Experimental and analytical modal analysis of steel arch bridge

Wei Xin Ren, Tong Zhao, Issam E. Harik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


The paper presents the experimental and analytical modal analysis of a steel-girder arch bridge. The field test is carried out by ambient vibration testing under traffic and wind-induced excitations. Both the peak picking method in the frequency domain and the stochastic subspace identification method in the time domain are used for the output-only modal identification. A good agreement in identified frequencies has been found between the two methods. It is further demonstrated that the stochastic subspace identification method provides better mode shapes. The three-dimensional finite element models are constructed and an analytical modal analysis is then performed to generate natural frequencies and mode shapes in the three-orthogonal directions. The finite element models are validated to match the field natural frequencies and mode shapes. It is observed that the finite element Model-2 with the concrete slab provides the greater stiffness in the transverse direction of the bridge. The finite element Model-1 with the lumped masses agrees well with the field tests and can serve as a baseline model of the bridge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1022-1031
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering (United States)
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2004


  • Arch
  • Bridges
  • Experimentation
  • Modal analysis
  • Model tests
  • Steel
  • Vibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science (all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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