Influence of Canyon on Soil-Structure Interaction

by Hung Leung Wong, Research Fellow of Applied Sci.; California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, Calif.,
Kevin K. Lo, Grad. Student of Applied Mechanics; Harvard Univ., Cambridge, Mass.,
Mihailo D. Trifunac, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Applied Sci.; California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 4, Pg. 671-684

Document Type: Journal Paper


The exact solution of the dynamic response of a shear wall on an elastic half space with a canyon having semicircular cross section is presented for excitation by plane SH-waves. It is shown that the driving forces and compliances in the soil-structure interaction problem depend directly on the existence of a canyon. For different angles of incident SH-waves the existence of a canyon may shield or amplify the building motions for the waves whose wavelengths are short compared to the canyon dimensions. In most cases building motions are smaller when the building is located behind the canyon with respect to incident waves. However, these motions may be amplified when the building is placed in front of the canyon. The results of this analysis suggest that the shielding of building foundations by canyons or trenches may not be very useful from the practical engineering point of view.

Subject Headings: Canyons | Soil structures | Soil-structure interaction | Shear walls | Elastic analysis | Dynamic response | Half space | Cross sections

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