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Journal of Earthquake Engineering (2011)

SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS FOR SOIL-STRUCTURE INTERACTION


PHENOMENON USING STOCHASTIC APPROACH

M. Moghaddasi†*, M. Cubrinovski1, S. Pampanin1, J.G. Chase2, A. Carr1


1
Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

ABSTRACT

A significant contribution to the seismic design procedure including soil-structure interaction

(SSI) is a complete understanding of the scenarios causing detrimental SSI effects. In that

regard, this paper analyses several realistic SSI scenarios in a systematic fashion to define the

correlation between soil, structural, and system parameters and SSI effects on the structural

response. In the analyses, a soil-shallow foundation-structure model that satisfies various

requirements suggested by design building codes is utilized. The soil stratum is assumed to

be equivalent linear and the superstructure is considered to behave nonlinearly. Parameters of

the model are defined randomly via a rigorous Monte Carlo simulation while constraining the

process to generate realistic models. These randomly generated models are then subjected to

a suite of recorded earthquake ground motions with different characteristics. Specifically,

1.36 million nonlinear time-history simulations are run covering realistic variations and

combinations of soil, structure and earthquake ground motions. From the results, key

parameters whose variation significantly affects structural response due to SSI are identified.

The critical range of variation of these parameters resulting in a detrimental SSI effects is

also depicted in a comprehensive statistical presentation. The comprehensive representation

of the critical parameters provides a well-defined basis for incorporation of SSI in a seismic

design procedure.


Address correspondence to Masoud Moghaddasi, Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering,
University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
Email: masoud.moghaddasi@gmail.com

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1 INTRODUCTION

It has been shown in the accompanying paper (Moghaddasi, Cubrinovski et al. 2011) that

structural response of a combined soil-structure system is strongly affected by the impact of

uncertainty in soil and structural parameters accompanied with the inherent randomness of

the input ground motion. Also indicated is that soil-structure interaction (SSI) effects can

only be safely ignored with 70% confidence, respecting the existence of 30% risk of having

amplification in the structural response due to foundation flexibility. Considering the existing

risk of amplification in the structural response gives the impression that for critical scenarios,

SSI effects has to be taken into account in the design procedure. However, significant

variation in the structural response makes the identification of the critical scenarios a

challenging task. A considerable step towards identification of those critical scenarios is to:

(i) define the correlation between different parameters and the observed variation in demand

modification factors; and (ii) to comprehensively characterize and quantify the scenarios

causing either amplification or reduction in the structural response.

In that regard, Veletsos and Nair (1975) and Bielak (1975) have shown that the

difference between seismically induced response of a fixed-base and flexible-base system is

strongly affected by structural aspect ratio, soil Poison’s ratio, soil hysteretic damping ratio, a

dimensionless parameter expressing the relative stiffness of foundation medium and the

structure, and a dimensionless parameter representing soil-to-structure mass. A more

comprehensive investigation of the effects of these parameters on the seismic structural

nonlinear response has been carried out later by Ciampoli and Pinto (1995). They concluded

that structural nonlinear demand does not show any systematic dependencies on the

parameters regulating SSI phenomena and it is statistically lower in the case of flexible

structures. Following those studies and based on the available strong motion data of a

comprehensive database, it has been concluded that ratio of structure-to-soil stiffens has the

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greatest influence on the seismic structural demand of a soil-structure system (Stewart,

Fenves et al. 1999; Stewart, Seed et al. 1999). Also, it has been founded that structural aspect

ratio, foundation embedment and flexibility are the other parameters with significant effect

on inertial interaction. Finally, based on the framework of dimensional analysis, Zhang and

Tang (Zhang and Tang 2009) have shown that SSI effects are highly dependent on the

structure-to-pulse frequency, the foundation-to-structure stiffness ratio, foundation damping

ratio. They also presented certain limits for these controlling parameters to distinguish

whether or not SSI effects will be significant.

Respecting all the previous studies, it is believed that the most rational way to identify

the critical SSI scenarios is to make use of a probabilistic approach. In that regard, the results

of a comprehensive probabilistic simulation explained with details in the accompanied paper

and also summarised herein are used to: (i) define the correlation and dependency between

structural seismic demand modification factors and model parameters; (ii) identify the key

model parameters having a significant effect on the structural seismic demand; (iii) present an

affection trend of the effective model parameters on the structural seismic demand; and

finally (iv) quantify the critical range of variation of the effective model parameters causing

SSI scenarios with the amplification effects on the structural response. This performed

probabilistic analysis is a critically important step towards understanding and reliably

characterizing complex problem of soil-structure interaction.

It also is important to note that the presented outcomes are limited to a SDOF system,

and it does not consider the extreme conditions such as those imposed by very soft

(liquefiable) soils or near-fault effects on the ground motion.

