An energy-based envelope function is developed for use in the stochastic simulation of earthquake ground motion. The envelope function is directly related to the Arias intensity of the ground motion as well to the manner in which this Arias intensity is built-up over time. It is shown that this build-up, represented by a Husid plot, can be very well modelled using a simple lognormal distribution. The proposed envelope makes use of parameters that are commonly available in seismic design situations, either following a deterministic scenario-type analysis or following a more comprehensive probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA), either in terms of Arias intensity or the more common spectral acceleration. The shape parameters of the envelope function are estimated following the calculation of the analytic envelopes for a large number of records from PEER Next Generation of Attenuation (NGA) database. The envelope may also be used to predict the distribution of peak ground acceleration values corresponding to an earthquake scenario. The distribution thus obtained is remarkably consistent with those of the recent NGA models
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