Seismic Engineering Basis


At the end of this course the successful students will be able:

a. To analyze the seismic surface motions defined by accelerograms;

b. To evaluate the seismic design action of structures based on national legislation and structural Eurocodes;

c. To analyze the seismic response of structures represented by means of one degree of freedom linear oscillators;

d. To evaluate dynamic soil properties by means of laboratory and in situ cylic testing;

e. To analyze the seismic response of surface soil deposits and thus evaluate the seismic site effects;

f. To evaluate soil liquefaction susceptibility;

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Available soon


Weekly - 3

Total - 51

Teaching language



Sucessfull completion of Soil Mechanics course


[1] Kramer, Steven L. (1996). Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering. University of Washington. Prentice-Hall International Series in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics.

[2] Chopra, Anil, K. (1995). Dynamics of Structures. Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

[3] Santana, Teresa (2018). Apontamentos da disciplina, FCt/UNL.

[4] EN1998-1 (2010). Eurocódigo 8. Parte 1: Regras gerais, acções sísmicas e regras para edifícios. NP EN 1998-1.

Teaching method

 Classes only with pencil and paper. Not with powerpoint presentations.

Evaluation method

Um teste - teórico e prático (T) classificado para 20 val.

Trabalhos individuais e de grupo, assiduidade (P) classificados para 20 val.

T - nota a mínima de 8,0.

A aprovação será dada por 0,6T+0,4P igual ou superior a 9,5.

Existirá ainda um exame de recurso para a componente T.

É necessária a presença em 2/3 do total das aulas.

Subject matter

Chapter 1.  Impact of earthquakes on communities. Historical earthquakes. 

Chapter 2. Seismic waves. Focus. Epicentre. Epicentral distance. Response of SDOF systems.

Chapter 3.Characterization of ground motions. Strong-motion measurements. Amplitude parameters. Frequency content parameters. Response spectra. Attenuation relationships for seismic parameters

Chapter 4.  Probabilistic hazard analysis. Recurrence times of seismic events. Probability of exceedance. .Eurocode 8 (design of structures for earthquake resistance).

Chapter 5. Influence of dynamic soil properties on earthquake surface ground motions (local site effects). Cyclic behaviour of soils. Linear hysteretic model. Curves of variation of shear modulus and damping ratio with cyclic distortion. Equivalent linear approach. Ambraseys solutions.

Chapter 6. Soils’ liquefaction potential. Methods of liquefaction assessment by means of SPT and CPT in situ soil testing.


Programs where the course is taught: