Norman Abrahamson

Adjunct Professor
Research Interests
Earthquake ground motions, spectral attenuation relations

455 Davis Hall

Office Hours

Abrahamson headshot

Norman Abrahamson is a part-time Adjunct Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley.  Abrahamson’s research is in the interface between seismology and earthquake engineering, focusing on the practical application of advances in seismology to the development of ground-motion models for use in deterministic and probabilistic analyses for estimation of design ground motions and seismic risk. Abrahamson has extensive experience in the development of design ground motions for hundreds of projects, including dams, bridges, nuclear power plants, nuclear waste repositories, water and gas pipelines, rail lines, ports, landfills, hospitals, electric substations, and office buildings. About 2/3 of these projects have been in the Western U.S., and the other 1/3 have been in the Eastern US or outside of the US (e.g., Europe, New Zealand, Taiwan, Chile, Peru). 

Abrahamson's full list of publications can be found here.


Ph.D., Geophysics, University of California at Berkeley, 1985
B.A., Geophysics, University of California at Berkeley, 1981

Current research topics include:

  • Non-ergodic ground-motion models
  • Use of numerical simulations and empirical data for ground-motion models
  • Use of intensity data to constrain path effects in GMMs
  • Development of intensity prediction equations (IPE) and ground-motion-intensity conversion equations (GMICE)
  • Incorporation of radiation pattern effects into GMMs
  • Development of reference velocity profiles for GMM 
  • Kappa scaling for high-frequency ground motion
  • Duration of ground motion
  • Conditional ground-motion models for secondary parameters (AI, CAV, PGV, IP, FIV3)
  • Selection and modification of time histories for dynamic analyses of structures


No mentions in Spotlights

Student Updates