Three Dimensional Dynamic Response of Reinforced Concrete Bridges Under Spatially Varying Seismic Ground Motions
KeywordsPier Ductility Demands
Simulation of seismic acceleration time histories
Spatially Varying Ground Motion
Three-dimensional Seismic Response of Bridges
Monte Carlo Simulation
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractA new methodology is proposed to perform nonlinear time domain analysis on three-dimensional reinforced concrete bridge structures subjected to spatially varying seismic ground motions. A stochastic algorithm is implemented to generate unique and correlated time history records under each bridge support to model the spatial variability effects of seismic wave components traveling in the longitudinal and transverse direction of the bridge. Three-dimensional finite element models of highway bridges with variable geometry are considered where the nonlinear response is concentrated at bidirectional plastic hinges located at the pier end zones. The ductility demand at each pier is determined from the bidirectional rotations occurring at the plastic hinges during the seismic response evaluation of the bridge models. Variability of the soil characteristics along the length of the bridge is addressed by enforcing soil response spectrum compatibility of the generated time history records and of the dynamic stiffness properties of the spring sets modeling soil rigidity at the soil-foundation interface at each support location. The results on pier ductility demand values show that their magnitude depends on the type of soil under the pier supports, the pier location and the overall length and geometry of the bridge structure. Maximum ductility demand values were found to occur in piers supported on soft soils and located around the mid span of long multi-span bridges. The results also show that pier ductility demand values in the transverse direction of the bridge can be significantly different than the values in the longitudinal direction and in some instances, the maximum value occurs in the transverse direction. Moreover, results also show that ignoring the effects of spatial variability of the seismic excitation, the pier ductility demand can be severely underestimated. Finally, results show that increasing the vertical acceleration component in the seismic wave will generate an increase in the pier axial loads, which will reduce the ductility range of the pier plastic zones. As result, even though the increase in pier ductility demand associated with the increase in the vertical acceleration component was found to be relatively small, the number piers exhibiting significant structural damage increased.
Degree ProgramGraduate College