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How To Find A Research Gap, Quickly

A step-by-step guide for new researchers

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Reviewer: Eunice Rautenbach (DTech) | April 2023

If you’ve got a dissertation, thesis or research project coming up, one of the first (and most important) things you’ll need to do is find a suitable research gap . In this post, we’ll share a straightforward process to help you uncover high-quality, original research gaps in a very time-efficient manner.

Overview: Finding Research Gaps

  • What exactly is a research gap?
  • Research gap vs research topic
  • How to find potential research gaps
  • How to evaluate research gaps (and topics)
  • Key takeaways

What is a research gap?

As a starting point, it’s useful to first define what we mean by research gap, to ensure we’re all on the same page. The term “research gap” gets thrown around quite loosely by students and academics alike, so let’s clear that up.

Simply put, a research gap is any space where there’s a lack of solid, agreed-upon research regarding a specific topic, issue or phenomenon. In other words, there’s a lack of established knowledge and, consequently, a need for further research.

Let’s look at a hypothetical example to illustrate a research gap.

Within the existing research regarding factors affect job satisfaction , there may be a wealth of established and agreed-upon empirical work within a US and UK context , but very little research within Eastern nations such as Japan or Korea . Given that these nations have distinctly different national cultures and workforce compositions compared to the West, it’s plausible that the factors that contribute toward job satisfaction may also be different. Therefore, a research gap emerges for studies that explore this matter.

This example is purely hypothetical (and there’s probably plenty of research covering this already), but it illustrates the core point that a research gap reflects a lack of firmly established knowledge regarding a specific matter . Given this lack, an opportunity exists for researchers (like you) to go on and fill the gap.

So, it’s the same as a research topic?

Not quite – but they are connected. A research gap refers to an area where there’s a lack of settled research , whereas a research topic outlines the focus of a specific study . Despite being different things, these two are related because research gaps are the birthplace of research topics. In other words, by identifying a clear research gap, you have a foundation from which you can build a research topic for your specific study. Your study is unlikely to resolve the entire research gap on it’s own, but it will contribute towards it .

If you’d like to learn more, we’ve got a comprehensive post that covers research gaps (including the different types of research gaps), as well as an explainer video below.

How to find a research gap

Now that we’ve defined what a research gap is, it’s time to get down to the process of finding potential research gaps that you can use as a basis for potential research topics. Importantly, it’s worth noting that this is just one way (of many) to find a research gap (and consequently a topic). We’re not proposing that it’s the only way or best way, but it’s certainly a relatively quick way to identify opportunities.

Step 1: Identify your broad area of interest

The very first step to finding a research gap is to decide on your general area of interest . For example, if you were undertaking a dissertation as part of an MBA degree, you may decide that you’re interested in corporate reputation, HR strategy, or leadership styles. As you can see, these are broad categories – there’s no need to get super specific just yet. Of course, if there is something very specific that you’re interested in, that’s great – but don’t feel pressured to narrow it down too much right now.

Equally important is to make sure that this area of interest is allowed by your university or whichever institution you’ll be proposing your research to. This might sound dead obvious, but you’ll be surprised how many times we’ve seen students run down a path with great excitement, only to later learn that their university wants a very specific area of focus in terms of topic (and their area of interest doesn’t qualify).

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Step 2: Do an initial literature scan

Once you’ve pinned down your broad area (or areas) of interest, the next step is to head over to Google Scholar to undertake an initial literature scan . If you’re not familiar with this tool, Google Scholar is a great starting point for finding academic literature on pretty much any topic, as it uses Google’s powerful search capabilities to hunt down relevant academic literature. It’s certainly not the be-all and end-all of literature search tools, but it’s a useful starting point .

Within Google Scholar, you’ll want to do a few searches using keywords that are relevant to your area of interest. Sticking with our earlier example, we could use the key phrase “job satisfaction”, or we may want to get a little more specific – perhaps “job satisfaction for millennials” or “job satisfaction in Japan”.

It’s always a good idea to play around with as many keywords/phrases as you can think up.  Take an iterative approach here and see which keywords yield the most relevant results for you. Keep each search open in a new tab, as this will help keep things organised for the next steps.

Once you’ve searched for a few different keywords/phrases, you’ll need to do some refining for each of the searches you undertook. Specifically, you’ll need to filter the results down to the most recent papers . You can do this by selecting the time period in the top left corner (see the example below).

using google scholar to find a research gap

Filtering to the current year is typically a good choice (especially for fast-moving research areas), but in some cases, you may need to filter to the last two years . If you’re undertaking this task in January or February, for example, you’ll likely need to select a two-year period.

Need a helping hand?

example of research gap in thesis pdf

Step 3: Review and shortlist articles that interest you

Once you’ve run a few searches using different keywords and phrases, you’ll need to scan through the results to see what looks most relevant and interesting to you. At this stage, you can just look at the titles and abstracts (the description provided by Google Scholar) – don’t worry about reading the actual article just yet.

Next, select 5 – 10 articles that interest you and open them up. Here, we’re making the assumption that your university has provided you with access to a decent range of academic databases. In some cases, Google Scholar will link you directly to a PDF of the article, but in most cases, you’ll need paid access. If you don’t have this (for example, if you’re still applying to a university), you can look at two options:

Open-access articles – these are free articles which you can access without any journal subscription. A quick Google search (the regular Google) will help you find open-access journals in your area of interest, but you can also have a look at DOAJ and Elsevier Open Access.

DeepDyve – this is a monthly subscription service that allows you to get access to a broad range of journals. At the time of shooting this video, their monthly subscription is around $50 and they do offer a free trial, which may be sufficient for your project.

Step 4: Skim-read your article shortlist

Now, it’s time to dig into your article shortlist and do some reading. But don’t worry, you don’t need to read the articles from start to finish – you just need to focus on a few key sections.

Specifically, you’ll need to pay attention to the following:

  • The abstract (which you’ve probably already read a portion of in Google Scholar)
  • The introduction – this will give you a bit more detail about the context and background of the study, as well as what the researchers were trying to achieve (their research aims)
  • The discussion or conclusion – this will tell you what the researchers found

By skimming through these three sections for each journal article on your shortlist, you’ll gain a reasonable idea of what each study was about, without having to dig into the painful details. Generally, these sections are usually quite short, so it shouldn’t take you too long.

Step 5: Go “FRIN hunting”

This is where the magic happens. Within each of the articles on your shortlist, you’ll want to search for a few very specific phrases , namely:

  • Future research
  • Further research
  • Research opportunities
  • Research directions

All of these terms are commonly found in what we call the “FRIN” section . FRIN stands for “further research is needed”. The FRIN is where the researchers explain what other researchers could do to build on their study, or just on the research area in general. In other words, the FRIN section is where you can find fresh opportunities for novel research . Most empirical studies will either have a dedicated FRIN section or paragraph, or they’ll allude to the FRIN toward the very end of the article. You’ll need to do a little scanning, but it’s usually pretty easy to spot.

It’s worth mentioning that naturally, the FRIN doesn’t hand you a list of research gaps on a platter. It’s not a silver bullet for finding research gaps – but it’s the closest thing to it. Realistically, the FRIN section helps you shortcut the gap-hunting process  by highlighting novel research avenues that are worth exploring.

This probably sounds a little conceptual, so let’s have a look at a few examples:

The impact of overeducation on job outcomes: Evidence from Saudi Arabia (Alzubaidi, 2020)

If you scroll down to the bottom of this article, you’ll see there’s a dedicated section called “Limitations and directions for future research”. Here they talk about the limitations of the study and provide suggestions about how future researchers could improve upon their work and overcome the limitations.

Perceived organizational support and job satisfaction: a moderated mediation model of proactive personality and psychological empowerment (Maan et al, 2020)

In this article, within the limitations section, they provide a wonderfully systematic structure where they discuss each limitation, followed by a proposal as to how future studies can overcome the respective limitation. In doing so, they are providing very specific research opportunities for other researchers.

Medical professionals’ job satisfaction and telemedicine readiness during the COVID-19 pandemic: solutions to improve medical practice in Egypt (El-Mazahy et al, 2023)

In this article, they don’t have a dedicated section discussing the FRIN, but we can deduct it based on the limitations section. For example, they state that an evaluation of the knowledge about telemedicine and technology-related skills would have enabled studying their independent effect on the perception of telemedicine.

Follow this FRIN-seeking process for the articles you shortlisted and map out any potentially interesting research gaps . You may find that you need to look at a larger number of articles to find something interesting, or you might find that your area of interest shifts as you engage in the reading – this is perfectly natural. Take as much time as you need to develop a shortlist of potential research gaps that interest you.

Importantly, once you’ve developed a shortlist of potential research gaps, you need to return to Google Scholar to double-check that there aren’t fresh studies that have already addressed the gap. Remember, if you’re looking at papers from two years ago in a fast-moving field, someone else may have jumped on it . Nevertheless, there could still very well be a unique angle you could take – perhaps a contextual gap (e.g. a specific country, industry, etc.).

Ultimately, the need for originality will depend on your specific university’s requirements and the level of study. For example, if you’re doing an undergraduate research project, the originality requirements likely won’t be as gruelling as say a Masters or PhD project. So, make sure you have a clear understanding of what your university’s expectations are. A good way to do this is to look at past dissertations and theses for your specific programme. You can usually find these in the university library or by asking the faculty.

How to evaluate potential research gaps

Once you’ve developed a shortlist of potential research gaps (and resultant potential research topics) that interest you, you’ll need to systematically evaluate  them  to choose a winner. There are many factors to consider here, but some important ones include the following:

  • Originality and value – is the topic sufficiently novel and will addressing it create value?
  • Data access – will you be able to get access to the sample of interest?
  • Costs – will there be additional costs involved for data collection and/or analysis?
  • Timeframes – will you be able to collect and analyse the data within the timeframe required by your university?
  • Supervisor support – is there a suitable supervisor available to support your project from start to finish?

To help you evaluate your options systematically, we’ve got a topic evaluation worksheet that allows you to score each potential topic against a comprehensive set of criteria. You can access the worksheet completely free of charge here .

Research topic evaluator

Recap: Key Takeaways

We’ve covered quite a lot of ground in this post. Here are the key takeaways:

  • A research gap is any space where there’s a lack of solid, agreed-upon research regarding a specific topic/issue/phenomenon.
  • Unique research topics emerge from research gaps , so it’s essential to first identify high-quality research gaps before you attempt to define a topic.
  • To find potential research gaps, start by seeking out recent journal articles on Google Scholar and pay particular attention to the FRIN section to identify novel opportunities.
  • Once you have a shortlist of prospective research gaps and resultant topic ideas, evaluate them systematically using a comprehensive set of criteria.

If you’d like to get hands-on help finding a research gap and research topic, be sure to check out our private coaching service , where we hold your hand through the research journey, step by step.

example of research gap in thesis pdf

Psst… there’s more (for free)

This post is part of our dissertation mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project. 

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How to find a research gap

Very useful for me, but i am still confusing review of literature review, how to find out topic related previous research.


Powerful notes! Thanks a lot.

Timothy Ezekiel Pam

This is helpful. Thanks a lot.

Yam Lal Bhoosal

Thank you very much for this. It is really a great opportunity for me to learn the research journey.

Vijaya Kumar

Very Useful

Nabulu Mara

It nice job

Friday Henry Malaya

You have sharpened my articulations of these components to the core. Thanks so much.

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paper cover thumbnail

ARTICLE/RESEARCH: A Taxonomy of Research Gaps: Identifying and Defining the Seven Research Gaps

Profile image of D. Anthony  Miles

2017, Journal of Research Methods and Strategies

One of the most prevailing issues in the craft of research is to develop a research agenda and build the research on the development of the research gap. Most research of any endeavor is attributed to the development of the research gap, which is a primary basis in the investigation of any problem, phenomenon or scientific question. Given this accepted tenet of engagement in research, surprising in the research fraternity, we do not train researchers on how to systematically identify research gaps as basis for the investigation. This is has continued to be a common problem with novice researchers. Unfailingly, very little theory and research has been developed on identifying research gaps as a basis for a line in inquiry. The purpose of this research is threefold. First, the proposed theoretical framework builds on the five-point theoretical model of Robinson, Saldanhea, and McKoy (2011) on research gaps. Second, this study builds on the six-point theoretical model of Müller-Bloch and Franz (2014) on research gaps. Lastly, the purpose of this research is to develop and propose a theoretical model that is an amalgamation of the two preceding models and re-conceptualizes the research gap concepts and their characteristics. Thus, this researcher proposes a seven-point theoretical model. This article discusses the characteristics of each research and the situation in which its application is warranted in the literature review The significance of this article is twofold. First, this research provides theoretical significance by developing a theoretical model on research gaps. Second, this research attempts to build a solid taxonomy on the different characteristics of research gaps and establish a foundation. The implication for researchers is that research gaps should be structured and characterized based on their functionality. Thus, this provides researchers with a basic framework for identifying them in the literature investigation.

