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Investigation Of ‘equal Displacement’ Rule For Bridges Subjected To Differential Support Motions

Katerina Konakli, Armen Der Kiureghian
Published 2014 · Engineering
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The ‘equal displacement’ rule is employed in seismic design practice to predict inelastic displacements from analyses of the corresponding linear elastic structural models. The accuracy and limitations of this rule have been investigated for ordinary structures but not for bridges subjected to spatially varying ground motions. The present study investigates this rule for moderate levels of inelastic behavior for four highway bridges in California accounting for the effects of spatial variability of the support motions due to incoherence, wave passage and differential site response. The bridge models vary significantly as to their fundamental periods and their overall configurations. Statistical analyses of pier-drift responses are performed using as input simulated arrays of nonstationary ground motions in accordance with prescribed coherency models. It is found that the ‘equal displacement’ rule is fairly accurate for cases when the fundamental period of the bridge is longer than the transition period between the acceleration-controlled and velocity-controlled ranges of the response spectrum. Otherwise, the rule is non-conservative for cases with large ductility factors and conservative for cases with small ductility factors. Wave passage and incoherence tend to reduce ratios of mean peak inelastic to elastic pier drifts, whereas incorporation of the differential site-response effect by locating piers on softer soils tends to increase the same ratios. Mild or moderate positive correlation between these ratios and ductility demands is observed in most cases. Effects of spatial variability are more pronounced for longer and stiffer bridges. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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