Non-parametric analysis of a single seismometric recording to obtain building dynamic parameters

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M. Mucciarelli
M. R. Gallipoli


We propose a simple time-domain, non-parametric method to estimate the damping at the fundamental frequency
of a building. The method aims at obtaining quick-and-dirty data on large sets of buildings, at the expenses
of the accuracy provided by other, more complex and resource-demanding techniques. The analysis of a 10 min
recording of ambient vibration with a single high-resolution seismometer atop the building can provide a good
estimate of the required parameters for the first flexural modes on orthogonal components. The proposed
methodology does not require complex filtering and assumptions on signal structure, nor multiple measurement
points or clear single transients induced by shakers, shocks or release tests. We checked the stability of the proposed
method in terms of duration and characteristics of the signal, and compared the results obtained by others
with standard techniques. Then, we tested the ability of the proposed technique to identify damping and frequency
variations due to large displacements, damage or changes in the structural characteristics. The proposed
methodology provides a satisfactory agreement when compared with other techniques. Even if it is not always
possible to obtain higher modes, the advantage is that it is possible to study with limited resources the fundamental
parameters for a large number of buildings. This is useful to include experimental data on building behaviour
in microzonation studies.

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How to Cite
Mucciarelli M, Gallipoli MR. Non-parametric analysis of a single seismometric recording to obtain building dynamic parameters. Ann. Geophys. [Internet]. 2007Dec.25 [cited 2021Jun.13];50(2). Available from:

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