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Various researchers have established the need for researchers to position their research problem in the research gap of the study area. This does not only indicate the relevance of the study but it demonstrates the significant contribution it would make in the field of study. The purpose of this paper is to conduct a systematic literature review on the concept of research gaps and provoke a discussion on the contemporary literature on types of research gaps. The paper discusses the various approaches for researchers to identify, align and position research problems, research design, and methodology in the research gaps to achieve relevance in their findings and study. A systematic review of the current literature on research gaps might assist beginning researchers in the justification of research problems. Given the acceptable tenet of developing a research agenda, design, and development on a research gap, many early career researchers especially (post)graduate students have difficulties in systematically identifying research gaps as a basis for conducting research work. The significance of this paper is twofold. First, it provides a systematic review of literature on the identification of research gaps to undertake research that would challenge assumptions and underlying existing theories in a significant way. Second, it provides a theoretical discussion on the importance of developing research problems on research gaps to structure their study.

example of research gap in thesis pdf

Kayode Oyediran

Problem in a research as well as human body calls for perfect diagnosis of illness. This is important to avoid treating the symptoms instead of the actual disease. A research problem could be identified through professional or/and academic efforts. This poses a lot of problems to students, both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as this determines the title of their articles or research works. Many of them have to submit many topics to their supervisors before one could be reframed and approved. At times, students appealed to their supervisors to provide them with researchable topics. This to the supervisor(s) almost writing the dissertations/theses for them. The argument of this paper is to let students understand "problem identification" using an analogy from the Holy Bible. The study employed a conversation analysis methodology, which is empirically grounded, exploratory in process and inferential. This involves using every conversation between two or more parties to explore facts/lesson. It was recommended that seasoned lecturers should explain to students how to identify research problems using what are familiar to them to make them understand this important aspect of research.


A research gap is generally any problem a scientific article, an academic book or a thesis may contain. In the previous article [], based on Dr. Anthony Miles' article on research gaps, I summarized the 7 research gaps into three main categories: theoretical problems, reasoning problems, and empirical problems.

Research to Action: The Global Guide to Research Impact

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The basics of research are seemingly clear. Read a lot of articles, see what’s missing, and conduct research to fill the gap in the literature. Wait a minute. What is that? “See what’s missing?” How can we see something that is not there? In this post, we will show you how to “see the invisible;” How to identify the missing pieces in any study, literature review, or program analysis. With these straight-forward techniques, you will be able to better target your research in a more cost-effective way to fill those knowledge gaps to develop more effective theories, plans, and evaluations.

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Researchers and academia often have difficulties identifying the research gap in literature in various fields of study. Hence, exploring research gap is one of the most arduous tasks for researchers especially those at the preliminary stage. The explicit identification of research gap is an inevitable step in developing a research agenda including decision about funding and the design of informative studies. Thus, to identify the research gap, the researcher needs to prune down his area of interest as identifying research gaps requires a lot of reading and analyzing of materials from various literatures. Hence, this study explores literatures regarding the method of identifying research gaps in management sciences. This was done by extensively examining various literatures on the method of identifying research gaps from previous researchers. However, the study made use of content analysis to identify research gaps in some articles. This study revealed that researchers are focused on a single type of research gap, leaving other research gaps unexplored. Also, there are some methods of research identification that has remained understandable by researchers as there are little or no knowledge about them. Hence, the study recommended among others that the various research identification methods be explored by researchers who intend to engage in studies in this field of management sciences.

Omini Akpang

This section contains the four Thematic Gap Analyses and the Cross-Cutting Gap Analysis. Each of the chapters has a lead author (s) as noted on the front page of the chapter. This follows the way that the team has divided-up the responsibilities for each Thematic Area, with a disciplinary specialist (s) taking the lead on each area. The chapters have, however, been reviewed and commented by others in the project team so the analysis and suggested actions and conclusions have the general support of the full project team.

In this second part of The Reason to Replicate Research, I develop with more details and explanations the Reasoning Gaps idea I briefly discussed in the article “How to Come Up with Research Question Easily Like a Pro”. ( And just like in Part I (, I will try to pivot the explanation around an example and show why they are important to fill.

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Steps for identifying research gaps in the literature

Your Master's thesis should make a significant, novel contribution to the field. Your thesis hypothesis should address a  research gap which you identify in the literature, a research question or problem that has not been answered in your research area of interest. This shows that you have developed expertise in the body of knowledge and theoretical issues in your chosen research area. 

Step 1: Focus Your Research Area

Before you start trying to identify gaps in the literature, you need to figure out what your area of interest is, and then focus and narrow that research area. If you don't narrow down your initial research area of interest, you'll end up wanting to research everything. You'll overwhelm yourself with all the research gaps you find because there are still a lot of unanswered research questions out there. 

  • Do some exploratory research  on your broad research idea in your course textbook, class notes, in meta-analysis, systematic, and literature reviews, and  PsycINFO  to identify more specific issues and arguments in your research area and possible relationships between them.
  • Read ebooks  to get the "big picture" about the research area you're interested in studying. Books and ebooks provide detailed information on your research area, put your research area in context, provide summaries of research, and help you identify major themes and relationships for your study.
  • Ask your advisors and other faculty  about possible topics or issues within your research area of interest. That being said, you're going to spend over a year immersed in work on your thesis, so make sure you  choose issues because you find them deeply interesting , not just because your advisor recommended them.

Step 2: Read, Read, and then Read Some More

Read (a lot of) research articles : this is going to be time-demanding, but you really do need to read through a lot of research articles in your research area to become an expert in it. That being said, what you use from the articles that you read should relate directly back to your focused research questions and hypothesis. Don't waste your time getting sidetracked by issues that don't relate to your research questions and hypothesis.

  • Go to  Start Finding Sources ,  Search Databases , and  Browse Journals  to find journal articles for your research area
  • Pay close attention to Introductions , in which authors explain why their research is important, and Suggestions for Future Research , in which authors point readers to areas which lack investigation or need future examination

Follow the research trails  of seminal articles and authors using Web of Science and Scopus:

  • In Scopus , click on Document Search , enter the article title, click on the article title in the list of search hits, then click on View all ~ citing documents link in the right sidebar for a list of articles that have cited this article
  • In Web of Science , enter the article title and choose Title from the right drop down menu , then click on the Times Cited number next to the article to see a list of articles that have cited this article
  • In Scopus , click on Author Search , enter the last name and first initial(s) of the author, click on the author's name in the list of search hits, then click on Cited By ~ documents for a list of articles that have cited this author
  • In Web of Science , enter the author name and choose Author from the right drop down menu , then click on the Times Cited number next to each article to see a list of articles that have cited this author's article

Read meta-analyses, literature reviews,  and  systematic reviews : these papers delve deep into the literature, examining the trends and changes over a long period of time in your research area and summaries of previous research findings.

  • In PsycINFO , click on literature review, systematic review, and  meta analysis  under the Methodologies heading in the sidebar to the right of the list of search hits 
  • In CINAHL , add systematic reviews to your search 
  • In Web Of Science , check the box beside Review under the Document Type heading in the sidebar to the right of the list of search hits

Step 3: Map out the Literature :

Keep track of what the authors told you and the questions that occur to you whenever you read anything - an article, a book, a book chapter, a dissertation, etc. This will also help you write your thesis introduction later on and help you avoid  unconscious plagiarism .Some more tips:

  • Use mind maps, tables, charts, pictures, post-it notes to map out the literature, whatever works for you. 
  • Research each of your questions to see if there are people out there who had the same questions and found answers to them
  • Science Direct , Web of Science , and Wiley Online Library databases help you follow the research trail by listing articles that have since cited the research article you're reading

If you find don't find any answers to one of your questions, you've probably found a research gap from which you can develop a thesis hypothesis and experimental project. Get feedback from your advisors before you get too carried away, though!

  • Get started by considering your central thesis question 
  • How do the sources you've found connect to that question and help you answer it?
  • How do the sources connect to and build off of one another?
  • << Previous: What Do Thesis Projects Involve?
  • Next: Develop A Hypothesis >>
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  • How to Define a Research Problem | Ideas & Examples

How to Define a Research Problem | Ideas & Examples

Published on November 2, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on May 31, 2023.

A research problem is a specific issue or gap in existing knowledge that you aim to address in your research. You may choose to look for practical problems aimed at contributing to change, or theoretical problems aimed at expanding knowledge.

Some research will do both of these things, but usually the research problem focuses on one or the other. The type of research problem you choose depends on your broad topic of interest and the type of research you think will fit best.

This article helps you identify and refine a research problem. When writing your research proposal or introduction , formulate it as a problem statement and/or research questions .

Table of contents

Why is the research problem important, step 1: identify a broad problem area, step 2: learn more about the problem, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about research problems.

Having an interesting topic isn’t a strong enough basis for academic research. Without a well-defined research problem, you are likely to end up with an unfocused and unmanageable project.

You might end up repeating what other people have already said, trying to say too much, or doing research without a clear purpose and justification. You need a clear problem in order to do research that contributes new and relevant insights.

Whether you’re planning your thesis , starting a research paper , or writing a research proposal , the research problem is the first step towards knowing exactly what you’ll do and why.

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As you read about your topic, look for under-explored aspects or areas of concern, conflict, or controversy. Your goal is to find a gap that your research project can fill.

Practical research problems

If you are doing practical research, you can identify a problem by reading reports, following up on previous research, or talking to people who work in the relevant field or organization. You might look for:

  • Issues with performance or efficiency
  • Processes that could be improved
  • Areas of concern among practitioners
  • Difficulties faced by specific groups of people

Examples of practical research problems

Voter turnout in New England has been decreasing, in contrast to the rest of the country.

The HR department of a local chain of restaurants has a high staff turnover rate.

A non-profit organization faces a funding gap that means some of its programs will have to be cut.

Theoretical research problems

If you are doing theoretical research, you can identify a research problem by reading existing research, theory, and debates on your topic to find a gap in what is currently known about it. You might look for:

  • A phenomenon or context that has not been closely studied
  • A contradiction between two or more perspectives
  • A situation or relationship that is not well understood
  • A troubling question that has yet to be resolved

Examples of theoretical research problems

The effects of long-term Vitamin D deficiency on cardiovascular health are not well understood.

The relationship between gender, race, and income inequality has yet to be closely studied in the context of the millennial gig economy.

Historians of Scottish nationalism disagree about the role of the British Empire in the development of Scotland’s national identity.

Next, you have to find out what is already known about the problem, and pinpoint the exact aspect that your research will address.

Context and background

  • Who does the problem affect?
  • Is it a newly-discovered problem, or a well-established one?
  • What research has already been done?
  • What, if any, solutions have been proposed?
  • What are the current debates about the problem? What is missing from these debates?

Specificity and relevance

  • What particular place, time, and/or group of people will you focus on?
  • What aspects will you not be able to tackle?
  • What will the consequences be if the problem is not resolved?

Example of a specific research problem

A local non-profit organization focused on alleviating food insecurity has always fundraised from its existing support base. It lacks understanding of how best to target potential new donors. To be able to continue its work, the organization requires research into more effective fundraising strategies.

Once you have narrowed down your research problem, the next step is to formulate a problem statement , as well as your research questions or hypotheses .

If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.


  • Sampling methods
  • Simple random sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Cluster sampling
  • Likert scales
  • Reproducibility


  • Null hypothesis
  • Statistical power
  • Probability distribution
  • Effect size
  • Poisson distribution

Research bias

  • Optimism bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Implicit bias
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Anchoring bias
  • Explicit bias

All research questions should be:

  • Focused on a single problem or issue
  • Researchable using primary and/or secondary sources
  • Feasible to answer within the timeframe and practical constraints
  • Specific enough to answer thoroughly
  • Complex enough to develop the answer over the space of a paper or thesis
  • Relevant to your field of study and/or society more broadly

Writing Strong Research Questions

Research questions anchor your whole project, so it’s important to spend some time refining them.

