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Introduction to structural

dynamics & earthquake


There are two types of forces/loads that

may act on structures, namely static and
dynamic forces
Static forces are those that are gradually
applied and remain in place for longer
duration of time. These forces are either
not dependent on time or have less
dependence on time.

Live load acting on a structure is
considered as a static load because it
usually varies gradually in magnitude and
Similarly moving loads may also be
considered as statically applied forces .

Dynamic forces
are those that are very much time
dependent and these either act for small
interval of time or quickly change in
magnitude or direction
Examples :Earthquake forces, machinery
vibrations and blast loadings are examples
of dynamic forces

Structural response

Is the deformation behavior of a structure

associated with a particular loading.

dynamic response
is the deformation pattern related with the
application of dynamic forces
The response become function of space &
time in dynamic analysis
Dynamic analysis is actually a stepwise
static analysis in which Loads, Forces &
their response varies with time.

Dynamic analysis becomes complicated &

challenge in earthquake response of structures,
when behavior of material also varies with time.
In case of dynamic load, response of the
structure is also time-dependent and hence
varies with time. Dynamic response is usually
measured in terms of deformations
(displacements or rotations), velocity and

Dynamic Force

F(t), is defined as a force that changes in

magnitude, direction or sense in much
lesser time interval or it has continuous
variation with time .

Impact load

Is the other extreme where the load is

applied only for an infinitesimal interval of
time with some momentum and is
considered separate from the dynamic

The variation of a dynamic force with time is

called history of loading

Amplitude of vibration
is the maximum structural displacement
during one complete cycle of load.
is the number of loading cycles in a unit
time (usually one second).
Natural Frequency: is the number of
cycles of vibration according to first mode
of vibration per second

Fundamental Time Period

Fundamental Time Period of a structure
is the time taken to complete one
complete cycle of vibration according to its
fundamental mode (deformed shape
during vibration) of vibration.
Time Period :The interval of time during
which one cycle of loading is completed is
called its time period

Prescribed dynamic loading is regularly

varying loading in which well-defined
cycles of loading are repeated after equal
intervals of time
Example of prescribed loading is a regular
vibration of machinery with a certain
amplitude and frequency.

The Prescribed dynamic loading may

be periodic loading or non periodic.
Periodic loading is the loading that
repeats itself after equal intervals of time.
Non Periodic loading is not repeated in a
fixed pattern & magnitude.

Types Of Prescribed Loading

A) Periodic loading
i) Sinusoidal Loading:
ii) Stepped Loading:
iii) Complex Variation Loading

i) Sinusoidal Loading
This loading corresponds to simple
harmonic motion & the force in one cycle
of loading varies as a sine wave as shown
in fig
Example: This is usually produced by
running of any machine / motor installed
on a structural member

ii) Stepped Loading:

The pattern of loading is shown in fig
iii) Complex Variation Loading
The variation of this type of loading with
respect to time is shown in fig:

b) Non Periodic loading

Non periodic loading acts for short

duration of time & can be of the following
two types:
i) Impulsive Loading
ii) Earth Quake Loading

i) Impulsive Loading
This loading acts for very less time
duration , but magnitude of load is very
Example: Most common example is a
Blast loading

ii) Earth Quake Loading

The duration of the loading is relatively

larger than impulsive loading , but the
variation is higher.

Structure of earth
The earth is divided into three chemical
layers called

Crust is the outermost layer of earth
consisting of solid material varying in
temperature from surface temperature to a
maximum temperature of 1000 C.
There are two types of crust
Oceanic Crust
Continental Crust.

Its thickness under deep oceans is

between 4 to 6 km and the thickness
under continents is approximately 30 to 40
The outermost layer of the earth can be
divided by their physical properties into
lithosphere & asthenosphere.

The lithosphere

From (Greek, lithos,stone) Is the rigid outermost

layer made of crust & uppermost mantle. The
lithosphere is the plate of plate tectonic theory.
The outer layer of earth having a thickness of
100km is relatively rigid and is called
Lithosphere includes the crust & some rigid part
of Mantle
Lithosphere is the plate of plate tectonic

The layer of earth below lithosphere
having a thickness of 400 km is softer
/more mobile and is called
The rigid lithosphere actually floats
over the mobile asthenosphere.


This layer has an approximate thickness

of 3000 km and consists of semi-solid to
plastic material. The temperature ranges
from 1000 to 3500C

Outer core is a thickness of
approximately 2250 km and consists of
liquid at a temperature of 3500 to 4000C.
Inner Core:The inner core has a radius of
approximately 1200 km and is a layer of
solid material at temperature higher than


An earthquake is a sudden release of

energy in a earths crust that creates the
seismic waves. This extra energy may be
stored in earth and released at intervals
due to many different phenomena, some
of which are as under:

1. Plate tectonics.
2. Volcanic eruptions.
3. Atomic explosions.
4. Collision of massive meteorites with the
surface of earth.

