Seismic Response of the UC Physics Building in the Canterbury Earthquakes
Thesis DisciplineCivil Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate the seismic response of the UC Physics Building based on recorded ground motions during the Canterbury earthquakes, and to use the recorded response to evaluate the efficacy of various conventional structural analysis modelling assumptions. The recorded instrument data is examined and analysed to determine how the UC Physics Building performed during the earthquake-induced ground motions. Ten of the largest earthquake events from the 2010-11 Canterbury earthquake sequence are selected in order to understand the seismic response under various levels of demand. Peak response amplitude values are found which characterise the demand from each event. Spectral analysis techniques are utilised to find the natural periods of the structure in each orthogonal direction. Significant torsional and rocking responses are also identified from the recorded ground motions. In addition, the observed building response is used to scrutinise the adequacy of NZ design code prescriptions for fundamental period, response spectra, floor acceleration and effective member stiffness. The efficacy of conventional numerical modelling assumptions for representing the UC Physics Building are examined using the observed building response. The numerical models comprise of the following: a one dimensional multi degree of freedom model, a two dimensional model along each axis of the building and a three dimensional model. Both moderate and strong ground motion records are used to examine the response and subsequently clarify the importance of linear and non-linear responses and the inclusion of base flexibility. The effects of soil-structure interaction are found to be significant in the transverse direction but not the longitudinal direction. Non-linear models predict minor in-elastic behaviour in both directions during the 4 September 2010 Mw 7.1 Darfield earthquake. The observed torsional response is found to be accurately captured by the three dimensional model by considering the interaction between the UC Physics Building and the adjacent structure. With the inclusion of adequate numerical modelling assumptions, the structural response is able to be predicted to within 10% for the majority of the earthquake events considered.