System Identification of a Residential Building in Kathmandu Using Aftershocks of 2015 Gorkha Earthquake and Triggered Noise Data

  • Yoshio SawakiEmail author
  • Rajesh Rupakhety
  • Simon Ólafsson
  • Dipendra Gautam
Conference paper
Part of the Geotechnical, Geological and Earthquake Engineering book series (GGEE, volume 47)


System identification is conducted to estimate the fundamental vibration period and damping ratio of a residential building in Kathmandu. Ground motion and structural response due to aftershocks of the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, as well as noise data triggered by ambient vibration is used to identify the dynamic properties of the structure. In total, motion due to 3 aftershocks and 362 ambient vibration is used. The identification is based on estimating the frequency response function of the structure. When using the aftershock data, this function is estimated from power spectral density functions of motion recorded at the ground floor and roof of the structure. In case of triggered noise, it is assumed that the input motion is a white noise. Fundamental vibration period is estimated from the first dominant peak of the transfer function, and damping ratio is estimated by using the half-power bandwidth. The building being studied is a 4-storey reinforced concrete frame with masonry infill walls. The fundamental period of the building estimated from aftershock data and triggered noise data was found to be similar in the range of 0.24–0.4 s. Empirical relations available on the literature predict a fundamental period of 0.25 s for the building being studied. It can thus be concluded that the fundamental period of the building can be estimated with confidence using both aftershock and ambient vibration data. The damping ratio, however, showed greater variation. This variation is, in part, due to the inherent uncertainty in spectral estimation which requires smoothing operations that directly affect the bandwidth of the dominant peak of frequency response function.


System identification 2015 Gorkha Earthquake Ambient vibration Spectral estimation 



We acknowledge financial support from University of Iceland Research Fund and the national power company of Iceland, Landsvirkjun. The first author acknowledges the Government of Japan for providing him the Monbukagakusho Scholarship to support his research internship at the EERC. We thank Mr. Damodar Rupakhety for allowing us to install the accelerometers in his house and to use the collected data for the research presented herein. Mr. Rajan Dhakal prepared the plans of the building presented here, and Dr. Benedikt Halldorsson helped in configuring the accelerometers installed in the building; their contributions are gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshio Sawaki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rajesh Rupakhety
    • 1
  • Simon Ólafsson
    • 1
  • Dipendra Gautam
    • 2
  1. 1.Earthquake Engineering Research CentreUniversity of IcelandSelfossIceland
  2. 2.Structural and Geodynamics Laboratory, StreGaUniversity of MoliseCampobassoItaly

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