skip to main content

Site-Specific Design Ground Motions as per ASCE 7-16

8 PDHs |  Thursday, March 25 and Friday, March 26 


Praveen K. Malhotra, Ph.D., P.E., MASCE

Purpose and Background

Ground motion requirements in ASCE 7 have become quite complex over the years. This has resulted in a lot of confusion and misinterpretation. In this course, we will clarify various issues.

Site-specific ground motions are needed for seismic design of structures. We will discuss how to generate design ground motions for all possible situations that may be encountered in real life. In this course, three methods of generating the seismic design ground motions will be discussed as per ASCE 7-16:

  • General procedure
  • Ground motion hazard analysis (GMHA)
  • Dynamic site-response analysis

The general procedure is simplest, but in many situations ASCE 7-16 requires a GMHA. In some special situations, a dynamic site response analysis is required by ASCE 7-16. To better illustrate these, we will work through a real-life example in a step-by-step manner so you can reproduce the results and ask questions. A soft copy of the entire class notes will be provided before the course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the basis of seismic design ground motion requirements in ASCE 7-16
  • Utilize the various resources by the ATC, ASCE, and the USGS to perform GMHA and dynamic site-response analysis
  • List the pros and cons of different methods of analysis
  • Clarify any doubts about the seismic design ground motions

Benefits for Participants

  • A clear understanding of the ASCE 7-16 requirements for site-specific design ground motions
  • Avoid commonly made mistakes in generating the design ground motions
  • Obtain clarifications regarding design ground motions
  • Learn to use various resources by the ATC, ASCE, and the USGS

Intended Audience

Geotechnical, structural, civil, architecture, seismology, geology, risk management, building department, regulation, construction, insurance, and education

Course Outline

  • Response spectrum of ground motion – Geometric-mean and maximum-resultant
  • MCER response spectrum, design response spectrum, PGAM, SDS, and SD1 using the General Procedure in ASCE 7-16
  • 2475-year mean return period (MRP) response spectrum for firm-rock as per the USGS Magnitude and distance of controlling earthquakes
  • 2475-year response spectrum for actual soil condition at the site Geometric-mean to maximum-resultant
  • Maximum-resultant to risk-targeted Probabilistic MCER response spectrum Deterministic MCER response spectrum Site-specific MCER response spectrum
  • Design response spectrum, PGAM, SDS, and SD1 using the GMHA. Rock-outcrop ground motion histories for dynamic analysis
  • Dynamic analysis of soil profiles
  • Spectral ratios from dynamic analysis
  • MCER response spectrum of free-surface motion
  • Design response spectrum, PGAM, SDS, and SD1 from the Site Response Analysis

Decided on your courses? Register now!

Back to Program

jump to top