Practice-oriented estimation of the seismic demand hazard using ground motions at few intensity levels
This paper examines the calculation of the seismic demand hazard in a practice-oriented manner via the use of seismic response analyses at few intensity levels. The seismic demand hazard is a more robust measure for quantifying seismic performance, when seismic hazard is represented in a probabilistic format, than intensity-based assessments, which remain prevalent in seismic design codes. It is illustrated that, for a relatively complex bridge–foundation–soil system case study, the seismic demand hazard can be estimated with sufficient accuracy using as little as three intensity measure levels that have exceedance probabilities of 50%, 10% and 2% in 50 years which are already of interest in multi-objective performance-based design. Compared with the conventional use of the mean demand from an intensity-based assessment(s), it is illustrated that, for the same number of seismic response analyses, a practice-oriented ‘approximate’ seismic demand hazard is a more accurate and precise estimate of the ‘exact’ seismic demand hazard. Direct estimation of the seismic demand hazard also provides information of seismic performance at multiple exceedance rates. Thus, it is advocated that if seismic hazard is considered in a probabilistic format, then seismic performance assessment, and acceptance criteria, should be in terms of the seismic demand hazard and not intensity-based assessments.