SCEC Ground Motion Simulation Validation Planning Workshop

Conveners: Sanaz RezaeianJon Stewart, Nicolas Luco, Christine GouletGregory Deierlein, and Farzin Zareian  
Dates: August 24, 2018 (10:00 - 16:30)
Location: SCEC Boardroom, USC, Los Angeles
SCEC Award and Report: 18161

SUMMARY: Ground motion simulation validation-related research has maximum impact when goals are clearly articulated and connected to practical need. Most impact is achieved when results (a) provide guidance on what methods are suitable for use “now” and (b) inform ground motion modelers how to improve their methods. The SCEC Ground Motion Simulation Validation (GMSV) Technical Activity Group (TAG) is a collaboration between ground motion modelers and engineering users, focused on developing, testing and rating methodologies for simulated ground motions to be used in engineering applications. The GMSV TAG will convene a 1-day workshop, bringing together experts from the ground motion prediction and earthquake engineering communities, with the purpose of clearly defining and steering the SCEC GMSV program in the most impactful directions. The goal is to identify short- and long-term research goals for SCEC GMSV-related projects based on SCEC CyberShake simulations.

A key outcome of this effort will be action items addressing:

  • GMSV related to ground motion characterization (including GMPEs): (1) Establish a process (similar to Dreger et al, 2015 for the SCEC Broadband Platform) to assess the suitability of Cybershake simulations for predicting PSA and duration in terms of mean values and trends with major controlling source, path, and site parameters. (2) Based on assessment results, work directly with simulation model developers to improve models. (3) Critically evaluate and improve, as needed, stochastic elements of the simulation procedures to produce appropriate scaling and dispersion of high-frequency ground motions.
  • GMSV related to building response: Develop a white paper to describe how to use simulated motions for building response studies once a target response spectrum (e.g. UHS or CMS) is developed by some other process. The paper will include best practices, as we now understand them, and identify limitations to the methodology.


  • Bijelić N, Lin T, Deierlein GG. Validation of the SCEC Broadband Platform simulations for tall building risk assessments considering spectral shape and duration of the ground motion. Earthquake Engng Struct Dyn. 2018;47:2233–2251.
  • Brendon A. Bradley, Didier Pettinga, Jack W. Baker, and Jeff Fraser (2017) Guidance on the Utilization of Earthquake-Induced Ground Motion Simulations in Engineering Practice. Earthquake Spectra: August 2017, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 809-835.
  • Douglas S. Dreger, Gregory C. Beroza, Steven M. Day, Christine A. Goulet, Thomas H. Jordan, Paul A. Spudich, Jonathan P. Stewart; Validation of the SCEC Broadband Platform V14.3 Simulation Methods Using Pseudospectral Acceleration Data. Seismological Research Letters ; 86 (1): 39–47. doi:
  • Christine A. Goulet, Norman A. Abrahamson, Paul G. Somerville, Katie E. Wooddell; The SCEC Broadband Platform Validation Exercise: Methodology for Code Validation in the Context of Seismic‐Hazard Analyses. Seismological Research Letters ; 86 (1): 17–26. doi:


09:30 - 10:00 Welcome and Introductions (PDF, 4.4MB) Sanaz Rezaeian
10:00 - 12:00 GMSV Objectives and Path Forward for Ground Motion Characterization  
10:00 - 10:20 - Background: SCEC Broadband Platform Validation and Outcomes (PDF, 1.3MB) Christine Goulet
10:20 - 10:40 - Vision: Future Validation Needs for Hazard Characterization Yousef Bozorgnia
10:40 - 11:30 - Breakout Group Discussions (PDF, 109KB) All Attendees
11:30 - 12:00 - Summaries from Breakout Groups  
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch  
13:00 - 15:00 GMSV Objectives and Path Forward for Engineering Applications  
13:00 - 13:20 - Background: Use of SCEC Seismogram Simulations for Building Response Analysis (PDF, 3.9MB) Nicolas Luco
13:20 - 13:40 - Background: New Zealand GMSV Guidelines for Engineers Sanaz Rezaeian
13:40 - 14:00 - Vision: What Engineers Need in Terms of Sample Simulations and Guidelines for Use of Simulations (PDF, 4.3MB) Gregory Deierlein
14:00 - 14:30 - Breakout Group Discussions (PDF, 109KB) All Attendees
14:30 - 15:00 - Summaries from Breakout Groups  
15:00 - 16:00 Summary and Conclusions Jon Stewart
16:00 Adjourn  


*Pedro Arduino (UW)
*Domniki Asimaki (Caltech)
Yousef Bozorgnia (UCLA)
*Philip Caldwell (BSSC)
*CB Crouse (AECOM)
Gregory Deierlein (Stanford)
*Josh Gebelein (Parsons)
Farid Ghahari (UCLA)
Christine Goulet (SCEC/USC)
Rob Graves (USGS)
Jon Heintz (ATC)
Marty Hudson (AMEC)
*Albert Kottke (PG&E)
Jongwon Lee (ARUP)
Ting Lin (Texas Tech)
Nico Luco (USGS)
Kevin Milner (SCEC/USC)
Morgan Moschetti (USGS)
*Farzad Naeim (Naeim Assoc.)
Edric Pauk (SCEC)
Sanaz Rezaeian (USGS)
Anoosh Shamsabadi (HSRA)
Jon Stewart (UCLA)
Ali Sumer (OSHPD)
Ertugrul Taciroglu (UCLA)
Katie Wooddell (PG&E)
Farzin Zareian (UC Irvine)

*Remote Participants