Influence of Input Motion and Site Property Variabilities on Seismic Site Response Analysis

Seismic site response analysis evaluates the influence of local soil conditions on earthquake ground shaking. There are multiple sources of potential uncertainty in this analysis; the most significant pertaining to the specification of the input motions and to the characterization of the soil properties. The influence of the selection of input ground motions on equivalent-linear site response analysis is evaluated through analyses performed with multiple suites of input motions selected to fit the same target acceleration response spectrum. The results indicate that a stable median surface response spectrum (i.e., within ±20% of any other suite) can be obtained with as few as five motions, if the motions fit the input target spectrum well. The stability of the median is improved to ±5 to 10% when 10 or 20 input motions are used. If the standard deviation of the surface response spectra is required, at least 10 motions (and preferably 20) are required to adequately model the standard deviation. The influence of soil characterization uncertainty is assessed through Monte Carlo simulations, where variations in the shear-wave velocity profile and nonlinear soil properties are considered. Modeling shear-wave velocity variability generally reduces the predicted median surface motions and amplification factors, most significantly at periods less than the site period. Modeling the variability in nonlinear properties has a similar, although slightly smaller, effect. Finally, including the variability in soil properties significantly increases the standard deviation of the amplification factors but has a lesser effect on the standard deviation of the surface motions.

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  • Authors:
    • Rathje, Ellen M
    • Kottke, Albert R
    • Trent, Whitney L
  • Publication Date: 2010-4


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01157141
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 30 2010 7:42AM