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Chapter 12 – SE101

Chapter 12
Nirjhar Dhang
Department of Civil Engineering,
IIT, Kharagpur.


The earthquake loading is dynamic in nature and the analysis of structure due to earthquake excitation
is one of the important steps in the structural design procedure. Generally, the static solution of the
structural system is more than sufficient, however, computation of earthquake loading in the static
analysis is based on certain dynamic analysis of structure. Therefore, a preliminary exposure to
structural dynamics is required for better understanding of the earthquake engineering.

In the case of loading, which varies over time, a dynamic analysis is required. Fig. 1 shows some
examples of structures, which may be represented for dynamic analysis as single degree of freedom
system. These one degree of freedom systems are described as a mechanical model as shown in Fig.
2(a) . This simple mechanical system has four elements (a) inertia element, m representing mass, (b)
a spring element k, representing stiffness which is used as a restoring force, (c) a damping element c,
representing the frictional

characteristics and energy loss of the structure, (d) an excitation force F(t) representing the external
forces acting on the structural system. The free body diagram of the system is shown in Fig. 2(b).
Using D’Alembert’s Principle, the corresponding differential equation is written as


Chapter 12 – SE101

In the above equation (1), the mass element, m and the stiffness element, k are key parameters in the
dynamic analysis. But the damping element c, and the excitation f(t) are also the governing factors in
the analysis. When a system is vibrating in absence of external excitation, it is called free vibration.
When the system is considered ignoring damping term and without external excitation, it is called
undamped free vibration. So the vibration of a structure can be classified as (a) Without loading, i.e.
free vibration and (b) With loading , i.e. forced vibration. Considering the presence of damping
element, the system can be classified in the following four categories :
(a) Undamped free vibration
(b) Damped free vibration
(c) Undamped forced vibration
(d) Damped forced vibration.


For this case, the equation of motion becomes

m&y& + ky = 0 (2)
which is a linear second order differential equation. The general solution for this second order
differential equation,
y = A cos ωt + B sin ωt (3)
The expression for velocity is found simply by differentiating equation (3) with respect to time,

y& = − Aω sin ωt + Bω cos ωt (4)

A = y0 (5)
The initial condition is at t = 0, y = yo and y=vo. Putting this into equation (3) and (4) the constants of
integration, A and B are found as

B = vo / ω (6)
So final expression of the displacement y as a function of the time variable t,
It means that the a structure with a single degree of freedom system is nothing but a simple undamped
y = y o cos ωt + (vo / ω ) sin ωt (7)
oscillator. This equation is harmonic and the period T of the motion is determined from

Example : A cantelever beam of span, L is vibrating with a tip mass of M. Ignoring mass of the beam
ωT = 2π (8)
and considering flexural rigidity of beam as EI, the natural frequency of the beam can be computed as

T = 2π ω
/ ω= K / M (9) (10)
where K is the stiffness of the beam. The deflection at the tip of the cantelever beam acted upon by a
static force P is

∆= (11)
and the stiffness of the beam is computed as


Chapter 12 – SE101

K= = 3 (12)
∆ L
So the natural frequency of the beam,

ω= (13)
2.1 Damped Free Vibration

In this case, the differential becomes,

m&y& + cy& + ky = 0 (14)

the generlised solution will be

y = Ce pt (15)
Substitution of this function into equation (14) results in the equation

mCp 2 e pt + cCpe pt + kCe pt = 0 (16)

The equation reduces to

mp 2 + cp + k = 0 (17)
The roots of this equation are
c ⎛ c ⎞ k
p1 , p 2 = − ± ⎜ ⎟ − (18)
2m ⎝ 2m ⎠ m
Thus the general solution of eq. 14 is given by the superposition of the two possible solutions, namely

y (t ) = C1e p1t + C 2 e p2t (19)

where C1 and C2 are constants of integration to be determined from the initial conditions. The final
form of the equation depends on the sign of the expression under the radical in eq. Three distinct
cases may occur : the quantity under the radical, say,

⎛ c ⎞ k
R=⎜ ⎟ − (20)
⎝ 2m ⎠ m
may either be zero, positive or negative.

Case A : R = 0, that is, critically damped system.

