Issues with the Use of Spatially Variable Seismic Ground Motions in Engineering Applications

  • Aspasia ZervaEmail author
  • Mohammad Reza Falamarz-Sheikhabadi
  • Masoud Khazaei Poul
Part of the Geotechnical, Geological and Earthquake Engineering book series (GGEE, volume 46)


Even though the significance of the spatial variability of seismic ground motions for the response of lifelines and its modeling from array data have been addressed for more than half a century, there are still issues associated with its use in engineering applications, which are the focus of the present paper. Common approaches for the simulation of spatially variable seismic ground motions are reviewed, and their corresponding uncertainties are discussed in detail. The importance of the consideration of rotational ground motions in the seismic excitation of structures, and the significance of the kinematic soil-structure interaction in the modification of the foundation input motions are addressed. In addition, difficulties with absorbing boundary conditions and one-dimensional deconvolution methods, when the spatial variability of the ground motions is considered in the seismic analysis of structures, are elaborated upon, and the necessity of developing three-dimensional coherency models is noted. This critical investigation provides insight into and facilitates the appropriate simulation of spatially variable seismic ground motions in engineering applications.



This investigation was supported in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation under Grants No. CMMI-0600262, CMMI-0900179 and CMMI-1129396. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of the U.S. National Science Foundation.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aspasia Zerva
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mohammad Reza Falamarz-Sheikhabadi
    • 1
  • Masoud Khazaei Poul
    • 1
  1. 1.Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering DepartmentDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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