Topographic Amplification Factors for Japan Using 2D Finite Element Analysis

Byungmin Kim, Kyoungsoo Park, Hyunil Baek

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


It is widely recognized that seismic waves can be amplified or deamplified due to constructive or destructive interference when the waves encounter surface topographic irregularities such as valleys, peaks, and plateaus. These phenomena, termed as topographic effects, are particularly important for the seismically-induced landslide hazard assessment. This study examines influence of various factors such as peak ground acceleration, slope angle, relative elevation, and curvature on ground motion amplifications by performing finite element analyses with realistic topography data (from ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model Version 2) and real ground motions for Japan obtained from the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) strong-motion seismograph networks. The results show that topographic amplification factors (defined as the spectral acceleration estimated for the topography model divided by that estimated for the free-field) are most sensitive to relative elevation and curvature. The predictive models are proposed using those two factors as variables.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-637
Number of pages8
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue numberGSP 291
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event5th Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics Conference: Seismic Hazard Analysis, Earthquake Ground Motions, and Regional-Scale Assessment, GEESDV 2018 - Austin, United States
Duration: 2018 Jun 102018 Jun 13

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was sponsored by Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) and Yonsei University in Republic of Korea. Additionally, Dr. Park acknowledges the supports from the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (20174030201480). Dr. Kim acknowledges the supports from the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea (2017R1C1B5074430). We thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments that helped improve the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Society of Civil Engineers.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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