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2 METHODOLOGY AND MONTE CARLO SIMULATION

2.1 Outlines of the Procedure for the Probabilistic Study

A Monte Carlo technique was used to study sensitivity of inelastic structural seismic

demands of an established rheological soil-shallow foundation-structure (SFS) system to

different system parameters. Two measures of structural seismic demand are considered: (i)

structural distortion demand (𝑢) representing the horizontal displacement of the

superstructure relative to the foundation; and (ii) structural total displacement (𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )

representing the summation of structural distortion and structural lateral displacement due to

foundation horizontal motion and rocking. A large number of nonlinear time-history

simulations were run over models with randomly selected parameters using a suite of scaled

recorded ground motions. Parameters of these systems were systematically defined by a

random process carefully ensuring to satisfy the requirements of realistic models and also

cover a common period range in the design spectrum. The period range of 0.2, 0.3 … 1.8 s

was considered to: (i) represent the fixed-base (FB) superstructures with total height of 3 −

30 m and (ii) satisfy the period-height relationship adopted in New Zealand Standard

(NZS1170.5 2004). For each considered period (TFB), 1000 SFS models were generated by

assembling the randomly defined parameters for the SFS system and using commonly

accepted relationships between various model parameters. The number 1000 was chosen with

the intention to: (i) give the best fit statistical distribution for the randomly selected

parameters and (ii) increase the confidence level of the Monte-Carlo simulation compared to

the exact expected solution (Fishman 1996). The procedure adopted in defining the

parameters is discussed with more details in (Moghaddasi, Cubrinovski et al. 2011). All the

nonlinear time-history simulations were carried out using a FEM code “Ruaumoko 2D” (Carr

2009).

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2.2 Dynamic Soil-Foundation-Structure Model

The interacting soil-structure system investigated in this study is constituted from a

rheological soil-foundation element and a superstructure (Figure 1), following the

substructure technique. The structure is modelled as a yielding single-degree-of-freedom

(SDOF) system by the force-deflection behaviour of Takeda type (elastoplastic with strain

hardening and stiffness degradation) with 5% post-yield stiffness and parameters of 𝛾 = 0.3

and 𝛿 = 0.2 (𝛾 and 𝛿 are defined in Figure 1). This SDOF representation is an approximate

model of a multi-story building vibrating in its fundamental natural mode. The considered

SDOF structure is assumed to have the same period and viscous damping coefficient as those

of the corresponding FB system and is characterized by height (ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ), mass (𝑚𝑠𝑡𝑟 ), lateral

stiffness (𝑘𝑠𝑡𝑟 ), and damping (𝑐𝑠𝑡𝑟 ).

The soil-foundation element was modelled by a lumped-parameter model representing

a rigid circular footing resting on the soil surface and having a perfect bond to the soil.

Moreover, the foundation was assumed to have no mass and mass moment of inertia about

the horizontal axis. For evaluating the soil dynamic impedances incorporating soil

nonlinearity, the frequency-independent coefficients of a rheological Cone model (Wolf

1994) was modified using the conventional equivalent linear method (Seed and Idriss 1970).

To avoid more complication in time-domain analysis, soil material damping was assumed to

be viscous type instead of hysteresis. In the presented model, the horizontal degree of

freedom and the rocking degree of freedom are considered as representatives of translational

and rotational motions of foundation respectively, and the effect of vertical and tortional

motions are ignored. Details about the adopted soil-foundation element can be found in

(Moghaddasi, Cubrinovski et al. 2011).

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2.3 Uncertainty in System Parameters and Randomness in Ground Motions

In seismic analysis, there are two recognized principal sources of uncertainty which need to

be addressed: (i) model parameters and (ii) input ground motion, typically categorized as

epistemic and aleatory uncertainties respectively. In this research, both types of uncertainties

are covered. A brief overview of the stochastic selection process is presented here, but for

more detailed information the interested reader is referred to (Moghaddasi, Cubrinovski et al.

2011).

2.3.1 Selection of uncertain system parameters

All soil parameters defining the soil-foundation element were considered as uncertain

parameters. Initial soil shear wave velocity ((𝑉𝑠 )0), shear wave velocity degradation ratio

((𝑉𝑠 )⁄(𝑉𝑠 )0 ), where (𝑉𝑠 ) represents the degraded shear wave velocity, soil mass density (𝜌),

and Poisson’s ratio (𝜐), were defined as independent parameters; for each of them, a realistic

range was defined first, and then 1000 uniformly distributed values were assigned to that

range.

Randomly varying structural parameters include: structural effective height (ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ),

foundation radius (𝑟), and structural mass (𝑚𝑠𝑡𝑟 ). Depending on these randomly generated

parameters, the values for the structural lateral stiffness (𝑘𝑠𝑡𝑟 ), and structural damping (𝑐𝑠𝑡𝑟 )

were then calculated. To achieve realistic SFS models, the selection of the introduced

structural parameters was constrained by commonly accepted relationship either for the

superstructure or for the whole SFS system.

2.3.2 Selection of ground motions

Forty different large magnitude-small distance ground motions recorded on stiff/soft soil

(type 𝐶 and 𝐷 based on USGS classification) were used as input motions in the simulations.

