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Analysis of Strong Motion Records from a Parking Structure During the January 17th Northridge Earthquake

by S. Hilmy, S. Werner, A. Nisar and J. Masek

Hilmy, S., S. Werner, A. Nisar and J. Masek (1996). Analysis of Strong Motion Records from a Parking Structure During the January 17th Northridge Earthquake. SMIP96 Seminar on Seismological and Engineering Implications of Recent Strong-Motion Data, p. 1 - 18.

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Abstract

The parking structure studied in this investigation is the first parking structure from which significant strong-motion data has been obtained during January 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake. Although the structure did not suffer significant damage, the study of the recorded motions was conducted to evaluate the seismic response of parking structures during strong ground shaking and the adequacy of the current seismic design provisions for such structures.

An important element of this research project was the use of system identification of the recorded motions in the parking structure, in order to estimate normal modes of vibration excited in the structure during the Northridge Earthquake. These normal modes were then used to calibrate a detailed finite element model of the structure which, in turn, was used to carry out detailed seismic analyses of the structure. The analyses indicated that proper modeling of all the elements of the parking structure including soil flexibility led to reasonable prediction of the main dynamic response characteristics of the parking structure. From this, several design recommendations were proposed in this study to improve the current modeling techniques and the code design provisions of parking structures.