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Earthquakes and Structures
  Volume 4, Number 5, May 2013 , pages 557-585

Occurrence mechanism of recent large earthquake ground motions at nuclear power plant sites in Japan under soil-structure interaction

    The recent huge earthquake ground motion records in Japan result in the reconsideration of seismic design forces for nuclear power stations from the view point of seismological research. In addition,the seismic design force should be defined also from the view point of structural engineering. In this paper it is shown that one of the occurrence mechanisms of such large acceleration in recent seismic records(recorded in or near massive structures and not free-field ground motions) is due to the interaction between a massive building and its surrounding soil which induces amplification of local mode in the surface soil.Furthermore on-site investigation after earthquakes in the nuclear power stations reveals some damages of soil around the building (cracks, settlement and sand boiling). The influence of plastic behavior of soil is investigated in the context of interaction between the structure and the surrounding soil. Moreover the amplification property of the surface soil is investigated from the seismic records of the Suruga-gulf earthquake in 2009 and the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku earthquake in 2011. Two methods are introduced for the analysis of the non-stationary process of ground motions. It is shown that the non-stationary Fourier spectra can detect the temporal change of frequency contents of ground motions and the displacement profile integrated from its acceleration profile is useful to evaluate the seismic behavior of the building and the surrounding soil.
Key Words
    large acceleration; pulse wave; non-linear behavior; soil-structure interaction; settlement; non-stationary Fourier spectra; frequency component ratio; surface soil amplification; occurrence mechanism of pulse wave; amplification factor
Shuichi KAMAGATA : Nuclear Power Department, Kajima Corporation, Tokyo 107-8348, Japan; Izuru TAKEWAKI: Dept of Architecture and Architectural Eng., Kyoto University, Kyoto 615-8540, Japan

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