Site classification of seismic recording stations of Garhwal region of earthquake early warning system for Uttarakhand, India


  • Pankaj Kumar Centre of Excellence in Disaster Mitigation & Management, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India
  • Bhavesh Pandey B.T. Kumaon Institute of Technology, Dwarahat, Uttarakhand, India
  • Kamal Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India
  • Ashok Kumar Department of Earthquake Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India



Site classification, H/V spectral ratio, predominant period, Garhwal Himalaya


Site classification is vital to carry out seismic hazard analysis of a region and get the damage patterns caused by earthquakes. In the present study, the ground motion of earthquakes recorded from 2015 to 2019 at 84 sites of the seismic network array of Earthquake Early Warning System for Uttarakhand are analyzed for site classification purposes. The predominant period from the mean horizontal to vertical spectral ratio curves was estimated. The classification schemes devised by Japan Road Association and National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program are applied to classify the sites. Along with this, two other site classification indexes schemes are also applied for classification purposes. Data winnowing techniques are used over the ground motion records to pick out desirable quality records. Conclusively, the site class with the highest recurrence rate amongst the used methods is selected as the final class for that particular site. The effect of magnitude, distance and depth on horizontal to vertical spectral ratio are described and concluded that these factors do not significantly affect the ratio curves. The average horizontal to vertical spectral ratio curves obtained for all the sites matches well with the existing literature. The classification of a few sites are verified from the classification done by other methods in recent studies. It is evident from the results that the classification done in this study matches well with them.


Download data is not yet available.


Alessandro C. Di, Bonilla L.F., Boore D.M., Rovelli A., Scotti O., 2012. Predominant-period site classification for response spectra prediction equations in Italy. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 102, 680-695.

Borcherdt R.D., 1970. Effect of Local Geology on Ground Motion near San Francisco Bay*. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 60, 29-61.

BSSC, 2004. NEHRP Recommended Provisions for Seismic Regulations for New Buildings and other Structures (FEMA 450). 2003 Edition. Part 1: Provisions, Building Seismic Safety Council, National Institute of Building Sciences, Washington, D.C.

Chamoli B.P., Kumar A., Chen D.-Y., Gairola A., Jakka R.S., Pandey B., Kumar P., Rathore G., 2019. A Prototype Earthquake Early Warning System for Northern India. J. Earthq. Eng., 0, 1-19.

Dal Moro G., 2019. Effective Active and Passive Seismics for the Characterization of Urban and Remote Areas: Four Channels for Seven Objective Functions. Pure Appl. Geophys, 176, 1445-1465.

Dimri V.P., 2013. Uttarakhand had early warning communication in 1894 ! Curr. Sci., 105, 152.

Douglas J., Boore D.M., 2011. High-frequency filtering of strong-motion records. Bull. Earthq. Eng., 9, 395-409.

Field E.H., Jacob K.H., 1995. A comparison and test of various site response estimation techniques, including three that are not reference site dependent. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 85, 1127-1143.

Ghasemi H., Zare M., Fukushima Y., Sinaeian F., 2009. Applying empirical methods in site classification, using response spectral ratio (H/V): A case study on Iranian strong motion network (ISMN). Soil Dyn. Earthq. Eng., 29, 121-132.

Harinarayan N.H., Kumar A., 2018a. Seismic Site Classification of Recording Stations in Tarai Region of Uttarakhand, from Multiple Approaches. Geotech. Geol. Eng., 36, 1431-1446.

Harinarayan N.H., Kumar A., 2018b. Determination of NEHRP Site Class of Seismic Recording Stations in the Northwest Himalayas and Its Adjoining Area Using HVSR Method. Pure Appl. Geophys., 175, 89-107.

Havskov J., Alguacil G., 2015. Instrumentation in earthquake seismology, Springer Dordrecht.

Japan Road Association, 2002. Design Specification for Highway Bridges, Part V: Seismic Design, Maruzen Co., LTD., Tokyo.

Ji K., Ren Y., Wen R., 2017. Site classification for National Strong Motion Observation Network System (NSMONS) stations in China using an empirical H/V spectral ratio method. J. Asian Earth Sci., 147, 79-94.

JRA, 1980. Japan Road Associztion, Specifications for Highway Bridges Part V, Seismic Design, Maruzen Co., LTD.

Kalkan E., 2016. An automatic P-phase Arrival-Time Picker. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 106, 971-986.

Konno K., Ohmachi T., 1998. Ground-motion characteristics estimated from spectral ratio between horizontal and vertical components of microtremor. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 88, 228-241.

Kumar A., Mittal H., Sachdeva R., 2012. Indian Strong Motion Instrumentation Network. Seismol. Res. Lett., 83, 59-66.

Kumar P., Chamoli, B.P., Kumar, A., Gairola, A., 2021. Attenuation Relationship for Peak Horizontal Acceleration of Strong Ground Motion of Uttarakhand Region of Central Himalayas. Journal of Earthquake Engineering, 25(12), 2537-2554. Doi: 10.1080/13632469.2019.1634161.

Langston C.A., 1979. Structure Under Mount Rainier, Washington, Inferred From Teleseismic Body Waves. J. Geophys. Res., 84, 4749-4762.

Lee C.-T., Cheng C.-T., Liao C.-W., Tsai Y.-B., 2001. Site Classification of Taiwan Free-Field Strong-Motion Stations. Bull. Seism. Soc. Am., 91(5), 1283-1297.

