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Near-fault ground motions with prominent acceleration pulses: pulse characteristics and ductility demand

Mai Tong1, Vladimir Rzhevsky1, Dai Junwu2, George Lee1, Qi Jincheng1 and Qi Xiaozhai2

  1. MCEER, State University of New York at Buffalo, USA
  2. Institute of Enginering Mechanics, China Earthquake Administration, Harbin 150080, China

Abstract: Major earthquakes of last 15 years (e.g., Northridge 1994, Kobe 1995 and Chi-Chi 1999) have shown that many near-fault ground motions possess prominent acceleration pulses. Some of the prominent ground acceleration pulses are related to large ground velocity pulses, others are caused by mechanisms that are totally different from those causing the velocity pulses or fling steps. Various efforts to model acceleration pulses have been reported in the literature. In this paper, research results from a recent study of acceleration pulse prominent ground motions and an analysis of structural damage induced by acceleration pulses are summarized. The main results of the study include: (1) temporal characteristics of acceleration pulses; (2) ductility demand spectrum of simple acceleration pulses with respect to equivalent classes of dynamic systems and pulse characteristic parameters; and (3) estimation of fundamental period change under the excitation of strong acceleration pulses. By using the acceleration pulse induced linear acceleration spectrum and the ductility demand spectrum, a simple procedure has been developed to estimate the ductility demand and the fundamental period change of a reinforced concrete (RC) structure under the impact of a strong acceleration pulse.

Keywords: near-fault ground motions; acceleration pulse; ductility demand spectrum

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Copyright 2009 IEM. Journal of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as described below, without written permission from the Publisher. Copying of articles is not permitted except for personal and internal use, to the extent permitted by national copyright law, or under the terms of a license issued by the National Reproduction Rights Organization of China.