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Experimental verification of bridge seismic damage states quantified by calibrating analytical models with empirical field data

Swagata Banerjee and Masanobu Shinozuka

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA

Abstract: Bridges are one of the most vulnerable components of a highway transportation network system subjected to earthquake ground motions. Prediction of resilience and sustainability of bridge performance in a probabilistic manner provides valuable information for pre-event system upgrading and post-event functional recovery of the network. The current study integrates bridge seismic damageability information obtained through empirical, analytical and experimental procedures and quantifies threshold limits of bridge damage states consistent with the physical damage description given in HAZUS. Experimental data from a large-scale shaking table test are utilized for this purpose. This experiment was conducted at the University of Nevada, Reno, where a research team from the University of California, Irvine, participated. Observed experimental damage data are processed to identify and quantify bridge damage states in terms of rotational ductility at bridge column ends. In parallel, a mechanistic model for fragility curves is developed in such a way that the model can be calibrated against empirical fragility curves that have been constructed from damage data obtained during the 1994 Northridge earthquake. This calibration quantifies threshold values of bridge damage states and makes the analytical study consistent with damage data observed in past earthquakes. The mechanistic model is transportable and applicable to most types and sizes of bridges. Finally, calibrated damage state definitions are compared with that obtained using experimental findings. Comparison shows excellent consistency among results from analytical, empirical and experimental observations.

Keywords: highway bridges; nonlinear time history analysis; fragility curves; threshold damage limits; mechanistic model; calibration

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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.