Spectral matching, the process of modifying a seed acceleration time history in intensity and frequency content until its acceleration response spectrum matches a target spectrum, is used extensively in practice.
Predictive equations that quantify the impact of spectral matching on the peak ground velocity, peak ground displacement, Arias intensity, and cumulative absolute velocity of a scaled seed time history have been developed and validated on the basis of thousands of matched motions, three different earthquake scenarios, and numerous target spectra. It is found that spectral mismatch is the most critical factor affecting the changes in ground motion characteristics. The technique used for modification (e.g., time domain or frequency domain) is in many cases not critical. Based on the results, recommendations in order to minimize the impact of matching on the ground motion characteristics are provided.