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Chapter: Civil : Structural dynamics of earthquake engineering

Response to base excitation

Abstract: There are two basic approaches to numerically evaluate the dynamic response. The first approach is numerical interpolation of the excitation and the second is numerical integration of the equation of motion. Both approaches are applicable to linear systems but the second approach is related to non-linear systems. In this page and previous page, various numerical techniques based on interpolation, finite difference equation and assumed acceleration are employed to arrive at the dynamic response due to force and base excitation.

Response to base excitation


Evaluating the dynamic response of structures due to arbitrary base or support motion can generally be facilitated by numerical integration methods. The response of structures to base excitation is the most important consideration in earthquake engineering. Consider the one storey shear frame shown in Fig. 7.13. The structure experiences any arbitrary ground displacements or acceleration u˙˙g ( t ). It is assumed that the shear frame is attached to a rigid base that moves with the ground. In analysing the structural response there are several components of motion that must be considered; specifically ui.

The relative displacement of the structure and uT the total or absolute displacement of the structure measured from reference axis.

The zero on the right hand side of Eq. 7.61 would suggest that the structure is not subjected to any external load F(t). This is not entirely true since the ground motion creates the inertia of forces in the structure.

Thus, noting total displacement of the mass ut is given by


The term mu˙˙g can be thought of as an effective load Feff (t) applied externally in the mass of the structure shown in Fig. 7.14. Therefore the equation of motion


Note that in Eq. 7.69. u i , u˙ i , u˙˙i represent relative displacement, velocity and acceleration of the mass respectively. We will see in later chapters that we can convert an ‘n’-degrees-of-freedom system to ‘n-single-degree-of-freedom system’ for linear vibration with proportional damping.


Equation 7.69 can be integrated by any of the methods discussed in the chapter. We will apply the Wilson-θ method. This is also useful in establishing response spectra.


Example 7.5


A single storey shear frame shown in Fig 7.15a is subjected to El Centro ground excitation as shown in Fig. 7.15c. The simplified model is shown in

Fig. 7.15b. The rigid girders support a load of 25.57kN/m. Assuming a damping factor ρ = 0.02 for steel frame, E = 200GPa. Write a computer program for the Wilson-θ method to evaluate dynamic response of the frame and plot u(t), v(t) and at(t) in the interval.




ωn = 9.53rad/s


Tn = 0.659s


ρ = 0.02


The absolute acceleration can be obtained. The program using Wilson-θ method is given below for ground movement. The displacement, velocity and acceleration (total) response are shown in Fig 7.16.



Program 7.8: MATLAB program for dynamic response to base excitation using Wilson-θ method


          % Response due to ground excitation using Wilson-Theta method
















          for i=1:n1;








          for i=1:n1;



          for i=2:n1;










          % Find total acceleration



for i=1:n1;









xlabel(‘ time (t) in seconds’);


ylabel(‘ Response displacement (relative) u in m’); title(‘ dynamic response’);






xlabel(‘ time (t) in seconds’);


ylabel(‘ Response velocity (relative) v in m/sec’); title(‘ dynamic response’);






xlabel(‘ time (t) in seconds’);


ylabel(‘ Response acceleration (total) a in m/sec’); title(‘ dynamic response’);






xlabel(‘ time (t) in seconds’); ylabel(‘ ground acceleration / g’); title(‘ Elcentro NS’);


Wilson’s procedure (recommended)


Damped free vibration due to initial conditions

The equation of motion is written as

in which initial nodal displacements u0 and velocity u˙0 are specified due to previous loading acting on the structure. Note that the functions s(t) and c(t) given in Table 7.13 are solutions to Eq. 7.71a.

 The solution for Eq. 7.71 can be written as

 General solution due to arbitrary loading


There are many different methods available to solve the typical modal equations. However, according to Wilson, the use of the exact solutions for a linear load over a small time increment has been found to be the most economical and accurate method to numerically solve the equations using a computer program. This method does not have problems such as stability and does not introduce numerical damping. Since the most seismic ground motion is defined a linear within 0.005s intervals, the method is exact for the type of loading for all frequencies. All modal equations are converted to ‘n’ uncoupled equations.

Using the equation as

where time ‘t’ refers to the start of time step. Now the exact solution within the time step can be written as

where all functions are as defined in Table 7.14.

Equations 7.75, 7.76a and 7.76b are evaluated at the end of time increment t and the following displacement, velocity and acceleration at the end of ith time step are given by the recurrence relation.

