Simulation of multi-support depth-varying earthquake ground motions within heterogeneous onshore and offshore sites

Chao Li, Hongnan Li, Hong Hao, Kaiming Bi, Li Tian

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a novel approach to model and simulate the multi-support depth-varying seismic motions (MDSMs) within heterogeneous offshore and onshore sites. Based on 1D wave propagation theory, the three-dimensional ground motion transfer functions on the surface or within an offshore or onshore site are derived by considering the effects of seawater and porous soils on the propagation of seismic P waves. Moreover, the depth-varying and spatial variation properties of seismic ground motions are considered in the ground motion simulation. Using the obtained transfer functions at any locations within a site, the offshore or onshore depth-varying seismic motions are stochastically simulated based on the spectral representation method (SRM). The traditional approaches for simulating spatially varying ground motions are improved and extended to generate MDSMs within multiple offshore and onshore sites. The simulation results show that the PSD functions and coherency losses of the generated MDSMs are compatible with respective target values, which fully validates the effectiveness of the proposed simulation method. The synthesized MDSMs can provide strong support for the precise seismic response prediction and performance-based design of both offshore and onshore large-span engineering structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-490
Number of pages16
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • depth-varying motions
  • ground motion spatial variation
  • onshore and offshore sites
  • seismic motion simulation
  • transfer function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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