In general, they should be:

  • Focused and researchable
  • Answerable using credible sources
  • Complex and arguable
  • Feasible and specific
  • Relevant and original

Your research objectives indicate how you’ll try to address your research problem and should be specific:

A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.

Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.

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  • Library databases
  • Library website

Library Guide to Capstone Literature Reviews: Find a Research Gap

Find a research gap: tips to get started.

Finding a research gap is not an easy process and there is no one linear path. These tips and suggestions are just examples of possible ways to begin. 

In Ph.D. dissertations, students identify a gap in research. In other programs, students identify a gap in practice. The literature review for a gap in practice will show the context of the problem and the current state of the research. 

Research gap definition

A research gap exists when:

  • a question or problem has not been answered by existing studies/research in the field 
  • a concept or new idea has not been studied at all
  • all the existing literature on a topic is outdated 
  • a specific population/location/age group etc has not been studied 

A research gap should be:

  • grounded in the literature
  • amenable to scientific study
  • Litmus Test for a Doctoral-Level Research Problem (Word) This tool helps students determine if they have identified a doctoral level research problem.

Identify a research gap

To find a gap you must become very familiar with a particular field of study. This will involve a lot of research and reading, because a gap is defined by what does (and does not) surround it.

  • Search the research literature and dissertations (search all university dissertations, not just Walden!).
  • Understand your topic! Review background information in books and encyclopedias . 
  • Look for literature reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses.
  • Take notes on concepts, themes, and subject terms . 
  • Look closely at each article's limitations, conclusions, and recommendations for future research. 
  • Organize, analyze, and repeat! 


  • Quick Answer: How do I find dissertations on a topic?

Start with broad searches

Use the Library Search (formerly Thoreau)  to do a broad search with just one concept at a time . Broad searches give you an idea of the academic conversation surrounding your topic.

  • Try the terms you know (keywords) first.
  • Look at the Subject Terms (controlled language) to brainstorm terms. 
  • Subject terms help you understand what terms are most used, and what other terms to try.
  • No matter what your topic is, not every researcher will be using the same terms. Keep an eye open for additional ways to describe your topic.
  • Guide: Subject Terms & Index Searches: Index Overview

Keep a list of terms

  • Create a list of terms
  • Example list of terms

This list will be a record of what terms are: 

  • related to or represent your topic
  • synonyms or antonyms
  • more or less commonly used
  • keywords (natural language) or subject terms (controlled language)
  • Synonyms & antonyms (database search skills)
  • Turn keywords into subject terms

Term I started with:

culturally aware 

Subject terms I discovered:

cultural awareness (SU) 

cultural sensitivity (SU) 

cultural competence (SU) 

Search with different combinations of terms

  • Combine search terms list
  • Combine search terms table
  • Video: Search by Themes

Since a research gap is defined by the absence of research on a topic, you will search for articles on everything that relates to your topic. 

  • List out all the themes related to your gap.
  • Search different combinations of the themes as you discover them (include search by theme video at bottom) 

For example, suppose your research gap is on the work-life balance of tenured and tenure-track women in engineering professions. In that case, you might try searching different combinations of concepts, such as: 

  • women and STEM 
  • STEM or science or technology or engineering or mathematics
  • female engineering professors 
  • tenure-track women in STEM
  • work-life balance and women in STEM
  • work-life balance and women professors
  • work-life balance and tenure 

Topic adapted from one of the award winning Walden dissertations. 

  • Walden University Award Winning Dissertations
  • Gossage, Lily Giang-Tien, "Work-Life Balance of Tenured and Tenure-Track Women Engineering Professors" (2019). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 6435.

Break your topic into themes and try combining the terms from different themes in different ways. For example: 

Theme 1 and Theme 4

Theme 2 and Theme 1

Theme 3 and Theme 4

Video: Search by Themes (YouTube)

(2 min 40 sec) Recorded April 2014 Transcript

Track where more research is needed

Most research articles will identify where more research is needed. To identify research trends, use the literature review matrix to track where further research is needed. 

  • Download or create your own Literature Review Matrix (examples in links below).
  • Do some general database searches on broad topics.
  • Find an article that looks interesting.
  • When you read the article, pay attention to the conclusions and limitations sections.
  • Use the Literature Review Matrix to track where  'more research is needed' or 'further research needed'. NOTE:  you might need to add a column to the template.
  • As you fill in the matrix you should see trends where more research is needed.

There is no consistent section in research articles where the authors identify where more research is needed. Pay attention to these sections: 

  • limitations
  • conclusions
  • recommendations for future research 
  • Literature Review Matrix Templates: learn how to keep a record of what you have read
  • Literature Review Matrix (Excel) with color coding Sample template for organizing and synthesizing your research
  • Previous Page: Scope
  • Next Page: Get & Stay Organized
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National Academies Press: OpenBook

Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design (2020)

Chapter: chapter 2 - literature review and synthesis.

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

4 Literature Review and Synthesis Literature Review Purpose of Literature Review Performance-based seismic design (PBSD) for infrastructure in the United States is a developing field, with new research, design, and repair technologies; definitions; and method- ologies being advanced every year. A synthesis report, NCHRP Synthesis 440: Performance- Based Seismic Bridge Design (Marsh and Stringer 2013), was created to capture PBSD understanding up to that point. This synthesis report described the background, objec- tives, and research up until 2011 to 2012 and synthesized the information, including areas where knowledge gaps existed. The literature review in this research report focuses on new infor mation developed after the efforts of NCHRP Synthesis 440. The intention is that this research report will fuel the next challenge: developing a methodology to implement PBSD for bridge design. Literature Review Process Marsh and Stringer (2013) performed an in-depth bridge practice review by sending a questionnaire to all 50 states, with particular attention to regions with higher seismic hazards. The survey received responses from a majority of those agencies. This process was continued in the current project with a request for new information or research that the state depart- ment of transportation (DOT) offices have participated in or are aware of through other organizations. The research team reached out to the list of states and researchers in Table 1. An X within a box is placed in front of their names if they responded. The team also examined the websites of the state DOTs that participated to investigate whether something was studied locally, especially work being developed in California. The research team made an additional effort to perform a practice review of bridge designs, research, and other design industries, specifically in the building industry. The building industry has been developing PBSD for more than 20 years, and some of their developments are appli- cable to bridge design. These combined efforts have allowed the research team to assemble an overview of the state of PBSD engineering details and deployment since Marsh and Stringer’s (2013) report was published. NCHRP Synthesis 440 primarily dealt with the effects of strong ground motion shaking. Secondary effects such as tsunami/seiche, ground failure (surface rupture, liquefaction, or slope failure), fire, and flood were outside the scope of this study. Regardless, their impact on bridges may be substantial, and investigation into their effects is undoubtedly important. C H A P T E R 2

Literature Review and Synthesis 5 The following e-mail was sent to the owners and researchers. Dear (individual): We are assisting Modjeski & Masters with the development of proposed guidelines for Performance- Based Seismic Bridge Design, as part of NCHRP [Project] 12-106. Lee Marsh and our Team at BergerABAM are continuing our efforts from NCHRP Synthesis 440, which included a literature review up to December of 2011. From this timeframe forward, we are looking for published research, contractual language, or owner documents that deal with the following categories: 1. Seismic Hazards (seismic hazard levels, hazard curves, return periods, geo-mean vs. maximum direc- tion, probabilistic vs. deterministic ground motions, conditional mean spectrum, etc.) 2. Structure Response (engineering design parameters, materials and novel columns, isolation bearings, modeling techniques, etc.) 3. Damage Limit States (performance descriptions, displacement ductility, drift ratios, strain limits, rotation curvature, etc.) 4. Potential for Loss (damage descriptions, repairs, risk of collapse, economical loss, serviceability loss, etc.) 5. Performance Design Techniques (relating hazard to design to performance to risk, and how to assess [these] levels together) If you are aware of this type of resource, please provide a contact that we can work with to get this information or provide a published reference we can gather. Your assistance is appreciated. We want to minimize your time, and ask that you respond by Wednesday, 8 February 2017. Thank you again, Research Team Synthesis of PBSD (2012–2016) Objectives of NCHRP Synthesis 440 The synthesis gathered data from a number of different but related areas. Marsh and Stringer (2013), herein referred to as NCHRP Synthesis 440, set the basis for this effort. The research report outline follows what has been added to the NCHRP Synthesis 440 effort since 2012. The information gathered that supplements NCHRP Synthesis 440 includes, but is not limited to, the following topics. • Public and engineering expectations of seismic design and the associated regulatory framework Participation State Alaska DOT Arkansas DOT California DOT (Caltrans) Illinois DOT Indiana DOT Missouri DOT Montana DOT Nevada DOT Oregon DOT South Carolina DOT Utah DOT Washington State DOT Table 1. List of state DOT offices and their participation.

6 Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design • Seismic hazard analysis • Structural analysis and design • Damage analysis • Loss analysis • Organization-specific criteria for bridges • Project-specific criteria Where new or updated information is available for these areas, a summary is included. Marsh and Stringer (2013) also identified gaps in the knowledge base of PBSD, current as of 2012, that need to be closed. Knowledge gaps certainly exist in all facets of PBSD; however, key knowledge gaps that should be closed in order to implement PBSD are covered. • Gaps related to seismic hazard prediction • Gaps related to structural analysis • Gaps related to damage prediction • Gaps related to performance • Gaps related to loss prediction • Gaps related to regulatory oversight and training • Gaps related to decision making These knowledge gaps have been filled in somewhat in this research report but, for the most part, these areas are still the key concepts that require additional development to further the development of a PBSD guide specification. Public and Engineering Expectations of Seismic Design and the Associated Regulatory Framework The public expectation of a structure, including a bridge, is that it will withstand an earthquake, but there is a limited understanding of what that actually means. Decision makers struggle to understand how a bridge meeting the current requirements of the AASHTO Guide Specifications for LRFD Seismic Bridge Design (2011), herein referred to as AASHTO guide specifications, will perform after either the expected (design) or a higher level earthquake. Decision makers understand the basis of life safety, wherein the expectation is that no one will perish from a structure collapsing, but often mistakenly believe that the structure will also be usable after the event. In higher level earthquakes, even in some lower level events, this is not true without repair, retrofit, or replacement. In the past decade, there has been an increased awareness by owners and decision makers as to the basis of seismic design. As a result, a need has developed for performance criteria so that economic and social impacts can be interwoven with seismic design into the decision processes (see Figure 1). Several states, including California, Oregon, and the State of Washington, are working toward resiliency plans, although these are developed under different titles or programs within the states. Resiliency has been defined in several ways: (1) amount of damage from an event measured in fatalities, structural replacement cost, and recovery time and (2) the time to resto- ration of lifelines, reoccupation of homes and structures, and, in the short term, resumption of normal living routines. The California DOT Caltrans has generated risk models and is in the process of developing a new seismic design specification to address PBSD in bridge design. The risk models and specifications are not published yet, but the use in PBSD is discussed in greater detail later in this chapter.

Literature Review and Synthesis 7 The State of Washington The State of Washington’s resiliency plan, outlined in Washington State Emergency Management Council–Seismic Safety Committee (2012), works to identify actions and policies before, during, and after an earthquake event that can leverage existing policies, plans, and initiatives to realize disaster resilience within a 50-year life cycle. The hazard level used for trans- portation planning is the 1000 year event. The goals for transportation systems vary depending on the type of service a route provides, as shown in following components of the plan. For major corridors such as Interstates 5, 90, and 405 and floating bridges SR 520, I-90, and Hood Canal, the target timeframe for response and recovery is between 1 to 3 days and 1 to 3 months, depending on location. The current anticipated timeframe based on current capacity and without modifications is between 3 months to 1 year and 1 to 3 years, depending on location. The actual response and recovery time will depend on a number of factors. For example: 1. The number of Washington State DOT personnel who are able to report to work may be limited by a variety of circumstances, including where personnel were at the time of the earthquake and whether they sustained injuries. 2. Bridges and roadways in earthquake-affected areas must be inspected. How long this takes will depend on the number and accessibility of the structures and the availability of qualified inspectors. 3. Some bridges and segments of road may be rendered unusable or only partially usable as a result of the earthquake or secondary effects. The response and recovery timeframe will depend on the number, the location, and the extent of the damage. 4. Certain earthquake scenarios could result in damage to the Ballard Locks and cause the water level in Lake Washington to drop below the level required to operate the floating bridges. 5. Depending on the scenario and local conditions, liquefaction and slope failure could damage both interstates and planned detours. During the first 3 days after the event, the Washington State Department of Transportation (Washington State DOT) will inspect bridges and begin repairs as needed. Washington State DOT’s first priority will be to open key routes for emergency response vehicles. Subsequent phases of recovery will include setting up detours where necessary and regulating the type and Figure 1. PBSD decision-making process (Guidelines Figure 2.0-1). References to guidelines figures and tables within parentheses indicate the proposed AASHTO guidelines.

