Time-Domain Analysis Approaches of Soil-Structure Interaction: A Comparative Study
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Time-Domain Analysis Approaches of Soil-Structure Interaction: A Comparative Study

Authors: Abdelrahman Taha, Niloofar Malekghaini, Hamed Ebrahimian, Ramin Motamed


This paper compares the substructure and direct approaches for soil-structure interaction (SSI) analysis in the time domain. In the substructure approach, the soil domain is replaced by a set of springs and dashpots, also referred to as the impedance function, derived through the study of the behavior of a massless rigid foundation. The impedance function is inherently frequency dependent, i.e., it varies as a function of the frequency content of the structural response. To use the frequency-dependent impedance function for time-domain SSI analysis, the impedance function is approximated at the fundamental frequency of the coupled soil-structure system. To explore the potential limitations of the substructure modeling process, a two-dimensional (2D) reinforced concrete frame structure is modeled and analyzed using the direct and substructure approaches. The results show discrepancy between the simulated responses of the direct and substructure models. It is concluded that the main source of discrepancy is likely attributed to the way the impedance functions are calculated, i.e., assuming a massless rigid foundation without considering the presence of the superstructure. Hence, a refined impedance function, considering the presence of the superstructure, shall alternatively be developed. This refined impedance function is expected to improve the simulation accuracy of the substructure approach.

Keywords: Direct approach, impedance function, massless rigid foundation, soil-structure interaction, substructure approach.

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