The constants A1 to A12 are summarized in Table 7.14 and they need to be calculated only once. Therefore for each time increment only 12 multiplications and 9 conditions are required. Hence the computer time required solving for 200 steps per second for 50s duration earthquake approximately 0.01s or 100 modal equations can be solved in 1s of computer time. Therefore, there is no need to consider other numerical methods (as per Wilson) such as approximate fast Fourier transform, or numerically evolution of the Duhamel integral to solve the equation.


Because of the speed of this exact piecewise linear technique, it can also be used to develop accurate earthquake response spectra using a very small amount of computer time.


Example 7.6


Solve Example 7.4 by Wilson’s proposed procedure with different data as shown below.


m = 0.065 k = 7.738 ρ = 0.07 F0 = 10




The equation of motion is written as


A program for Wilson’s method is written in MATLAB as shown below. The force time curves are shown in Fig. 7.18a. The displacement, velocity and acceleration response are shown in Fig.7.18b, c and d respectively. Wilson’s method is the best to solve problems involving base excitation.



Program 7.9: MATLAB program for dynamic response by Wilson’s general method


%Matlab program using Wilson’s general method %********************************************* ma=0.065;






r=0.07; wd=wn*sqrt(1-r^2); c=2.0*r*sqrt(k*ma); wnb=wn*r; rb=r/sqrt(1-r^2); tt=3.0;














a1=1+a0 a2=-1/dt; a3=-rb*a1-a2/wd; a4=-a1;


a5=-a0; a6=-a2;


a7=-rb*a5-a6/wd; a8=-a5; a9=wd^2-wn^2; a10=2.0*wnb*wd; u(1)=0;




for m=1:n1; pa(n)=0.0 p(m)=0.0;




jk1=jk+1; for n=1:jk1; t=(n-1)*dt;


p(n)=10.0*(1-t/td)*exp(-2.0*t/td); p(n)=pa(n)/ma;


end; s=exp(-r*wn*dt)*sin(wd*dt); c=exp(-r*wn*dt)*cos(wd*dt); sd=-wnb*s+wd*c; cd=-wnb*c-wd*s; sdd=-a9*s-a10*c cdd=-a9*c+a10*s; ca1=c+rb*s;























ca12=(a7*sdd+a8*cdd)/(wn^2); an(1)=(p(1)-2.0*r*wn*v(1)-(wn^2)*u(1)); for i=1:n1


ti(i)=(i-1)*dt end


for i=2:n1 u(i)=ca1*u(i-1)+ca2*v(i-1)+ca3*p(i-1)+ca4*p(i); v(i)=ca5*u(i-1)+ca6*v(i-1)+ca7*p(i-1)+ca8*p(i);


an(i)=an(i-1)+ca9*u(i-1)+ca10*v(i-1)+ca11*p(i-1)+ca12*p(i); end;






xlabel(‘ time (t) in seconds’)


ylabel(‘ Response displacement u in m’) title(‘ dynamic response’)






xlabel(‘ time (t) in seconds’)


ylabel(‘ Response velocity v in m/sec’) title(‘ dynamic response’)






xlabel(‘ time (t) in seconds’)


ylabel(‘ Response acceleration a in m/sec’) title(‘ dynamic response’)






xlabel(‘ time (t) in seconds’) ylabel(‘ force in Newtons’) title(‘ Excitation Force’)


Response of elasto-plastic SDOF system


When a steel or reinforced concrete building is subjected to extreme loading it undergoes elasto-plastic behaviour. Usually excursions beyond the elastic range are not permitted under normal conditions of operation; the extent of the permanent damage the structure may sustain when subjected to extreme conditions such as blast or earthquake loading is frequently of interest to the design engineer.


Consider a one storey structural steel shear frame subjected to a horizontal static force F as shown in Fig. 7.19. Assume the girder to be infinitely rigid

compared with the column, when the load is applied numerically with the frame. Plastic hinges will eventually form at the end of the columns. The plot of resistance versus displacement relationship is given in Fig. 7.20a. The behaviour is linear up to the point ‘a’ corresponding to resistance Ry where first yielding in the cross section occurs. As the load is increased, the resistance curve becomes nonlinear as the column cross-sections plasticize under the system softens. The full plastification of the cross-section occurs at point ‘b’ corresponding to maximum resistance Rm. Upon unloading, the system rebounds elastically along the line ‘bc’ parallel to initial linear portion ‘Oa’. The system remains elastic until first yielding again attained at point ‘d’ corresponding to resistance Ry. As the load is increased, further plastic hinges reform at - Rn corresponding to point ‘e’. Unloading will be linear elastic parallel to line ‘cd’.