8 Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design volume of traffic, to give the public as much access as possible while damaged roads and bridges are repaired. For major and minor arterials, which encompass arterial roadways (including bridges) other than the interstates (so therefore includes state highways and many city and county roads), the target timeframe for response and recovery is between 0 to 24 hours and 3 months to 1 year, depending on location; the percentage of roadways that are open for use will increase over this period. Anticipated timeframe based on current capacity is between 1 week to 1 month and 1 to 3 years, depending on location; the percentage of roadways that are open for use will increase over this period. The goal of Washington State Emergency Management Council’s resiliency plan is to establish a means to coordinate agencies, public–private partnerships, and standards toward these resiliency goals. The plan outlines goals for recovery times for transportation systems in terms of hours, days, weeks, months, and years, with targets to achieve different levels of recovery (see Table 2) as follows. Similar recovery timeframe processes were established for service sectors (e.g., hospitals, law enforcement, and education); utilities; ferries, airports, ports, and navigable waterways; mass transit; and housing. The overall resiliency plan also discusses the degree to which the recovery of one component or sector would depend on the restoration of another. The key interdependencies that the participants identified include information and communication technologies, transportation, electricity, fuel, domestic water supplies, wastewater systems, finance and banking, and planning and community development. It appears that the implementation of the Washington State Emergency Management Council’s initiative, originally assumed to take 2.5 to 3 years in 2012, has not seen significant development since then. However, the State’s initiative to develop a more resilient community has been extended down to the county level, with King County’s efforts referenced in Rahman et al. (2014) and, at the city level, with the City of Seattle referenced in CEMP (2015). This reflects the commitment needed not only by the legislature and the state departments but also by other agencies (e.g., county, city, or utilities) and the public to take an interest in, and provide funding for, the development of a resiliency plan. The recovery continuum is presented graphically in Figure 2. Developing this relationship with other agency plans is an iterative process that will take time, as shown in Figure 3. Identifying the critical sectors of the agency is necessary to develop a resiliency model and determine how to approach a disaster recovery framework. King County worked from Washington State’s initiative to develop Figure 4. The Oregon DOT Oregon DOT has developed a variation of the approach identified by the State of Wash- ington; further discussion is found later in this chapter. Other Resilience Documents The building industry has recently seen the development of two additional documents that address PBSD in terms of expectations and process. The REDi Rating System from REDi (2013) sets an example for incorporating resilience- based design into the PBSD process. This document outlines structural resilience objectives for organizational resilience, building resilience, loss assessment, and ambient resilience to evaluate and rate the decision making and design methodology using PBSD for a specific project.

Literature Review and Synthesis 9 The document is one of the only references that addresses a system to develop probabilistic methods to estimate downtime. The overall intent is to provide a roadmap to resilience. This roadmap is intended to allow owners to resume business operation and to provide livable conditions quickly after an earthquake. The Los Angeles Tall Buildings Structural Design Council (LATBSDC 2014) created an alter- native procedure specific to their location. Design specification criteria are identified and modi- fications are described as appropriate for the PBSD approach to tall buildings in this localized Minimal (A minimum level of service is restored, primarily for the use of emergency responders, repair crews, and vehicles transporting food and other critical supplies.) Functional (Although service is not yet restored to full capacity, it is sufficient to get the economy moving again—for example, some truck/freight traffic can be accommodated. There may be fewer lanes in use, some weight restrictions, and lower speed limits.) Operational (Restoration is up to 80 to 90 percent of capacity: A full level of service has been restored and is sufficient to allow people to commute to school and to work.) Time needed for recovery to 80 to 90 percent operational given current conditions. Source: Washington State Emergency Management Council–Seismic Safety Committee (2012). Table 2. Washington State’s targets of recovery.

10 Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design Source: Adapted from FHWA by CEMP (2015). Figure 2. Recovery continuum process. Source: CEMP (2015). Figure 3. Relationship of disaster recovery framework to other city plans. region. This procedure is a good example of how PBSD criteria and methodology need to be established locally, with a knowledge of risk, resources, and performance needs in order to set the criteria for true PBSD. Seismic Hazard Prediction As outlined in NCHRP Synthesis 440, the seismic hazard includes the regional tectonics and the local site characteristics from either a deterministic or probabilistic viewpoint. The deterministic form allows the assessment of shaking at a site as a function of the controlling earthquake that can occur on all the identified faults or sources. The probabilistic approach

Literature Review and Synthesis 11 defines an acceleration used in design that would be exceeded during a given window of time (e.g., a 7% chance of exceedance in 75 years). The following subsections provide a summary of procedures currently used within AASHTO, as well as new issues that should be eventually addressed in light of approaches used by the building industry. AASHTO Probabilistic Approach As summarized in the AASHTO guide specifications, the current approach used by AASHTO involves the use of a probabilistic hazard model with a nominal return period of 1000 years. Baker (2013) noted that the probabilistic seismic hazard analysis involves the following five steps: 1. Identify all earthquake sources capable of producing damaging ground motions. 2. Characterize the distribution of earthquake magnitudes (the rates at which earthquakes of various magnitudes are expected to occur). 3. Characterize the distribution of source-to-site distances associated with potential earthquakes. 4. Predict the resulting distribution of ground motion intensity as a function of earthquake magnitude, distance, and so forth. 5. Combine uncertainties in earthquake size, location, and ground motion intensity, using a calculation known as the total probability theorem. While implementation of the five steps in the probabilistic approach is beyond what most practicing bridge engineers can easily perform, AASHTO, working through the U.S. Geological Survey, developed a website hazard tool that allows implementation of the probabilistic proce- dure based on the latitude and longitude of a bridge site. The product of the website includes peak ground acceleration (PGA), spectral acceleration at 0.2 s (Ss), and spectral acceleration at 1 s (S1). These values are for a reference-site condition comprising soft rock/stiff soil, having a time-averaged shear wave velocity (Vs) over the upper 100 feet of soil profile equal to 2500 feet per second (fps). The Geological Survey website can also correct for local site conditions following procedures in the AASHTO Guide Specifications for LRFD Seismic Bridge Design. One of the limitations of the current U.S. Geological Survey hazard website is that it is based on a seismic hazard model developed in 2002. The Geological Survey updated its seismic model in 2008 and then in 2014; however, these updates are currently not implemented within the AASHTO hazard model on the Geological Survey’s website. Oregon and the State of Washington have updated the seismic hazard map used by the Oregon DOT and the Washington State Source: Rahman et al. (2014). Figure 4. Resilient King County critical sectors and corresponding subsectors.

12 Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design DOT to include the 2014 U.S. Geological Survey hazard model; however, most state DOTs are still using the out-of-date hazard model. Use of the outdated hazard model introduces some inconsistencies in ground motion prediction, relative to the current Geological Survey hazard website tool at some locations. Discussions are ongoing between NCHRP and the U.S. Geological Survey to update the 2002 website tool. Another issue associated with the current AASHTO probabilistic method is that it is based on the geomean of the ground motion. In other words, the ground motion prediction equations in the hazard model are based on the geomean of recorded earthquake motions. These motions are not necessarily the largest motion. The building industry recognized that the maximum direction could result in larger ground motions and introduced maximum direction corrections. These corrections increase spectral acceleration by a factor of 1.1 and S1 by a factor of 1.3. The relevance of this correction to bridges is discussed in the next subsection of this review. The building industry also introduced a risk-of-collapse correction to the hazard model results. This correction is made to Ss and S1. The size of the correction varies from approximately 0.8 to 1.2 within the continental United States. It theoretically adjusts the hazard curves to provide a 1% risk of collapse in 50 years. The risk-of-collapse corrections were developed by the U.S. Geological Survey for a range of building structures located throughout the United States. Although no similar corrections have been developed for bridges, the rationale for the adjust- ment needs to be further evaluated to determine if the rationale should be applied to bridge structures. As a final point within this discussion of probabilistic methods within the AASHTO guide specifications, there are several other areas of seismic response that need to be considered. These include near-fault and basin effects on ground motions, as well as a long-period transition factor. The near-fault and basin adjustments correct the Ss and S1 spectral accelerations for locations near active faults and at the edge of basins, respectively. These adjustments typically increase spectral accelerations at longer periods (> 1 s) by 10% to 20%, depending on specifics of the site. The long-period transition identifies the point at which response spectral ordinates are no longer proportional to the 1/T decay with increasing period. These near-fault, basin, and long-period adjustments have been quantified within the building industry guidance documents but remain, for the most part, undefined within the AASHTO guide specifications. As bridge discussions and research move closer to true probabilistic format for PBSD, these issues need to be addressed as part of a future implementation process. Correction for Maximum Direction of Motion Over the last decade, a debate has been under way within the building industry regarding the appropriate definition of design response spectra (Stewart et al. 2011). The essence of the argument relates to the representation of bidirectional motion via response spectra. In both the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications (2014), as well as the AASHTO Guide Specifications for LRFD Seismic Bridge Design (SGS), response spectra are established by defining spectral ordinates at two or three different periods from design maps developed by the U.S. Geological Survey for a return period of 1000 years. The resulting spectra are then adjusted for local site conditions, resulting in the final design spectra. In establishing the design maps for parameters such as Ss and S1, the U.S. Geological Survey has traditionally relied upon probabilistic seismic hazard analysis, which utilizes ground motion prediction equations (GMPEs) defined by the geometric mean of the two principal directions of recorded motion. In 2006, Boore introduced a new rotation independent geometric mean definition termed GMRotI50 (Boore et al. 2006). Then, in 2010, Boore developed a new defini- tion that does not rely upon the geometric mean termed RotD50 spectra, which can be generi- cally expressed as RotDNN spectra, where NN represents the percentile of response (i.e., 50 is

Literature Review and Synthesis 13 consistent with the median, 0 is the minimum, and 100 is the maximum). The NGA–West2 project GMPEs utilized RotD50 spectra for the ground motion models; however, the 2009 National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) provisions adopted a factor to modify the median response, RotD50, to the maximum possible response, RotD100 as the spectra for the design maps (Stewart et al. 2011). Introducing RotD100 resulted in a 10% to 30% increase in spectral ordinates results relative to the geometric mean, which has traditionally been used as a basis of seismic design. In order to appreciate the impact of these choices, a brief discussion of RotDNN spectra is warranted. As described in Boore (2010), for a given recording station, the two orthogonal- component time series are combined into a single time series corresponding to different rotation angles, as shown in Equation 1: aROT(t ; θ) = a1(t)cos(θ) + a2(t)sin(θ) (1) where a1(t ) and a2(t ) are the orthogonal horizontal component acceleration time series and θ is the rotation angle. For example, consider the two orthogonal horizontal component time series, H1 and H2, shown in Figure 5. The single time series corresponding to the rotation angle θ is created by combining the Direction 1 and Direction 2 time series. Then, the response spectrum for that single time series can be obtained, as shown in the figure. The process is repeated for a range of azimuths from 0° to one rotation-angle increment less than 180°. If the rotation-angle increment is θ, then there will be 180/θ single time series, as well as 180/θ corresponding response spectra. For example, if θ = 30°, then there will be six single time series (the original two, as well as four generated time series), as well as six response spectra, as shown in Figure 6. Once the response spectra for all rotation angles are obtained, then the nth percentile of the spectral amplitude over all rotation angles for each period is computed (e.g., RotD50 is the median value and RotD100 is the largest value for all rotation angles). For example, at a given period of 1 s, the response spectra values for all rotation angles are sorted, and the RotD100 value would be the largest value from all rotation angles while RotD50 would be the median. This is repeated for all periods, with potentially different rotation angles, producing the largest Source: Palma (2019). Figure 5. Combination of time series to generate rotation dependent spectra.

