In the last two decades, two major earthquakes have occurred in Japan: the 1995 Kobe earthquake and the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake. In the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake, many bridge structures were destroyed by the tsunamis, but it is interesting to study the ground motion induced damage and also how this earthquake differed from the one in 1995.
In this thesis, the seismic response of a bridge designed according to the current Japanese Design Specifications was evaluated when it is subjected to near-field ground motions recorded during the 1995 Kobe earthquake and far-field ground motions recorded during the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake. For this purpose, a series of nonlinear dynamic response analysis was conducted and the seismic performance of the bridge was verified in terms of its displacement and ductility demand.
It was found from the dynamic response analysis that the seismic response of the target bridge when subjected to the ground motions from the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake was smaller than during the 1995 Kobe earthquake. Although the ground motions from the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake were very strong, they were not as strong as the ground motions from the 1995 Kobe earthquake.
The results obtained in this thesis clarify the validity of the Type I and Type II design ground motions. The target bridge used in this thesis was designed according to the post-1990 design specifications and showed limited nonlinear response when subjected to the different ground motions which shows how efficient the enhancement of the seismic performance of bridges has been since the 1990’s.
Author: Goto, Reina