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Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Bridges with Columns Supported on Rocking Foundations


The objectives of this dissertation is to investigate the use of rocking foundations in bridges for enhanced seismic design and performance and the reduction of post-earthquake damage. The seismic response of bridge systems was studied numerically using three-dimensional nonlinear models, whereas bridge columns with rocking foundations and superstructure mass were studied both numerically and experimentally. The experimental part consisted of the shake-table testing of large scale bridge columns with shallow rocking foundations using physical modeling of the underlying soil. Using the data from these tests, a three-dimensional model with Winkler springs was modified and validated for rocking shallow foundations designed with high factors of safety against vertical loads. The proposed model was then used on a parametric study to investigate the seismic demand on a large variety of bridge piers with rocking shallow foundations.

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