When a large earthquake, epicenter is

located offshore, the seabed sometimes
suffers sufficient displacement to cause a

Most naturally occurring earthquake are

related to the tectonic nature of E.Q
Such E.Q are called tectonic E.Q.
The earths lithosphere is a patch work of
plates in slow but constant motion caused by
sudden release to space of the heat in the
Earths mantle & core.

The heat causes the rock in the earth to

become flow on geological time scales, so
the plate moves slowly but surely
Plate boundaries lock as the plate moves
past each other, creating frictional stress
when a frictional stress exceeds a critical
value called local strength, a sudden
failure occurs

Plate Tectonics

According to this theory, lithosphere is cracked

in places or broken in to smaller pieces or
plates. This may have happened during initial
drying of the earth from a molten state. There
are seven large and several small plates. The
largest plates are the Pacific plate, the North
American plate, the Eurasian plate, the Antarctic
plate, the Indo-Australian plate and the African

All plates consist of either oceanic or

continental lithosphere or a combination of
The boundary of the tectonic plates along
which failure occurs is called fault plane.

Plate boundaries

a) Mid-Oceanic Ridge:
b) Subduction Zone:
Further, there are three types of plate
boundaries depending on the relative movement
between the two adjoining plates.
i) Convergent Plate Boundary:
ii) Divergent Plate Boundary:
iii) Transform Plate Boundary:

Focus or Hypocenter

When an earthquake occurs, elastic vibrations or

waves are propagated in all directions from its
center of origin or focus.
The point within the earth along the rupturing
geological faults where an earthquake originates
is called the focus or hypocenter
Earthquake waves radiate out from the focus.

The point on the earths surface directly
above the focus is called the epicenter
The locations of earthquakes are
frequently identified by the geographic
location of their epicenter.
Focuses of most E.Q are concentrated in
the crust & upper mantle.

Focal Depth
The focal depth is the depth of the
hypocenter below the epicenter.
Focal distance
is the distance from the hypocenter to a
given reference point.

Earthquake / Seismic Waves

When the earth shake, it releases seismic waves .

When an E.Q occurs two kinds of waves are generated

Body waves

These waves propagate through earths interior & are

known as body waves. In body waves there two types of
(1) P-Waves or Primary Waves or Dilation Waves:
2) S-Waves or Secondary Waves or Shear Waves:

P-Waves or Primary Waves or

Dilation Waves:

These waves involve particle movement

parallel to the direction of propagation of
the wave, as shown in Fig. The speed of
travel of these waves is appr. 1.73times
greater than the other waves

These waves are felt earlier in an

earthquake and cause relatively less
damage. There is usually an after-shock
at an interval during which the other more
damaging waves approach the area

S-Waves or Secondary Waves or

Shear Waves:

These waves involve particle movement

perpendicular to the direction of
propagation of the wave (refer the Fig.).
When body waves reach the ground
surface, part of these is reflected back
while other part produces surface waves

Surface waves

Surface waves are the waves produced on the

earths surface due to an earthquake.
Surface waves are of long period ,that follow the
periphery of earth, they are are the slowest, but
have a large amplitude & do the greatest
damage at the surface
M is calculated from their amplitude .
There are two types of surface waves.

(1) R-Waves or Rayleigh Waves:

(1) These waves produce a circular motion

analogous to the motion of ocean waves.
Hence, rotation along with vertical
movements takes place in case of
Rayleigh waves

L-Waves or Love Waves:

These waves produce horizontal motion

along the ground surface transverse to the
direction of propagation

To measure the amount of destruction

caused by an earthquake, two terms
namely earthquake magnitude &
earthquake intensity are used

Earthquake magnitude and

Richter scale

Earthquake magnitude is a measure of the amount of

seismic energy released during an earthquake.

The magnitude of an earthquake is frequently

given as a number on the Richter scale. This
scale measures the amplitude of ground motion .

It defines the size of the seismic event but is not related

with damage or effect of earthquake at a given location.
The magnitude of earthquake is usually measured on
Richter scale, which is a log scale ,for magnitude symbol
M is used.

The ritcher magnitude is calculated from the

amplitude of the largest seismic wave recorded
for the E.Q, made wit standard seismometer, no
matter what type of wave was strongest.
A magnitude of M5 Richter scale is ten-times
greater than a magnitude of M4 and is
associated with an increase in energy release
of31.6 times.A magnitude of M5 is 100 times
greater than a magnitude of M3 scale.

