Table of Contents
ISRN Signal Processing
Volume 2011, Article ID 563678, 17 pages
Research Article

Application of Hilbert-Huang Transform in Generating Spectrum-Compatible Earthquake Time Histories

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1

Received 23 January 2011; Accepted 27 February 2011

Academic Editors: A. Fernandez-Caballero, A. Ito, and P. Szolgay

Copyright © 2011 Shun-Hao Ni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Spectrum-compatible earthquake time histories have been widely used for seismic analysis and design. In this paper, a data processing method, Hilbert-Huang transform, is applied to generate earthquake time histories compatible with the target seismic design spectra based on multiple actual earthquake records. Each actual earthquake record is decomposed into several components of time-dependent amplitude and frequency by Hilbert-Huang transform. The spectrum-compatible earthquake time history is obtained by solving an optimization problem to minimize the relative difference between the response spectrum of the generated time history and the target seismic design spectra. Since the basis for generating spectrum-compatible earthquake time histories is derived from actual earthquake records by employing the Hilbert-Huang transform, the nonstationary characteristics and the natural properties of the seed earthquake records are well preserved in the generated earthquake time histories.