This study analyzes the possibility that large distortions and distortion rates due to wave-propagation phenomena within structures were responsible for unexpected cracking at connection of steel-frame structures in the seismic near-field region during the Northridge (1994) and Kobe (1995) earthquakes. Since such internal wave propagation is characteristic of a structure with a continuous distribution of mass, the problem is studied by numerically simulating the structural response for both discrete and continuous models of a 20-story building, using ground motion time histories from the Northridge earthquake. The time histories are chosen from the far-field and near-field regions of the earthquake to determine if wave-propagation effects within the structure are especially significant in the near field. A truncated modal analysis is also performed using only the first vibrational mode to see if significantly lower response levels result. It is found that the continuous model gives higher response levels--indicating that wave propagation may have been a factor--but the discrepancy is not limited to the near field. Strain rates are higher from the continuous model than from the discrete model and much higher than from the truncated modal analysis, but the magnitudes are too low to be a major factor in the observed damage. The explanation for the connection cracking may simply be high-intensity ground motion in the near field.


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  • Accession Number: 00961645
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 7 2003 12:00AM