of correlations between topographic slope and VS30 for Europe

Anne Lemoine, John Douglas, Fabrice Cotton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the past few years a series of articles have been published concerning the use of topographic slope from digital elevation models (DEMs) constructed through remote sensing (satellite imaging) to give first-order estimates of National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) site classes based on the average shear-wave velocity in the top 30 m, VS30 (Wald and Allen, 2007). We evaluate the potential applicability of these methods taking advantage of a large (706 sites) new database of measured and estimated VS30 values and their topographic slopes for locations in Europe and the Middle East. Novel statistical tests are performed to evaluate the predictive power of the procedure in this region. We evaluate the percentage of sites correctly classified/misclassified for each site class for active and stable regimes. We also analyze the marginal distributions of the input VS30 and slope values and their impact on the VS30-slope correlations and we evaluate whether the method performs better than does chance. We also consider the surface geology of sites and investigate whether differences in geology can help explain why certain sites are poorly classified by the method. Finally, we use the city of Thessaloniki, Greece, as a test case for comparison between the results of a recent microzonation and the site classes predicted by VS30-slope correlations. Our results show that the method does a better job than blind chance for all site classes in active regions, but only for class B (rock) and to a lesser extent class C (stiff soil) sites located in stable areas, although the conclusions for stable areas are based on limited data. We recommend that site classifications based on the VS30-slope correlations proposed by Wald and Allen (2007) be used only for regional or national (and not local or site-specific) first-order studies in active parts of Europe and only in the absence of other more detailed information, excluding sites inside small basins or those with special geological conditions that may affect results (e.g., flat-lying volcanic plateaus, carbonate rocks, continental glaciated terrain, or a coastal location if slope is not calculated using bathymetric data).

LanguageEnglish
Pages2585-2599
Number of pages15
JournalBulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Volume102
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Fingerprint

Geology
Rocks
slopes
Statistical tests
Shear waves
Carbonates
Testing
Remote sensing
Earthquakes
Hazards
Satellites
Soils
Imaging techniques
geology
rocks
Middle East
digital elevation models
statistical tests
Greece
Europe

Keywords

  • digital elevation models
  • VS30‐slope correlation
  • site classification

Cite this

@article{42ae4dc03aca437783aef77c1dba27ce,
title = "Testing the applicability of correlations between topographic slope and VS30 for Europe",
abstract = "In the past few years a series of articles have been published concerning the use of topographic slope from digital elevation models (DEMs) constructed through remote sensing (satellite imaging) to give first-order estimates of National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) site classes based on the average shear-wave velocity in the top 30 m, VS30 (Wald and Allen, 2007). We evaluate the potential applicability of these methods taking advantage of a large (706 sites) new database of measured and estimated VS30 values and their topographic slopes for locations in Europe and the Middle East. Novel statistical tests are performed to evaluate the predictive power of the procedure in this region. We evaluate the percentage of sites correctly classified/misclassified for each site class for active and stable regimes. We also analyze the marginal distributions of the input VS30 and slope values and their impact on the VS30-slope correlations and we evaluate whether the method performs better than does chance. We also consider the surface geology of sites and investigate whether differences in geology can help explain why certain sites are poorly classified by the method. Finally, we use the city of Thessaloniki, Greece, as a test case for comparison between the results of a recent microzonation and the site classes predicted by VS30-slope correlations. Our results show that the method does a better job than blind chance for all site classes in active regions, but only for class B (rock) and to a lesser extent class C (stiff soil) sites located in stable areas, although the conclusions for stable areas are based on limited data. We recommend that site classifications based on the VS30-slope correlations proposed by Wald and Allen (2007) be used only for regional or national (and not local or site-specific) first-order studies in active parts of Europe and only in the absence of other more detailed information, excluding sites inside small basins or those with special geological conditions that may affect results (e.g., flat-lying volcanic plateaus, carbonate rocks, continental glaciated terrain, or a coastal location if slope is not calculated using bathymetric data).",
keywords = "digital elevation models, VS30‐slope correlation, site classification",
author = "Anne Lemoine and John Douglas and Fabrice Cotton",
year = "2012",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1785/0120110240",
language = "English",
volume = "102",
pages = "2585--2599",
journal = "Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America",
issn = "0037-1106",
number = "6",

}

Testing the applicability of correlations between topographic slope and VS30 for Europe. / Lemoine, Anne; Douglas, John; Cotton, Fabrice.

