Please enter verification code
Numerical Modelling of Seismic Site Response at Large Strains: A Parametric Study
American Journal of Civil Engineering
Volume 8, Issue 5, September 2020, Pages: 117-127
Received: Oct. 2, 2020; Accepted: Oct. 22, 2020; Published: Nov. 11, 2020
Views 34      Downloads 48
Francesco Di Buccio, Department of Engineering and Geology, University “Gabriele d’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara, Pescara, Italy
Alessandro Pagliaroli, Department of Engineering and Geology, University “Gabriele d’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara, Pescara, Italy
Article Tools
Follow on us
The numerical analysis of seismic site response at large strains should adopt constitutive models able to guarantee not only a correct modelling of stiffness and damping properties but also a compatibility with the shear strength of the materials. The traditional hyperbolic models used in nonlinear analyses are generally calibrated on stiffness and damping curves and therefore does not necessarily match the soil shear strength. An inaccurate modelling of shear strength can lead to unrealistic predictions of the seismic site response with results that are not necessarily conservative: underestimation or overestimation of the computed surface response depends on the difference between the maximum shear stress implied by the adopted hyperbolic nonlinear model and the real soil shear strength. In this paper, over 1900 one-dimensional parametric analyses on ideal sand and clay deposits were executed with DEEPSOIL software. A first comparison was undertaken between equivalent linear and nonlinear analyses; then the nonlinear analyses were addressed to study the influence of shear strength as an input parameter on the results of numerical site response analyses. In particular two strategies to take into account the soil shear strength were considered: an adjustment procedure associated to the standard MKZ hyperbolic model and the GQ/H model which allows the shear strength to be explicitly defined as input parameter of the analyses. This parametric study made it possible to define preliminary threshold shear strain values, beyond which it is necessary to execute numerical analyses with more advanced models or procedures, able to capture the real behavior of the soil at large strains. Indicatively above shear strains of 0.1%, traditional nonlinear models neglecting soil strength can provide unrealistic results, with important overestimation of the seismic motion (up to 30% in terms of PGA at the surface).
Constitutive Models, Large Strains, Numerical Analysis, Shear Strength, Site Effects
To cite this article
Francesco Di Buccio, Alessandro Pagliaroli, Numerical Modelling of Seismic Site Response at Large Strains: A Parametric Study, American Journal of Civil Engineering. Vol. 8, No. 5, 2020, pp. 117-127. doi: 10.11648/j.ajce.20200805.12
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Pagliaroli A. (2018). Key issues in Seismic Microzonation studies: lessons from recent experiences in Italy. Rivista Italiana di Geotecnica - Italian Geotechnical Journal, n. 1/2018, pp. 5-48, DOI: 10.19199/2018.1.0557-1405.05.
Regnier J. et al. (2016) – International benchmark on numerical simulations for 1D, nonlinear site response (PRENOLIN): verification phase based on canonical cases. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 106 (5): 2112-2135. Doi: 10.1785/0120150284.
Hashash Y. M. A., Phillips, C., and Groholski, D. R.; 2010. “Recent advances in non-linear site response analysis.” 5th Int. Conf. in Recent Advances in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics, Missouri Univ. of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO.
Prevost, J. H. 1989. DYNA1D: A computer program for nonlinear site response analysis, technical documentation. National Center of Earthquake Engineering Research, Sunny at Buffalo, NY.
Schanz, T., P. A. Vermeer, and P. G. Bonnier 1999. The hardening soil model: Formulation and verification, in Beyond 2000 in Computational Geotechnics, Balkema, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 281–296.
Pisanò, F., and B. Jeremić 2014. Simulating stiffness degradation and damping in soils via a simple visco-elastic–plastic model. Soil Dynam. Earthq. Eng. 63, 98–109.
Elgamal, A., Yang, Z., and Lu, J. 2006. Cyclic1D: A Computer Program for Seismic Ground Response. Report No. SSRP-06/05, Department of Structural Engineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA.
