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Quantifying Earthquake Collapse Risk of Tall Steel Moment Frame Buildings Using Rupture-to-Rafters Simulations


Siriki, Hemanth (2015) Quantifying Earthquake Collapse Risk of Tall Steel Moment Frame Buildings Using Rupture-to-Rafters Simulations. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z9TX3CB4.


There is a sparse number of credible source models available from large-magnitude past earthquakes. A stochastic source model generation algorithm thus becomes necessary for robust risk quantification using scenario earthquakes. We present an algorithm that combines the physics of fault ruptures as imaged in laboratory earthquakes with stress estimates on the fault constrained by field observations to generate stochastic source models for large-magnitude (Mw 6.0-8.0) strike-slip earthquakes. The algorithm is validated through a statistical comparison of synthetic ground motion histories from a stochastically generated source model for a magnitude 7.90 earthquake and a kinematic finite-source inversion of an equivalent magnitude past earthquake on a geometrically similar fault. The synthetic dataset comprises of three-component ground motion waveforms, computed at 636 sites in southern California, for ten hypothetical rupture scenarios (five hypocenters, each with two rupture directions) on the southern San Andreas fault. A similar validation exercise is conducted for a magnitude 6.0 earthquake, the lower magnitude limit for the algorithm. Additionally, ground motions from the Mw7.9 earthquake simulations are compared against predictions by the Campbell-Bozorgnia NGA relation as well as the ShakeOut scenario earthquake. The algorithm is then applied to generate fifty source models for a hypothetical magnitude 7.9 earthquake originating at Parkfield, with rupture propagating from north to south (towards Wrightwood), similar to the 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake. Using the spectral element method, three-component ground motion waveforms are computed in the Los Angeles basin for each scenario earthquake and the sensitivity of ground shaking intensity to seismic source parameters (such as the percentage of asperity area relative to the fault area, rupture speed, and risetime) is studied.

Under plausible San Andreas fault earthquakes in the next 30 years, modeled using the stochastic source algorithm, the performance of two 18-story steel moment frame buildings (UBC 1982 and 1997 designs) in southern California is quantified. The approach integrates rupture-to-rafters simulations into the PEER performance based earthquake engineering (PBEE) framework. Using stochastic sources and computational seismic wave propagation, three-component ground motion histories at 636 sites in southern California are generated for sixty scenario earthquakes on the San Andreas fault. The ruptures, with moment magnitudes in the range of 6.0-8.0, are assumed to occur at five locations on the southern section of the fault. Two unilateral rupture propagation directions are considered. The 30-year probabilities of all plausible ruptures in this magnitude range and in that section of the fault, as forecast by the United States Geological Survey, are distributed among these 60 earthquakes based on proximity and moment release. The response of the two 18-story buildings hypothetically located at each of the 636 sites under 3-component shaking from all 60 events is computed using 3-D nonlinear time-history analysis. Using these results, the probability of the structural response exceeding Immediate Occupancy (IO), Life-Safety (LS), and Collapse Prevention (CP) performance levels under San Andreas fault earthquakes over the next thirty years is evaluated.

Furthermore, the conditional and marginal probability distributions of peak ground velocity (PGV) and displacement (PGD) in Los Angeles and surrounding basins due to earthquakes occurring primarily on the mid-section of southern San Andreas fault are determined using Bayesian model class identification. Simulated ground motions at sites within 55-75km from the source from a suite of 60 earthquakes (Mw 6.0 − 8.0) primarily rupturing mid-section of San Andreas fault are considered for PGV and PGD data.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Rupture-to-Rafters Simulations, Source model algorithm, laboratory earthquakes, steel moment frame buildings, collapse probability, bayesian model class selection
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Civil Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Krishnan, Swaminathan (advisor)
  • Heaton, Thomas H. (advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Hall, John F. (chair)
  • Heaton, Thomas H.
  • Krishnan, Swaminathan
  • Beck, James L.
Defense Date:30 December 2014
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06042015-132126668
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8985
Deposited By: Hemanth Siriki
Deposited On:05 Jun 2015 18:31
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:08

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