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Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 18 (1999) 135149

Effects of surface topography on seismic ground response in the Egion (Greece) 15 June 1995 earthquake
G.A. Athanasopoulos*, P.C. Pelekis, E.A. Leonidou
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Patras, GR-26500Patras, Greece Received 23 January 1998; received in revised form 24 July 1998; accepted 12 August 1998

Abstract The Greek coastal town of Egion on 15 June 1995 was shaken by a strong, small epicentral distance, earthquake that caused heavy damages to buildings and loss of life. The damages were concentrated in the central elevated part of the town whereas the at coastal region remained almost intact. This non-uniform distribution of damage is studied in this article in terms of surface topography effects by conducting seismic response analyses of a simplied 2-D prole of the town. A dynamic nite element code implementing the equivalent-linear soil behavior (FLUSHPLUS) was used for the analyses and it was found that the step-like topography amplied greatly the intensity of motion without affecting its frequency content. The analyses showed that the motion recorded by an accelerograph installed at the center of the town is in agreement with the computed values; they also indicated a particularly intense amplication close to the crest of the steep slope, where a multi-story RC residential building partially collapsed. In contrast, the level of motion was found to be low at the at coastal zone of the town where the earthquake damages were insignicant. It is concluded that the characteristic surface topography of the town played an important role in modifying the intensity of base motion. q 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. Keywords: Seismic ground response; Topography effects; Site effects; Finite element method; Dynamic soil properties

1. Introduction On 15 June 1995 a strong earthquake occurred in the vicinity of the western end of the Gulf of Corinth in Central Greece, Fig. 1. The epicenter of the earthquake was located in the sea between the coastal towns of Egion (in Northern Peloponnese) and Eratini (in Southern Sterea Hellas). Although the earthquake damages were spread in a rather extended area, the hardest hit town was that of Egion and for this reason the particular earthquake has since been known as the `Egion 1995 earthquake'. The occurrence of the Egion 1995 earthquake was followed by the appearances of almost all the phenomena usually studied under the general heading of `seismic ground response' i.e. amplication and attenuation of base motion, effects of surface topography, ground ruptures, liquefaction and landslides. The main shock as well as the major events of the aftershock activity were recorded by an accelerograph installed at the center of the town and by similar instruments installed in a number of cities and towns surrounding the epicentral area. The damage pattern in Egion was not uniform and included partial collapse of buildings and loss of life.
* Tel.: 1 61-997677; Fax: @upatras.gr. 1 61-997274;; e-mail: geolab.gaa

Following the destructive Egion 1995 earthquake several researchers [15,4,16] expressed the suspicion that the presence of the fault escarpment that runs through the town might be responsible for some amplication of the ground motion in the central part of the town. These suspicions were based on the existing knowledge on the subject, which is briey reviewed in the following. The effect of surface topography to the seismic ground response has been the subject of numerous studies during the last 25 years [17]. These studies have examined the cases of ridge-or valley- type surface irregularities in a 2D form whereas only a limited number of results are available for 3-D congurations of the problem (e.g. ShanchezSesma et al. [18]). Pioneering work on the subject was accomplished by Aki and Larner [19] who introduced a numerical method based on a discrete superposition of plane waves; this method was later extended by other investigators [2022]. Useful results have also been reported by Wong and Trifunac [23], Wong [24] and Sanchez-Sesma et al. [25]. Aki [26] used a simple structure of a wedge-shaped medium to illustrate the effects of topography, Fig. 2(a). An exact solution exists for SH waves propagating normal to the ridge and polarized parallel to the ridge axis, which predicts a displacement amplication at the vertex equal to

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Fig. 1. Map of the western part of the Gulf of Corinth (Greece) with the locations of Egion and other coastal towns and communities, the surface traces of the ve major normal faults of the region, the routes of the four major rivers (or streams) of the area and the approximate position of the 15 June 1995 epicenter.

2/v, where the ridge angle is n p (0 , n , 2). Faccioli [27] used this triangular wedge structure to model approximately ridge-valley topography, as shown in Fig. 2(b). This simple model predicts an amplication at the crest relative to the base equal to v1/v2 and may be used for rough numerical estimates of amplications at the crest of ridges or deamplications at the bottom of valleys or canyons. The nite element method, which offers the advantage of being able to model irregularities of arbitrary shape

Fig. 2. Approximation of ridge/valley topography by triangular wedges [27].

