Assessment of Residual Capacity and Fragility-Based Fatigue of Concrete Structures across Multiple Earthquakes from the Canterbury Earthquakes in New Zealand
The Canterbury earthquake and aftershock sequence in New Zealand during 2010-2011 subjected the city’s structures to a significant accumulated cyclic demand and raised significant questions regarding the low-cycle fatigue demands imposed upon the structures. There is a significant challenge to quantify the level of cumulative demand imposed on structures and to assess the percentage of a structure's fatigue life that has been consumed as a result of this earthquake sequence. It is important to be able to quantify the cumulative demand to determine how a building will perform in a subsequent large earthquake and inform repair and re-occupancy decisions. This paper investigates the cumulative fatigue demand for a structure located within the Christchurch Central Business District (CBD). Time history analysis and equivalent cycle counting methods are applied across the Canterbury earthquake sequence, using key events from September 4th 2010 and February 22nd , 2011 main shocks. The estimate of the cumulative fatigue demand is then compared to the expected capacity of a case study reinforced concrete bridge pier, to undertake a structure-specific fatigue assessment. The analysis is undertaken to approximate the portion of the structural fatigue capacity that has been consumed, and how much residual capacity remains. Results are assessed for recordings at the four Christchurch central city strong motion recording sites installed by the GeoNet programme, to provide an estimate of variation in results. The computed cyclic demand results are compared to code-based design methods and as assessment of the inelastic displacement demand of the reinforcing steel. Results are also presented in a fragility context where a de minimis (inconsequential), irreparable damage and full fatigue fracture are defined to provide a probabilistic assessment of the fatigue damage incurred. This methodology can provide input into the overall assessment of fatigue demands and residual capacity.