Planar investigation of the seismic response of ancient columns and colonnades with epistyles using a custom-made software

Loizos Papaloizou, Petros Komodromos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, the dynamic behavior of multi-drum columns and colonnades with epistyles under earthquake excitations is examined through planar numerical simulations. A specialized software application, developed utilizing the discrete element methods (DEM), is used to investigate the influence of certain parameters on the seismic response of such multi-body structural systems. First, this custom-made software is extensively validated by comparing the computed responses of various problems, such as sliding, rocking and free vibration dynamics of rigid bodies, with the corresponding analytical solutions. Then, the developed software is used to study the influence of the frequency content and amplitude of the ground motions on the columns and colonnades, as well as the geometric characteristics of these structures. Parameters such as the number of drums that assemble each column and the number of columns of a colonnade appear to be defining parameters that affect the seismic response of colonnades with epistyles. For ground motions with relatively low predominant frequencies, rocking is the dominant effect in the response, while with the increase of the excitation frequency the response becomes even more complex involving both sliding and rocking phenomena. The numerical simulations show that earthquakes with relatively low predominant frequencies seem to endanger both standalone columns and colonnades with epistyles more than earthquakes with higher predominant frequencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1437-1454
Number of pages18
JournalSoil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


  • Ancient columns
  • Earthquake response
  • Epistyle
  • Rigid bodies
  • Rocking
  • Software development


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