Fragility assessment of a RC structure under tsunami actions via nonlinear static and dynamic analyses

Crescenzo Petrone, Tiziana Rossetto, Katsu Goda

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

67 Citations (Scopus)
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Current guidelines for design and assessment of buildings under tsunami actions do not explicitly state how to apply tsunami loads to buildings and which analysis methods to use in order to assess the structural response to the tsunami loads. In this paper, a reinforced concrete (RC) moment-resisting frame, which is designed as a tsunami evacuation building, is selected as a case study and subjected to simulated 2011 Tohoku tsunami waves. To assess tsunami impact on the model building, different nonlinear static analyses, i.e. constant-height pushover (CHPO) and variable-height pushover (VHPO), are compared with nonlinear dynamic analysis. The results of VHPO provide a good prediction of engineering demand parameters and collapse fragility curves obtained from the dynamic analysis under a wide range of tsunami loading. On the other hand, CHPO tends to overestimate interstorey drift ratio (IDR) and underestimate column shear by about 5–20%. It provides a larger fragility, i.e. about 10% in median value, for global failure and a smaller fragility for local shear failure. On the basis of these results, it is recommended that VHPO be used in future fragility analysis of buildings subjected to tsunami. However, pushover methods might not be adequate in cases where the tsunami inundation force time-histories are characterised by a “double-peak”, which subjects the structure to a two-cycle load. Finally, it is found that tsunami peak force is better correlated to IDR than flow velocity and inundation depth for the considered structure. This suggests that the peak force would be a more efficient intensity measure than the other two in the development of tsunami fragility curves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-53
Number of pages18
JournalEngineering Structures
Early online date16 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • Tsunami engineering
  • Fragility curve
  • Analysis methodology
  • Pushover analysis
  • Time-history analysis
  • Tsunami force
  • Tsunami simulation


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