Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Civil and Environmental Engineering


College of Engineering and Computing

First Advisor

Juan Caicedo


The uncertainty in modeling earthquake loading is investigated through the comparison of various openSEES models. A series of models is created and the responses compared with each other as well as with a full scale shake table experiment. The openSEES models selected for comparison include two linear models, a nonlinear model using the Steel01 material for the entire cross section, and eight fiber models using reinforcing steel material and various concrete materials.

The models are subjected to a series of nine simulated earthquakes, matching the excitations applied to the shake table test. It is found that all of the models under-predict the maximum base reactions. However, the nonlinear model using the Steel01 material generates the most accurate response of the models tested. It is seen that accumulated damage from each excitation affects the response of the column during the subsequent excitations and that the effect of this accumulated damage contributes to the total amount of uncertainty in the models.

A method of combining the responses of the different models to create a single probabilistic output is presented and some potential real world challenges to implementing probabilistic models are discussed.