Ground motion selection for seismic response analysis
Thesis DisciplineCivil Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This dissertation addresses several fundamental and applied aspects of ground motion selection for seismic response analyses. In particular, the following topics are addressed: the theory and application of ground motion selection for scenario earthquake ruptures; the consideration of causal parameter bounds in ground motion selection; ground motion selection in the near-fault region where directivity effect is significant; and methodologies for epistemic uncertainty consideration and propagation in the context of ground motion selection and seismic performance assessment. The paragraphs below outline each contribution in more detail.
A scenario-based ground motion selection method is presented which considers the joint distribution of multiple intensity measure (IM) types based on the generalised conditional intensity measure (GCIM) methodology (Bradley, 2010b, 2012c). The ground motion selection algorithm is based on generating realisations of the considered IM distributions for a specific rupture scenario and then finding the prospective ground motions which best fit the realisations using an optimal amplitude scaling factor. In addition, using different rupture scenarios and site conditions, two important aspects of the GCIM methodology are scrutinised: (i) different weight vectors for the various IMs considered; and (ii) quantifying the importance of replicate selections for ensembles with different numbers of desired ground motions. As an application of the developed scenario-based ground motion selection method, ground motion ensembles are selected to represent several major earthquake scenarios in New Zealand that pose a significant seismic hazard, namely, Alpine, Hope and Porters Pass ruptures for Christchurch city; and Wellington, Ohariu, and Wairarapa ruptures for Wellington city.
A rigorous basis is developed, and sensitivity analyses performed, for the consideration of bounds on causal parameters (e.g., magnitude, source-to-site distance, and site condition) for ground motion selection. The effect of causal parameter bound selection on both the number of available prospective ground motions from an initial empirical as-recorded database, and the statistical properties of IMs of selected ground motions are examined. It is also demonstrated that using causal parameter bounds is not a reliable approach to implicitly account for ground motion duration and cumulative effects when selection is based on only spectral acceleration (SA) ordinates. Specific causal parameter bounding criteria are recommended for general use as a ‘default’ bounding criterion with possible adjustments from the analyst based on problem-specific preferences.
An approach is presented to consider the forward directivity effects in seismic hazard analysis, which does not separate the hazard calculations for pulse-like and non-pulse-like ground motions. Also, the ability of ground motion selection methods to appropriately select records containing forward directivity pulse motions in the near-fault region is examined. Particular attention is given to ground motion selection which is explicitly based on ground motion IMs, including SA, duration, and cumulative measures; rather than a focus on implicit parameters (i.e., distance, and pulse or non-pulse classifications) that are conventionally used to heuristically distinguish between the near-fault and far-field records. No ad hoc criteria, in terms of the number of directivity ground motions and their pulse periods, are enforced for selecting pulse-like records. Example applications are presented with different rupture characteristics, source-to-site geometry, and site conditions. It is advocated that the selection of ground motions in the near-fault region based on IM properties alone is preferred to that in which the proportion of pulse-like motions and their pulse periods are specified a priori as strict criteria for ground motion selection.
Three methods are presented to propagate the effect of seismic hazard and ground motion selection epistemic uncertainties to seismic performance metrics. These methods differ in their level of rigor considered to propagate the epistemic uncertainty in the conditional distribution of IMs utilised in ground motion selection, selected ground motion ensembles, and the number of nonlinear response history analyses performed to obtain the distribution of engineering demand parameters. These methods are compared for an example site where it is observed that, for seismic demand levels below the collapse limit, epistemic uncertainty in ground motion selection is a smaller uncertainty contributor relative to the uncertainty in the seismic hazard itself. In contrast, uncertainty in ground motion selection process increases the uncertainty in the seismic demand hazard for near-collapse demand levels.