Seismic instrumentation for recording strong earthquakes, in Mexico, goes back to the 60´s due the activities carried out by the Institute of Engineering at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. However, it was after the big earthquake of September 19, 1985 (M=8.1) when the project of seismic instrumentation assumes a great importance.
Currently, strong ground motion networks have been installed for monitoring seismic activity mainly along the Mexican subduction zone and in Mexico City. Nevertheless, there are other major regions and cities that can be affected by strong earthquakes and have not yet begun their seismic instrumentation program or this is still in development.
Because of described situation some relevant earthquakes (e.g. Huajuapan de León Oct 24, 1980 M=7.1, Tehuacán Jun 15, 1999 M=7 and Puerto Escondido Sep 30, 1999 M= 7.5) have not been registered properly in some cities, like Puebla and Oaxaca, and that were damaged during those earthquakes. Fortunately, the good maintenance work carried out in the seismic network has permitted the recording of an important number of small events in those cities. So in this research we present a methodology based on the use of neural networks to estimate significant duration and in some cases the response spectra for those seismic events.
The neural model developed predicts significant duration in terms of magnitude, epicenter distance, focal depth and soil characterization. Additionally, for response spectra we used a vector of spectral accelerations. For training the model we selected a set of accelerogram records obtained from the small events recorded in the strong motion instruments installed in the cities of Puebla and Oaxaca.
The final results show that neural networks as a soft computing tool that use a multi-layer feed-forward architecture provide good estimations of the target parameters and they also have a good predictive capacity to estimate strong ground motion duration and response spectra.