Influential parameters on 3-D synthetic ground motions in a sedimentary basin derived from global sensitivity analysis

F De Martin, E Chaljub, P Thierry, P Sochala, F Dupros, E Maufroy, Bilel Hadri, A Benaichouche, F Hollender

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    4 Scopus citations


    Summary Which physical parameters are the most influential when predicting earthquake ground motions in a 3-D sedimentary basin? We answer quantitatively by doing a global sensitivity analysis of two quantities of interest: the peak ground motions (PGMs) and a time-frequency representation (the S transform) of ground motions resulting from the synthetic anelastic responses of the EUROSEISTEST. This domain of interest is modeled by two layers with uncertain depth-dependent mechanical properties and is illuminated by a plane S-wave propagating vertically upward in an uncertain homogeneous elastic bedrock. The global sensitivity analysis is conducted on 800+ physics-based simulations of the EUROSEISTEST requiring 8+ million core-hours (i.e., ≈ 900 years of mono-core computation). The analysis of the PGMs at the free surface displays the spatial influence of the uncertain input parameters over the entire basin scale, while the analysis of the time-frequency representation shows their influence at a specific location inside the basin. The global sensitivity analysis done on the PGMs points out that their most influential parameter in the middle of the basin is the quality factor QS (it controls up to 80 per cent of the PGMs in certain locations where the sediments thickness is larger than 200 m). On the other hand, the geological layering configuration (here represented by the depth of a gelological interface controlling the geological layering) strongly influences the PGMs close to the basin edges, up to 90 per cent. We also found that the shear-wave velocity at the free surface of the basin and the one of the bedrock underlying the basin are to be considered on an equal footing, both influencing the PGMs in the middle of the basin and close to its edges. We highlight that the bedrock to basin amplification of the PGMs shows a clear increase with respect to the thickness of the sediments, but this amplification saturates from 200 m of sediments around the value of three and is frequency dependent. This PGMs amplification starts from about one tenth of the mean S-wavelength propagating in the basin. The global sensitivity analysis done on the S transform of the ground motions shows that (i) the own effect of the parameters fully controls the first S-wave train and mostly controls the direct arrival of the basin-induced surfaces waves, (ii) the quality factor QS controls 40 to 60 per cent of the decay of amplitude of coda waves, the remaining part being mainly controlled by interaction effects due to the coupling effect of several parameters, and (iii) the interaction effects between the parameters increases with time, suggesting under the hypotheses of our study that the own effects control the ballistic wave propagation while the interaction effects control the diffusive wave propagation.
    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalGeophysical Journal International
    StatePublished - Aug 3 2021

    Bibliographical note

    KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-08-05

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geochemistry and Petrology
    • Geophysics


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