Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering - (M.S.)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

M. Ala Saadeghvaziri

Second Advisor

C.T. Thomas Hsu

Third Advisor

William R. Spillers


Within recorded, although not recent, history, there have been several large magnitude earthquakes in the Eastern and Central United States and the need to provide measures to protect from potential damage is recognized by the engineering community. Since there are inherent differences between earthquakes that occur along tectonic plate boundaries, interplate, and those that occur within the plate boundaries, intraplate, it is important to understand how these differences impact structural design. A parametric study of single degree of freedom systems subjected to various recorded and artificial ground motions was performed to identify the variations in response characteristics.

It was found that for those ground motions actually recorded in the Eastern United States, the response quantities were lower than for "similar" recorded interplate ground motions, with the exception of high frequency systems, which are not considered to be structurally significant. The response to intraplate earthquakes from other regions led to a different conclusion. These records demonstrated response characteristics comparable to the interplate records and in addition some high frequency peaks.

As a result of this study it is considered that perhaps the ground motions recorded in the Eastern United States thus far are not fully representative of possible future earthquakes and may not comprise a sufficient design basis. Further investigations using more recorded and artificial ground motions need to be completed to substantiate this. The unique high frequency attributes also require further investigation to determine effects on components and equipment in structures and on higher structural modes.



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