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Ground motion scaling methods for linear-elastic structures: an integrated experimental and analytical investigation


Correspondence to: Yahya C. Kurama, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Univ. of Notre Dame, 156 Fitzpatrick Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556, U.S.A.



The task of selecting and scaling an appropriate set of ground motion records is one of the most important challenges facing practitioners in conducting dynamic response history analyses for seismic design and risk assessment. This paper describes an integrated experimental and analytical evaluation of selected ground motion scaling methods for linear-elastic building frame structures. The experimental study is based on the shake table testing of small-scale frame models with four different fundamental periods under ground motion sets that have been scaled using different methods. The test results are then analytically extended to a wider range of structural properties to assess the effectiveness of the scaling methods in reducing the dispersion and increasing the accuracy in the seismic displacement demands of linear-elastic structures, also considering biased selection of ground motion subsets. For scaling methods that are based on a design estimate of the fundamental period of the structure, effects of possible errors in the estimated period are investigated. The results show that a significant reduction in the effectiveness of these scaling methods can occur if the fundamental period is not estimated with reasonable certainty. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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