14 Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design response at any given period (period-dependent rotation angle.) Figure 7 shows an example of the two orthogonal horizontal components, as well as the RotD50 and RotD100 spectra for the as-recorded ground motion from the 2011 Christchurch, New Zealand, earthquake at Kaiapoi North School station. As can be seen in the sample spectra (see Figure 7), the RotD100 spectrum represents a sub- stantial increase in demand when compared with the RotD50 spectrum. The main question facing the bridge community from this point onward is the appropriate selection of response spectra definition. This question can only be answered by developing sample designs to both the RotD50 and RotD100 spectra, which would then be evaluated via no-linear time history analysis. Such a study will require multiple bridge configurations and multiple ground motions. As an example of the potential impact, Figure 8 shows the results of a single-degree-of- freedom bridge column designed according to both RotD50 and RotD100 spectra, along with the resulting nonlinear time history analysis. The column was designed using direct displacement- based design to achieve a target displacement of 45 cm. It is clear from the results in Figure 8d that the nonlinear response of the column designed to the RotD100 spectrum matches the target Source: Palma (2019). Figure 6. Example of time series rotations with an angle increment (p) of 30ç. Source: Palma (2019). Figure 7. Sample spectra for a recorded ground motion pair.

Literature Review and Synthesis 15 reasonably well, while designing to the RotD50 spectrum results in displacements that are much greater than expected. This is, of course, only one result of an axisymmetric system. In the future (and outside the scope of this project), a systematic study could be conducted for both single degree of freedom and multiple degrees of freedom systems. The literature on this topic can be divided into two categories: (1) response spectra definitions and (2) impact on seismic response. The majority of the literature addresses the former. For example, Boore et al. (2006) and Boore (2010) introduced orientation-independent measures of seismic intensity from two horizontal ground motions. Boore et al. (2006) proposed two measures of the geometric mean of the seismic intensity, which are independent of the in-situ orientations of the sensors. One measure uses period-dependent rotation angles to quantify the spectral intensity, denoted GMRotDnn. The other measure is the GMRotInn, where I stands for period-independent. The ground motion prediction equations of Abrahamson and Silva (1997), Figure 8. Single bridge column designed according to both RotD50 and RotD100 spectra (Tabas EQ = Tabas earthquake and displ. = displacement).

16 Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design Boore et al. (1997), Campbell and Bozorgnia (2003), and Sadigh et al. (1997) have been updated using GMRotI50 as the dependent variable. Since more users within the building industry expressed the desire to use the maximum spec- tral response over all the rotation angles without geometric means, Boore (2010) introduced the measures of ground-shaking intensity irrespective of the sensor orientation. The measures are RotDnn and RotInn, whose computation is similar to GMRotDnn and GMRotInn without computing the geometric means. With regard to impact on seismic response, the opinion paper by Stewart et al. (2011) and the work by Mackie et al. (2011) on the impact of incidence angle on bridge response are relevant. Specifically, Stewart et al. (2011) noted the importance of computational analysis of structures (which had not been done as of 2011) in proposing appropriate spectra definitions. Other Methodologies for Addressing Seismic Ground Motion Hazards There are several other reports that address the question of the methodology that may be utilized in developing the seismic hazard. These recent studies endeavored to create a method- ology that is easier for engineers, as users, to understand how to tie the seismic hazard to the performance expectation. The variability of these approaches also demonstrates the broad range of options and therefore a limited understanding by practitioners in the bridge design industry. Following are some examples that apply to PBSD. Wang et al. (2016) performed a probabilistic seismic risk analysis (SRA) based on a single ground motion parameter (GMP). For structures whose responses can be better predicted using multiple GMPs, a vector-valued SRA (VSRA) gives accurate estimates of risk. A simplified approach to VSRA, which can substantially improve computational efficiency without losing accuracy, and a new seismic hazard de-aggregation procedure are proposed. This approach and the new seismic hazard de-aggregation procedure would allow an engineer to determine a set of controlling earthquakes in terms of magnitude, source–site distance, and occurrence rate for the site of interest. Wang et al. presented two numerical examples to validate the effectiveness and accuracy of the simplified approach. Factors affecting the approximations in the simplified approach were discussed. Kwong and Chopra (2015) investigated the issue of selecting and scaling ground motions as input excitations for response history analyses of buildings in performance-based earthquake engineering. Many ground motion selection and modification procedures have been developed to select ground motions for a variety of objectives. This report focuses on the selection and scaling of single, horizontal components of ground motion for estimating seismic demand hazard curves of multistory frames at a given site. Worden et al. (2012) used a database of approximately 200,000 modified Mercalli intensity (MMI) observations of California earthquakes collected from U.S. Geological Survey reports, along with a comparable number of peak ground motion amplitudes from California seismic networks, to develop probabilistic relationships between MMI and peak ground velocity (PGV), PGA, and 0.3-s, 1-s, and 3-s 5% damped pseudo-spectral acceleration. After associating each ground motion observation with an MMI computed from all the seismic responses within 2 kilometers of the observation, a joint probability distribution between MMI and ground motion was derived. A reversible relationship was then derived between MMI and each ground motion parameter by using a total least squares regression to fit a bilinear function to the median of the stacked probability distributions. Among the relationships, the fit-to-peak ground velocity has the smallest errors, although linear combinations of PGA and PGV give nominally better results. The magnitude and distance terms also reduce the overall residuals and are justifiable on an information theoretical basis.

Literature Review and Synthesis 17 Another approach to developing the appropriate seismic hazard comes out of Europe. Delavaud et al. (2012) presented a strategy to build a logic tree for ground motion prediction in European countries. Ground motion prediction equations and weights have been determined so that the logic tree captures epistemic uncertainty in ground motion prediction for six different tectonic regions in Europe. This includes selecting candidate GMPEs and simultaneously running them through a panel of six experts to generate independent logic trees and rank the GMPEs on available test data. The collaboration of this information is used to set a weight to the GMPEs and create a consensus logic tree. This output then is run through a sensitivity analysis of the proposed weights on the seismic hazard before setting a final logic tree for the GMPEs. Tehrani and Mitchell (2014) used updated seismic hazard maps for Montreal, Canada to develop a uniform hazard spectra for Site Class C and a seismic hazard curve to analyze bridges in the localized area. Kramer and Greenfield (2016) evaluated three case studies following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake to better understand and design for liquefaction. Existing case history databases are incomplete with respect to many conditions for which geotechnical engineers are often required to evaluate liquefaction potential. These include liquefaction at depth, liquefaction of relatively dense soils, and liquefaction of gravelly soils. Kramer and Greenfield’s investigation of the three case histories will add to the sparse existing data for those conditions, and their interpretations will aid in the validation and development of predictive procedures for liquefaction potential evaluation. Structural Analysis and Design Predicting the structural response to the earthquake ground motions is critical for the PBSD process. NCHRP Synthesis 440 outlined several analysis methods that can be used to accomplish this task. The multimodal linear dynamic procedures are outlined in AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications (AASHTO 2014) and AASHTO Guide Specifications for LRFD Seismic Bridge Design (AASHTO 2011), although the Guide Specifications also include the parameters for performing a model pushover analysis in addition to prescriptive detail practices to ensure energy-dissipating systems behave as intended and other elements are capacity-protected. Other methods of analysis may be better suited for PBSD, but the initial PBSD approach will likely follow the procedures of the AASHTO guide specifications, with multi-level hazards and performance expectations. Limited research and code development have been accomplished since NCHRP Synthesis 440, but one new analysis method, outlined in Babazadeh et al. (2015), includes a three-dimensional finite element model simulation that is used to efficiently predict intermediate damage limit states in a consistent manner, with the experimental observations extracted from the actual tested columns. Other recent articles of structural analysis identified areas of improvement in the current design methodology that may be beneficial to PBSD. Huff and Pezeshk (2016) compared the substitute structure method methodology for isolated bearings with the displacement-based design methodology for ordinary bridges and showed that these two methodologies vary in estimating inelastic displacements. Huff (2016a) identified issues that are generally simplified or ignored in current practice of predicting inelastic behavior of bridges during earthquakes, both on the capacity (in the section of the element type and geometric nonlinearities) and demand (issues related to viscous dampening levels) sides of the process. The current SGS methodology for nonlinear static procedures were compared in Hajihashemi et al. (2017) with recent methodologies for multimodal pushover procedures that take into account all significant modes of the structure and with modified equivalent linearization procedures developed for

18 Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design FEMA-440 (FEMA 2005). All of these analysis articles identify areas of current discussion on how to improve the analytical procedures proposed in the SGS. NCHRP Synthesis 440 focused primarily on new analysis methods, but a recent increased focus, in both academia and industry, has to do with new materials and systems and their impacts on PBSD. The evolution of enhanced seismic performance has been wrapped into several research topics, such as accelerated bridge construction (ABC), novel columns, and PBSD. The following are several aspects, though not all-encompassing, which have been improved upon in the last 6 years or so. Improving Structural Analysis Through Better Material Data The analysis and performance of a bridge are controlled with material property parameters incorporated into the seismic analysis models, specifically for the push-over analysis method. AASHTO Guide Specifications for LRFD Seismic Bridge Design (AASHTO 2011) specifies the strain limits to use for ASTM A706 (Grade 60) and ASTM A615 Grade 60 reinforcement. These strain limits come from Caltrans study of 1,100 mill certificates for ASTM A706 Grade 60 in the mid-1990s for projects in Caltrans bridge construction. The results were reported as elongation—not strain—at peak stress, so select bar pull tests were performed to correlate elongation to strain at peak stress. This was assumed to be a conservative approach, though it has recently been validated with a new ASTM A706 Grade 80 study at North Carolina State University by Overby et al. (2015a), which showed Caltrans numbers, by comparison, for Grade 60 are reasonable and conservative. Overby et al. (2015b) developed stress strain parameters for ASTM A706 Grade 80 reinforcing steel. Approximately 800 tests were conducted on bars ranging from #4 to #18 from multiple heats from three producing mills. Statistical results were presented for elastic modulus, yield strain and stress, strain-hardening strain, strain at maximum stress, and ultimate stress. Research is currently under way at North Carolina State University that aims to identify strain limit states, plastic hinge lengths, and equivalent viscous damping models for bridge columns constructed from A706 Grade 80 reinforcing steel. Work is also under way at the University of California, San Diego, on applications of Grade 80 rebar for capacity-protected members such as bridge cap beams. Design Using New Materials and Systems Structural analysis and design are fundamentally about structural response to the earthquake ground motion and the analysis methods used to develop this relationship. The complexity of the analysis depends on the geometry of the structure and elements and the extent of inelastic behavior. This is coupled with the damage, or performance criteria but has been broken out for the purposes of this report and NCHRP Synthesis 440. Next generation bridge columns, often referred to as novel columns, are improving as a tool for engineers to control both the structural analysis, as the make-up of the material changes the inelastic behavior, and the element performance of bridges in higher seismic hazards. The energy-dissipating benefits of low damage materials—such as ultrahigh-performance concrete (UHPC), engineered cementi- tious composites (ECC), and shape memory alloy, fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) wraps and tubes, elastomeric bearings, and post-tensioned strands or bars—can be utilized by engineers to improve seismic performance and life-cycle costs after a significant seismic event. Recent (Saiidi et al. 2017) studies tested various combinations of these materials to determine if there are columns that can be built with these materials that are equivalent to, or better than, conventional reinforced concrete columns (in terms of cost, complexity, and construction duration) but that improve seismic performance, provide greater ductility, reduce damage, and accommodate a quicker recovery time and reduce loss in both the bridge and the economic environment.

Literature Review and Synthesis 19 Accelerated bridge construction is also a fast-developing field in bridge engineering, with draft guide specifications for design and construction currently being developed for adop- tion by AASHTO for AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications (AASHTO 2014). ABC has economic impacts that go beyond seismic engineering, but research is focusing on details and connections for accelerated construction in higher seismic regions, moving two research paths forward at the same time. Tazarv and Saiidi (2014) incorporated ABC research with novel column research to evaluate combined novel column materials that can be constructed quickly. The research focused on the performance of materials and how to incorporate them into practice. Key mechanical properties of reinforcing SMA were defined as follows: • Observed yield strength (fyo) is the stress at the initiation of nonlinearity on the first cycle of loading to the upper plateau. • Austenite modulus (k1) is the average slope between 15% to 70% of fyo. • Post yield stiffness (k2) is the average slope of curve between 2.5% and 3.5% of strain on the upper plateau of the first cycle of loading to 6% strain. • Austenite yield strength (fy) is the stress at the intersection of line passing through origin with slope of k1 and line passing through stress at 3% strain with slope of k2. • Lower plateau inflection strength (fi) is the stress at the inflection point of lower plateau during unloading from the first cycle to 6% strain. • Lower plateau stress factor, β = 1 – (fi/fy). • Residual strain (eres) is the tensile strain after one cycle to 6% and unloading to 1 ksi (7 MPa). • Recoverable super-elastic strain (er) is maximum strain with at least 90% strain recovery capacity. Using the ASTM standard for tensile testing, er ≤ 6%. • Martensite modulus (k3) is the slope of the curve between 8% to 9% strain, subsequent to one cycle of loading to 6% strain, unloading to 1 ksi (7 MPa) and reloading to the ultimate stress. • Secondary post-yield stiffness ratio, α = k3/k1. • Ultimate strain (eu) is strain at failure. A graphical representation is shown in Figure 9, and minimum and expected mechanical properties are listed in Table 3. Other researchers, such as at the University of Washington, are currently testing grouted bars using conventional grouts and finding that these development lengths can be reduced greatly. However, it is the force transfer of the grouted duct to the reinforcing outside the duct that may Figure 9. NiTi SE SMA nonlinear model.

