Use of non-linear localization for isolating structures from earthquake-induced motions

Alexander F. Vakakis, Anthony N. Kounadis, Ioannis G. Raftoyiannis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dynamic response due to earthquake-induced excitations of multi-storey buildings simulated by a cantilever (with attached concentrated masses) supported on a flexible foundation, is reconsidered when stiffness non-linearities are included. To this end, a suitable non-linear spring-mass device is placed between the ground and the mass of the foundation, which under certain conditions can absorb a significant amount of seismic energy over a large frequency range, thus drastically reducing the seismic response of the foundation. This is achieved by the stiffness non-linearity that gives rise to a localization phenomenon, according to which motions generated by external disturbances remain passively localized close to the point of seismic excitation instead of 'spreading' to the entire structure. The implications of these findings to the design of earthquake-resistant structures are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-36
Number of pages16
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999


  • Base isolation
  • Non-linear localization
  • Non-linear modes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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