Fig. 3. Relative distribution of peak horizontal accelerations along a ridge from Matsuzaki area in Japan [33].

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Fig. 4. Effect of surface topography on damage distribution in the Irpinia (Italy) 1980 earthquake [28].

involving inhomogeneous and non-linear soil materials, has also been used in studies of surface topography effects [28,29,17]. Some hybrid methods, combining a particle model with the nite element model have also been used for studying the surface topography effects [30]. In terms of physical modeling a photographic recording of particle motion in a 3-D foam rubber physical model has been used for studying the effects of topography at the Pacoima Dam site [31]. The results of the studies mentioned above (and of many others) indicate that the theoretically predicted values of amplication of motion in steep topography depend on the relative size of the irregularity (compared to the incident wave-length), the angle of incidence and the type of incident wave, i.e. SV vs. SH. Amplication values range from 3 to 4 in the spectral domain and are less than 2 in the time domain [32]. In addition to the theoretical predictions, the amplication of surface motion in ridge-or steep slope-type topography has also been veried from measurements during natural earthquake events. The diagram of Fig. 3 depicts the variation of normalized peak recorded horizontal accelerations from ve earthquakes in Japan as a function of elevation across a ridge [33]. The normalization in this diagram is referred to the crest motion and in addition to the mean values, the standard error bars are also included in the graph. The measurements indicate an amplication at the crest (relatively to the base) varying from 1.8 to 5.5 with a mean value of 2.5. In terms of damage patterns, increasing damages have been reported [34] along the slope and the top of hills after the Chile 1985 earthquake. A characteristic example of increased earthquake damages close to the crest of a step-like topography has been reported by Castellani et al. [28] for the case of the Irpinia 1980 earthquake and is illustrated in Fig. 4. In this case the damages of an Italian village sitting at the top of a hill, were concentrated close to the crest of a steep slope whereas they were insignicant in the direction away from the crest. It is worth mentioning that when comparing observed and theoretically predicted amplications of surface motions

due to surface topography, it is usually found that the observed values are much greater than the predicted ones. Thus, the observed amplications range from 2 to 20 in the spectral domain and from 2 to 5 in the time domain. The difference between predicted and observed values is attributed to the inuence of 3-D effects but it may also be due to the fact that the measured amplications are actually relative amplications between points with amplied and diamplied motion [22]. The article presents the results of a study regarding the possible effects of surface topography on the seismic ground response of the central part of the town of Egion. The ground motion was analysed by using a 2-D nite element code capable of modeling the surface relief and the stratigraphy of the area with the aim of explaining the contrast in earthquake damages between the central elevated part of town and the low and at waterfront area. Before proceeding to the presentation of the main subject, however, some information is given on seismological, geological, tectonic and geotechnical data as well as on earthquake damages. 2. Seismological data The Egion earthquake occurred on 15 June 1995 at 3:16 a.m. local time with a magnitude Ms 6.1 (or 6.2) and an epicenter lying in the Gulf of Corinth northeast of Egion, Fig. 1. There are minor deviations in the location of the epicenter of the main shock as reported by different sources [13]. Thus the value of the main shock-epicentral distance for Egion ranges from 8 to 26 km depending on the reported location of the epicenter. Also, the reported values of the focal depth range from 14 to 26 km [3,2]. The strongest aftershock of the sequence (ML 5.4) occurred 15 min after the main shock with a much shallower focus and smaller distance from the town of Egion, whereas the post earthquake activity was continued for several weeks with a trend of epicenters moving toward the Peloponnese coastline [2]. The analysis of seismic data indicated the presence

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Fig. 5. The acceleration time histories (Transverse, Longitudinal and Vertical components) recorded at the accelerograph station in Egion (OTE site), the calculated time histories of velocity and displacement, the corresponding acceleration response spectra (for 5% damping) and the orientation of the horizontal components of the accelerograph.

