Sensitivity of Seismic Demands and Fragility Estimates of a Typical California Highway Bridge to Uncertainties in its Soil-Structure Interaction Modeling

This study investigates the sensitivity of seismic demands and fragility estimates of a typical highway bridge in California to variation in its soil-structure interaction (SSI) modeling parameters. A rigorous p-y spring based modeling approach is developed and validated for an instrumented highway overcrossing that provides a dependable screening of each modeling parameter. Modifications are made to benchmark the overcrossing against typical bridge designs in California, including the consideration of diaphragm and seat abutments. Plausible variation in SSI modeling parameters is established using 18 random variables that cover different soil zones. Influential SSI parameters are identified for the seismic demands of bridge components through two regression techniques such as stepwise and LASSO regressions. Concurring results from both regressions indicate that bridge demand models tend to be sensitive to the modeling parameters associated with near-ground soils. Furthermore, the relative importance of the uncertainty in SSI modeling parameters is assessed with respect to the fragility estimates in both component and system levels. The study reveals that the bridge performance and fragility curves of bridge columns and decks are dominated by the uncertainty in the ground motion. However, the propagation of the potentially variable SSI parameters plays a significant role in the fragility estimates of bridge foundations and abutment components such as span unseating, bearings and shear keys. The results offer insights to guide future uncertainty treatment in SSI modeling and investment in refined soil parameter estimates through field testing or other measures.


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  • Accession Number: 01709002
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 27 2019 2:41PM