Site-Specific Ground Motion Analyses for Transportation Infrastructure in the New Madrid Seismic Zone

Only a few states in the nation have areas with higher earthquake design ground motions than northeast Arkansas. These extreme seismic forces directly control the exceedingly high costs for bridges, retaining walls, and pile foundations in this area. The main objective of this study is to develop guidelines that design engineers can use to perform high-quality, site-specific ground motion response analyses for transportation infrastructure in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ). This research will focus on developing guidelines for conducting nonlinear, effective stress analyses with particular attention given to providing recommendations for: (1) proper dynamic soil properties (i.e., small-strain shear wave velocity profiles, and strain-Dependant modulus and damping curves) for typical NMSZ soils, (2) selecting and scaling ground motion time histories, and (3) appropriate, cheap or freely-available software to conduct the analyses. This research has the potential to benefit not only those involved in the design and construction of transportation infrastructure in the state of Arkansas, but also those from other states within the NMSZ (e.g., Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky). From a technical perspective, further research is needed in this area to fully understand how these unique soil conditions will affect seismic forces transferred to structures during a large earthquake. From an economic perspective, it is very beneficial to investigate something that would allow one to potentially save a great deal of money on seismic design. The fact is that among all possible load combinations, seismic forces govern the design of transportation infrastructure within the NMSZ. These seismic forces are large (i.e., expensive to design for), but also uncertain. The code allows these seismic forces to be reduced by up to 33% if detailed site-specific ground response analyses reveal it is possible. The proposed research is highly applicable and valuable to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) and all state departments of transportation (DOT's) in the NMSZ.


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $88592.00
    • Contract Numbers:

      MBTC DOT 3032

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Research and Innovative Technology Administration

      University Transportation Centers Program
      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

      Department of Industrial Engineering
      Fayetteville, AR  United States  72701
    • Principal Investigators:

      Cox, Brady

    • Start Date: 20110701
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 20120630
    • Source Data: RiP Project 28563

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01549345
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Mack Blackwell National Rural Transportation Center
    • Contract Numbers: MBTC DOT 3032
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Jan 1 2015 1:29AM