Description: Sedimentary basins can increase the magnitude and extend the duration of seismic shaking. This potential for seismic amplification is investigated for Pahrump Valley, Nevada-California. The Pahrump Valley is located approximately 50 km northwest of Las Vegas and 75 km south of the Nevada Test Site. Gravity data suggest that the city of Pahrump sits atop a narrow, approximately 5 km deep sub-basin within the valley. The seismic amplification, or ''site effect'', was investigated using a combination of in situ velocity modeling and comparison of the waveforms and spectra of weak ground motion recorded in the city of Pahrump, Nevada, and those recorded in the nearby mountains. Resulting spectral ratios indicate seismic amplification factors of 3-6 over the deepest portion of Pahrump Valley. This amplification predominantly occurs at 2-2.5 Hz. Amplification over the deep sub-basin is lower than amplification at the sub-basin edge, location of the John Blume and Associates PAHA seismic station, which recorded many underground nuclear tests at the Nevada Test Site. A comprehensive analysis of basin amplification for the city of Pahrump should include 3-D basin modeling, due to the extreme basement topography of the Pahrump Valley.
Date: July 1, 2005
Creator: Abbott, Robert E.
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