New site classification system and design response spectra in Korean seismic code

  • Kim, Dong-Soo (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) ;
  • Manandhar, Satish (Renewable Energy Group, Korea Electric Power Corporation Research Institute) ;
  • Cho, Hyung-Ik (Earthquake Research Center, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources)
  • Received : 2017.11.21
  • Accepted : 2018.02.07
  • Published : 2018.07.25


A new site classification system and site coefficients based on local site conditions in Korea were developed and implemented as a part of minimum design load requirements for general seismic design. The new site classification system adopted bedrock depth and average shear wave velocity of soil above the bedrock as parameters for site classification. These code provisions were passed through a public hearing process before it was enacted. The public hearing process recommended to modify the naming of site classes and adjust the amplification factors so that the level of short-period amplification is suitable for economical seismic design. In this paper, the new code provisions were assessed using dynamic centrifuge tests and by comparing the design response spectra (DRS) with records from 2016 Gyeongju earthquake, the largest earthquake in history of instrumental seismic observation in Korea. The dynamic centrifuge tests were performed to simulate the representative Korean site conditions, such as shallow depth to bedrock and short-period amplification characteristics, and the results corroborated with the new DRS. The Gyeongju earthquake records also showed good agreement with the DRS. In summary, the new code provisions are reliable for representing the site amplification characteristic of shallow bedrock condition in Korea.


Supported by : Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM)


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