of a normal causative fault with the following source parameters: seismic moment M0 3.6 10 25 dyn cm, fault length L 13.4 km, stress drop Ds 53 bars and average displacement u 0.85 m (Chouliaras and Stavrakakis [1]). An analog accelerograph (SMA-1) installed at the ground oor of a two-storey reinforced concrete building (with a basement) in the center of the town, (herein denoted as OTE

site) recorded the strong motion of the main event. The time histories of the three components of motion (transverse longitudinalvertical) are shown in Fig. 5. The diagrams of Fig. 5, in addition to the measured values of acceleration, also include the calculated time histories of velocity and displacement as well as the acceleration response spectra (for 5% critical damping). The orientation of the horizontal

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associated with the soil conditions at the site of accelerograph station being equal to the fundamental period of ground at the OTE site. This value of the fundamental period may also be derived from the stratigraphy of the site (Fig. 13) as Ts (4 25)/400 0.25 s. The effective horizontal acceleration determined in accordance with the ATC (1978) provisions was found to be equal to 0.43 g (Lekidis et al. [3]). As mentioned in the introduction, the main shock of the Egion earthquake was also recorded in a number of locations surrounding the epicentral region. Lekidis et al. [3] have studied the accelerograms from nine accelerograph stations installed at epicentral distances ranging from 18 to 84 km. They concluded that the earthquake energy was anisotropically radiated from the source at a mean frequency of 2 Hz and with attenuation rate depending on the azimuth of the direction of propagation. 3. Geology and tectonics of the area
Fig. 6. The in-plan trajectory of the horizontal ground motion at the OTE site during the main shock of 15 June 1995 Egion earthquake.

components of the accelerograph is shown at the bottom of Fig. 5. The high intensity of the recorded horizontal ground motion at the OTE site is remarkable: a peak acceleration equal to 0.54 g in the T-component and 0.49 g in the Lcomponent (probably the highest recorded values in Greece). However, the values of vertical acceleration remained lower than 0.20 g. According to the time history of recorded accelerations, the motion actually consisted of only one or two cycles of strong motion. In terms of horizontal ground velocity, it may be seen from the calculated time histories that the peak values were particularly high: for both horizontal components they approached the value of 50 cm/s. It may be further observed that the time history of horizontal ground velocities consist of a high intensity pulse involving an increment equal to 70 cm/s. It is worth mentioning at this point that high ground velocity (and velocity increment) values are generated from shallow and neareld earthquakes. In such cases the time history of ground motion bears the characteristics of the source and usually reveals directivity effects [4]. Fig. 6 shows the in-plan trajectory of accelerograph motion at the OTE site which was obtained by combining the T- and L-components of the calculated displacements. It may be seen that the horizontal motion involved two major pulses: the rst in an approximate EW direction and the second in an approximate NS direction. According to the acceleration response spectra of horizontal and vertical motion at the OTE site, shown in Fig. 5, the peak spectral acceleration of the T-component reached a value of 1.5 g with a predominant period of 0.5 s. It is believed that this value of period reects the characteristics of the source mechanism [4], whereas the period of a secondary spectral peak ( , 0.25 s) is most probably

The area that was shaken by the Egion 1995 earthquakes lies at the western end of the asymmetric Corinth graben. This graben together with the Rio and Patras grabens form an 140 km long and 40 km wide rift which separates the PreNeogene folded basement of the Sterea Hellas and Peleponnese [57]. A simplied geologic prole of the region is shown in Fig. 7. The Pre-Neogene basement of the area consists of Mesozoic carbonates (limestones) and ysch and it is overlain by thick layers of marls deposited from Upper-Pliocene to Lower-Pleistocene. The marl deposits are in turn overlain by Quaternary alluvial fan deposits and fan delta deposits of considerable thickness (mostly conglomerates). Finally, the surcial layers consist of Holocene beach and river mouth deposits of variable thickness (gravel, sand, silt and clays). A number of north-facing WNW-trending active normal faults have been mapped in NW Peloponnese by Doutsos and Poulimenos [5]. Five of these faults are crossing the wider Egion area and their surface traces are shown in the map of Fig. 1 (Koukouvelas and Doutsos [8]). As shown in the simplied NS cross-section passing through the town of Egion, in Fig. 8, these faults have a curved listric geometry and reach depths of about 10 km. The segmented Egion fault has a total length of 12 km and its position is marked by an escarpment 40100 m high along a 2 km long segment which runs through the town of Egion [9]. This escarpment forms a characteristic hill-front morphology along the coast of Egion Bay as shown in the photograph of Fig. 9. Some disagreement seems to exist regarding the causative fault of the Egion 1995 earthquake. Tselentis et al. [2] suggested that the main shock was probably generated in a normal fault at the north side of the Gulf of Corinth, dipping towards SSE (see Fig. 8) with a dip angle approximately 70 8. The main aftershock was then generated in another normal fault (probably the Egion fault) dipping