20 Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design require additional length to adequately develop the energy-dissipating or capacity-protecting system that was intended by the designer for performance of the bridge in a high seismic event. Tazarv and Saiidi (2014) identified other material properties such as UHPC and ECC, shown in Tables 4 and 5, respectively. Tazarv and Saiidi (2014) also addressed grouted splice sleeve couplers, self-consolidating concrete (SCC), and other connection types that could be used in ABC and novel column configurations, testing these materials in the laboratory to see if various combinations produced a logical system to be carried forward in research, design, and implementation. Trono et al. (2015) studied a rocking post-tensioned hybrid fiber-reinforced concrete (HyFRC) bridge column that was designed to limit damage and residual drifts and that was tested dynamically under earthquake excitation. The column utilized post-tensioned strands, HyFRC, and a combination of unbonded and headed longitudinal reinforcement. There have been two projects related to the field of novel columns and ABC through the National Cooperative Highway Research Program. One project was NCHRP Project 12-101, which resulted in NCHRP Report 864, 2 volumes (Saiidi et al. 2017), and the other project was NCHRP Project 12-105, which resulted in NCHRP Research Report 935 (Saiidi et al. 2020). NCHRP Project 12-101 identified three novel column systems—specifically, SMA and ECC, ECC and FRP, and hybrid rocking column using post-tensioned strands and fiber-reinforced Parameter Tensile Compressive,ExpectedbExpectedbMinimuma Table 3. Minimum expected reinforcing NiTi SE SMA mechanical properties. Properties Range Poisson’s Ratio 0.2 Creep Coefficient* 0.2 to 0.8 Total Shrinkage** *Depends on curing conditions and age of loading. up to 900x10-6 Equation Compressive Strength (f'UHPC) f'UHPC 20 to 30 ksi, (140 to 200 MPa) Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (5.5 to 8.5)x10 -6/°F, (10 to 15)x10-6/°C Specific Creep* (0.04 to 0.3)x10 -6/psi, (6 to 45)x10-6/MPa A time-dependent equation for UHPC strength is available. Tensile Cracking Strength (ft,UHPC) ft,UHPC = 6.7 (psi) f'UHPCEUHPC = 49000 (psi) 0.9 to 1.5 ksi, (6 to 10 MPa) Modulus of Elasticity (EUHPC) 6000 to 10000 ksi, (40 to 70 GPa) **Combination of drying shrinkage and autogenous shrinkage and depends on curing method. Table 4. UHPC mechanical properties.

Literature Review and Synthesis 21 polymer confinement—and compared them to a conventional reinforced column. The research and properties of the material are provided; incorporating laboratory tests and calibration, design examples are created to help engineers understand how to use these advanced materials in a linear elastic seismic demand model and to determine performance using a pushover analysis. It is worth noting that ductility requirements do not accurately capture the perfor- mance capabilities of these novel columns, and drift ratio limits are being used instead, similar to the building industry. NCHRP Project 12-101 also provided evaluation criteria that can be evaluated and incorporated by AASHTO into a guide specification or into AASHTO Guide Specifications for LRFD Seismic Bridge Design (AASHTO 2011) directly. NCHRP Project 12-105 synthesized research, design codes, specifications, and contract language throughout all 50 states and combined the knowledge base and lessons learned for ABC into proposed guide specifications for both design and construction. This work focused on connections, and most of that information is related to seismic performance of ABC elements and systems. Earthquake resisting elements (ERE) and earthquake resisting systems (ERS) are specifically identified, defined, and prescribed for performance in AASHTO guide specifica- tions (AASHTO 2011) but only implicitly applied in AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications (AASHTO 2014). Since NCHRP Project 12-105 is applicable to both of these design resources, ERE and ERS are discussed in terms of how to apply performance to the force-based seismic design practice of AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications (AASHTO 2014). The proposed guide specification language also identifies when performance of materials have to be incor- porated into the design, say in higher seismic hazards, and when it is acceptable to apply ABC connections and detailing practices with prescriptive design methodologies. As the industry’s understanding of performance increases, the engineering industry is accepting the benefits that come from a more user-defined engineering practice that is implemented by identifying material properties; evaluating hazards and soil and structural responses; and verifying performance through strain limits, damage limits states, moment curvature, displacements, and ductility. These tools and advancements in ABC and novel column designs, including other material property performance and analytical methodologies, are allowing PBSD to advance in other areas, such as hazard prediction, loss prediction, and the owner decision-making process. Feng et al. (2014a) studied the application of fiber-based analysis to predict the nonlinear response of reinforced concrete bridge columns. Specifically considered were predictions of overall force-deformation hysteretic response and strain gradients in plastic hinge regions. The authors also discussed the relative merits of force-based and displacement-based fiber elements and proposed a technique for prediction of nonlinear strain distribution based on the modified compression field theory. Fulmer et al. (2013) developed a new steel bridge system that is based upon ABC techniques that employ an external socket to connect a circular steel pier to a cap beam through the use of grout and shear studs. The resulting system develops a plastic hinge in the pipe away from the column-to-cap interface. An advantage of the design is ease of construction, as no field welding Properties Range Flexural Strength 1.5 to 4.5 ksi (10 to 30 MPa) Modulus of Elasticity 2600 to 5000 ksi (18 to 34 GPa) Ultimate Tensile Strain 1 to 8% Ultimate Tensile Strength 0.6 to 1.7 ksi (4 to 12 MPa) First Crack Strength 0.4 to 1.0 ksi (3 to 7 MPa) Compressive Strength 3 to 14 ksi (20 to 95 MPa) Table 5. ECC mechanical properties.

22 Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design is required: the two assemblies are placed together and the annular space between the column and cap filled with grout. Figure 10 shows the details of this connection, and Figure 11 shows a test of the system. Another system being investigated is isolation bearings or dampening devices. Xie and Zhiang (2016) investigated the effectiveness and optimal design of protective devices for the seismic protection of highway bridges. Fragility functions are first derived by probabilistic seismic demand analysis, repair cost ratios are then derived using a performance-based methodol- ogy, and the associated component failure probability. Subsequently, the researchers tried to identify the optimal design parameters of protective devices for six design cases with various combinations of isolation bearings and fluid dampers and discussed the outcomes. Damage mitigation through isolation and energy dissipation devices is continually improving based on research, development, and implementation in the field. Recent events within the State of Washington, Alaska, and other state agencies have shown that the benefits of these tools can be compromised if the intended performance cannot be sustained for the 75-year design life of the structure. Mackie and Stojadinovic (2015) outlined performance criteria for fabrica- tion and construction that need to be administered properly, and engineers should consider the effects of moisture, salts, or other corrosive environmental conditions that can affect the performance of the isolation or energy-dissipating system. Another constraint with these systems can be the proprietary nature that occurs as a specific isolation or energy-dissipating system is utilized to develop a specific performance expectation that can only be accomplished with the prescribed system. This proprietary nature of these systems can create issues for certain funding sources that require equal bidding opportunities and the project expense that can accompany a proprietary system. To address this type of design constraint, Illinois DOT has been developing an earthquake-resisting system (ERS) to leverage the displacement capacity available at typical bearings in order to provide seismic protection to substructures of typical bridges. LaFave et al. (2013a) identified the effects and design parameters, Source: Fulmer et al. (2013). 5" 4 at 5" O.C. A A A-A Connection Details 45° UT 100% 3 8" 12 Studs Spaced Around Cross Section 30°Typ. 15° Offset Studs Inside Pipe from Cap Beam CL HSS16x0.500 Pipe 24x0.500 2'-0"2 14 " 4 at 5" O.C. 212"-34 "Ø Shear Studs 1'-11" Pipe Stud Detail Grout Provided By and Placed by NCSU Figure 10. Grouted shear stud bridge system.

Literature Review and Synthesis 23 such as fuse capacity, shear response, and sliding response, which can be used to account for more standard bearing configurations in seismic analysis, especially lower seismic hazard regions. A variation on the use of bearings in order to improve seismic performance of a pier wall configuration was outlined in Bignell et al. (2006). Historically, pinned, rocking, and sliding bearings have been used with interior pier walls and steel girder superstructures. These bearing configurations were compared with replacement elastomeric bearing configurations and details for structural analysis techniques, damage limit states, and structural fragility, and performance through probability distributions were utilized as a PBSD process for determining solutions to seismic isolation and enhanced seismic performance. The foundation conditions, pier wall effects, bearing type, and even embankment effects to structural performance were included in this evaluation. Another approach to enhanced performance is modifications to foundation elements or increased understanding and modeling of soil–structure interaction, specifically where lateral spread or liquefaction design conditions make conventional bridge design and elements imprac- tical. One example of this is the seismic design and performance of bridges constructed with rocking foundations, as evaluated in Antonellis and Panagiotou (2013). This type of rocking goes beyond the loss of contact area currently allowed in the guide specifications. The applica- tion of columns supported on rocking foundations accommodates large deformations, while there is far less damage, and can re-center after large earthquakes. Another approach is to tie a tolerable displacement of an individual deep foundation element to a movement that would cause adverse performance, excessive maintenance issues, or functionality problems with the bridge structure. Roberts et al. (2011) established a performance-based soil–structure–interaction design approach for drilled shafts. Chiou and Tsai (2014) evaluated displacement ductility of an in-ground hinging of a fixed head pile. Assessment formulas were developed for the displacement ductility capacity of a fixed-head pile in cohesion-less soils. The parameters in the formulas included the sectional over-strength ratio and curvature ductility capacity, as well as a modification factor for consider- ing soil nonlinearity. The modification factor is a function of the displacement ratio of the pile’s ultimate displacement to the effective soil yield displacement, which is constructed through a number of numerical pushover analyses. Source: Fulmer et al. (2013). Figure 11. Photograph of completed system before seismic testing showing hinge locations.