Earthquake intensity and

Mercalli scale

Intensity is an assessment of the effect of the

earthquake at a given location and is not directly
related to the earthquake magnitude
This is determined not by reading instruments
but by observing the effects on structures,
human life and disturbance to the ground
surface. Modified Mercalli index is based on the
observed effects of an earthquake at a specific






Felt by almost no one.

Felt by very few people.
Tremor noticed by many, but they often do
not realize it as an earthquake.
Felt indoor by many. Feels like a truck has
struck the building.
Felt by nearly everyone; many people
awakened. Swaying trees and
poles may be observed.






Felt by all; many people run outdoors.
Furniture moved, slight damage occurs
Everyone runs outdoors. Poorly built
structures considerably damaged;
slight damage elsewhere.
Specially designed structures damaged
slightly, others collapse.
All buildings considerably damaged, many
shift off at foundations. Noticeable cracks in






Many structures damaged.

Ground is badly cracked.
Almost all structures fall. Bridges
wrecked. Very wide cracks in ground.
Total destruction. Waves seen on

Amplitude: The maximum displacement

of a vibrating body from its equilibrium
Fundamental Mode of Vibration
The fundamental mode of vibration of a
system is the mode having the lowest
natural frequency

Simple Harmonic Motion

The motion of a body to and fro about a fixed

point is called simple harmonic motion.
The motion is periodic and its acceleration is
always directed towards the mean position and
is proportional to its distance from mean
The motion of a simple pendulum is example of
simple harmonic motion.


The resistance to the motion of a

vibrating body is called Damping.
Damping means the presence of frictional
forces in the structure, which transforms
the mechanical energy of system in to
other forms of energy, such as, heat.

In actual practice there is always some

damping (e.g., the internal molecular
friction, viscous damping, aero dynamical
damping, etc.) present in the system
which causes the gradual dissipation of
vibration energy and results in gradual
decay of amplitude of the free vibration

If damping is completely absent in an ideal

system, a structure once excited will
oscillate indefinitely with constant
amplitude at its natural frequency.

Damping has very little effect on natural

frequency of the system, and hence the
calculations for natural frequencies are
generally made on the basis of no
Damping is of great importance in limiting
the amplitude of oscillation at resonance.

Critical Damping (Ccr)

It is defined as that amount of damping

due to which a freely excited system does
not oscillate but returns to its original
position in the shortest possible time.

Damping Ratio Of System():

Damping ratio of a system is defined as
the ratio of damping present in a system to
its critical damping. = C /
Critical damping coefficient usually ranges
between 2 to 10% of Ccr(= 0.02 to 0.10)
for actual structures.


critically damped response

over-damped response
under- damped response

Methods Of Analysis For

Earthquake Loading
1 Free Vibration Analysis
2 Response History Analysis (RHA)
3 Response Spectrum Analysis (RSA)
4 Equivalent Static or Pseudo-Static Load

1 Free Vibration Analysis

If a structure is displaced by a
considerable amount & is then released
suddenly, it starts vibrating without the
action of any external forces except the
first excitation.

The study of response of a structure when it

is vibrating without any external force is
called Free Vibration Analysis of
The frequency of free vibration of a system
is called Natural Frequency of that particular

2 Response History Analysis


Response History Analysis (RHA)

is the evaluation of response against the
elapsed time of a system throughout a
known record of earthquake by solving the
actual equations of motion considering all
the dynamic forces.

4 Equivalent Static or PseudoStatic Load Method

This procedure describes how to calculate the seismic

base shear & lateral seismic forces .
In this method ,some equivalent static forces are applied
to approximately get the effect of vibrations according to
fundamental & higher modes of vibration
This method is recommended by almost all the design
codes including UBC,NEHRP,NBC of Canada & Building
Code of Pakistan for easy & sufficiently accurate design
of buildings.

The equivalent static method is only

applicable if the following conditions are
All the types of structures in Zone 1 & regular or
irregular structures,but not for
essential,hazardous or special use ,in Zone 2
All regular structures upto 73m in height with any
lateral load resisting system
All irregular structures up to 5 stories or 20m
height may be analzsed

Regular structures having a flexible upper

portion supported over a rigid lower portion
satisfying the UBC provisions
As a general procedure, a base shear is first
determined for the buildings which is then
distributed into a set of static forces along the
height of the structure depending upon the
stiffness & mass of the stories of the structure.

