Sensitivity of Footbridge Vibrations to Stochastic Walking Parameters

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikel

35 Citationer (Scopus)


Some footbridges are so slender that pedestrian traffic can cause excessive vibrations and serviceability problems. Design guidelines outline procedures for vibration serviceability checks, but it is noticeable that they rely on the assumption that the action is deterministic, although in fact it is stochastic as different pedestrians generate different dynamic forces. For serviceability checks of footbridge designs it would seem reasonable to consider modelling the stochastic nature of the main parameters describing the excitation, such as for instance the load amplitude and the step frequency of the pedestrian. A stochastic modelling approach is adopted for this paper and it facilitates quantifying the probability of exceeding various vibration levels, which is useful in a discussion of serviceability of a footbridge design. However, estimates of statistical distributions of footbridge vibration levels to walking loads might be influenced by the models assumed for the parameters of the load model (the walking parameters). The paper explores how sensitive estimates of the statistical distribution of vertical footbridge response are to various stochastic assumptions for the walking parameters. The basis for the study is a literature review identifying different suggestions as to how the stochastic nature of these parameters may be modelled, and a parameter study examines how the different models influence estimates of the statistical distribution of footbridge vibrations. By neglecting scatter in some of the walking parameters, the significance of modelling the various walking parameters stochastically rather than deterministically is also investigated providing insight into which modelling efforts need to be made for arriving at reliable estimates of statistical distributions of footbridge vibrations. The studies for the paper are based on numerical simulations of footbridge responses and on the use of Monte Carlo simulations for modelling the stochastic nature of actions of a single pedestrian traversing various pin-supported single-span footbridges with frequencies in vertical bending in the range of 1.6–2.4 Hz.
TidsskriftJournal of Sound and Vibration
Udgave nummer13
Sider (fra-til)2683-2701
StatusUdgivet - 2010