Ground-Motion Prediction Equations for the Western Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Professional Paper 1862-O
Jointly published with the Saudi Geological Survey [as Saudi Geological Survey Special Report SGS–SP–2021–1]
By: , and 



Ground-motion prediction equations (GMPEs) for the western Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are developed by employing a mixed-effects regression model to modify the Boore and others (2014) Next Generation Attenuation-West2 (NGA-West2) project GMPEs. NGA-West2 addressed several key issues concerning GMPEs for shallow crustal earthquakes in active tectonic regions. However, the NGA-West2 input data do not include many earthquakes in extensional regimes, such as those occurring in Saudi Arabia. This deficiency is redressed by calculating a magnitude scaling of the new Saudi Arabia-specific GMPEs compared to those of Boore and others (2014). Furthermore, there is a clear difference in distance scaling for the Saudi Arabian GMPEs in comparison with the NGA-West2 GMPEs. This difference is especially significant at large distances and is mainly due to lower anelastic attenuation in the crystalline crust of western Saudi Arabia. Our empirical data demonstrate that the GMPEs presented here are in good agreement with observed earthquake ground motions in western Saudi Arabia.

Suggested Citation

Kiuchi, R., Mooney, W.D., and Zahran, H.M., 2023, Ground-motion prediction equations for the western Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, chap. O of Sisson, T.W., Calvert, A.T., and Mooney, W.D., eds., Active volcanism on the Arabian Shield—Geology, volcanology, and geophysics of northern Harrat Rahat and vicinity, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1862 [also released as Saudi Geological Survey Special Report SGS–SP–2021–1], 31 p.,

ISSN: 2330-7102 (online)

ISSN: 1044-9612 (print)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Referenced GMPEs—BSSA14
  • Dataset
  • Comparison Between Observed Data and BSSA14
  • Regression Analysis
  • Extrapolation on Magnitude Scaling and Model Smoothing
  • Comparison of Saudi Arabian GMPEs with BSSA14 and Other GMPEs
  • Relation of GMPEs to Tectonic Setting
  • Site Residuals Compared with Estimated VS30
  • Summary and Conclusions
  • Data and Resources
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1. Supplemental Figures
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Ground-motion prediction equations for the western Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Series title Professional Paper
Series number 1862
Chapter O
DOI 10.3133/pp1862O
Year Published 2023
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description vi, 31 p.
Country Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details