24 Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design Damage Analysis As stated in NCHRP Synthesis 440, it is a fundamental need for the PBSD methodology to determine the type of damage and the likelihood that such damage will occur in the particular components of the structural system. This determination is of vital importance, as the damage sustained by a structure (and its nonstructural components) is directly relatable to the use or loss of a system after an earthquake. Therefore, there is a need to be able to reliably link structural and nonstructural response (internal forces, deformations, accelerations, and displacements) to damage. This is the realm of damage analyses, where damage is defined as discrete observable damage states (e.g., yield, spalling, longitudinal bar buckling, and bar fracture). Although the primary focus of the discussions is on structural components, similar considerations must be made for nonstructural components as well. NCHRP Synthesis 440 outlined an initial discussion on types of structural damage observed during historic earthquakes and laboratory experiments, prefaced the methods that have been developed to predict damage, identified structural details and concepts that could be used to reduce damage even in strong ground shaking, and reviewed post-event inspection tools. The new materials discussed in previous sections also apply to this discussion but are not repeated herein. Accurate damage prediction relies upon accurate definitions of performance limit states at the material level (i.e., strain limits) and the corresponding relationship between strain and displacement. Examples of recent research follow. Research by Feng et al. (2014b, 2014c) used finite element analysis validated by experimental test results to develop a model for predicting the tension strain corresponding to bar buckling. The model considers the impact of loading history on the boundary conditions of longitudinal bar restraint provided by the transverse steel. Goodnight et al. (2016a) identified strain limits to initiate bar buckling based on experimental results from 30 column tests (Equation 2). Following additional bidirectional tests on 12 columns, Equation 2 was revised to Equation 3. In addition, strain limit state equations were proposed for the compression strain in concrete to cause spiral yielding (Goodnight et al. 2017a). Goodnight et al. (2016b) also developed a new plastic hinge length model based on the data collected during those tests, which accounts for the actual curvature distribution in RC bridge columns. The revised model separates the strain penetration component from the flexural component while also recognizing that the hinge length for compression is smaller than that for tension. Brown et al. (2015) developed strain limit state (Equation 4) (tube wall local buckling) and equivalent viscous damping equations for reinforced concrete filled steel tubes (RCFSTs). The recommendations of the authors were based upon reversed cyclic tests of 12 RCFSTs of variable D/t (diameter to thickness) ratios. 0.03 700 0.1 (2)bucklingbar f E P f A s s yhe s ce g ε = + ρ − ′ 0.032 790 0.14 (3)bucklingbar f E P f A s s yhe s ce g ε = + ρ − ′ 0.021 9100 (4)tension buckling D t yε = − ≥ ε

Literature Review and Synthesis 25 where rs = reinforcement ratio, fyhe = expected yield strength of the steel tube (ksi), Es = elastic modulus of steel (ksi), P = axial load (kip), f ′ce = expected concrete strength (ksi), Ag = gross area of concrete (in.2), D = diameter of tube (in.), t = thickness of tube (in.), and ey = yield strain for steel (in./in.). Loss Analysis The PBSD combines the seismic hazard, structural, and damage analysis into a performance matrix that can be estimated into a loss metric. There are many loss metrics that can be used by, and that are important to, stakeholders and decision makers (discussed in detail in NCHRP Synthesis 440), but all these metrics can be boiled down to three main categories: deaths, dollars, and downtime. Bertero (2014) discussed earthquake lessons, in terms of loss, to be considered in both design and construction of buildings. At the beginning of 2010, two large earthquakes struck the Americas. The January 12, 2010, Haiti earthquake with a magnitude 7.0 produced about 300,000 deaths (second by the number of fatalities in world history after the 1556 Shaanxi, China earthquake). A month later, the February 27, 2010, Maule Chilean earthquake with a magnitude 8.8 (an energy release 500 times bigger than that from the Haiti earthquake) produced 500 deaths, most due to the resulting tsunami. However, the Chilean earthquake caused more than $30 billion of direct damage, left dozens of hospitals and thousands of schools nonoperational, and caused a general blackout for several hours, as well as the loss of service of essential communications facilities, crucial to take control of the chaotic after-earthquake situ- ation. Bertero (2014) compared the severity of both earthquakes and comments on their effects to life and the economy of the affected countries, as well as the features of the seismic codes or the absence of codes. An example of risk analysis with PBSD is utilized in Bensi et al. (2011), with the development of a Bayesian network (BN) methodology for performing infrastructure seismic risk assessment and providing decision support with an emphasis on immediate post-earthquake applications. A BN is a probabilistic graphical model that represents a set of random variables and their probabilistic dependencies. The proposed methodology consists of four major components: (1) a seismic demand model of ground motion intensity as a spatially distributed random field, accounting for multiple sources and including finite fault rupture and directivity effects; (2) a model for seismic performance of point-site and distributed components; (3) models of system performance as a function of component states; and (4) models of post-earthquake decision making for inspection and operation or shutdown of components. The use of the term Bayesian to describe this approach comes from the well-known Bayes rule, attributed to the 18th-century mathematician and philosopher Thomas Bayes: A B AB B B A B A( ) ( )( ) ( ) ( ) ( )= =Pr Pr Pr Pr Pr Pr (5) Pr(AB) is the probability of joint occurrence of Events A and B; Pr(A) is the marginal probability of Event A; Pr(A|B) is the conditional probability of Event A, given that Event B

26 Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design has occurred; and Pr(B) is the marginal probability of Event B. The quantity Pr(B | A) is known as the likelihood of the observed Event B. Note that the probability of Event A appears on both sides of Equation 5. The Bayes rule describes how the probability of Event A changes given information gained about the occurrence of Event B. For discrete nodes, a conditional probability table is attached to each node that provides the conditional probability mass function (PMF) of the random variable represented by the node, given each of the mutually exclusive combinations of the states of its parents. For nodes without parents (e.g., X1 and X2 in Figure 12), known as root nodes, a marginal probability table is assigned. The joint PMF of all random variables X in the BN is constructed as the product of the conditional PMFs: (6) 1 p x p x Pa xi ii n∏( ) ( )( )= = Bensi et al. (2011) goes on to introduce BN models further and discusses how to incorporate BN-based seismic demand models into bridge design. The BN methodology is applied to modeling of random fields, construction of an approximate transformation matrix, and numer- ical investigation of approximation methods, including a discussion on the effect of correlation approximations on system reliability. Modeling component performance with BNs to capture seismic fragility of point-site components and distributed components, as well as modeling system performance of BNs with both qualitative and conventional methods, is explained. This reference goes on to identify efficient minimal link set (MLS), minimal cut set (MCS) formulations, optimal ordering of efficient MLS and MCS formulations, and heuristic augmen- tation that can be utilized with the BN methodology. Bensi et al. (2011) continues the PBSD process by addressing the owner decision-making process (see more discussion later in the report) and how to incorporate this model into that process. Two example problems are provided utilizing this methodology, including a California high-speed rail system that incorporates the bridge modeling into the example. Similarly, in Tehrani and Mitchell (2014), the seismic performance of 15 continuous four- span bridges with different arrangements of column heights and diameters was studied using incremental dynamic analysis (IDA). These bridges were designed using the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code provisions (CSA 2006). The IDA procedure has been adopted by some guidelines to determine the seismic performance, collapse capacity, and fragility of buildings. Similar concepts can be used for the seismic assessment of bridges. Fragility curves can be devel- oped using the IDA results to predict the conditional probability that a certain damage state is exceeded at a given intensity measure value. Assuming that the IDA data are lognormally distributed, it is possible to develop the fragility curves at collapse (or any other damage state) by computing only the median collapse capacity and the logarithmic standard deviation of the IDA results for any given damage state. The fragility curves can then be analytically computed using Equation 7 as follows: ln ln (7)50% TOT P failure S x x S a a C( )( ) ( )= = Φ − β     where function F = cumulative normal distribution function, SCa 50% = median capacity determined from the IDA, and βTOT = total uncertainty caused by record-to-record variability, design requirements, test data, and structural modeling. Figure 12. A simple BN.

Literature Review and Synthesis 27 The seismic risk associated with exceeding different damage states in the columns, includ- ing yielding, cover spalling, bar buckling, and structural collapse (i.e., dynamic instability) was predicted. Some simplified equations were derived for Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to estimate the mean annual probability of exceeding different damage states in the columns using the IDA results. Repair and retrofit procedures are linked to loss predictions, as outlined in the FHWA’s retro- fitting manual (Buckle et al. 2006). Several chapters/articles address analysis, methodologies, effects, analytical tools, and costs for retrofit and repairs to mitigate damage or return a structure to a serviceable condition. Zimmerman et al. (2013) is one example, in which numerical techniques and seismic retrofit solutions for shear-critical reinforced concrete columns was investigated, utilizing test data of a reinforced concrete column with widely spaced transverse reinforcement. The study focused on the analysis method of nonlinear trusses and the retrofit option known as supplemental gravity columns, which is an example of how loss prediction and the analysis process are linked and should be iterated through PBSD. Organization-Specific Criteria for Bridges and Project-Specific Criteria NCHRP Synthesis 440 has two sections of criteria: organization-specific criteria for bridges and project-specific criteria. New information for both of these sections since NCHRP Synthesis 440 published is combined. The California DOT (Caltrans) Caltrans is currently updating their Seismic Design Criteria (SDC) to specify requirements to meet the performance goals for newly designed Ordinary Standard and Recovery Standard con- crete bridges. Nonstandard bridges require Project-Specific Seismic Design Criteria, in addition to the SDC, to address their nonstandard features. For both standard and nonstandard bridges, Caltrans is also categorizing their inventory in terms of Ordinary Bridges, Recovery Bridges, and Important Bridges. Some states have had issues with terms like Important or Essential, as a bridge is considered important to those that utilize each bridge. Caltrans is using these terms to correlate with loss analysis of an owner’s infrastructure and the time to reopen the bridge to support lifeline and recovery corridors. The bridge performance is also evaluated using a dual-seismic hazard; for Caltrans SDC they are listed as a Safety Evaluation Earthquake (SEE) for Ordinary Bridges. Both SEE and Functional Evaluation Earthquake (FEE) for Recovery Bridges are summarized in Table 6. Caltrans SDC revisions will also provide updates to the design parameters in Chapter 3 of the SDC and updates to both the analysis methods and displacement ductility demand values in Chapter 4 of the SDC. The adjustments to the displacement ductility demand values are revised to limit the bridge displacements beyond the initial yielding point of the ERE, specifically if a recovery standard bridge is being designed. The revisions to their SDC is an example of how PBSD is being gradually introduced as a better method of dealing with the hazards, soil–structure interaction, analysis tools, methodologies, material properties, damage states, performance, and loss. Similar revisions are being made to Seismic Design Specifications of Highway Bridges, as detailed in Japan Road Association (JRA) revisions in 2012. A synopsis of the revisions is provided in Kuwabara et al. (2013). The JRA specifications apply to Japanese road bridges and consist of five parts: Part I, Common; Part II, Steel Bridges; Part III, Concrete Bridges; Part IV, Substruc- tures; and Part V, Seismic Design. The revisions are based on improvements in terms of safety,

28 Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design serviceability, and durability of bridges. Based on those lessons, design earthquake ground motions corresponding to the subduction-type earthquake were revised, and the requirements for easy and secure maintenance (inspection and repair works) for the bridges were clearly specified. JRA has clarified their performance of ERE conventionally reinforced columns for a dual-level (SPL 2 and SPL 3) seismic performance evaluation, as summarized in Table 7. The JRA 2012 revisions also address connection failures between reinforced concrete steel piles and the pile-supported spread footing to improve structural detailing and performance at the head of the piles. This is similar to research performed by the University of Washington, see Stephens et al. (2015) and Stephens et al. (2016) for both Caltrans and Washington State DOT, respectively, to evaluate capacity protecting this region and even considering the development of plastic hinges at these locations for combined hazard events or large lateral spreading and liquefaction occurrences. Caltrans also funded a study by Saini and Saiidi (2014) to address probabilistic seismic design of bridge columns using a probabilistic damage control approach and reliability analysis. Source: Caltrans. BRIDGE CATEGORY SEISMIC HAZARD EVALUATION LEVEL POST EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE STATE EXPECTED POST EARTHQUAKE SERVICE LEVEL Table 6. Caltrans draft proposed seismic design bridge performance criteria. SPL2 SPL3 Note: SPL1: Fully operational is required. Limit state of bridge is serviceability limit state. Negligible structural damage and nonstructural damage are allowed. Table 7. Seismic performance of bridge and limit states of conventionally reinforced concrete bridge column.

Literature Review and Synthesis 29 The probabilistic damage control approach uses the extent of lateral displacement nonlinearity defined by Damage Index (DI) to measure the performance of bridge columns. DI is a measure of damage from the lower measure of zero damage to the ultimate measure of a collapse mecha- nism for an element that has been subjected to base excitations. The performance objective was defined based on predefined apparent Damage States (DS), and the DS were correlated to DIs based on a previous study at the University of Nevada, Reno (Figure 13) (Vosooghi and Saiidi 2010). A statistical analysis of the demand damage index (DIL) was performed to develop fragility curves (load model) and to determine the reliability index for each DS. The results of the reliability analyses were analyzed, and a direct probabilistic damage control approach was developed to calibrate design DI to obtain a desired reliability index against failure. The calculated reliability indices and fragility curves showed that the proposed method could be effectively used in seismic design of new bridges, as well as in seismic assessment of existing bridges. The DS and DI are summarized with performance levels defined by Caltrans in Table 8, which shows the correlation between DS and DI. Figure 14 shows a fragility curve using lognormal distribution. Figure 15 shows both the fragility curves (upper two graphs) and reliability indices (lower two graphs) for four column bents (FCBs), with 4-foot diameter columns that are 30 feet in length in Site D for both the 1000 year and 2500 year seismic events. Note: O-ST = ordinary standard bridge, O-NST = ordinary nonstandard bridge, Rec. = recovery bridge, Imp. = important bridge, and NA = not applicable. Damage State (DS) Service to Public Service to Emergency Emergency Repair Design Damage Index (DI) Earthquake Levels (Years) Table 8. Design performance levels. DI P (D I { D S) Figure 13. Correlation between DS and DI.

