Evaluation of seismic site factors in the Mississippi Embayment. I. Estimation of dynamic properties

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Deep deposits of the Mississippi Embayment, overlying the New Madrid Seismic Zone, present unique challenges for the estimation of local site effects on propagated ground motion. Limited information is available on the dynamic properties of these deposits. This paper develops generalized depth dependent modulus degradation and damping curves specific to the embayment deposits. Depth dependent small strain damping is estimated using weak motion recordings during the Enola earthquake, 2001. Modulus degradation and damping curves are further constrained using limited laboratory test data of embayment soils at low confining pressure. At high confining pressures embayment specific data is unavailable and test data from outside the embayment is used in developing the dynamic properties. The representative modulus degradation and damping curves are used in non-linear and equivalent linear one-dimensional site response analyses. A companion paper describes a large-scale probabilistic seismic hazard analysis study in the Mississippi Embayment that integrates non-linear site effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-144
Number of pages12
JournalSoil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Confining pressure
  • Deep deposits
  • Dynamic properties
  • Mississippi Embayment
  • Small strain damping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Soil Science


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