Simulation of spatially varying ground motions including incoherence, wave‐passage and differential site‐response effects

Katerina Konakli, Armen Der Kiureghian

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


A method is presented for simulating arrays of spatially varying ground motions, incorporating the effects of incoherence, wave passage, and differential site response. Non‐stationarity is accounted for by considering the motions as consisting of stationary segments. Two approaches are developed. In the first, simulated motions are consistent with the power spectral densities of a segmented recorded motion and are characterized by uniform variability at all locations. Uniform variability in the array of ground motions is essential when synthetic motions are used for statistical analysis of the response of multiply‐supported structures. In the second approach, simulated motions are conditioned on the segmented record itself and exhibit increasing variance with distance from the site of the observation. For both approaches, example simulated motions are presented for an existing bridge model employing two alternatives for modeling the local soil response: i) idealizing each soil‐column as a single‐degree‐of‐freedom oscillator, and ii) employing the theory of vertical wave propagation in a single soil layer over bedrock. The selection of parameters in the simulation procedure and their effects on the characteristics of the generated motions are discussed. The method is validated by comparing statistical characteristics of the synthetic motions with target theoretical models. Response spectra of the simulated motions at each support are also examined. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)495-513
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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