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Fig. 7. Geologic prole of the Egion area.

towards NNE to the southern side of the Gulf. Koukouvelas and Doutsos [8] have reported the results of eld observations of surface ruptures (with sizes of a few centimeters) and of geodetic measurements and suggest that the Egion fault was reactivated during the 1995 earthquakes. It has also been suggested that the focus of the earthquakes was hosted by a low angle normal fault (like the one depicted with dotted line in Fig. 8) cutting under the Gulf of Corinth and the town of Egion at depths ranging from 10 to 25 km [3,4,10]. 4. Geotechnical data It was mentioned in the previous section that a segment of the fault of Egion runs through the town of Egion in

approximately EW direction and forms a characteristic escarpment. The map of Fig. 10 shows the Egion town limits and the horizontal extent of the escarpment. The major part of the town has been built south to the escarpment on the elevated region comprising the footwall of the fault. A representative soil prole of this elevated region and measured values of Standard Penetration Test blowcount (NSPT) are shown in Fig. 11, based on borings at the OTE site [11]. It may be seen that the depth to the conglomerates at this site is 22 m, whereas the overlying soil layers are stiff/dense clays, silts and gravels characterized by high values of NSPT. It should be noted that the water table was not encountered up to the explored depth of 45 m in this site; however some perched water tables have been found to exist in some areas of the elevated region of the town. Regarding the thickness of the conglomerates it is believed that at the OTE site might be greater than 150 m. As shown in Fig. 10 a relatively small part of the town has been built on the soft deposits of the coastal area lying to the north of the escarpment. The soil prole of this lowelevation at region is rather variable but the stratigraphy at the BH10 site [12] depicted in Fig. 12 may be considered as a representative case. The characteristic feature of this prole is the existence of a very soft clay layer characterized by very low NSPT values encountered at a depth of 10 m and having a thickness of 7 m. Silty sand-gravels are encountered above and below this soft layer and they are characterized by rather high values of NSPT. The explored depth at this site reached only 30 m from the ground surface so the depth to the conglomerates could not be established with certainty. It is believed, however, that this depth may range from 50 m to 60 m from the ground surface. The water table in this region of the town is high and it is

Fig. 8. Simplied NS cross-section passing through the town of Egion and showing the geologic prole and the geometry of major faults of the area [5].

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Fig. 9. Photographic view of the coastal region of Egion looking southward.

encountered approximately 1.0 m below the surface of the ground. 5. Earthquake damages It was mentioned in the introductory section that the damages from the Egion 1995 earthquake were spread in an extended area around the epicenter of the earthquake. At least 20 communities located close to the north coast of Peloponesse to the east, south and west of Egion were affected, whereas some damages also occurred in the towns of Eratini and Itea located at the north coast of Gulf of Corinth across Egion (see map of Fig. 1). The hardest hit

area, though, was that of Egion. The buildings of Egion area are either reinforced concrete structures with one to nine oors or bearing masonry structures with one to three oors. Fardis [13] has presented preliminary information regarding the distribution of damages among buildings with different age, type of construction and number of oors. A correlation of damage pattern with the local soil conditions has not yet been reported with the exception of the observation of a strong contrast in damages between the waterfront and the central area of the town. The absence of damages in the waterfront area of the town becomes more impressive when it is noted that in this area the buildings are very old (some already ruined) and without any seismic resistance provisions [13]. However, a large number of buildings

Fig. 10. A simplied map of Egion showing the town limits, the extent of the elevated region and the location of points of interest and of the cross-section H AA .

