Probabilistic seismic response and uncertainty analysis of continuous bridges under near-fault ground motions

Hai Bin Ma, Wei Dong Zhuo*, Davide Lavorato, Camillo Nuti, Gabriele Fiorentino, Giuseppe Carlo Marano, Rita Greco, Bruno Briseghella

*Corresponding author for this work

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

18 Citations (Scopus)


Performance-based seismic design can generate predictable structure damage result with given seismic hazard. However, there are multiple sources of uncertainties in the seismic design process that can affect desired performance predictability. This paper mainly focuses on the effects of near-fault pulse-like ground motions and the uncertainties in bridge modeling on the seismic demands of regular continuous highway bridges. By modeling a regular continuous bridge with OpenSees software, a series of nonlinear dynamic time-history analysis of the bridge at three different site conditions under near-fault pulse-like ground motions are carried out. The relationships between different Intensity Measure (IM) parameters and the Engineering Demand Parameter (EDP) are discussed. After selecting the peak ground acceleration as the most correlated IM parameter and the drift ratio of the bridge column as the EDP parameter, a probabilistic seismic demand model is developed for near-fault earthquake ground motions for 3 different site conditions. On this basis, the uncertainty analysis is conducted with the key sources of uncertainty during the finite element modeling. All the results are quantified by the “swing” base on the specific distribution range of each uncertainty parameter both in near-fault and far-fault cases. All the ground motions are selected from PEER database, while the bridge case study is a typical regular highway bridge designed in accordance with the Chinese Guidelines for Seismic Design of Highway Bridges. The results show that PGA is a proper IM parameter for setting up a linear probabilistic seismic demand model; damping ratio, pier diameter and concrete strength are the main uncertainty parameters during bridge modeling, which should be considered both in near-fault and far-fault ground motion cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1510-1519
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • continuous bridge
  • Intensity Measure
  • near-fault
  • probabilistic seismic demand model
  • uncertainty


Dive into the research topics of 'Probabilistic seismic response and uncertainty analysis of continuous bridges under near-fault ground motions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this