This number was chosen to reduce the variance in the response due to record-to-record

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variability and obtain an estimate of median response within a factor of ±0.1 with 95%

confidence (Shome, Cornell et al. 1998). The records were selected in such a way to satisfy

the constrains of: (i) the magnitude in the range of 6.5 − 7.5, (ii) the closest distance to fault

rupture in the range of 15 − 40 km, and (iii) the peak ground acceleration (PGA) greater than

0.1𝑔. The selected records were then scaled to have reasonably distributed PGAs within the

range of 0.3 − 0.8𝑔, assuming that a nonlinear behaviour of the superstructure will be caused

by those levels of intensity. Respecting rigorous scaling criteria and recommendations in

NZS 1170.5, all scaling factors were chosen to be less than 3.0.

3 RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

3.1 Correlation between Model Parameters and SSI Effects

To investigate the possible correlation and dependency between structural seismic demand

modification factors (i.e., 𝑢𝑆𝐹𝑆 ⁄𝑢𝐹𝐵 , and (𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝑆𝐹𝑆 /(𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝐹𝐵 ) and individual random

parameters, the variation in the demand modification factors were examined as a function of:

 soil parameters: 𝜌, 𝜐, (𝑉𝑠 )0, and 𝑉𝑠 /(𝑉𝑠 )0

 structural parameters: ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 , 𝑟, 𝑚𝑠𝑡𝑟 , and ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑟

 soil-structure system parameters: 𝑚𝑠𝑡𝑟 ⁄𝜌 𝑟 3 , 𝛿 = 𝑚𝑠𝑡𝑟 ⁄𝜌 𝜋𝑟 2 ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 , 𝜑 =

0.25
ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 (ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑟) , and 𝜎 = 𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 ⁄ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓

for all considered groups of models categorized based on 𝑇𝐹𝐵 . In that attempt, the possibility

of having either linear or nonlinear correlation is investigated. Form the considered

parameters, ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑟 represents structural aspect ratio. Clearly, this parameter is not a

complete parameter in terms of describing both soil and structural characteristics. However, it

is a geometric parameter of immediate engineering significance. 𝑚𝑠𝑡𝑟 ⁄𝜌 𝑟 3 and 𝛿 are

measures of structure-to-soil mass ratio, and 𝜎 is a representative of structure-to-soil stiffness

ratio. Finally, the combined effect of 𝜎 and ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑟 is presented in parameter 𝜑.

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3.1.1 Linear correlations

The existing linear dependency of the demand modification factors to the considered

parameters is presented through Pearson correlation coefficient. Pearson correlation (𝜌)

coefficient is obtained by dividing the covariance of two variables by product of their

standard deviations. Assuming 𝑋 is the calculated structural seismic demand with mean and

standard deviation values of 𝜇𝑋 and 𝜎𝑋 , and 𝑌 is the model parameter with mean and standard

deviation values of 𝜇𝑌 and 𝜎𝑌 , the Pearson correlation coefficient between these two random

variables is defined as:

𝐶𝑂𝑉(𝑋,𝑌) 𝐸[(𝑋−𝜇𝑋 )(𝑌−𝜇𝑌 )]


𝜌(𝑋, 𝑌) = = (1)
𝜎𝑋 𝜎𝑌 𝜎𝑋 𝜎𝑌

where E is the expected value operator and COV means covariance. The Pearson correlation

is +1 in a perfect increasing (positive) linear relationship, is −1 in the case of a perfect

decreasing (negative) linear relationship, and approaches zero when less of a relation between

variables is expected. It gives some values in between −1 and +1 in all the other cases,

indicating the degrees of linear dependence between the variables. However, it is important to

note that if the variables are independent, Pearson correlation coefficient is zero, but the

converse is not always true (Dowdy and Wearden 1983).

To present the linear correlation between structural seismic demand modification

factors and the considered model parameters considering all possible scenarios, Figure 2

shows the correlation coefficients for all 𝑇𝐹𝐵 values. As illustrated in Figure 2(a)-(c), from all

considered soil, structural, and system parameters only (𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝑉𝑠 /(𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝜑 and 𝜎 have more

pronounced linear correlation with structural distortion demand modification factors (i.e.,

𝜌 > 0.5 𝑜𝑟 𝜌 < −0.5). Also, note that the existing linear correlation is slightly higher for

structures with longer periods; however, the difference is not that significant. Considering the

type of correlation (positive or negative) gives the impression that structural distortion

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demand modification factor is reduced when: (i) initial shear wave velocity decreases; (ii)

larger degradation in shear wave velocity occurs; (iii) expected value of 𝜑 increases; and (iv)

expected values of 𝜎 decreases.

When structural total displacement is considered as seismic demand [Figure 2(d)-(f)],

except for stiff structures (𝑇𝐹𝐵 ≤ 0.6 s), no significant linear correlation can be distinguished

for almost all model parameters. When stiff structures are considered, 𝜑 and 𝜎 can show a

small linear correlation.