⎛ ccr ⎞ k
⎜ ⎟ − =0 (21)
⎝ 2m ⎠ m
ccr = 2 km = 2mω = 2k / ω (22)

where ccr designates the critical damping value. In a critically damped system, the roots of the
characteristic equation are equal and they are

p1 = p 2 = − (23)
Chapter 12 – SE101

and the general solution becomes

Case B : R > 0, that is, overdamped system.
In this case, the damping coefficient is greater than the value for critical damping, namely,
c > c cr (25)
y (t ) = (C1 + C 2 t )e − ( ccr / 2 m ) t (24)
and the two roots of the characteristic equation are real and distinct. The solution is same as equation

y (t ) = C1e p1t + C 2 e p2t (26)

For the overdamped or the critically damped system, the resulting motion is not oscillatory.

Case C : R < o, that is, Under damped system

In this case, the value of the damping coefficient is less than the critical value (c < ccr), the roots of the
characteristic eq. are complex conjugates, so that

c k ⎛ c ⎞
p1 , p 2 = − ±i −⎜ ⎟ (27)
2m m ⎝ 2m ⎠
The general solution of the underdamped system :

y (t ) = e − ( c / 2 m ) t ( A cos ω D t + B sin ω D t ) (28)

where A and B are redefined constants of integration and

ωD = ω 1−ξ 2 (29)
where the damping ratio of the system

ξ= (30)
With the initial conditions of displacement, yo and velocity vo, at time t = 0, the equation becomes
The value of the damping coefficient for real structure is much less than the critical damping
coefficient and usually ranges between 2 to 20% of the critical damping value.
vo + y oξω
y (t ) = e −( c / 2 m ) t ( y o cos ω D t + sin ω D t ) (31)

2.2 Undamped Single Dof With Harmonic Loading :

The excitation is to be harmonic and is equal to

F (t ) = Fo sin β t (32)
The equation of motion will be

Fo / k
y (t ) = A cos ω t + B sin ω t + sin β t (33)
1− r2

where r = β/ω.

If the initial conditions at time t = 0 are taken as zero, the constants of integration determined are


Chapter 12 – SE101

rFo / k
A = 0, B = − (34)
1− r2
After substitution, the equation becomes
Fo / k
y (t ) = (sin β t − r sin ω t ) (35)
1− r2

2.3 Damped Single Dof With Harmonic Loading

In this case, the equation of motion can be found as

( Fo / k ) sin( β t − θ )
y (t ) = e −ξ ω t ( A cos ω D t + B sin ω D t ) + (36)
(1 − r 2 ) 2 + (2rξ ) 2

2ξ r
tan θ = (37)
1− r2
The constants of integration has to be found out considering initial conditions.

2.4 Response To A Loading Represented By Fourier Series

The above procedure can further be applied to general loading. Any loading can be represented by it
Fourier series. When the transient is omitted, the response of an undamped system to any sine term
of the series is given by

bn / k
y n (t ) = sin nβ t (38)
1 − rn

an / k
y n (t ) = cos nβ t (39)
1 − rn

where rn=nβ/ω. Similarly, the response to any cosine term is

The total response of an undamped, single degree-of-freedom system may then be expressed as the
superposition of the responses to all the force terms of the series, including the steady-state response,
ao/k to the constant force ao. Hence, the total response

ao 1 an bn
y (t ) = +
k 1 − rn 2
∑( k
n =1
cos nβ t −
sin nβ t ) (40)

2.5 General Dynamic Loading – Solution By Duhamel’s Integral

Another way, the solution can be done by Duhamel’s integral. The loading history is regarded as a
series of short impulses at successive incremental times dτ, each producing it own differential
response at time t of the form given by


Chapter 12 – SE101

F (τ )dτ
dy (t ) = sin ω(t − τ ) (41)

So, the total displacement at time t due to the continuous action of the force F(τ) is given by the
summation or integral of the differential displacements dy(t) from time t = 0 to time t, that is,
mω ∫0
y (t ) = F (τ ) sin ω(t − τ )dτ (42)


Structures are continuous systems and an infinite number of degrees of freedom are possessed by a
structure. However, depending on the behaviour of the structure, a simplified model can be made. One
of such model is shear building. In a framed structure, it is noted the lateral

displacement is predominant. The columns are considered mass less and floors are considered as a
lumped mass. A three storeyed shear building is shown in Fig. 3(a) and its corresponding idealised
model is shown in Fig. 3(b). For a uniform column with the two ends fixed against rotation, the spring
constant is given by
12 EI
k= (43)
and for a column with one end fixed and the other pinned by

k= (44)
where E is the material modulus of elasticity, I the cross-sectional moment of inertia and L, the height
of the storey.
The kinetic energy of the system,

