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Modelling strong seismic ground motion: three-dimensional loading path versus wavefield polarization

Abstract : Seismic waves due to strong earthquakes propagating in surficial soil layers may both reduce soil stiffness and increase the energy dissipation into the soil. To investigate seismic wave amplification in such cases, past studies have been devoted to one-directional shear wave propagation in a soil column (1D-propagation) considering one motion component only (1C-polarization). Three independent purely 1C computations may be performed ('1D-1C' approach) and directly superimposed in the case of weak motions (linear behaviour). This research aims at studying local site effects by considering seismic wave propagation in a 1-D soil profile accounting for the influence of the 3-D loading path and non-linear hysteretic behaviour of the soil. In the proposed '1D-3C' approach, the three components (3C-polarization) of the incident wave are simultaneously propagated into a horizontal multilayered soil. A 3-D non-linear constitutive relation for the soil is implemented in the framework of the Finite Element Method in the time domain. The complex rheology of soils is modelled by mean of a multisurface cyclic plasticity model of the Masing-Prandtl-Ishlinskii-Iwan type. The great advantage of this choice is that the only data needed to describe the model is the modulus reduction curve. A parametric study is carried out to characterize the changes in the seismic motion of the surficial layers due to both incident wavefield properties and soil non-linearities. The numerical simulations show a seismic response depending on several parameters such as polarization of seismic waves, material elastic and dynamic properties, as well as on the impedance contrast between layers and frequency content and oscillatory character of the input motion. The 3-D loading path due to the 3C-polarization leads to multi-axial stress interaction that reduces soil strength and increases non-linear effects. The non-linear behaviour of the soil may have beneficial or detrimental effects on the seismic response at the free surface, depending on the energy dissipation rate. Free surface time histories, stress-strain hysteresis loops and in-depth profiles of octahedral stress and strain are estimated for each soil column. The combination of three separate 1D-1C non-linear analyses is compared to the proposed 1D-3C approach, evidencing the influence of the 3C-polarization and the 3-D loading path on strong seismic motions.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 12:34:40 PM
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Maria Paola Santisi d'Avila, Luca Lenti, Jean-François Semblat. Modelling strong seismic ground motion: three-dimensional loading path versus wavefield polarization. Geophysical Journal International, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2012, 190 (3), pp.1607-1624. ⟨10.1111/j.1365-246X.2012.05599.x⟩. ⟨hal-00850756⟩



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