Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Tezcan, Jale


In time history analysis of structures, the geometric mean of two orthogonal horizontal components of ground motion in the as-recorded direction of sensors, have been used as measure of ground motion intensity prior to the 2009 NEHRP provision. The 2009 NEHRP Provisions and accordingly the seismic design provisions of the ASCE/SEI 7-10, modified the definition of ground motion intensity measure from geometric mean to the maximum direction ground motion, corresponding to the direction that results in peak response of the oscillator. Maximum direction response spectra are assumed to envelope the range of maximum possible responses over all nonredundant rotation angles. Two assumptions are made in the use maximum ground motion as the intensity measure: (1) the structure’s strength and stiffness properties are identical in all directions and (2) azimuth of the maximum spectral acceleration coincides with the one of the principal axes of the structure. The implications of these assumptions are examined in this study, using 3D computer models of multi-story structures having symmetric and asymmetric layouts and elastic vibration period of 0.2 second and 1.0 second subjected to a set of 25 ground-motion pairs recorded at a distance of more than 20 km from the fault. The influence of the ground-motion rotation angle on structural response (here lateral displacement and story drift) is examined to form benchmarks for evaluating the use of the maximum direction (MD) ground motions. The results of this study suggest that while MD ground motions do not always result in largest structural response, they tend to produce larger response than the as-recorded ground motions. On the other hand, more research on non-linear seismic time history analysis is recommended, especially for asymmetric layout plan buildings.




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