3.1.2 Nonlinear correlations

To examine the possibility of having nonlinear correlation and dependency between the

demand modification factors and soil, structural, and system parameters, noisiness graphs

showing data directionality are considered. In these graphs, the demand modification factors

for each selected groups of models are presented based on the variation of a certain model

parameter. Examining all possible scenarios, it has been implied that the measured structural

seismic demand modification factors only have an obvious nonlinear relationship and

dependency with the parameters of 𝜑 and 𝜎; and the graphs are quite noisy for all the other

cases. It implicitly concludes that parameters showing almost no linear correlation with the

demand modification factors also have no distinguishable nonlinear dependency.

Avoiding the presentation of any unnecessary information, the noisiness graphs

showing the variation of 𝑢𝑆𝐹𝑆 ⁄𝑢𝐹𝐵 and (𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝑆𝐹𝑆 /(𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝐹𝐵 based on the variation of 𝜑 and 𝜎

are only illustrated and discussed in the following. Figure 3 shows the relationship between

𝑢𝑆𝐹𝑆 ⁄𝑢𝐹𝐵 and 𝜑 for different 𝑇𝐹𝐵 values; also shown in this figure is the previously presented

Pearson correlation coefficient. Clearly, there is a strong directionality in the presented data.

However, considering the Pearson correlation coefficients located in the range of 0.5 − 0.7

gives the coarse impression that the existing dependency might be assumed as a linear

relationship. This strong directionality is also recognised in the case of relation between

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structural distortion demand modification factor and 𝜎 (Figure 4). But in this case, the

Pearson correlation coefficients do not indicate any strong linear relationship.

If structural total displacement demand modification factors are considered, a nonlinear

correlation between (𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝑆𝐹𝑆 /(𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝐹𝐵 and 𝜑 can only be distinguished if 𝜑 ≤ 0.5 and after

that point, the dependency will vanish so quickly (Figure 5). However, if the correlation

between (𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝑆𝐹𝑆 /(𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝐹𝐵 and 𝜎 is examined, a strong nonlinear relationship exists, even

though, no linear correlation has been found (Figure 6).

In summary, on the basis of the presented results, it can be concluded that structural

inelastic demand does not show a systematic dependency on the soil-structure model

parameters except for (𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝑉𝑠 /(𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝜑 and 𝜎.

3.2 Variation of Structural Seismic Demand due to change in the Effective Model Parameters

To quantify the variation of structural seismic demand due to change in the recognised

effective model parameters, a robust statistical presentation was adopted. In that regard, the

variation in 𝑢𝑆𝐹𝑆 ⁄𝑢𝐹𝐵 , (𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝑆𝐹𝑆 /(𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝐹𝐵 were examined as a function of (𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝑉𝑠 ⁄(𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝜑,

and 𝜎 considering all the examined scenarios together, regardless of the initial grouping

based on 𝑇𝐹𝐵 . This approach is acceptable since the observed correlation between the demand

modification factors and the selected parameters are almost similar through all the period

values (i.e., the effects of model parameter variation on the structural seismic demand

modification factors are independent of the 𝑇𝐹𝐵 values). In order to carry out this

quantification, the existing dependency of the demand modification factors to the considered

parameters were presented through 5𝑡ℎ , 50𝑡ℎ , 75𝑡ℎ , and 95𝑡ℎ percentile lines representing

different levels of likelihood. The distance between 5𝑡ℎ and 95𝑡ℎ percentile boundary lines

shows the possible variation in the response. The larger this distance is, the higher variation is

expected. The line assigned to the 50𝑡ℎ percentile values shows the trend of the response in

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median terms, and the boundary lines assigned to 75𝑡ℎ , and 95𝑡ℎ percentile values show the

acceptable and high confidence levels.

Figure 7 illustrates the sensitivity of 𝑢𝑆𝐹𝑆 ⁄𝑢𝐹𝐵 to the controlling parameters. Clearly,

when 50% is considered as the expected confidence level, smaller values of (𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝑉𝑠 /(𝑉𝑠 )0,

and 𝜎 or larger values of 𝜑 can result in smaller structural distortion demand modification

factors (or higher reduction in the structural distortion demand). As the values of (𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝑉𝑠 /

(𝑉𝑠 )0, and 𝜎 increase or the values of 𝜑 decrease, the demand modification factor approaches

to unity. These observed trends are justified for the case of (𝑉𝑠 )0, 𝜑 and 𝜎 (note that 𝜑 and 𝜎

are highly influenced by (𝑉𝑠 )0 ), as an increase in the shear wave velocity can result in stiffer

foundation condition. Having the foundation stiffer makes the SFS system to show more

similar response to the corresponding fixed-base condition and consequently make 𝑢𝑆𝐹𝑆 ⁄𝑢𝐹𝐵

to approach to unity. If soil shear wave velocity degradation is considered, larger values of

𝑉𝑠 /(𝑉𝑠 )0 correspond to less degradation and as a result less damping is added into the soil-

structure system. Thus, larger values of 𝑉𝑠 /(𝑉𝑠 )0 will cause the SFS system to behave in a

more similar way as the corresponding fixed-base condition.