In: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 102, No. 6, 12.2012, p. 2585-2599.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Testing the applicability of correlations between topographic slope and VS30 for Europe

AU - Lemoine, Anne

AU - Douglas, John

AU - Cotton, Fabrice

PY - 2012/12

Y1 - 2012/12

N2 - In the past few years a series of articles have been published concerning the use of topographic slope from digital elevation models (DEMs) constructed through remote sensing (satellite imaging) to give first-order estimates of National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) site classes based on the average shear-wave velocity in the top 30 m, VS30 (Wald and Allen, 2007). We evaluate the potential applicability of these methods taking advantage of a large (706 sites) new database of measured and estimated VS30 values and their topographic slopes for locations in Europe and the Middle East. Novel statistical tests are performed to evaluate the predictive power of the procedure in this region. We evaluate the percentage of sites correctly classified/misclassified for each site class for active and stable regimes. We also analyze the marginal distributions of the input VS30 and slope values and their impact on the VS30-slope correlations and we evaluate whether the method performs better than does chance. We also consider the surface geology of sites and investigate whether differences in geology can help explain why certain sites are poorly classified by the method. Finally, we use the city of Thessaloniki, Greece, as a test case for comparison between the results of a recent microzonation and the site classes predicted by VS30-slope correlations. Our results show that the method does a better job than blind chance for all site classes in active regions, but only for class B (rock) and to a lesser extent class C (stiff soil) sites located in stable areas, although the conclusions for stable areas are based on limited data. We recommend that site classifications based on the VS30-slope correlations proposed by Wald and Allen (2007) be used only for regional or national (and not local or site-specific) first-order studies in active parts of Europe and only in the absence of other more detailed information, excluding sites inside small basins or those with special geological conditions that may affect results (e.g., flat-lying volcanic plateaus, carbonate rocks, continental glaciated terrain, or a coastal location if slope is not calculated using bathymetric data).

AB - In the past few years a series of articles have been published concerning the use of topographic slope from digital elevation models (DEMs) constructed through remote sensing (satellite imaging) to give first-order estimates of National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) site classes based on the average shear-wave velocity in the top 30 m, VS30 (Wald and Allen, 2007). We evaluate the potential applicability of these methods taking advantage of a large (706 sites) new database of measured and estimated VS30 values and their topographic slopes for locations in Europe and the Middle East. Novel statistical tests are performed to evaluate the predictive power of the procedure in this region. We evaluate the percentage of sites correctly classified/misclassified for each site class for active and stable regimes. We also analyze the marginal distributions of the input VS30 and slope values and their impact on the VS30-slope correlations and we evaluate whether the method performs better than does chance. We also consider the surface geology of sites and investigate whether differences in geology can help explain why certain sites are poorly classified by the method. Finally, we use the city of Thessaloniki, Greece, as a test case for comparison between the results of a recent microzonation and the site classes predicted by VS30-slope correlations. Our results show that the method does a better job than blind chance for all site classes in active regions, but only for class B (rock) and to a lesser extent class C (stiff soil) sites located in stable areas, although the conclusions for stable areas are based on limited data. We recommend that site classifications based on the VS30-slope correlations proposed by Wald and Allen (2007) be used only for regional or national (and not local or site-specific) first-order studies in active parts of Europe and only in the absence of other more detailed information, excluding sites inside small basins or those with special geological conditions that may affect results (e.g., flat-lying volcanic plateaus, carbonate rocks, continental glaciated terrain, or a coastal location if slope is not calculated using bathymetric data).

KW - digital elevation models

KW - VS30‐slope correlation

KW - site classification

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84870739754&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1785/0120110240

DO - 10.1785/0120110240

M3 - Article

VL - 102

SP - 2585

EP - 2599

JO - Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America

T2 - Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America

JF - Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America

SN - 0037-1106

IS - 6

ER -