Distinct element modeling of the dynamic response of a rocking podium tested on a shake table

Daniele Malomo, Anjali Mehrotra*, Matthew J. DeJong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


A blind prediction contest was organized to evaluate the ability of different modeling approaches to simulate the seismic rocking response of a full-scale four-column podium structure. The structure was tested on a shake table, and was subjected to two bidirectional ground motion ensembles comprising 100 synthetic records each. This short communication presents the main assumptions and results from the model, developed using the distinct element method, which provided the second-best prediction of the experimental results. A comparison of the model predictions and the experimental results demonstrates that the numerical model was generally able to reproduce the large displacements induced by the more intense ground motion ensemble, while tending to overestimate the displacements of the less intense earthquake ensemble. This overestimation of the response was reduced through the inclusion of damping in the system. However, the addition of damping greatly increased the solve time, which is problematic for a competition, and in the case of the more intense ground motion ensemble also resulted in an underprediction of the maximum response of the structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1469-1475
Number of pages7
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • blind prediction contest
  • distinct element method
  • dynamic analysis
  • rocking
  • shake-table test


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