It is also shown in Figure 7 that if smaller values of the effective parameters are

considered, larger variations in the demand modification factors is expected and as the values

of the parameters increase, the variation in the ratio of 𝑢𝑆𝐹𝑆 ⁄𝑢𝐹𝐵 reduces significantly.

Therefore, more attention in a design procedure has to be considered if that range of

parameters is encountered. Also noted in this figure is that the sensitivity of the demand

modification factors to the change of (𝑉𝑠 )0, 𝑉𝑠 /(𝑉𝑠 )0 and 𝜎 will be significantly reduced

considering 75𝑡ℎ and 95𝑡ℎ percentile values. It implicitly indicates that the maximum

expected modification in structural distortion demand is independent of the shear wave

velocity and shear wave velocity degradation ratio for acceptable and high confidence levels.

It also means that, the highest modification in the structural distortion demand may occur for

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any value of (𝑉𝑠 )0, 𝑉𝑠 /(𝑉𝑠 )0 and 𝜎 , even though different probabilities has to be considered.

This conclusion is not valid for the case of 𝜑 noting when the value of 𝜑 increases, structural

distortion demand modification factor decreases even for high levels of confidence levels.

Sensitivity of (𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝑆𝐹𝑆 /(𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝐹𝐵 to the considered controlling parameters is shown in

Figure 8. For the 50𝑡ℎ percentile values, the ratio of (𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝑆𝐹𝑆 /(𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝐹𝐵 is only weakly

sensitive to the considered parameters; meaning, in median terms, structural total

displacement demand is not influenced by the change of any model parameters. Furthermore,

median values are slightly higher than unity implying that SSI effects on structural total

displacement is always increasing and it has to be taken into account in a design procedure.

When higher levels of confidence are considered, different interpretations appear. For an

increase in the value of (𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝑉𝑠 /(𝑉𝑠 )0, and 𝜎, the ratio of (𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝑆𝐹𝑆 /(𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝐹𝐵 tends to

decrease sharply while approaching to unity. It indirectly implies that the variation in the

structural total displacement demand modification factor decreases along with the reduction

in the possibility of having a large modification in the seismic demand. In contrast, when 𝜑

increases the observed variation in the ratio of (𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝑆𝐹𝑆 /(𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟 )𝐹𝐵 increases and consequently

the expected demand modification factor increase.

3.3 Risk Evaluation for SSI Based on Variation in Model Parameters

To evaluate the risk of detrimental SSI effects on structural seismic demand based on the

variation in the effective model parameters, two main aspects are analysed: (i) the probability

of having amplification in the demand of the SFS system as compared to the demand of the

corresponding FB structure; and (ii) the level of increase in the demand due to SSI

consideration. For this purpose, three amplification levels (A.L.) were taken into account as:

1.0, 1.1, and 1.2, and the probability of having scenarios with the demand modification factor

higher than each level were calculated. For each considered A.L., the corresponding median

values of the percentage increase in the response (Med[P.I.]) were also evaluated.

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The probability of having amplification in the structural distortion demand

(Pr[𝑢𝑆𝐹𝑆 ⁄𝑢𝐹𝐵 > 𝐴. 𝐿.]) is shown in Figure 9 for the variation in (𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝑉𝑠 /(𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝜑, and 𝜎. The

corresponding median percentage increases are presented in Figure 10. When amplification

level is considered to be 1.0, the probability of 𝑢𝑆𝐹𝑆 ⁄𝑢𝐹𝐵 > 1.0 increases as a result of an

increase in the value of (𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝑉𝑠 ⁄(𝑉𝑠 )0, and 𝜎. Note that this increase is more significant in

the case of 𝜎. In contrast to the above mentioned, an increase in the value of 𝜑 will

significantly reduce the probability of amplification in the structural distortion demand. From

the observed trends, it can be concluded that the probability of having SSI with detrimental

effects is higher when structures are located on stiffer soils, and also when smaller shear

wave velocity degradation is expected. The probability of increase in the structural distortion

demand due to SSI ranges between 15% − 50% for (𝑉𝑠 )0 , 10% − 50% for 𝑉𝑠 ⁄(𝑉𝑠 )0, 10% −

90% for 𝜎 and 1% − 50% for 𝜑. It is important to note that even though the probability of

having detrimental SSI effects increases due to an increase in values of (𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝑉𝑠 ⁄(𝑉𝑠 )0 , and 𝜎,

the corresponding values for median percentage increase decrease. It means that a higher

amplification in structural response due to SSI is expected when structures are located on

softer soils and obviously when less degradation is expected. Values of the median

percentage increase are in the range of 1% − 10% for (𝑉𝑠 )0 , 1% − 5% for 𝑉𝑠 ⁄(𝑉𝑠 )0, 5 −

20% for 𝜑, and 1-10% for 𝜎. Respecting these values, gives the impression that, in median

terms, SSI effects on structural distortion demand can be limited to 20%.

