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Published February 1975 | Published
Journal Article Open

Soil-structure interaction during the San Fernando earthquake


Accelerograms obtained at two sites during the San Fernando earthquake of 1971 were analyzed to investigate the role of soil-structure interaction, using techniques developed by Bielak and others. Analysis of the data from the site of the Hollywood Storage Building, for which data from the Arvin-Tehachapi earthquake of 1952 are also available, showed evidence of soil-structure interaction in the way the transfer functions between parking lot and basement motion decayed with increasing frequency in the two lateral directions. It is concluded also that interaction probably had a small effect on the response near the EW fundamental frequency during the San Fernando earthquake. Although theoretical and experimentally determined transfer functions are broadly similar, they do not agree in detail. The lack of good agreement for reasonable choices of the parameters of the theoretical model indicates a need for some modifications of the theory or its application, and a need for more measurements at the site. A similar analysis showed no clear evidence of soil-structure interaction for the Millikan Library and Athanaeum buildings on the campus of the California Institute of Technology. If soil-structure interaction caused the major differences measured in the base motions of these two buildings, it is of a more complex form than that considered by present theories.

Additional Information

Copyright © 1975, by the Seismological Society of America. Manuscript received July 26, 1974. The results of this study form a portion of the senior author's doctoral thesis (Crouse, 1973). The financial support of the National Science Foundation and the Earthquake Research Affiliates of the California Institute of Technology during the thesis work is gratefully acknowledged.

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