Earthquake response of a base-isolated bridge subjected to strong near-fault ground motion

Magni Hreinn Jónsson, Bjarni Bessason*, Einar Haflidason

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


The South Iceland Lowland is an active seismic zone. In May 2008 a magnitude 6.3 (Mw) earthquake struck the area. The 370-m-long base-isolated Oseyrar Bridge situated close to the epicentre was hit by strong ground motion. Concrete stoppers at the top of all piers were badly smashed and all four wing walls of the abutments were severely damaged. The study showed that it is possible with numerical models to back-calculate the observed damage based on recorded ground motion in the area. The recorded loads were larger than prescribed by Eurocode 8 for the site even though the magnitude and location of the earthquake was as expected. The main reason was a near-fault pulse which is not covered in the code. The pulse dominated the bridge response and is therefore important to consider. Finally, an improved design is presented that could have prevented the damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-455
Number of pages9
JournalSoil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported financially by the Icelandic Public Roads Administration.


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