Provided that higher amplification levels are considered (i.e., A.L.=1.1 or A.L.=1.2),

the probability of amplification in the demand will be considerably reduced for all

parameters. Specifically, when 𝜎 > 20 and 𝜑 > 1.0 any detrimental effect of SSI on

structural distortion demand may be practically ignored. Furthermore, by taking the median

values of percentage increase into account, it can be concluded that the amplification in the

13 | P a g e
Sensitivity Analysis for Soil-Structure Systems

structural distortion demand caused by SSI effects is limited to 30% for all the effective

model parameters.

When structural total displacement is considered as the structural seismic demand and

A.L. is assumed to be unity, an increase in the value of all considered parameters results in an

increase in the probability of amplification (Figure 11). Thus, it can be concluded that

detrimental SSI effects on structural total displacement are more probable to occur when

stiffer soils are considered. The observed probability values are as 65% − 75% for (𝑉𝑠 )0 ,

60% − 75% for 𝑉𝑠 ⁄(𝑉𝑠 )0, 55% − 75% for 𝜑, and 60% − 90% for 𝜎. In terms of the

corresponding median values of percentage increase, a reduction is expected when the values

of (𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝑉𝑠 ⁄(𝑉𝑠 )0, and 𝜎 increase. In contrast, an increase in the value of 𝜑 will result in

higher median values of percentage increase. This conclusion is sensible since the rigid body

motion components originating from the soil deformation are greater when softer soils are

considered. The observed median values of percentage increase are as 5% − 35% for (𝑉𝑠 )0,

5% − 20% for 𝑉𝑠 ⁄(𝑉𝑠 )0 , 5% − 75% for 𝜑, and 1-30% for 𝜎. The observed high probabilities

of amplification in the structural total displacement accompanied with the high values of

median percentage increase strongly emphasize that the effect of SSI on the structural total

displacement cannot be simply ignored in a design procedure.

If higher levels of amplification are considered (i.e., A.L.=1.1 or A.L.=1.2), an increase

in the values of (𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝑉𝑠 ⁄(𝑉𝑠 )0 , or 𝜎 equals to having smaller probability values, while an

increase in the value of 𝜑 still result in an increase in the probability values. For the case of

(𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝑉𝑠 ⁄(𝑉𝑠 )0 , or 𝜎, the amplification in the system drift demand due to SSI effects is limited

to 50% while 100% amplification in demand might be expected for 𝜑.

14 | P a g e
Sensitivity Analysis for Soil-Structure Systems

4 CONCLUSIONS

1. From all considered soil, structural, and system parameters only (𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝑉𝑠 /(𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝜑 and

𝜎 have a pronounced linear correlation with structural distortion demand. However, no

significant linear correlation is noticeable between these parameters and system drift

demand.

2. In median terms (50% is considered as the expected confidence level), any increase in

the values of (𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝑉𝑠 /(𝑉𝑠 )0, or 𝜎 results in an increase in the structural distortion demand

modification factor (uSFS /uFB ), whereas, an increase in the value of 𝜑 reduces the ratio

of 𝑢𝑆𝐹𝑆 ⁄𝑢𝐹𝐵 significantly. However, when higher confidence levels are taken account, the

sensitivity of the demand modification factors to the change of the parameters will be

reduced.

3. In median terms (50% is considered as the expected confidence level), structural total

displacement demand modification factor (drSFS /drFB ) is only weakly sensitive to the

considered parameters. But, when higher levels of confidence are considered, different

interpretations appear. For an increase in the value of (Vs )0 , Vs /(Vs )0, and σ, the ratio of

drSFS /drFB tends to decrease very sharply, in contrast, when the value of φ increases,

drSFS /drFB also increases.

4. When amplification level of unity is considered, an increase in the value of

(𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝑉𝑠 ⁄(𝑉𝑠 )0 , or 𝜎 may result in an increase in the probability of amplification in the

structural distortion demand, and this increase is much more significant for the case of 𝜎.

However, an increase in the value of 𝜑 will significantly reduce that probability. If higher

amplification levels are considered, the probability of amplification in the demand will be

considerably reduced for all parameters. Specifically, when 𝜎 > 20 and 𝜑 > 1.0 any

detrimental effect of SSI on the structural distortion may be practically ignored.

15 | P a g e
Sensitivity Analysis for Soil-Structure Systems

5. When structural total displacement is considered as the structural seismic demand and

amplification level is assumed to be unity, an increase in the value of each considered

parameter results in an increase in the probability of amplification; while for higher levels

of amplification, an increase in the values of (𝑉𝑠 )0 , 𝑉𝑠 ⁄(𝑉𝑠 )0 , or 𝜎 equals to having smaller

probability values, and an increase in the value of 𝜎 still result in an increase in the

probability values.

16 | P a g e
Journal of Earthquake Engineering (2011)
Paper Title: Sensitivity Analysis for Soil-Structure Interaction Phenomenon using Stochastic Approach
Authors: Moghaddasi, Cubrinovski, Pampanin, Chase, Carr

Figure 1. Soil-shallow foundation-structure model for horizontal and rocking foundation


motions.