Macau A., Benjumea B., Gabas A., Figueras S., Vila M., 2014. The Effect of Shallow Quaternary Deposits on the Shape of the H/V Spectral Ratio. Surv. Geophys., 36, 1-24.

Mittal H., Kumar A., Kumar A., 2013. Site Effects Estimation in Delhi from the Indian Strong Motion Instrumentation Network. Seismol. Res. Lett., 84, 33-41.

Mittal H., Kumar A., Ramhmachhuani R., 2012. Indian National Strong Motion Instrumentation Network and Site Characterization of Its Stations. Int. J. Geosci., 03, 1151-1167.

Mridula Amita S., Wason H.R., 2014. Probabilistic seismic hazard assessment in the vicinity of MBT and MCT in western Himalaya. Res. Inven. Int. J. Eng. Sci., 4, 21-34.

Nakamura Y., 2008. On the H/V Spectrum, in: The 14 World Conference on Earthquake Engineering October 12-17, 2008, Beijing, China. Beijing, 1-10.

Nakamura Y., 1989. A Method for Dynamic Characteristics Estimation of Subsurface using Microtremor on the Ground Surface, Railway Technical Research Institute/Tetsudo Gijutsu Kenkyujo. Railway Technical Research Institute/Tetsudo Gijutsu Kenkyujo, TOKYO, Japan.

New Zealand Standard, 2004. Structural design actions Part 5: Earthquake actions - New Zealand. NZS 1170.5, 1-87.

Pandey B., 2018. Site Characterization and Attenuation studies for Northern India (doctoral thesis). Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, India.

Pandey B., Jakka R.S., Kumar A., Sharma M.L., 2021. Site characterization of strong-motion stations of Himalaya and adjoining plains. Arab. J. Geosci., 14, 1-21.

Perron V., Gélis C., Froment B., Hollender F., Bard P.Y., Cultrera G., Cushing E.M., 2018. Can broad-band earthquake site responses be predicted by the ambient noise spectral ratio? Insight from observations at two sedimentary basins. Geophys. J. Int., 215, 1442-1454.

Phillips W.S., Aki K., 1986. Site Amplification of Coda Waves from Local Earthquakes in Central California. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 76, 627-648.

Satoh T., Kawase H., Matsushima S., 2001. Differences between site characteristics obtained from microtremors, S-waves, P-waves, and codas. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 91, 313-334.

Sharma J., Chopra S., Roy K.S., 2014. Estimation of Source Parameters, Quality Factor (Qs), and Site Characteristics Using Accelerograms : Uttarakhand Himalaya Region. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 104, 360-380.

Spearman C., 2010. The proof and measurement of association between two things. Int. J. Epidemiol., 39, 1137-1150.

Srivastava H.N., Verma M., Bansal B.K., Sutar A.K., 2015. Discriminatory characteristics of seismic gaps in Himalaya. Geomatics, Nat. Hazards Risk, 6, 224-242.

UBC, 1994. Uniform Building Code, Structural Engineering Design Provisions, Volume 2, International Conference of Building Officials, 5360 Workman Mill Road Whittier, California 90601-2298, (310), 699-0541.

Wen K.‐L, Beresnev I.A., Yeh Y.T., 1995. Investigation of non‐linear site amplification at two downhole strong ground motion arrays in Taiwan. Earthq. Eng. Struct. Dyn., 24, 313-324.

Wen K.L., Chang T.M., Lin C.M., Chiang H.J., 2006. Identification of nonlinear site response using the H/V spectral ratio method. Terr. Atmos. Ocean. Sci., 17, 533-546.

Wen R., Ren Y., Shi D., 2011. Improved HVSR site classification method for free-field strong motion stations validated with Wenchuan aftershock recordings. Earthq. Eng. Eng. Vib., 10, 325-337.

Yamazaki F., Ansary M.A., 1997. Horizontal-To-Vertical Spectrum Ratio of Earthquake Ground Motion for Site. Earthq. Eng. Struct. Dyn., 26(7), 671-689.

Yu Y., Hu Y., Wang S., 2000. Calculation of Long-Period Ground Motion Response Spectrum by Using Broad-Band Digital Record, in: 12WCEE, 1-7.

Zare M., Bard P.Y., Ghafory-Ashtiany M., 1999. Site characterizations for the Iranian strong motion network. Soil Dyn. Earthq. Eng., 18, 101-123.

Zhao J.X., Irikura K., Zhang J., Fukushima Y., Somerville P.G., Asano A., Ohno Y., Oouchi T., Takahashi T., Ogawa H., 2006. An empirical site-classification method for strong-motion stations in Japan using H/V response spectral ratio. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., 96, 914-925.

Zhao J.X., Irikura K., Zhang J., Fukushima Y., Somerville P.G., Asano A., Saiki T., Okada H., Takahashi T., 2004. Site Classification for Strong-Motion Stations in Japan using H/V Response Spectral Ratio. 13th World Conf. Earthq. Eng.Vancouver, B.C., Canada, August 1-6, 1278pp.




How to Cite

Kumar, P. ., Pandey, B. ., Kamal, & Kumar, A. . (2022). Site classification of seismic recording stations of Garhwal region of earthquake early warning system for Uttarakhand, India. Vietnam Journal of Earth Sciences.