Sensitivity analysis of input ground motion on surface motion parameters in high seismic regions: a case of Bhutan Himalaya

Karma Tempa, Komal Raj Aryal, Nimesh Chettri, Giovanni Forte, Dipendra Gautam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Historical earthquakes demonstrate that strong motion characteristics and local soil condition, when coupled, significantly influence seismic site response. Interestingly, most of the Himalayan earthquakes depicted anomalous behavior per the site conditions historically. Being one of the most active seismic regions on earth, the eastern fringe of the Himalaya has observed many devastating earthquakes together with non-uniform damage scenarios. To quantify such anomalies, we evaluate surface motion parameters for a soft soil deposit located in the city of Phuentsholing in western Bhutan. Using one-dimensional site response analysis, the sensitivity of ground motion variation is estimated. This study accounts for the earthquakes of moment magnitudes 6.6 to 7.5 with a wide variation in peak ground acceleration (PGA). To dissect the characteristics of six inputted ground motions on eight local ground conditions, a sensitivity analysis is performed statistically. The statistical correlation of the response datasets and the linear regression model of the bedrock outcrop and the surface motion spectral acceleration along the stratified depth are examined to quantify the variation in surface motion parameters. The results highlight that the strong motions with PGA greater than 0.34 g demonstrate greater sensitivity, leading to some anomalies in response parameters, especially amplification. Similar results were obtained for the low PGA range (<0.1 g).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1893-1909
Number of pages17
JournalNatural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License


Dive into the research topics of 'Sensitivity analysis of input ground motion on surface motion parameters in high seismic regions: a case of Bhutan Himalaya'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this