17 | P a g e
Journal of Earthquake Engineering (2011)
Paper Title: Sensitivity Analysis for Soil-Structure Interaction Phenomenon using Stochastic Approach
Authors: Moghaddasi, Cubrinovski, Pampanin, Chase, Carr

1 1
TKDS TKDS

/(u ) ,Y)
0.5 0.5

str FB
/u ,Y)
FB

0 0

str SFS
SFS

((u )
(u

-0.5  (Vs)0 -0.5


 V /(V )
s s 0
-1 -1
0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8
(a) T (d) T
FB FB

1 1
TKDS h m TKDS
eff str
0.5 r h /r /(u ) ,Y) 0.5
eff str FB
/u ,Y)
FB

0 0
SFS

str SFS
((u )
(u

-0.5 -0.5

-1 -1
0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8
(b) T (e) T
FB FB

1 1
TKDS 3 TKDS
m /r
/(u ) ,Y)

str
0.5 0.5

str FB
/u ,Y)


FB

0  0
str SFS
SFS

((u )
(u

-0.5 -0.5

-1 -1
0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8
(c) T (f) T
FB FB

Figure 2. Pearson correlation coefficients: (a-c) correlation between considered parameters


and structural distortion demand modification factors; (d-f) correlation between considered
parameters and structural total displacement demand modification factors.

18 | P a g e
Journal of Earthquake Engineering (2011)
Paper Title: Sensitivity Analysis for Soil-Structure Interaction Phenomenon using Stochastic Approach
Authors: Moghaddasi, Cubrinovski, Pampanin, Chase, Carr

uSFS ⁄uFB

𝜑
Figure 3. Correlation and dependence between structural distortion demand and 𝜑 =
0.25
ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 (ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑟) .

19 | P a g e
Journal of Earthquake Engineering (2011)
Paper Title: Sensitivity Analysis for Soil-Structure Interaction Phenomenon using Stochastic Approach
Authors: Moghaddasi, Cubrinovski, Pampanin, Chase, Carr

uSFS⁄uFB

𝜎
Figure 4. Correlation and dependence between structural distortion demand and
𝜎 = 𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 ⁄ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 .

20 | P a g e
Journal of Earthquake Engineering (2011)
Paper Title: Sensitivity Analysis for Soil-Structure Interaction Phenomenon using Stochastic Approach
Authors: Moghaddasi, Cubrinovski, Pampanin, Chase, Carr

(u𝑠𝑡𝑟 )SFS ⁄(u𝑠𝑡𝑟 )FB

𝜑
Figure 5. Correlation and dependence between structural total displacement demand and 𝜑 =
0.25
ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 (ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑟) .

21 | P a g e
Journal of Earthquake Engineering (2011)
Paper Title: Sensitivity Analysis for Soil-Structure Interaction Phenomenon using Stochastic Approach
Authors: Moghaddasi, Cubrinovski, Pampanin, Chase, Carr

(u𝑠𝑡𝑟 )SFS ⁄(u𝑠𝑡𝑟 )FB

𝜎
Figure 6. Correlation and dependence between structural total displacement demand and
𝜎 = 𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 ⁄ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 .

22 | P a g e
Journal of Earthquake Engineering (2011)
Paper Title: Sensitivity Analysis for Soil-Structure Interaction Phenomenon using Stochastic Approach
Authors: Moghaddasi, Cubrinovski, Pampanin, Chase, Carr

1.5 1.5
TKDS TKDS

1 1

uSFS /uFB
FB
/u
SFS
u

0.5 5th Prct. 0.5


50th Prct.
75th Prct.
95th Prct.
0 0
100 200 300 400 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7
(a) (Vs)0 (s) (b) Vs/(Vs)0

1.5 1.5
TKDS TKDS

1 1
FB

FB
/u

/u
SFS

SFS
u

0.5 0.5

0 0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
(c)  (d) 

Figure 7. Sensitivity of structural distortion demand to: (a) initial shear wave velocity; (b) soil
0.25
shear wave velocity degradation ratio; (c) 𝜑 = ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 (ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑟) ; (d) 𝜎 = 𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 ⁄ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 .

23 | P a g e
Journal of Earthquake Engineering (2011)
Paper Title: Sensitivity Analysis for Soil-Structure Interaction Phenomenon using Stochastic Approach
Authors: Moghaddasi, Cubrinovski, Pampanin, Chase, Carr

2.5 2.5
TKDS TKDS 5th Prct.
2 2 50th Prct.
75th Prct.
str FB

95th Prct.
/(u )

1.5 1.5

uSFS /uFB
str SFS

1 1
(u )

5th Prct.
50th Prct.
0.5 75th Prct. 0.5
95th Prct.
0 0
100 200 300 400 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7
(a) (Vs)0 (s) (b) Vs/(Vs)0

2.5 2.5
TKDS TKDS
2 2
str FB

str FB
/(u )

/(u )

1.5 1.5
str SFS

str SFS

1 1
(u )

(u )

0.5 0.5

0 0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
(c)  (d) 

Figure 8. Sensitivity of system drift demand to:(a) initial shear wave velocity; (b) soil shear
0.25
wave velocity degradation ratio; (c) 𝜑 = ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 (ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑟) ; (d) 𝜎 = 𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 ⁄ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 .

24 | P a g e
Journal of Earthquake Engineering (2011)
Paper Title: Sensitivity Analysis for Soil-Structure Interaction Phenomenon using Stochastic Approach
Authors: Moghaddasi, Cubrinovski, Pampanin, Chase, Carr

100 100
TKDS A.L.=1.0 TKDS
/u >A.L.] (%)

/u >A.L.] (%)
80 A.L.=1.1 80
A.L.=1.2
60 60
FB

FB
40 40
SFS

SFS
Pr[u

Pr[u
20 20

0 0
75 150 225 300 375 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7
(a) (V ) (m/sec) (a) Vs/(V ) (m/sec)
s 0 s 0

100 100
TKDS TKDS
/u >A.L.] (%)
/u >A.L.] (%)

80 80

60 60
FB

FB

40 40
SFS
SFS
Pr[u

Pr[u

20 20

0 0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
(c)  (d) 

Figure 9. Probability of amplification in structural distortion demand based on variation in:


(a) initial shear wave velocity; (b) soil shear wave velocity degradation ratio; (c) 𝜑 =
0.25
ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 (ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑟) ; (d) 𝜎 = 𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 ⁄ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 .

25 | P a g e
Journal of Earthquake Engineering (2011)
Paper Title: Sensitivity Analysis for Soil-Structure Interaction Phenomenon using Stochastic Approach
Authors: Moghaddasi, Cubrinovski, Pampanin, Chase, Carr

100 100
A.L.=1.0 u /u >A.L. u /u >A.L.
SFS FB SFS FB
80 A.L.=1.1 80
A.L.=1.2

Med [P.I.] (%)


Med [P.I.] (%)

60 60

40 40

20 20

0 0
75 150 225 300 375 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7
(a) (Vs)0 (m/sec) (b) V /(V )
s s 0

100 100
u /u >A.L. u /u >A.L.
SFS FB SFS FB
80 80
Med [P.I.] (%)

Med [P.I.] (%)

60 60

40 40

20 20

0 0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
(c)  (d) 

Figure 10. Median of percentage increase in structural distortion demand based on variation
in: (a) initial shear wave velocity; (b) soil shear wave velocity degradation ratio; (c) 𝜑 =
0.25
ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 (ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑟) ; (d) 𝜎 = 𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 ⁄ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 .

26 | P a g e
Journal of Earthquake Engineering (2011)
Paper Title: Sensitivity Analysis for Soil-Structure Interaction Phenomenon using Stochastic Approach
Authors: Moghaddasi, Cubrinovski, Pampanin, Chase, Carr

100 100

/(u ) >A.L.] (%)


/(u ) >A.L.] (%)

TKDS A.L.=1.0 TKDS


80 A.L.=1.1 80
A.L.=1.2
60 60

str FB
str FB

40 40

str SFS
str SFS
Pr[(u )

Pr[(u )
20 20

0 0
75 150 225 300 375 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7
(a) (V ) (m/sec) (b) V /(V )
s 0 s s 0

100 100

/(u ) >A.L.] (%)


/(u ) >A.L.] (%)

TKDS TKDS
80 80

60 60
str FB

str FB

40 40
str SFS
str SFS
Pr[(u )

Pr[(u )

20 20

0 0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
(c)  (d) 

Figure 11. Probability of amplification in structural total displacement demand based on


variation in: (a) initial shear wave velocity; (b) soil shear wave velocity degradation ratio; (c)
0.25
𝜑 = ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 (ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑟) ; (d) 𝜎 = 𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 ⁄ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 .

27 | P a g e
Journal of Earthquake Engineering (2011)
Paper Title: Sensitivity Analysis for Soil-Structure Interaction Phenomenon using Stochastic Approach
Authors: Moghaddasi, Cubrinovski, Pampanin, Chase, Carr

100 100
A.L.=1.0 (u ) /(u ) >A.L. (u ) /(u ) >A.L.
str SFS str FB str SFS str FB
80 A.L.=1.1 80
A.L.=1.2

Med [P.I.] (%)


Med [P.I.] (%)

60 60

40 40

20 20

0 0
75 150 225 300 375 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7
(a) (Vs)0 (m/sec) (b) V /(V )
s s 0

100 100
(u ) /(u ) >A.L. (u ) /(u ) >A.L.
str SFS str FB str SFS str FB
80 80
Med [P.I.] (%)
Med [P.I.] (%)

60 60

40 40

20 20

0 0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
(c)  (d) 

Figure 12. Median of percentage increase in structural total displacement demand based on
variation in: (a) initial shear wave velocity; (b) soil shear wave velocity degradation ratio; (c)
0.25
𝜑 = ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 (ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 ⁄𝑟) ; (d) 𝜎 = 𝑉𝑠 𝑇𝐹𝐵 ⁄ℎ𝑒𝑓𝑓 .

28 | P a g e
Sensitivity Analysis for Soil-Structure Systems

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