Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering

Committee Director

Zia Razzaq

Committee Director

Shahin Nayyeri-Amiri

Committee Member

Mojtaba Sirjani

Committee Member

Herish Hussein


This dissertation presents an effective model to determine the dynamic properties of local soils and their impact on the seismic response of a typical mid-height reinforced concrete building. The results of the study suggest that the use of global models and empirical relationships for the dynamic properties of soils may not consider the effects of unique stress conditions on the cyclic response of the foundation soil. The study also investigates the seismic response of a site in central Adapazarı, Turkey, where four- to seven-story buildings suffered significant damage during the 1999 Kocaeli earthquake. A new model is presented that combines small-strain field data and large-strain laboratory data to produce the local soil profile's dynamic properties for site-response analysis. The model considers the site's stress conditions and history, identifying stress anisotropy as one of the main components affecting soils' dynamic properties. Stress anisotropy is accounted for through extensive experimental work using novel resonant column equipment. It is found that the use of global models for the dynamic properties of soil gives incorrect results and underestimates the seismic response of the buildings while failing to explain observed damage. The results show that stress anisotropy can be captured in the maximum shear modulus and theoretical maximum damping ratio. Using the experimental results and available data in the literature, the model accounts for modulus reduction and damping, and empirical relationships for maximum shear modulus and minimum damping. Finally, a five-story steel-reinforced concrete building typical of the region is designed and its seismic performance is examined under various scenarios through decoupled limit state analysis. It is found that the building would need to be designed much stronger should the dynamic properties of soil be determined using the model presented.


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