Tectonic hazards/Earthquake simulation

Subject classification: this is an engineering resource.

Earthquake simulation is a vibrational input that possesses essential features of a real seismic event. The very first earthquake simulations were performed by statically applying some horizontal inertia forces, based on scaled peak ground accelerations, to a mathematical model of a building. With the further development of computational technologies, static approaches began to give way to dynamic ones.

Earthquake simulation time-history called the "Cone". [1]

Dynamic experiments on building and non-building structures may be physical, like shake-table testing, or virtual, or hybrid ones. In all cases, to verify a structure's expected seismic performance, researchers prefer to deal with so called “real time-histories” though the last cannot be “real” for a hypothetical earthquake specified by either a building or by some particular research requirements.

Therefore, there is a strong incentive to engage an earthquake simulation, like, e.g., the earthquake simulating displacement time-history Cone presented on the left [2].

Earthquake simulations have been widely used in the research supported by The George E. Brown Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) [1].

Sometimes, earthquake simulation is understood as a re-creation of local effects of a strong ground shaking [2].


  1. Valentin Shustov (1993), "Base isolation: fresh insight", Technical report to NSF No BCS-9214754.
  2. Valentin Shustov (2010), "Testing of a New Line of Seismic Base Isolators," https://nees.org/resources/770.