If the maximum positive and negative resisting forces Rm and -Rm are numerically equal, the hysteresis loop formula by the cyclic loading will be symmetric with respect to origin. For each cycle, energy is dissipated by an amount that is proportional to the area within the hysteresis loop. The behaviour illustrated in Fig. 7.20a is often simplified by assuming linear behaviour up to the point of plastification. This type of behaviour is referred to as ‘elasto-plastic’. This slope of the elastic loading and unloading curve is proportional to stiffness. The elasto-plastic behaviour can be idealized shown in Fig 7.20b. One hysteresis loop is discussed below.



Stage 1 Elastic loading


This is defined by segment ‘oa’ on the resistance displacement curve 0 u uel and u˙ > 0 where uel = Rm/k.

The resisting force as the stages is given by

Rm = Kx   -- - - - - -7.78

Unloading in the stage occurs when u˙ < 0.


Stage 2 Plastic loading


This stage is represented by the segment ab on the resistance-displacement

curve and corresponds to the condition uel < u <umax and u˙ > 0 where u max is the displacement in hysteresis loop. The resisting force in this stage is


given by

Fs = Rm   - -- - - - - -7.79

Stage 3 Elastic rebound


This stage is defined by the segment bc on the resistance-displacement


curve and corresponds to a condition (umax-2 uel) < u < umax and u˙ < 0. The resistance is given by

It is to be noted that load reversal in this stage occurs than u < ( u max ' 2u˙) and u˙ < 0 .



Stage 4 Plastic loading


The system response in this stage is represented by segment ‘cd’ on the resistance displacement curve and corresponds to condition umin < u < (umax


-uel) and u˙ < 0 where umin is the minimum displacement as the stage. The system resistance is given by

Stage 5 Elastic rebound


Once the cycle of hysteresis is completed, the system unloads elastically along segment ‘de’. This stage corresponds to the condition umin < u < (umin + 2uel) and u˙ > 0. This resisting force is given by

Fs = k(u - umin) - Rm    -- 7.82



Program 7.10: MATLAB program for dynamic response for elasto-plastic SDOF system


%program for elasto-plastic analysis


%simulates nonlinear response of SDOF using %elasto-plastic hysteresis loop to model


%spring resistance. The program uses Newmark-B integration scheme clc;







%for elasto-plastic rm=66825.6 and


%for elastic response rm is increased such that rm=6682500.6 rm=66825.6;








%earthquake data




%for i=1:nfor


%     tt(i)=d(i,1);


%     ft(i)=d(i,2);


%     ft(i)=m*ft(i)*9.81;




%force data d=xlsread(‘forcedat’) for i=1:nfor



ft(i)=d(i,2) end




for t=0:h:tend for i=1:nfor-1


if (t >= tt(i)) & (t < tt(i+1)) p(ic)=ft(i)+(ft(i+1)-ft(i))*(t-tt(i))/(tt(i+1)-tt(i));


ic=ic+1; continue


end continue continue


end end x(1)=0; x1(1)=0;






xlim=xel; xmin=-xel; a1=3/h; a2=6/h; a3=h/2; a4=6/(h^2);









for t=h:h:tend-30*h if loop==1


[x,x1]=Respond(kelas,p,x,x1,x2,m,c,ic,a2,a3,a1); r=-rm-(xmin-x(ic))*k; x2(ic)=(p(ic)-c*x1(ic)-r)/m;


if x(ic) >= xlim loop=2;


end ic=ic+1; continue








r=rm; x2(ic)=(p(ic)-c*x1(ic)-r)/m; if x1(ic)<=0




xmax=x(ic); xlim=x(ic)-2*xel; end


ic=ic+1; continue elseif(loop==3)




[x,x1]=Respond(kelas,p,x,x1,x2,m,c,ic,a2,a3,a1); r=rm-(xmax-x(ic))*k; x2(ic)=(p(ic)-c*x1(ic)-r)/m;


if x(ic)<=xlim loop=4;


end ic=ic+1;


continue elseif(loop==4)