T= (m1 y&1 + m2 y& 2 + m3 y& 3 )
2 2 2
and, the potential energy,
1 1 1
V = k1 y1 + k 2 ( y1 − y 2 ) 2 + k 3 ( y 2 − y 3 ) 2
2 2 2
Chapter 12 – SE101

The Lagrangian, L = T – V and the Lagrange’s equation of motion is given as follows,

where, q is the generalised displacement and here, y1,y2 and y3 are generalised displacements.
The equation of motion derived can written in a matrix form as follwows

d ⎛ ∂L ⎞ ∂L
⎜ ⎟− = F (t ) (47)
dt ⎜⎝ ∂q& ⎟⎠ ∂q

⎡m1 0 0 ⎤ ⎧ &y&1 ⎫ ⎡k1 + k 2 − k2 0 ⎤ ⎧ y1 ⎫ ⎧ F1 (t ) ⎫

⎢0 ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪ ⎪
⎢ m2 0 ⎥⎥ ⎨ &y&2 ⎬ + ⎢⎢ − k 2 k 2 + k3 − k 3 ⎥⎥ ⎨ y 2 ⎬ = ⎨ F2 (t )⎬ (48)
⎢⎣ 0 0 m3 ⎥⎦ ⎪⎩ &y&3 ⎪⎭ ⎢⎣ 0 − k3 k 3 ⎥⎦ ⎪⎩ y 3 ⎪ ⎪ F (t ) ⎪
⎭ ⎩ 3 ⎭

The mass and stiffness properties of structures can be determined accurately using standard
measurement and analysis techniques, whereas, the determination of the damping in a structure is
more complicated and the damping values are only assumed during the design process. Damping is a
material property. A structure is constructed with different kind materials and the elements of the
structure are connected in various ways. In the case of small amplitude oscillations, the strain level in
the structure is within the low level of elastic zone. The material damping is an essential component of
the overall building damping. For a medium amplitude oscillations, small inelastic deformation may
start and this introduces additional damping, while the overall response of the structure may still be
linear. For a large amplitude oscillations, significant material nonlinear, inelastic response occurs
resulting the additional damping. Thus the level of damping increases with increasing response

3.1 Eigen Value Solution

The most popular method of finding eigen values is the Jacobi method. The mass matrix is
decomposed by Cholesky decomposition so that the symmetry of the matrix can be maintained.
Sometimes, mass matrix becomes singular, in that case, the stiffness matrix is decomposed. So for
the first case, actual eigen value gives the actual natural frequency of the system whereas in the
second method of solution, the computed eigen values give the inverse of the natural frequency. At
any instant, a structure vibrates with a particular natural frequency, so the relative position of nodes
maintain a particular shape of the structure, which is called the mode shape of the structure at that
frequency. The mode shape changes with the natural frequency. So for a N degrees of freedom
system, N different mode shapes with corresponding natural frequency are available.

3.2 Modal Analysis

The eigen values and vectors are required for various different analysis. It is used to covert the
equations of motion to n independent equations of motion which are exactly the same form as the
single degree of freedom equation of motion. The multi degree of freedom equations of motion are
transformed to the modal coordinate system. The solution of these uncoupled equations and
superposing the modal contribution is referred to as the modal superposition method.

3.3 Earthquake Response Analysis

As mentioned above, in the modal method, the MDOF system becomes n independent uncoupled
SDOF system in modal coordinate system. The ground acceleration due to earthquake is converted to
corresponding loading and the response of each mode could be computed by solving each SDOF
system. The complete displacement of the structure at a desired time is obtained by superposing the
contribution of all modes evaluated at this time. Typically, the modes with the lowest natural


Chapter 12 – SE101

frequencies contribute most to the overall response. It is because of the fact that the participation
factors of these modes for earthquake excitation are high in comparison to those of the higher modes.
It is also due to the presence of ω in the denominator of the Duhamel integral. Therefore, an adequate
approximation of the response is obtained by including a number of lowest modes only.