30 Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design Figure 14. Fragility curve. 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80 1.00 P (D I L ) DIL 4.0 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0 R el ia bi lit y In de x | D S DS3 DS4 DS5 DS6 Damage State (DS) 6.0 5.0 4.0 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0 R el ia bi lit y In de x | D S DS3 DS4 DS5 DS6 Damage State (DS) (a) (b) (d)(c) 0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80 1.00 DIL 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% P (D I L ) Figure 15. Fragility curves and reliability indices for FCBs with 4-foot columns in Site D. The Oregon DOT The Oregon DOT is developing a global plan for addressing resiliency in order to improve recovery for the next Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami, using PBSD in terms of applying applicable hazards, identifying critical services, developing a comprehensive assessment of structures and systems, and updating public policies. The resilience goals are similar to those discussed at the beginning of this chapter, with the following statement: Oregon citizens will not only be protected from life-threatening physical harm, but because of risk reduction measures and pre-disaster planning, communities will recover more quickly and with less continuing vulnerability following a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake and tsunami.

Literature Review and Synthesis 31 Research has shown that the next great (magnitude 9.0) Cascadia subduction zone earth- quake is pending, as shown in Figure 16. This comparison of historical subduction zone earthquakes in northern California, Oregon, and Washington covers 10000 years of seismic history. The evidence of a pending event has made decision makers and the public take notice and put forth resources to develop strategies revolving around PBSD. Oregon’s performance-based features are modified from NCHRP Synthesis 440 to account for a third hazard condition: Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake (CSZE) in Oregon DOT’s Bridge Design and Drafting Manual—Section 1, Design (Oregon DOT 2016a; see also Oregon DOT 2016b). Design of new bridges on and west of US 97 references two levels of perfor- mance criteria: life safety and operational. Design of new bridges east of US 97 requires life safety criteria only. Seismic design criteria for life safety and operational criteria are described as follows. • “Life Safety” Criteria: Design all bridges for a 1,000-year return period earthquake (7 percent prob- ability of exceedance in 75 years) to meet the “Life Safety” criteria using the 2014 USGS Hazard Maps. The probabilistic hazard maps for an average return period of 1,000 years and 500 years are available at ODOT Bridge Section website, but not available on USGS website. To satisfy the “Life Safety” criteria, use Response Modification Factors from LRFD Table using an importance category of “other.” • “Operational” Criteria: Design all bridges on and west of US 97 to remain “Operational” after a full rupture of Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake (CSZE). The full-rupture CSZE hazard maps are available at the ODOT Bridge Section website. To satisfy the “Operational” criteria, use Response Modification Factors from LRFD Table using an importance category of “essential.” When requested in writing by a local agency, the “Operational” criteria for local bridges may be waived. The CSZE is a deterministic event, and a deterministic design response spectrum must be generated. To allow for consistency and efficiency in design for the CSZE, an application for generating the design response spectra has been developed by Portland State University (Nako et al. 2009). AASHTO guide specifications values for Table are modified into two tables for (1) values of Site Factor, Fpga, at zero-period on the acceleration spectrum and (2) values of Site Factor, Fa, for short-period range of acceleration spectrum. Table is replaced with values of Site Factor, Fv, for long-period range of acceleration spectrum. For seismic retrofit projects, the lower level ground motion is modified to be the CSZE with full rupture, as seen in Table 9. Performance levels, including performance level zero (PL0), are specified based on bridge importance and the anticipated service life (ASL) category required. Source: OSSPAC (2013). Figure 16. Cascadia earthquake timeline.

32 Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design The South Carolina DOT South Carolina Department of Transportation (South Carolina DOT) has updated its geo- technical design manual (South Carolina DOT 2019). Chapters 12, 13, and 14 for geo technical seismic analysis, hazard, and design, respectively, have been updated to current practices and research, including incorporation of PBSD hazard prediction. South Carolina DOT is also updating their site coefficients to be more appropriate for South Carolina’s geologic and seismic conditions; see Andrus et al. (2014). Note that with the revisions, South Carolina DOT issued a design memorandum in November 2015 that revised the substructure unit quantitative damage criteria (maximum ductility demand) table (Table 7.1 of the SCDOT Seismic Design Specifications for Highway Bridges). See Table 10. The Utah DOT The Utah DOT and Brigham Young University (see Franke et al. 2014a, 2014b, 2015a, 2015b, 2015c, 2016) are researching the ability for engineers to apply the benefits of the full performance- based probabilistic earthquake analysis without requiring specialized software, training, or education. There is an emphasis on differences between deterministic and performance-based procedures for assessing liquefaction hazards and how the output can vary significantly with these two methodologies, especially in areas of low seismicity. Guidance is provided regarding when to use each of the two methodologies and how to bind the analysis effort. Additionally, a simplified performance-based procedure for assessment of liquefaction triggering using liquefaction loading maps was developed with this research. The components of this tool, as well as step-by-step procedures for the liquefaction initiation and lateral spread displacement models, are provided. The tool incorporates the simplified performance-based procedures determined with this research. National Highway Institute Marsh et al. (2014) referenced a manual for the National Highway Institute’s training course for engineers to understand displacement-based LRFD seismic analysis and design of bridges, which is offered through state agencies and open to industry engineers and geotechnical engi- neers. This course helps designers understand the principles behind both force-based AASHTO (AASHTO 2014) and displacement-based AASHTO (AASHTO 2011) methodologies, including a deeper understanding of what performance means in a seismic event. Other similar courses are also being offered to industry and are improving the understanding of practicing engineers. Federal Emergency Management Agency The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has developed a series of design guidelines for seismic performance assessment of buildings and three of the five documents EARTHQUAKE GROUND MOTION BRIDGE IMPORTANCE and SERVICE LIFE CATEGORY Table 9. Modifications to minimum performance levels for retrofitted bridges.

Literature Review and Synthesis 33 are referenced in FEMA (2012a, 2012b, 2012c). A step-by-step methodology and explanation of implementation are provided for an intensity-based assessment and for a time-based assess- ment. The process of identifying and developing appropriate fragility curves is demonstrated. A software program called Performance Assessment Calculation Tool has also been developed with a user manual that is included in the FEMA documents to help engineers apply PBSD to the building industry. Japan Road Association The Japan Road Association (JRA) Design Specifications have been revised based on the performance-based design code concept in response to the international harmonization of design codes and the flexible employment of new structures and new construction methods. Figure 17 shows the code structure for seismic design using the JRA Design Specifications. The performance matrix is based on a two-level ground motion (Earthquakes 1 and 2), with the first one based on an interpolate-type earthquake and magnitude of around 8, and the second one with a magnitude of around 7 with a short distance to the structure. Kuwabara et al. (2013) outlined the incremental revisions from the JRA Design Specif i- cations between 2002 and 2012. These revisions include, but are not limited to, the ductility design method of reinforced concrete bridges, plastic hinge length equation, evaluation of hollow columns, and the introduction of high-strength steel reinforcement. Following the 2016 earthquake in Kumamoto, Japan, a new version of the JRA Design Specifications is in the works. Note: Analysis for FEE is not required for OC III bridges. Source: South Carolina DOT (2015). Design Earthquake Operational Classification (OC)Bridge Systems Table 10. South Carolina DOT substructure unit quantitative damage criteria (maximum ductility demand ld).

34 Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design Identification of Knowledge Gaps The resources to develop guide specifications for PBSD are improving with examples such as the upcoming Seismic Design Criteria, Version 2 from Caltrans, which will address aspects of PBSD and the building industry’s efforts to develop practices in PBSD and tools for engineers and owners to collaborate on solutions based on performance criteria and expectations. There is still a perception that the bridge industry could better predict likely performance in large, damaging earthquakes than is being done at the present, and there are still gaps in that knowledge base that need to be closed. Most of the knowledge gaps listed in Marsh and Stringer (2013) are still applicable today; see Table 11. The technology readiness levels represent what has been developed and used; what research is done, ongoing, and being discussed; and what only exists in concept. Knowledge gaps certainly exist in all facets of PBSD; however, other key knowledge gaps beyond those listed in NCHRP Synthesis 440 (Marsh and Stringer 2013) that should be closed in order to improve the implementation of PBSD are covered. Objectives of Codes Mandated Specifications Overall Goals Functional Requirements (Basic Requirements) Performance Requirement Level Verification Methods and Acceptable Solutions Can be Modified or May be Selected with Necessary Verifications Importance, Loads, Design Ground Motion, Limit States Principles of Performance Verification Verifications of Seismic Performances (Static and Dynamic Verifications) Evaluation of Limit States of Members (RC and Steel Columns, Bearings, Foundations and Superstructure) Unseating Prevention Systems Principles of Seismic Design Figure 17. Code structure for seismic design using JRA design specifications. TRL Description 0-25 25-50 50-75 75-100 1 PBSD concept exists 2 Seismic hazard deployable 3 Structural analysis deployable 4 Damage analysis deployable 5 Loss analysis deployable 6 Owners willing and skilled in PBSD 7 Design guidelines 8 Demonstration projects 9 Proven effectiveness in earthquake Technology Readiness Level (TRL) % of Development Complete Table 11. Technology readiness levels for PBSD.

Literature Review and Synthesis 35 Gaps related to structural analysis can include minimum and expected properties for reinforcing greater than Grade 80, stainless steel, and other materials that can improve serviceability and in some conditions performance. Oregon DOT has been using stainless steel in their bridges located along the coastline and other highly corrosive environments to extend the service life of the bridge; however, many of these locations are also prone to large CSZE and the use of these materials in earthquake resisting elements is still being developed. In the State of Washington’s resiliency plan, outlined in Washington State Emergency Management Council–Seismic Safety Committee (2012), what is missing is a link between damage levels and return to service. This is a knowledge gap given what we know structurally and what this report is suggesting as a desired goal for post-earthquake recovery. Gaps related to decision makers can include bridge collapse. It is not intended that the PBSD guide specifications will address tsunami events, but the JRA specifications do address tsunami as well as landslide effects. Figures 18 and 19 are examples of these other types of failure systems and show the collapse of bridges caused by effects other than ground motion (Kuwabara et al. 2013). The decision to combine these types of effects with a seismic hazard, even combining liquefaction, down drag, and lateral spreading effects, needs additional clarification and is currently left up to the owner to assess implications of probability, safety, and cost ramifications. Liang and Lee (2013) summarized that in order to update the extreme event design limit states in the AASHTO 2014, combinations of all nonextreme and extreme loads need to be formulated on the same probability-based platform. Accounting for more than one-time variable load creates a complex situation, in which all of the possible load combinations, even many that are not needed for the purpose of bridge design, have to be determined. A formulation of a criterion to determine if a specific term is necessary to be included or rejected is described, and a comparison of the value of a given failure probability to the total pre-set permissible design failure probability can be chosen as this criterion. Figure 18. Collapse of bridge due to landslide. (Note: Reprinted courtesy of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce. Not copyrightable in the United States). Source: Kuwabara et al. (2013).

36 Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design While the seismic hazard definition was once thought to be relatively well understood, there is a growing knowledge gap related to the effect of rotation angle on intensity of ground motions and how the use of a geometric mean of the motions, or other methods of including the effect of rotation angle (RotDxx), should be incorporated into seismic design. This issue is not specific to PBSD; like all seismic design methods, PBSD is reliant on a full understanding of the hazard definition for proper implementation. The knowledge gaps identified in NCHRP Synthesis 440 are still applicable. Many of these knowledge gaps will become evident to both engineers and decision makers as the PBSD guidelines are developed. Overall, the baseline information to develop PBSD guide specifica- tions are in place. Industry’s end goal of understanding the relationship between risk-based decision making and design decisions and methodologies to meet performance goals is going to be an iterative process. Figure 19. Collapse of bridge due to tsunami. (Note: Reprinted courtesy of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce. Not copyrightable in the United States). Source: Kuwabara et al. (2013).

Performance-based seismic design (PBSD) for infrastructure in the United States is a developing field, with new research, design, and repair technologies; definitions; and methodologies being advanced every year.

The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Research Report 949: Proposed AASHTO Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Bridge Design presents a methodology to analyze and determine the seismic capacity requirements of bridge elements expressed in terms of service and damage levels of bridges under a seismic hazard. The methodology is presented as proposed AASHTO guidelines for performance-based seismic bridge design with ground motion maps and detailed design examples illustrating the application of the proposed guidelines and maps.

Supplemental materials to the report include an Appendix A - SDOF Column Investigation Sample Calculations and Results and Appendix B - Hazard Comparison.


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