Hashash Y. M. A., Musgrove M. I. Harmon J. A., Okan I., Groholski D. R., Phillips C. A., Park D.; 2017. DEEPSOIL 7.0, User Manual.
Matasović, N., and G. A. Ordóñez 2010. D-MOD2000: A computer program for seismic response analysis of horizontally layered soil deposits, earthfill dams, and solid waste landfills, in User’s Manual, GeoMotions, LLC, Lacey, Washington, D. C.
Hashash, Y. M. A., Dashti, S., Romero, M. I., Ghayoomi, M., & Musgrove, M. 2015. Evaluation of 1-D seismic site response modeling of sand using centrifuge experiments. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 78, 19-31.
Shi J, Asimaki D (2017) From stiffness to strength: formulation and validation of a hybrid hyperbolic nonlinear soil model for site-response analyses. Bull Seismol Soc Am 107 (3): 1336–1355.
Aaqib M., Sadiq S., Park D., Hashash Y. M. A., Pehelivan M. (2018). Importance of Implied Strength Correction for 1D Site Response at Shallow Sites at a Moderate to Low Seismicity Region. Proc. Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics V, Austin, Texas, US, DOI: 10.1061/9780784481462.043.
Groholski, D. R. et al. (2016) "Simplified Model for Small-Strain Nonlinearity and Strength in 1D Seismic Site Response Analysis", Journal of Geotechnical and Geo.
Hardin, B. O., and Drnevich, V. P. (1972). Shear modulus and damping in soils: Design equations and curves. J. Soil Mech. Found. Eng. Div., 98 (SM7), 667–692.
Conti R., Angelini M., Licata V. (2020). Nonlinearity and strength in 1D site response analyses: a simple constitutive approach. Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering (2020) 18: 4629–4657,
Darendeli, M. B. (2001) Development of a New Family of Normalized Modulus Reduction and Material Damping, IEEE Transactions on Communications. doi: 10.1109/TCOM.1977.1093818.
Seed, H. B., Idriss, I. M.; 1970. Soil moduli and damping factors for dynamic response analyses. Report No. EERC 70-10, Earthquake Engineering Research Center, Univ. of California, Berkeley, California, 40p.
Robertson P. K., Campanella R. G.; 1983. Interpretation of cone penetration tests. Part I: Sand. Canadian geotechnical journal, 20 (4), 718-733.
Simonini P., Cola S.; 2000. Use of piezocone to predict maximum stiffness of Venetian soils. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 126 (4), 378-382.
Dickenson SE; 1994. Dynamic Response of Soft and Deep Cohesive Soils during the Loma Prieta Earthquake of October 17, 1989. PhD thesis, Dept. of Civil and Enviro. Eng., University of California, Berkeley, CA.
Masing, G. (1926). Eigenspannungen und Verfestigung beim Messing. 2nd Int. Congress on Applied Mechanics, Orell Füssli Zurich, Switzerland.
Phillips, C., and Hashash, Y. M. (2009). Damping formulation for nonlinear 1D site response analyses. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 29 (7), 1143–1158.
Ishihara, K., and Kasuda, K. (1984). Dynamic strength of cohesive soil. Proceedings of the Sixth Budapest Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Budapest, Hung.
Finn W. D. L., Martin G. R. & Lee M. K. W. (1978). Comparison of dynamic analysis of saturated sand. Proc. ASCE, GT Special Conference: 472-491.
Yoshida N. (1994). Applicability of Conventional Computer Code SHAKE to Nonlinear Problem. Proc. Symposium on Amplification of Ground Shaking in Soft Ground, JSSMFE: 14-31.
Kaklamanos J., Bradley B. A., Thompson E. M., Baise L. G. (2013) Critical parameters affecting bias and variability in site-response analyses using KiK-net downhole array data. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 103, 1733-1749.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186