Footings under seismic loading: Analysis and design issues with emphasis on bridge foundations

George Mylonakis, Sissy Nikolaou, George Gazetas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

276 Scopus citations


The paper provides state-of-the-art information on the following aspects of seismic analysis and design of spread footings supporting bridge piers: (1) obtaining the dynamic stiffness ("springs" and "dashpots") of the foundation; (2) computing the kinematic response; (3) determining the conditions under which foundation-soil compliance must be incorporated in dynamic structural analysis; (4) assessing the importance of properly modeling the effect of embedment; (5) elucidating the conditions under which the effect of radiation damping is significant; (6) comparing the relative importance between kinematic and inertial response. The paper compiles an extensive set of graphs and tables for stiffness and damping in all modes of vibration (swaying, rocking, torsion), for a variety of soil conditions and foundation geometries. Simplified expressions for computing kinematic response (both in translation and rotation) are provided. Special issues such as presence of rock at shallow depths, the contribution of foundation sidewalls, soil inhomogeneity and inelasticity, are also discussed. The paper concludes with parametric studies on the seismic response of bridge bents on embedded footings in layered soil. Results are presented (in frequency and time domains) for accelerations and displacements of bridge and footing, while potential errors from some frequently employed simplifications are illustrated.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)824-853
Number of pages30
JournalSoil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Dynamics
  • Footings
  • Impedance
  • Kinematic response
  • Numerical methods
  • Soil-structure interaction


Dive into the research topics of 'Footings under seismic loading: Analysis and design issues with emphasis on bridge foundations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this