An important consideration in the seismic analysis and design of lifeline systems is the differential motion between their supports, which may induce significant stresses and strains in the structure. Presented herein is an analytical model for describing spatial variations of ground motion and differential motions between stations. The results of the application of the model to the earthquake of January 29, 1981 at Lotung, Taiwan, compare well with the recorded data. The effect of random variability in the source parameters on the differential ground motion is also examined; the analysis suggests that randomness in the rise time and the rupture velocity increases the frequency content of the differential strong ground motion. © 1991.
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