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(DESP site in Fig. 10). Partial collapses of reinforced concrete buildings also occurred in the village of Valimitika (four-storey Hotel ELIKI), about 7 km to the east of Egion and at a site 2 km west of Egion (three-storey Administration Building of Hellenic Weapons Industry and a nearby two-storey residential building). Twenty-eight people lost their life in the earthquake whereas the total cost of damages was estimated to be $600 million [14]. It is worth mentioning that the Egion 1995 earthquake did not result in damages to the infrastructure of the wider area (roadways, bridges, retaining walls, port facilities, etc.) It did result, however, limited soil liquefaction at several coastal sites of Egion Bay, along the banks of the Selinuntas and Kerynitis river and along the coastal zone of Rizomylos, Fig. 1. The consequences of soil liquefaction to buildings and other structures were not signicant and no further mention to soil liquefaction will be made in this article. 6. Surface topography effects As was mentioned in the introduction, the main objective of this study was to investigate the possibility of explaining the differentiation of motion between the coastal area and the elevated region of the town of Egion by the effects of surface topography. The authors would like to make clear, though, that surface topography is only one of the factors that may be responsible for this differentiation of motion. According to the seismological data presented in a previous section the town of Egion is located in the near-eld of the event and the radiation pattern and directivity of motion have certainly affected the characteristics of the ground motions. However, it should be taken into consideration that the Egion fault was (most probably), not the causative fault of the earthquake. Any attempt, then, to explain the differentiation of motion in the two regions of the town in terms of up-thrown and down-thrown blocks, may be questionable. In view of the above uncertainties the authors believe that an investigation of surface topography effects is worthwhile and could provide some useful insights in the phenomenon. 7. Surface topography at the town of Egion In order to study the effects of surface topography on the ground seismic response at the town of Egion it was decided to use a 2-D ground prole which was established by considering a cross-section of the northern part of the town along the NS direction. This cross-section was H shown in the map of Fig. 10. made along the line AA H The line AA was selected in such a way as to intersect in a right angle the trace of the escarpment and to pass close to the accelerograph station (OTE site), close to the site of partial collapse of the RC building (DESP site) and through a site of the port area where the earthquake caused no damage (PORT site). The free surface prole along the

Fig. 11. Geotechnical soil prole and corresponding values of NSPT at the OTE site.

sitting in the elevated region of Egion, suffered heavy damages including the partial collapse of a six-storey reinforced concrete residential building located at a small distance behind the fringe of the Egion fault escarpment

Fig. 12. Geotechnical soil prole and corresponding values of NSPT at the BH10 site.

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Fig. 13. Two-dimensional soil prole along the direction AA with the Vs0 values used in the seismic ground response analyses.

line AA was constructed by reading distances and surface elevations from an 1:5000 topographic map of the region and is shown in a simplied manner in the plot of Fig. 13. The soil stratigraphy along the 2-D prole was established by utilizing the geotechnical data presented in a previous section. As shown in Fig. 13 the established 2-D prole has a length of about 500 m and a height of 140 m below the OTE site and 70 m below the PORT site.

7.1. Dynamic properties of soil materials The dynamic soil properties that are needed in an equivalent-linear type ground response analysis are the low-amplitude shear wave velocity, Vs0 and the G/G0 g c and D g c curves describing the degradation of soil shear stiffness with increasing amplitude of cycle shear strain, g c (G0 low-amplitude shear modulus, i.e. for g c # 10 25, G higher amplitude shear modulus). Values of Vs0 vs. depth at the DESP site were obtained by applying the Spectral Analysis of Surface Waves (SASW) method [35]. As shown in the diagram of Fig. 14, a great depth of penetration of surface waves was achieved in this site by utilizing the drop of a heavy weight (5 kN) on the ground surface. According to the diagram of Fig. 14, the measured shear wave velocities are remarkably high indicating the great shear stiffness of soil formations at the elevated region of the town. For comparison purposes, the diagram of Fig. 14 includes also plots of Vs0 versus depth from crosshole measurements conducted at the OTE site by the Central Laboratory of Public Works (CLPW) of the Ministry of Public Works and Environment [11]. Although the DESP and OTE sites are about 150 m apart, a good agreement seems to exist between the two Vs0 vs. depth proles. To check the reliability of an empirical Vs0 NSPT correlation established by Athanasopoulos [36,37], the diagram of Fig. 14 includes also a plot of Vs0 vs. depth curve, estimated by entering the values of NSPT taken from Fig. 8 into Eq.(1) Vso m=s 107:6NSPT 0:36 : 1

Fig. 14. Vs0 versus depth prole at the OTE site with results of SASW and crosshole measurements compared with values obtained from Eq. (1).

The comparison shows that the agreement is good, especially when considering the empirical nature of Eq. (1). Based on the Vs0 vs. depth curves of Fig. 14 the soil stratigraphy and corresponding Vs0 values for the elevated region of the town of Egion were established as shown in the 2-D prole of Fig. 13. To establish the Vs0 vs. depth variation for the low-elevation at coastal region of the town SASW measurements

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resort to the empirical relations reported recently by Ishibashi and Zhang [38]. These relations allow the determination of G/G0 g c and D g c curves in terms of the plasticity H index, Pl, and the mean effective normal stress, s 0, of a soil element. By taking into consideration two different mean depth levels, two sets of curves were determined for the PORT site and two more sets for the OTE site. The determinations were accomplished by using the recently developed PC program NOLISM [39]. All sets of curves (OTE1, OTE2 and PORT1, PORT2) are shown in graphic form in Fig. 16. It should be noted that the OTE2 set of curves refers actually to rock material and was established by utilizing the values frequently used for rock material in the 1-D seismic response program SHAKE91 [40]. 7.2. Seismic response analyses The seismic response analyses of the 2-D ground prole of Fig. 13 were performed by the 2-D dynamic nite element program FLUSHPLUS [41]. This PC program models soil as linear viscoelastic material and simulates the non-linear aspect of behavior by the iterative equivalentlinear method. It should be mentioned that one of the objectives of this study was to take into consideration the nonlinear behavior of surcial soil layers which affects signicantly the ground response in the case of strong motion (as in the case of Egion earthquake). The input motion is applied at the rigid base of the model in the form of a time history of acceleration; this means that the program can only analyze the vertical propagation of shear waves from the seismic bedrock to the surface of the ground. The consideration of vertically propagating SV waves constitutes a simplication of the actual phenomenon, especially in the case of near-eld events involving complex wave elds. In the case of Egion earthquake, though, the focal region of the main event seems to lie at a horizontal distance of about 20 km and at a depth of a similar magnitude. By applying Snell's law and utilizing the shear wave velocities of soil strata (Fig. 13), it may be shown that at least a portion of the seismic waves arrived at the site investigated herein following an approximately vertical direction. One of the advantages of the FLUSHPLUS code is its capability to use viscous dampers at the lateral boundaries of the mesh and thus avoid undesirable reections of outgoing waves. This feature makes possible the use of nite element meshes with smaller lateral dimensions. The discretisation of the 2-D ground prole into nite elements is shown in Fig. 17. In the mesh of Fig. 17 the size of the nite elements (in particular the vertical dimension) was selected following the maximum size criteria suggested in the manual of the program. By using these criteria, the size of the nite elements remains (appropriately) smaller than the wavelengths which are expected to be developed during the passage of seismic waves through the particular soil formations comprising the 2-D prole of Fig. 13. It should be mentioned, however, that even in the case of conformance

Fig. 15. Vs0 versus depth prole at the PORT site with results of SASW measurements compared with values obtained by applying Eq. (1) with NSPT values of the BH10 site.

were conducted at the PORT site whose location is indicated in the map of Fig. 10. The diagram of Fig. 15 depicts the results of measurements. The penetration of surface waves was smaller in this site and reached a depth of approximately 90 m. It may be observed from Fig. 15 that the surcial soil layers at PORT site are characterized by low Vs0 values. Beyond a depth of 10 m, however, the values of Vs0 show an increasing trend with depth, whereas at a depth of about 50 m, an abrupt increase of Vs0 is observed (Vs0 . 1000 m/s). Based on this abrupt increase, it may be assumed that the depth to conglomerates in this site is equal to 50 m. For comparison purposes the diagram of Fig. 15, also includes a Vs0 versus depth curve estimated from Eq. (1), by using the NSPT values taken from Fig. 12 for the BH10 site, which is about 700 m to the west of PORT site. The rather large distance between the PORT and BH10 sites seems to explain the deviations between the two curves. Based on the results of measurements depicted in Fig. 15 the soil stratigraphy and corresponding Vs0 values for the coastal region of the town of Egion were established as shown in the 2-D prole of Fig. 13. As mentioned previously the description of the non-linear behavior of the soil materials of the 2-D model requires the knowledge of the G/G0 g c and D g c curves which are usually obtained through laboratory cyclic loading tests. No such experimental data are, however, available for the soils of Egion area and for this reason it was decided to

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Fig. 16. G/G0 g c and D g c curves used in the seismic ground response analyses of the 2-D soil prole of Fig. 15.

to the above mentioned maximum size criteria, the results of the analyses may still be affected by the density of the nite element mesh. The best way to determine the inuence of the nite element discretisation on the results of the analyses would be to conduct a convergence type of study in which

the mesh is progressively rened until the results of the analyses do not change appreciably. A limited convergence study of this type was conducted herein by using two different F.E. meshes. It was found that a two-fold increase in the number of elements resulted in a 15% change in the

Fig. 17. Finite element discretization of the 2-D soil prole.

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Fig. 18. Computed seismic response at the OTE site from 2-D analyses compared to the recorded values in the 15 June 1995 Egion earthquake.

Fig. 19. Computed seismic response at the DESP site from 2-D analyses.

response values without affecting their relative magnitudes. This change was considered as acceptable for the needs of the present investigation and it was therefore concluded that the nite element mesh of Fig. 17 provides reliable results. The nodes corresponding to the positions of PORT, DESP and OTE sites are also indicated in the mesh of Fig. 17. It should be mentioned that the surface topography effects were investigated in this study in terms of a horizonal base excitation only, although the FLUSHPLUS code allows the input of both horizontal and vertical components of base motion. This simplication was based on the fact that the peak value of vertical component of motion recorded at OTE site was a small fraction (37%) of the peak value corresponding to the vertical direction. Further, the majority of studies on surface topography effects are conducted in terms of horizontal base motions. One of the objectives of the study was to establish a base motion that when propagated through the 2-D model generates a response at the OTE site similar to the one recorded during the main shock of 15 June 1995. In the case of 1-D analyses this task (deconvolution) can be conveniently accomplished by using the SHAKE91 code (or other similar codes) which takes into account the non-linear behavior of soil materials. In the case of 2-D analysis of the present study the task of determining the base motion from the recorded surface motion at OTE site should be accomplished by using a 2-D code offering the capabilities of the SHAKE91 code. Since such a code was not available to the authors at the time of writing the article the objective was accomplished by trial-and-error i.e. by providing at the base downscaled time histories at the recorded horizontal acceleration (T-component) at the OTE site. The frequency content of the input motion was kept identical to the frequency content of the recorded motion on the premise that the recorded accelerogram at the OTE site reects the characteristics of the source and was not modied in terms of frequency content by the soil stratigraphy and topography. By following this trial-and-error procedure it was found that a downscaled base motion with a peak horizontal acceleration equal to 0.14 g, was necessary in order to produce a response at the OTE site that approximately matched the recorded motion (T-component). A comparison of the computed and actually recorded time histories of accelerations at OTE site is shown in the diagram of Fig. 18. This comparison indicates a good agreement between the two time histories. A further comparison of the corresponding acceleration response spectra, however, shows a deviation of the computed value of peak spectral acceleration which is approximately 50% higher than the recorded one. There is no deviation, however, regarding the values of predominant period at computed and recorded horizontal motion. It should be noted that despite a large number of trials in some of which not only the intensity but also the frequency content of input motion was varied it was not possible to establish a horizontal base motion that produced a surface motion matching the recorded motion at the OTE

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Fig. 20. Computed seismic response at the PORT site from 2-D analyses.

site in terms of both the time history and the response spectrum. It was, therefore, decided to accept and use as an input motion the recorded horizontal acceleration time history at the OTE site (T-component) downscaled to a peak value of 0.14 g. Based on the above results it is concluded that the motion at OTE site was greatly amplied with respect to the base motion (amplication factor < 3.80). This amplication of horizontal motion cannot be attributed to 1-D resonance, since the fundamental period of soil prole at OTE site is approximately equal to 0.25 s, whereas the predominant period of input motion is 0.5 s. It seems, therefore, appropriate to assume that the 2-D topography of the area has resulted in the great differentiation of motion. By using the base input motion established above, the response at the DESP site was estimated and the results are shown in graphical form in Fig. 19. A very strong amplication of motion is indicated at this site: the peak horizontal acceleration is equal to 0.79 g, whereas the spectral acceleration approached the value of 5 g with a predominant period equal to 0.5 s. Although these results may have been amplied by articial resonance effect an inherent problem in equivalent-linear seismic ground response analyses they still indicate a tendency for a strong amplication of horizontal ground motion close to the crest of the slope. This trend seems to be in agreement with the results of eld observations reported in the Introduction (Fig. 4) and with the damage pattern observed in this region of the town partial collapse and heavy damages of RC buildings and discussed in a previous section. The response at the PORT site is shown in graphical form

