Research Article

Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 44-52

First online:

Efficiency of scalar and vector intensity measures for seismic slope displacements

  • Gang WangAffiliated withDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Email author 

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Ground motion intensity measures are usually used to predict the earthquake-induced displacements in earth dams, soil slopes and soil structures. In this study, the efficiency of various single ground motion intensity measures (scalar IMs) or a combination of them (vector IMs) are investigated using the PEER-NGA strong motion database and an equivalent-linear sliding-mass model. Although no single intensity measure is efficient enough for all slope conditions, the spectral acceleration at 1.5 times of the initial slope period and Arias intensity of the input motion are found to be the most efficient scalar IMs for flexible slopes and stiff slopes respectively.

Vector IMs can incorporate different characteristics of the ground motion and thus significantly improve the efficiency over a wide range of slope conditions. Among various vector IMs considered, the spectral accelerations at multiple spectral periods achieve high efficiency for a wide range of slope conditions. This study provides useful guidance to the development of more efficient empirical prediction models as well as the ground motion selection criteria for time domain analysis of seismic slope displacements.


seismic slope displacements intensity measures empirical prediction