3.4 Response Spectrum Analysis

The response spectrum is a representation of the maximum value of a response parameter, such as
acceleration, or displacement, over the duration of earthquake loading as a function of frequency for a
given earthquake and damping level. This response spectrum concept and the modal superposition
method are used to find an approximate determination of the maximum response of an MDOF system
without performing a time history analysis. Response spectrum analysis consists of three steps:
a) Determination of the natural frequencies of the natural modes of vibration and the
associated frequencies.
b) Determination of the maximum response in each mode, may be called as modal
c) Combination of the modal responses to obtain approximate maximum response.

3.5 Numerical Time Integration

The step by step numerical integration schemes are derived by expressing the relationships between
displacement and its time derivatives, velocity and acceleration. The most commonly used one such
method is the Newmark method. The time step in the integration scheme plays an important role in
solution process. The time step should be selected based on the period of the highest natural mode
of the system. But in most seismic analyses of building structures, the low modes dominate the
response, high modes contribute negligibly to element forces. Therefore, time steps chosen for
integration are bigger than the time period of the highest mode.

3.6 Nonlinear Analysis

Linear analysis implies that the properties of the system – stiffness, damping and mass, are not
dependent on the response variables of displacement, velocity or acceleration. Consequently, the
coefficient matrices are constant. As the level of loading and response increase, at some point the
assumption of system properties remaining constant is no longer valid. The stiffness properties may
change as a result of material strains growing large enough to cause yielding. Therefore, the
superposition principle is not valid for nonlinear systems. To enable the proper consideration of the
changing properties during the solution of a nonlinear problem, the solution is performed in small
incremental steps adjusting the properties at the beginning of each step based on the deformation and
stress in the beginning of each step.


The nature of the earthquake problem for structures is to be recognized first and then, it is required to
be cope up with the design procedure. The lateral forces representing the earthquake loading are
computed based on certain codal provision. But the actual forces may be as much as several times
the code specified forces during several earthquake demand. The magnitude of earthquake forces
applied on a structure is involved on compound probabilities of the earthquake characteristics:
earthquake location relative to the structure, earthquake energy, depth of the earthquake focus, media
of the source, the propagation path, duration of shaking, frequency composition of the disturbing
waves. If demand exceeds structural capacity, the failure occurs. The reinforced concrete structure
may be essentially brittle or they have great inelastic energy capacity, depending upon the amount
and the disposition of the reinforcing steel. Design procedures are required to ensure ductility and
energy dissipation. The lateral force resisting systems for structural steel buildings and structures can


Chapter 12 – SE101

generally be categorized into one of three broad classes : braced frames, unbraced or motion-resisting
frames, dual systems composed of a combination of the two systems, designed to act in unison. In
braced frames, lateral stability of the structure is provided primarily through the presence of diagonal
braces. Unbraced frames rely on the flexural rigidity of their beams, columns and beam-column
connections for lateral force resistance and stability. Seismic design of masonry is based on the
premise that reinforced masonry structures can perform well in earthquakes provided they have
engineered lateral force-resisting systems or their load-displacement characteristics under cyclic
reversed loading is consistent with the assumptions used to develop their design loadings. Analysis of
masonry structures for lateral loads alone or in combination with gravity loads, must address the
following issues : elastic vs. inelastic behaviour, selection of earthquake input, load modelling, material
modelling, structural element modelling, flexural cracking, soil foundation flexibility, floor diaphragm


Earthquakes are a major problem for mankind. Design of earthquake resistant structures is a major
contribution in the disaster mitigation and management. The knowledge of structural dynamics is
required to find proper earthquake loading and analysis. Reinforced concrete, structural steel and
masonry are primarily used as construction materials. Each of them has its own behaviour and the
proper representation of each of the material with the structural system used do resist the earthquake.
Different numerical examples will be demonstrated at the time of presentation.


1. How a single storeyed RCC frame can be modeled as spring-mass system?

2. In a spring-mass system, the rising time to reach the static load, P is T. Find the response of the
spring-mass system in terms of displacement.


1. Structural Dynamics : Mario Paz, CBS Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi, 1985
2. Vibrations, Dynamics and Structural Systems : M. Mukhopadhyay, Oxford&IBH, New Delhi, 1989
3. Dynamics of Structures : A. K. Chopra, Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi, 1996