Simple method for real-time seismic damage assessment of bridges

I. Anastasopoulos (Lead / Corresponding author), P. Ch Anastasopoulos, A. Agalianos, L. Sakellariadis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
436 Downloads (Pure)


Seismic damage of bridges may pose a severe threat to motorway users, and preventive closure until post-seismic inspection may be viewed as the only safe option. However, such a measure may incur pronounced losses by obstructing transportation of rescue teams. On the other hand, allowing traffic on earthquake-damaged bridges is a difficult decision with potentially dire consequences. Hence, the main dilemma for the motorway administrator is whether to interrupt the operation of the network, calling for timely development and implementation of a RApid REsponse (RARE) system. The development of such a RARE system requires an effective means to estimate the seismic damage of motorway structures in real time. This paper contributes towards such a direction by introducing a simple method for real time seismic damage assessment of motorway bridges. The proposed method requires nonlinear dynamic time history analyses using multiple seismic records as seismic excitation. Based on the results of the analyses, statistical models are estimated, and nonlinear regression equations are developed to express seismic damage as a function of statistically significant intensity measures (IMs). Such equations are easily programmable and can be employed for real-time damage assessment, as part of an online expert system. In the event of an earthquake, the nearest seismic motion(s), recorded by an online accelerograph network, will be used in real time to estimate the damage state of motorway structures, employing the developed equations. The efficiency of the proposed method is demonstrated using a single bridge pier as an illustrative example. Based on finite element (FE) analysis results, three nonlinear regression models are estimated correlating three damage indices (DIs) with statistically significantly IMs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-212
Number of pages12
JournalSoil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


  • Bridge pier
  • Damage assessment
  • Finite elements
  • Nonlinear regression models
  • Online architecture
  • Real-time system
  • Seismic vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Soil Science


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