The dynamic response of the Golden Gate Bridge, located north of San Francisco, CA, has been studied previously using ambient vibration data and finite element models. Since permanent seismic instrumentation was installed in 1993, only small earthquakes that originated at distances varying between ~11 to 122 km have been recorded. Nonetheless, these records prompted this study of the response of the bridge to low amplitude shaking caused by three earthquakes. Compared to previous ambient vibration studies, the earthquake response data reveal a slightly higher fundamental frequency (shorter-period) for vertical vibration of the bridge deck center span (~7.7–8.3 s versus 8.2–10.6 s), and a much higher fundamental frequency (shorter period) for the transverse direction of the deck (~11.24–16.3 s versus ~18.2 s). In this study, it is also shown that these two periods are dominant apparent periods representing interaction between tower, cable, and deck.
Additional publication details
Golden Gate Bridge response: a study with low-amplitude data from three earthquakes