, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 44-52
Date: 31 Mar 2012

Efficiency of scalar and vector intensity measures for seismic slope displacements

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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.

Gang Wang is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is also Director of ASCE Hong Kong Section, and a registered Civil Engineer in California. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Hydraulic Engineering from Tsinghua University, China in 1997 and 2000, respectively, and his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A. in 2005. He worked as a consulting engineer at Geomatrix Consultants, Oakland, California in 2007–2008. His research interests include geotechnical earthquake engineering, dynamic soil-structure interaction, numerical analysis of geohazards, and micromechanics of heterogeneous materials.