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spectral response acceleration definition
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 Subject: spectral response acceleration definition
 From: "Bruce Holcomb" <bholcomb(nospamat)brpae.com>
 Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2006 10:00:50 0600
I have been having trouble with the term “spectral” in “spectral response acceleration”, so I’ve been doing some studying. Can someone verify my findings below? Or set me straight? I’m supposed to give a presentation at my office and I want to make sure I have it straight before I try to explain to others.
The “spectral response acceleration” plotted in the “Maximum Considered Earthquake Ground Motion” maps in the IBC is an acceleration with an annual probability of exceedance of 2% in 50 years (return period of 2500 years) and is for a site class “B” soil. The spectral response acceleration is derived from many possible earthquakes of various magnitudes at various distances from the site.
The spectral response acceleration is plotted for period of 0.2 seconds and 1.0 seconds because these two periods encompass most building periods. Periods between these values (and to a certain extent beyond these values) can be interpolated (extrapolated).
The reason the “design spectral response acceleration” is 2/3 of the “site adjusted spectral response acceleration” is that the lower bound estimate of the margin against collapse is a factor of 1.5 (approximate… judged by experience). Therefore, the “design” earthquake ground motion is 1/1.5 (2/3) of the maximum considered earthquake ground motion because we want to prevent collapse, but the construction cost would be too great, if we designed to prevent all damage to a structure.
Bruce

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