Related Methods Of Dealing With

1 Base Isolation Method
2 Use Of Special Energy Dissipating


This procedure describes how to calculate
the seismic base shear & lateral seismic
The parameters discussed in the following
sub-sections are required to be evaluated
to get the values of equivalent static loads
according to UBC-97

Seismic Zone Factor (Z)

Table 16-1 of UBC-97 categorize land

areas into six zones depending upon the
Code estimate of peak ground at a
acceleration particular site.
The zone factor (Z) is given as a factor of
peak acceleration with respect to
acceleration due to gravity (g) and it varies
from 0.075 to 0.40

The suggested values correspond to

recurrence interval of 475 years giving a
10 percent probability of being exceeded
in a 50 years period.

Seismic Zones &Effective Peak

Ground Acceleration(EPA
Effective peak






.15 .075

Soil Profile Types

The ground vibrations traveling through

the soil may be amplified or reduced
depending upon the fundamental period
and type of strata.UBC classifies soils into
six profile types, as given in Table.
This classification depends on the average
shear wave velocity in the top 30m of

Soil Profile Types.

Soil Profile Description of

Shear Wave
Velocity (m/s)


Hard rock




760 to 1500


Soft rock

360 to 760


Stiff soil

180 to 360


Soft soil



Very soft clayey



Seismic Source Types

The seismic source types are decided

based on the maximum moment
magnitude potential of a fault and its slip
rate per year. Type C represents almost
an inactive fault in Table :

Seismic Source Characteristics



Source Characteristics

Slip Rate



The fault which is not A or C



Near-Source Factors

Two factors, Na and Nv, are used to

consider increased ground motions near a
fault. The factor Na is the accelerationbased factor that is important for shortperiod structures and velocity-based
factor Nv that is important for periods
exceeding one second.

Table:Near Source Factors (Na and Nv)

for Various Seismic Source types
Distance From Fault
2 km 5 km
10 km
15 km

Na Nv Na Nv Na Nv

Na Nv

1.5 2.0 1.2 1.6 1.0 1.2 1.0 1.0

1.3 1.6 1.0 1.2 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0

Ground Response Coefficients

The two ground response coefficients ,Ca

and Cv, give indication of the vibration
amplification capacity of a soil
depending on zone factor (Z), soil profile
factor (S) and the near-source factors (Na
and Nv). The fundamental period of a
structure determines whether Ca or Cv is
more important for design of a structure.

Ground Response Coefficients

,Ca and Cv
Soil Zone 1 Zone
Zone Zone
Zone 4
Ca Cv Ca Cv Ca Cv Ca C Ca






















































When soil parameters are unknown, soil

profile type SD may be assumed in seismic
zones 3 and 4 and profile SE may be
assumed in other zones.
For a regular structure, the near source
factor needs not exceed 1.3

Fundamental Time Period Of A


The time period of a structure may exactly

be calculated by performing free vibration
analysis of the structure, which involves
lengthy calculations. Following empirical
methods are also available to reasonably
guess the fundamental time period of a

Approximate method
Fundamental time period,
T =numberofstories/10 sec
Method A of UBC
Where hn= height of the roof above the
base in meters, not including the height of


= 0.085 for steel moment resisting

= 0.073 for reinforced concrete
moment resisting frames and
eccentric braced steel frames.
= 0.050 for all other buildings.

Method B of UBC


2(Wii)/ (g fi i )
1.4 TA for Zones 1,2,& 3
1.3 TA for Zones 4

Where i

= static elastic deflection at

level i due to the forces
applied at all levels, increasing

in a linear way with height.

The value of deflection
must be with respect to
the base in mm.
= ( total lateral force at i-th floor / ki ) + i-1

shear stiffness of columns under floor iif=

lateral force at level i, Niw= dead load
located at level i, Niandg= acceleration
due to gravity= 9810 mm/sec


Ductility of an element shows its capacity to

deform in the inelastic range without collapse.
Due to these inelastic deformations, the energy
is dissipated making the structure relatively
stable against earthquake forces. If these
deformations successfully occur in the two
opposite directions causing reversal of stresses
in the members, hysteresis loops are produced
dissipating energy in each cycle of loading,
unloading and loading in the opposite direction

Response Modification Factor


The response modification factor of a

structure (R) is ratio of the seismic base
shear of an elastic system to a reduced
design base shear depending upon
ductility, energy absorbing capacity,
increase in natural period due to yielding
and increase in damping ratio of the
structure .

Bearing Wall System (BWS).

If shear walls or braced frames provide

support to gravity loads and all the lateral
loads, the structural system is a Bearing
Wall System (BWS). In other words, the
gravity loads are resting on walls.

Building Frame System (BFS)

If separate systems are provided to resist

lateral and gravity loads, the structural
system is called Building Frame System
(BFS). No special detailing is required for
gravity load supporting frames.