in Fig. 20 The results indicate a much lower level of horizontal motion: the peak horizontal acceleration is equal to 0.25 g and the maximum spectral acceleration is equal to 0.70 g with a predominant period at 0.5 s. These results are again in agreement with the impressive lack of damages in the waterfront area (including the undamaged Port facilities) of the town which was mentioned in a previous section. It is worth mentioning that the fundamental period at the PORT site may be estimated (from the stratigraphy shown in Fig. 13) to be approximately equal to 0.5 s a value that almost coincides with the predominant period of the base motion. In case the wave eld was governed by a 1-D propagation, a resonance should have been developed and the surface motion at the PORT site could have been amplied (with respect to the base motion) to a greater degree compared to the OTE site. The fact that this trend was not observed in the results of response analyses of this study seems to indicate, again, that the surface response is governed by a 2-D propagation of seismic waves i.e. the surface topography has played a rather signicant role in modifying the ground motion of the area. The results of the 2-D seismic response analyses that were presented above, seem to indicate a signicant surface topography effect on the ground response during the Egion 1995 earthquake. Before reaching the nal conclusions, however, it would be appropriate to examine the capability of 1-D response analysis to duplicate the results obtained by the 2-D analyses. To accomplish this check the program SHAKE91 was used to estimate the 1-D ground response at the sites of OTE and PORT. The dynamic soil properties, soil stratigraphy and depth to the base of each site were identical to the ones used in the 2-D analysis. By using this approach the peak horizontal acceleration at the OTE site was found to be equal to 0.69 g, a value that could be accepted as not being too far from the results of the 2-D analysis. At the PORT site, however, the surface acceleration reached a value equal to 0.53 g. This value is more than twice the value obtained by the 2-D analysis and it demonstrates the inability of 1-D analyses to predict the surface motion in this part of the town. It becomes, therefore, possible at this point to summarize the ndings of this study and state the following conclusions. 8. Conclusions The effects of surface topography in the Egion 1995 earthquakes was studied by establishing a 2-D ground prole along a cross-section of the town. This section cuts through the central part of the town, has a NS direction and crosses in a right angle the fault escarpment that runs through the town in the EW direction. The response of the ground surface along the direction of the cross-section, was analysed by a nite element code and implementing the equivalent-linear method. It was found that the peak horizontal acceleration of the seismic base of the area does not

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during the in situ measurement of dynamic soil properties in Egion area as well as to Mr P. Theodorou and to the Civil Engineering students at the University of Patras, D. Kostouros and N. Roumeliotis for their assistance during the in situ tests and in collecting maps of the Egion area. Finally, thanks are expressed to the anonymous reviewers of the article whose comments helped the authors to address some important issues and clarify some aspects of their approach of examining the surface topography effects.

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Fig. 21. Effect of surface topography on the variation of peak horizontal H accelerations along the cross-section AA (a) amplication relatively to the base motion, (b) amplication and deamplication relatively to the OTE site motion.

need to be greater than 0.14 g in order to generate the recorded surface motion at the OTE site. This base motion was greatly amplied (290%) at the elevated region of the town as shown schematically in Fig. 21(a) whereas at sites close to the fringe of the slope (DESP site) the amplication was even greater: 460%. This behavior seems to be in agreement with both theoretical results and eld measurements and observations presented in reviewing the existing knowledge on the subject as well as with the damage pattern in the town. By normalizing the surface motion with respect to the recorded motion at the OTE site Fig. 21(b), it may be seen that close to the fringe of the elevated region of the town the motion is amplied by 47% whereas it is deamplied by 57%67% at the waterfront low-elevation at region. It is therefore concluded that the characteristic topography of the town played an important role in modifying the intensity of base motion. Acknowledgements The authors express their thanks to Drs G. Stavrakakis and I. Kalogeras of the Geodynamics Institute of the National Observatory of Athens, Greece, for providing accelerograph records for the Egion area in digital form. Thanks are also expressed to the Hellenic Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization for the nancial assistance

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