by Gregory Fenves
Fenves, Gregory (1997). Utilization of Strong-Motion Data from Bridges and Dams. SMIP97
Seminar on Utilization of Strong-Motion Data, p. 111 - 127.
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Highway bridges and concrete dams are critical components of California's infrastructure. Because of the difficulty
devising experiments to test the complete system response of bridges and dams in earthquakes, the design and safety
evaluation of these large structures are primarily based on mathematical models and numerical simulations. Strong-
motion data from bridges and dams provide the real-life laboratory for verifying the models. This paper summarizes
the results from recent studies of the recorded strong-motion response data from bridges and a dam. Although the
strong-motion data are limited, they have provided confirmation that models are capturing the essential features of
earthquake response. Limitations of the models, however, are identified and future trends for instrumentation and data
utilization for bridges and dams are discussed.