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September 04, 2019

Validation of Current Seismic Design Nonlinear Time History Analysis

Anoosh Shamsabadi Tom Ostrom, 
Office of Earthquake Engineering, California Department of Transportation, Sacramento, CA
Ertugrul Taciroglu

Civil & Environmental Engineering Department University of California, Los Angeles, CA


California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and California Geological Survey (CGS) have instrumented a number of bridges, and have been collecting their strong motion response measurements for more than two decades (Hipley and Huang, 1997). The deployed instrument sets usually include down-hole sensor arrays, and accelerometers installed on piles, pile-caps, and decks. These bridges are located relatively close to faults identified on the Caltrans Seismic Hazard Map (Mualchin, 1996). The intent has been to select different bridge types, ranging from standard ordinary bridges to those such as toll bridges with unique features.

This paper presents three-dimensional global high-fidelity numerical (finite element) models for three representative bridges—namely, a standard ordinary non-skewed bridge, a skewed bridge, and a non-standard long-span bridge. There are multiple sets of acceleration records due to nearby earthquakes for each of the selected bridges. We carefully, albeit heuristically, calibrate the parameters of these models to improve the agreement between the measured and predicted responses. Upon model calibration, the calculated displacement responses of the simulation models match remarkably well with those obtained from the acceleration records at major locations on the specimen bridges. "


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Three-dimensional detailed finite element models were developed for the three bridges,
which were constructed and analyzed using the Midas Civil computer program. These models
featured nonlinear/inelastic macroelements that represented the soil-structure interaction at the
abutments and pile foundations, as well as the behavior of abutment shear keys."



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