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New Applications that Come from Extending Seismic Networks into Buildings


Cheng, Ming Hei (2014) New Applications that Come from Extending Seismic Networks into Buildings. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/STB2-XR07.

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This thesis describes engineering applications that come from extending seismic networks into building structures. The proposed applications will benefit the data from the newly developed crowd-sourced seismic networks which are composed of low-cost accelerometers. An overview of the Community Seismic Network and the earthquake detection method are addressed. In the structural array components of crowd-sourced seismic networks, there may be instances in which a single seismometer is the only data source that is available from a building. A simple prismatic Timoshenko beam model with soil-structure interaction (SSI) is developed to approximate mode shapes of buildings using natural frequency ratios. A closed form solution with complete vibration modes is derived. In addition, a new method to rapidly estimate total displacement response of a building based on limited observational data, in some cases from a single seismometer, is presented. The total response of a building is modeled by the combination of the initial vibrating motion due to an upward traveling wave, and the subsequent motion as the low-frequency resonant mode response. Furthermore, the expected shaking intensities in tall buildings will be significantly different from that on the ground during earthquakes. Examples are included to estimate the characteristics of shaking that can be expected in mid-rise to high-rise buildings. Development of engineering applications (e.g., human comfort prediction and automated elevator control) for earthquake early warning system using probabilistic framework and statistical learning technique is addressed.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Seismic networks, Earthquake early warning, Timoshenko beam, Wave propagation
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Civil Engineering
Minor Option:Social Science
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Heaton, Thomas H.
Thesis Committee:
  • Beck, James L. (chair)
  • Heaton, Thomas H.
  • Chandy, K. Mani
  • Hall, John F.
  • Kohler, Monica D.
Defense Date:26 February 2014
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Croucher FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Fred L. Hartley Family FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
National Science Foundation EAR-1027790
Projects:Community Seismic Network, Earthquake Early Warning
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03182014-225151551
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Home Page Home Page
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8145
Deposited By: Ming Hei Cheng
Deposited On:24 Mar 2014 17:09
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:04

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