This paper examines the observed directionality of ground motions in the Christchurch urban area during the 2010–2011 Canterbury, New Zealand earthquakes. A dataset of ground motions recorded at 20 strong motion stations over 10 different earthquake events is utilized to examine the ratios of various response spectral directionality definitions and the orientation of the maximum direction. Because the majority of previous related studies have utilized overlapping ground motion datasets from the NGA database, the results of this study provide a largely independent assessment of these ground motion aspects. It is found that the directionality ratio between the maximum (100th percentile) and 50th percentile orientation-independent spectral acceleration is similar to that obtained from recent studies. Ground motions from the 4 September 2010 Darfield earthquake are shown to exhibit strong directionality for source-to-site distances up to Rrup= 30 km, notably further than results from a previous study, which suggests that such effects are generally limited to Rrup< 5 km. The adopted dataset also offers the unique potential to consider site-specific effects on directionality ratios and maximum direction orientations; however, in both cases, site-specific effects are found not to be significant in the observed empirical results. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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