A theoretical and experimental exploration of the seismic dynamics of multi-span bridges

A A Meibodi, N A Alexander, J A Norman, A J Crewe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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A generalized reduced-order model of a multi-span continuous bridge, on flexible discrete supports, that is subjected to multi-support seismic excitation is presented. This model highlights the key non-dimensional system parameters. Real spatiotemporal ground motion time-series (from the SMART-1 array, Taiwan) are used, as an alternative to employing artificial ground motion based on some spatial incoherence kernels. Benchmark experimental test data, using the multiple support excitation rig of a four-span bridge and SMART-1 array excitation, is used to validate/calibrate the proposed reduced-order model. An operational modal analysis is conducted to obtain least-square estimates of these key dynamic parameters using a Levenberg–Marquardt algorithm. The computationally efficient reduced-order model is then employed for a parametric study that explores the effect of spatial incoherence, bridge alignment and archetypal symmetrical and asymmetrical bridge geometries. A comparison of identical and multi-support excitation cases indicate the likely range of beneficial/adverse errors in neglecting the spatiotemporal nature of ground motions in design analyses.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2020


  • modal analysis
  • multiple excitations
  • time-history analysis
  • bridge dynamics
  • system identification
  • response spectrum


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