Strong Motion Records in Sarpol-e Zahab Earthquake

Document Type : Seismology and Engineering Seismology


Road, Housing and Urban Development Research Center (BHRC), Tehran


In this study, seismological aspects of the 2017 Sarpol-e Zahab earthquake has been investigated. The Sarpol-e Zahab earthquake, of magnitude 7.3 (Mw), occurred in southwestern Iran on November 12, 2017. Here, we investigated the properties of the strong ground motions of the earthquake using the records provided by Iranian Strong Motion Network (ISMN). At Sarpol-e Zahab (SPZ) station, about 30 km south of the epicenter, the recorded peak ground acceleration (PGA) and peak ground velocity (PGV) in both horizontal and vertical components were remarkably large, and visual inspection of the velocity time history reveals a pulse-like shape. Besides, the response spectra of the recordings were determined and were compared to the 2800 seismic code spectrum. Furthermore, the earthquake engineering parameters for this earthquake were estimated and were compared with the values of other large destructive earthquakes in Iran. Finally, based on the recorded strong motion data and observed information such as the macroseismic intensity, ShakeMaps of this earthquake have been generated, which clearly shows the most affected areas that needed the immediate assistance and aid after the earthquake. These maps are fundamental for earthquake rapid response procedures and the earthquake crisis management.


  1. Brune, J.N. (1970) Tectonics stress and the spectra of seismic shear waves from earthquakes. Journal of Geophysical Research, 75, 4997-
  2. Brune, J.N. (1971) Correction. Journal of Geophysical Research, 76, 4997-5009.
  3. Hanks, T.C. and Kanamori, H. (1979) A moment magnitude scale. Journal of Geophysical Research, 84, 2348-2350.
  4. Boore, D.M., Stewart, J.P., Seyhan, E., and Atkinson, G.M. (2014) NGA-West2 equations for predicting PGA, PGV, and 5% damped PSA
  5. for shallow crustal earthquakes. Earthquake Spectra , 30(3), 1057-1085.
  6. Ambraseys, N.N. and Melville, C.P. (1988) A History of Persian Earthquakes. Cambridge University Press.
  7. Wald, D.J., Quitoriano, V., Heaton, T.H., Kanamori, H., Scrivner, C.W., and Worden, C.B. (1999) TriNet ''ShakeMaps'':rapid generation of peak ground motion and intensity maps for earthquakes in southern California. Earthquake Spectra , 15, 537-556.
  8. Wald, D.J., Lin, K.W., and Quitoriano, V. (2008) Quantifying and Qualifying USGS ShakeMap Uncertainty. U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2008-1238.
  9. Worden, C.B., Wald, D.J., Allen, T.I., Lin, K., Garcia, D., and Cua, G. (2010) A revised groundmotion and intensity interpolation scheme for shakemap. Bulletin of Seismological Society of America , 100(6), 3083-3096.
  10. Wessel, P., Smith, W.H.F. (1998) New improved version of generic mapping tools released. EOS, 79(47), 579-579, doi:10.1029/98EO00426.