Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Earl E. Ingram

Committee Members

Harold Deatherage, Edwin G. Burdette, David W. Goodpasture


The purpose of this study is to verify the relation between the peak particle velocity (PPV) and the dynamic response of the structure. Based on the study of blast vibrations, the U.S Bureau of Mines correlated the PPV as the reliable parameter for gauging the strength of a blast wave. The prevalent practice of quantifying the ground wave motion is in terms of PPV. The bureau has published the threshold value of PPV=1/2 in/sec as the maximum safe value for a blast wave. This study simulates two structures having two different natural periods resembling the period of short buildings and medium height buildings. The simulation is done using finite element models in ADINA to study the response of the two structures for various ground accelerations while keeping the value of PPV constant. The process is repeated for a constant acceleration while varying the magnitude of PPV. Based on the results of these finite element models it is observed that the response is closely proportional to the PPV rather than the ground acceleration. Hence PPV appears to be the correct term to represent the strength of ground motion.

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