Experimental investigation of spatially varying effect of ground motions on bridge pounding

Bo Li, Kaiming Bi, Nawawi Chouw, John W. Butterworth, Hong Hao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Pounding between adjacent bridge structures with insufficient separation distance has been identified as one of the primary causes of damage in many major earthquakes. It takes place because the closing relative movement is larger than the structural gap provided between the structures. This relative structural response is controlled not only by the dynamic properties of the participating structures but also by the characteristics of the ground excitations. The consequence of the spatial variation of ground motions has been studied by researchers; however, most of these studies were performed numerically. The objective of the present research is to experimentally evaluate the influence of spatial variation of ground motions on the pounding behaviour of three adjacent bridge segments. The investigation is performed using three shake tables. The input spatially varying ground excitations are simulated based on the New Zealand design spectra for soft soil, shallow soil and strong rock using an empirical coherency loss function. Results confirm that the spatially nonniform ground motions increase the relative displacement of adjacent bridge girders and pounding forces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1959-1976
Number of pages18
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bridge seismic response
  • Ground motion spatial variation
  • Pounding
  • Relative displacement
  • Shake table experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental investigation of spatially varying effect of ground motions on bridge pounding'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this