Response of integral abutment bridges under a sequence of thermal loading and seismic shaking

  • Received : 2018.08.03
  • Accepted : 2018.11.27
  • Published : 2019.01.25


This article investigates the response of Integral Abutment Bridges (IAB) when subjected to a sequence of seasonal thermal loading of the deck followed by ground seismic shaking in the longitudinal direction. Particular emphasis is placed on the effect of pre-seismic thermal Soil-Structure Interaction (SSI) on the seismic performance of the IAB, as well as on the ability of various backfills configurations, to minimize the unfavorable SSI effects. A series of two-dimensional numerical analyses were performed for this purpose, on a complete backfill-integral bridge-foundation soil system, subjected to seasonal cyclic thermal loading of the deck, followed by ground seismic shaking, employing ABAQUS. Various backfill configurations were investigated, including conventional dense cohesionless backfills, mechanically stabilized backfills and backfills isolated by means of compressive inclusions. The responses of the investigated configurations, in terms of backfill deformations and earth pressures, and bridge resultants and displacements, were compared with each other, as well as with relevant predictions from analyses, where the pre-seismic thermal SSI effects were neglected. The effects of pre-seismic thermal SSI on the seismic response of the coupled IAB-soil system were more evident in cases of conventional backfills, while they were almost negligible in case of IAB with mechanically stabilized backfills and isolated abutments. Along these lines, reasonable assumptions should be made in the seismic analysis of IAB with conventional sand backfills, to account for pre-seismic thermal SSI effects. On the contrary, the analysis of the SSI effects, caused by thermal and seismic loading, can be disaggregated in cases of IAB with isolated backfills.


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