A procedure for combining vertical and horizontal seismic action effects

C. J. Collier, Amr S. Elnashai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


The vertical component of earthquake ground motion has generally been neglected in the earthquake-resistant design of structures. This is gradually changing due to the increase in near-source records obtained recently, coupled with field observations confirming the possible destructive effect of high vertical vibrations. In this paper, simple procedures are suggested for assessing the significance of vertical ground motion, indicating when it should be included in the determination of seismic actions on buildings. Proposals are made for the calculation of elastic and inelastic vertical periods of vibration incorporating the effects of vertical and horizontal motion amplitude and the cross-coupling between the two vibration periods. Simplified analysis may then be used to evaluate realistic vertical forces by employing the vertical period of vibration with pertinent spectra without resorting to inelastic dynamic analysis. Finally, a procedure is suggested for combining vertical and horizontal seismic action effects which accounts for the likelihood of coincidence, or otherwise, of peak response in the two directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-539
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Earthquake Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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