Special Moment Resisting

Frames (SMRF)

Are the frames specially detailed to

provide high ductility and support for
lateral and gravity loads by flexural action.

Moment Resisting Frames With

Masonry Shear Walls are called MRWF
Dual Systems are those in which more
than one systems are used together

Structural System

Height Limit

1:BWS with concrete or masonry shear walls



2:BWS with steel braced frames.



3:BFS with steel eccentrically braced frames.



4:BFS with concrete shear walls.



5:BFS with masonry shear walls.



6:BFS with steel ordinary braced frames



7:Steel or concrete SMRF



8:Steel or concrete SMRF8.5None8. Masonry




9:Concrete shear walls with SMRF



Many other types given in UBC

The value of the response modification factor (R)

is determined from consideration of a structures
over-strength capacity beyond the point at which
the elastic response of the structure is exceeded.
The value of R always exceeds unity, which
indicates that all structures are designed for
forces less than would be produced in a
completely elastic structure. This reduced force
level is made possible by the energy absorption
and dissipation capacity of the structure at
displacements in excess of initial yield

Seismic Importance Factor (I)

Depending upon the occupancy category
value of importance factor for different
types of buildings is given in UBC-97
The factor is equal to 1.25 for essential
and hazardous facilities
and 1.00 for special occupancy, standard
occupancy and miscellaneous structures

Seismic Response Coefficient

The seismic response coefficient (Cs) is
the fraction of total dead load of the
structure that is acting as base shear on
the structure .
This means that the base shear (V) is:
V= Cs W

Seismic Importance Factor (I)

Depending on the occupancy category,

value of importance factor for different
types of buildings is given in UBC-97.
The factor is equal to 1.25 for essential
and hazardous facilities and 1.00 for
special occupancy, standard occupancy
and miscellaneous structures.

Seismic Response Coefficient


The seismic response coefficient (Cs) is

the fraction of total dead load of the
structure that is acting as base shear on
the structure.
This means that the base shear (V) is:

V =Cs W

This factor depends upon

velocity of acceleration based ground response
coefficient (Cv or Ca), importance factor (I), response
modification factor (R) and time period (T).
Response time Ts =Cv/2.5Ca
and Ta=0.2Ts
Cs=CvI / RT (ifT>Ts) subjected to maximum &
minimum values
Max. value = 2.5 Ca I / R
(Controls when T=Ta toTs)
Min. value = 0.11CaI
(OR) 0.8ZNv I / R for zone- 4

Seismic Dead Load (W)

The seismic dead load (W) consists of the

i) Dead load of the structure.
ii) 25 percent of the floor live load for storage
and warehouses.
iii) A minimum allowance of 50 kg/m for
movable partitions.
iv) The total weight of permanent equipment
and fittings

Magnitude Of Base Shear (V)

The total seismic force that acts on the base of

structure called seismic base shear
Is the total lateral inertial force imposed on the
structure at its base by an earthquake
1:UBC refined formula
Base shear V =Cs W
Maximum inelastic displacement m= 0.7R s
Where s = the displacement corresponding to
the shear V, given above

2 UBC simplified formula

Base shear V= (3.0 Ca / R)W

This is a conservative formula having the

following restrictions

i) Ordinary occupancy type.

ii) Light-frame construction not exceeding
3 stories.
iii) Any construction, except bearing
wall systems, but not exceeding two

Distribution Of Base Shear At

Various Story Levels'

Vertical distribution of base shear force produces

seismic lateral forces,Fx, at any floor level.
Seismic lateral forces act at the floor levels
because masses of the structures are
concentrated at the floor levels .It is known that
the force is a product of mass & acceleration.
Earth quake motions produce accelerations of
the structure & induce forces at the palaces of
mass concentrations (floor levels)

Shear at a particular story

Fx= V'Wxax / Wi ai

=modal base shear

=seismic dead load at level-i
= mode shape component at level-i for
the given mode
= seismic dead load located at level-x
And ax = mode shape component at level-x for
the given mode

For uniform distribution of mass over

height and for first linear mode, the
distribution of base shear may be
simplified as follows:


= V1 (Wxhx / Wi hi)

V1 (Wxhx / Wi hi)
Where V1 = base shear corresponding to
first mode
hi = height above the base to level-i
hx = height above the base to level-x
In order to account for higher mode effects in the
above expression for long period buildings, an
additional force Ft is added at the top of the

Where V

= 0.07T V when T> 0.7 sec

= total base shear

= Ft+Fx
In such cases:

Fx= (V-Ft) Wxhx/ W hi