[x,x1]=Respond(kplas,p,x,x1,x2,m,c,ic,a2,a3,a1); r=-rm;


x2(ic)=(p(ic)-c*x1(ic)-r)/m; if x1(ic)>=0





xmin=x(ic); end ic=ic+1;


continue end


end ic=ic-1; for i=1:ic


tx(i)=(i-1)*h; xx(i)=x(i);


end plot(tx,xx) hold on xlabel(‘ time’)


ylabel(‘ displacement in m’)


title(‘ Displacement response history ‘)


function [x,x1]=Respond(k,p,x,x1,x2,m,c,ic,a2,a3,a1) dps=p(ic)-p(ic-1)+x1(ic-1)*(a2*m+3*c)+x2(ic-1)*(3*m+a3*c); dx=dps/k;


dx1=a1*dx-3*x1(ic-1)-a3*x2(ic-1); x(ic)=x(ic-1)+dx; x1(ic)=x1(ic-1)+dx1;


Example 7.7


A shear frame structure shown in Fig. 7.4a is subjected to time varying force shown in Fig. 7.21. Evaluate the elastic and elasto-plastic response of the structure by the Newmark method without equilibrium iterations.




k = 1897251N/m


m = 43848kg

c = 34605.4Ns/m


Rm = 66825.6N


t = 0.001


Figure 7.22 shows the displacement due to loading for elastic and elasto-plastic cases.


Response spectra by numerical integration


Construction of response spectrum by analytical evaluation of the Duhamel integral is quite tedious. To develop response spectrum by numerical integration,

consider a family of SDOF oscillations shown in Fig. 7.23. Each oscillator has different natural period and frequency:

T1< T2 < T3ÉÉTn   7.83

Specify a function F(t).

The dynamic magnification factor can be calculated as

Finally DMF is plotted against desired spectrum curve.

Example 7.8


Construct a response spectrum for the symmetric triangle shown in Fig. 7.24a. Plot DMF vs td/T in the integral 0 td/T 10. Assume ρ = 0, td = 2s. A MATLAB program for drawing response spectrum is given in Chapter 6. The response curve is shown in Fig. 7.24b.




A family of response spectrum curves or response spectra can be produced for a specific load case by evaluating response maxima for several values of damping ρ. Hence maximum response of a linear SDOF to a specified time depends on ωn and ρ.


Numerical method for evaluation of the Duhamel integral


1.For an undamped system


The response of an undamped SDOF system subjected to a general type of forcing function as given by the Duhamel integral as

The variation of displacement with time is of interest. Time is divided into a number of equal intervals. Each duration can be taken as t and the response at these sequences of time can be evaluated.


Applying Simpson’s rule

A(t - 2t) is the value of the integral at time instant (t - 2t) by summation of previous values. B(t) can be obtained in a similar way.


Example 7.9


A water tank shown in Fig. 7.25a is subjected to a dynamic load shown in Fig. 7.25b. Evaluate numerically using the Duhamel integral for the response.




mass = 400 - 1000/9.81 = 40774.7kg k = 35000 - 1000N/m

The values of A and B are evaluated as shown in Table 7.15.



2.For an under-damped system



Again numerical integration by Simpson’s rule can be carried out to find the values of A(t) and B(t) and hence u(t).



Selection of direct integration method


It is apparent that a large number of different numerical integration methods are possible by specifying different integration parameters. A few of the most commonly used methods are summarized in Table 7.16.


For SDOF systems the central difference method is most accurate, and the linear acceleration method is more accurate than the average acceleration method. It appears that the modified average acceleration method, with a minimum addition of proportional damping is a general procedure that can be used for the dynamic analysis of all structural systems.


The basic Newmark constant acceleration method can be extend to nonlinear dynamic analysis. This requires that iterations must be performed at each time step in order to satisfy equilibrium. For multiple degrees of freedom, which will be seen in later chapters incremental matrix must be formed and triangularized at each iteration or at selective point of time. Many different numerical tricks including element by element methods have been developed in order to minimize computational requirements.




Table 7.16 Summary of Newmark method modified by δ factor





For earthquake analysis of linear structures it should be noted that direct integration of the dynamic equilibrium is normally not numerically efficient as compared to mode superposition method (for MDOF). The Newmark constant acceleration method with the addition of very small amount of stiffness proportional damping is recommended for dynamic analysis of nonlinear structure systems.


In the area of nonlinear dynamic analysis one cannot prove that any one method will always converge. One should always check the error in the conservation of energy for every solution obtained.

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