ABSTRACT This paper is concerned with the earthquake analysis of suspension bridges, in which the effects of large deflections are taken into account. The first part of the study deals with an iteration scheme for the nonlinear static analysis of suspension bridges by means of tangent stiffness matrices. The concept of tangent stiffness matrix is then introduced in the frequency equation governing the free vibration of the system. At any equilibrium stage, the vibrations are assumed to take place tangent to the curve representing the force-deflection characteristics of the structure. The bridge is idealized as a three dimensional lumped mass system and subjected to three orthogonal components of earthquake ground motion producing horizontal, vertical and torsional oscillations. By this means a realistic appraisal is achieved for torsional response as well as for the other types of vibration. The modal response spectrum technique is applied to evaluate the seismic loading for the combination of these vibrations. Various numerical examples are introduced in order to demonstrate the method of analysis. The procedure described enables the designer to evaluate the nonlinear dynamic response of suspension bridges in a systematic manner.
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