American Society of Civil Engineers

Assessment of Modal-Pushover-Based Scaling Procedure for Nonlinear Response History Analysis of Ordinary Standard Bridges

by Erol Kalkan, (corresponding author), M.ASCE, (Research Structural Engineer, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA 94025. E-mail: and Neal S. Kwong, (Ph.D. Candidate, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94709. E-mail:

Journal of Bridge Engineering, Vol. 17, No. 2, March/April 2012, pp. 272-288, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: The earthquake engineering profession is increasingly utilizing nonlinear response history analyses (RHA) to evaluate seismic performance of existing structures and proposed designs of new structures. One of the main ingredients of nonlinear RHA is a set of ground motion records representing the expected hazard environment for the structure. When recorded motions do not exist (as is the case in the central United States) or when high-intensity records are needed (as is the case in San Francisco and Los Angeles), ground motions from other tectonically similar regions need to be selected and scaled. The modal-pushover-based scaling (MPS) procedure was recently developed to determine scale factors for a small number of records such that the scaled records provide accurate and efficient estimates of "true" median structural responses. The adjective "accurate" refers to the discrepancy between the benchmark responses and those computed from the MPS procedure. The adjective "efficient" refers to the record-to-record variability of responses. In this paper, the accuracy and efficiency of the MPS procedure are evaluated by applying it to four types of existing Ordinary Standard bridges typical of reinforced concrete bridge construction in California. These bridges are the single-bent overpass, multi-span bridge, curved bridge, and skew bridge. As compared with benchmark analyses of unscaled records using a larger catalog of ground motions, it is demonstrated that the MPS procedure provided an accurate estimate of the engineering demand parameters (EDPs) accompanied by significantly reduced record-to-record variability of the EDPs. Thus, it is a useful tool for scaling ground motions as input to nonlinear RHAs of Ordinary Standard bridges.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Nonlinear analysis
Ground motion
Seismic design

Author Keywords:
Ordinary Standard bridge; Nonlinear analysis; Ground motion; Selection and scaling; Seismic design