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Studies of Response to Earthquake Ground Motion


Brady, Arthur Gerald (1966) Studies of Response to Earthquake Ground Motion. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/48HF-MX48.


A study is made of the accuracy of electronic digital computer calculations of ground displacement and response spectra from strong-motion earthquake accelerograms. This involves an investigation of methods of the preparatory reduction of accelerograms into a form useful for the digital computation and of the accuracy of subsequent digital calculations. Various checks are made for both the ground displacement and response spectra results, and it is concluded that the main errors are those involved in digitizing the original record. Differences resulting from various investigators digitizing the same experimental record may become as large as 100% of the maximum computed ground displacements. The spread of the results of ground displacement calculations is greater than that of the response spectra calculations. Standardized methods of adjustment and calculation are recommended, to minimize such errors.

Studies are made of the spread of response spectral values about their mean. The distribution is investigated experimentally by Monte Carlo techniques using an electric analog system with white noise excitation, and histograms are presented indicating the dependence of the distribution on the damping and period of the structure. Approximate distributions are obtained analytically by confirming and extending existing results with accurate digital computer calculations. A comparison of the experimental and analytical approaches indicates good agreement for low damping values where the approximations are valid. A family of distribution curves to be used in conjunction with existing average spectra is presented. The combination of analog and digital computations used with Monte Carlo techniques is a promising approach to the statistical problems of earthquake engineering.

Methods of analysis of very small earthquake ground motion records obtained simultaneously at different sites are discussed. The advantages of Fourier spectrum analysis for certain types of studies and methods of calculation of Fourier spectra are presented. The digitizing and analysis of several earthquake records is described and checks are made of the dependence of results on digitizing procedure, earthquake duration and integration step length. Possible dangers of a direct ratio comparison of Fourier spectra curves are pointed out and the necessity for some type of smoothing procedure before comparison is established. A standard method of analysis for the study of comparative ground motion at different sites is recommended.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Civil Engineering)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Civil Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Hudson, Donald E.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:7 January 1966
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:09152015-111110090
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9154
Deposited On:15 Sep 2015 19:53
Last Modified:27 Feb 2024 21:43

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