Site response assessment at the city of Alkhobar, Eastern Saudi Arabia from microtremor and boring data

Monday, 15 December 2014
Mohammed Saeed Fnais, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
The AlKhobar City affected by distant earthquakes from Zagros fold-fault belt of subduction zone. These earthquakes produced great site effects on the sedimentary layers that in turn significantly influenced earthquake ground motions in the area. Mapping of site response using microtremor measurements compared with geological and borehole data of Alkhobar city is the main target of this work. The resonance frequency and their H/V values have been calculated using Nakamura technique through deployed of seismograph instruments at 113 sites in AlKhobar city for different time periods. The recording length was about one hour with sampling frequency of 100 Hz. Most of the measured sites present three peaks for the resonance frequency; the first peak ranges from 0.33 to 1.03 Hz, the second peak ranges from 1.03 to 1.23 Hz, while the third peak ranges from 1.23-1.73. Tests have been conducted to ensure that these peaks are natural in origin. The northern zones of AlKhobar City have lower values of resonance frequency indicating great thickness of sediments. In contrast, the southern parts of the city have higher values of resonance frequency illustrating shallow depths of the bedrock. Furthermore, twenty of boreholes have been conducted through AlKhobar City to different depth. Standard penetration test (SPT) data has been corrected and used to calculate the resonance frequency at their locations. Borehole results clarified that the resonance frequency values range from 0.27 to 1.95 Hz. These results are correlated well with that of the microtremor measurements. Accordingly, the first peak have been interpreted due to the impedance contrast between the limestone and the overlying sediments, while the third peak is originated from a boundary between the upper most surface layer and the underlying sediments. These results must be applied for earthquake risk mitigation in AlKhobar City.