This talk will deal with the response of a simple class of building clusters during earthquakes, their effect on the ground motion, and how individual buildings within the cluster interact with the soil and with each other. In order to study this problem it is convenient to first simulate the free-field earthquake ground motion and then incorporate this ground motion as input to the domain that includes the building structures. To this effect, I will describe Hercules, a parallel finite element code developed by the Quake Group at CMU for modeling the kinematic source, wave propagation path and local site effects, and the Domain Reduction Method (DRM), our methodology for incorporating the incoming seismic motion into the analysis of the earthquake response of civil infrastructure in a localized region. As an application, I will then show results of a simulation of the ground motion during the 1994 Northridge earthquake and focus on the coupled response of a set of idealized building models located within the San Fernando Valley in southern California.
Jacobo Bielak received his Civil Engineer’s degree from the National University of Mexico (UNAM), MS from Rice University, and PhD from Caltech. He joined Carnegie Mellon University in 1978, where he is now the Paul Christiano University Professor. His research is in the areas of earthquake engineering and engineering seismology, and, more recently, also structural health monitoring. He was a member of the original Applied Technology Council (ATC) committee that drafted the first tentative seismic provisions for soil-structure interaction in the US based mainly on his work. These provisions are now, in modified form, part of the NEHRP seismic provisions. Recognition for his work includes the Gordon Bell Prize for Special Accomplishment Based on Innovation. He is a Distinguished Member of ASCE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.