Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Civil Engineering


Atamturktur, Sezer

Committee Member

Juang , Hsein

Committee Member

Ravichandran , Nadarajah


This thesis first establishes a semi-empirical relationship to estimate the reduction in load carrying capacity of a masonry dome due to damage by exploiting deviations in the fundamental natural frequency. A macro finite element model of the dome is developed and calibrated using both non-destructive vibration measurements and destructive load-displacement measurements up to failure. The macro-model is then executed to simulate incremental development of cracks. The first natural frequency and remaining load carrying capacity of the dome are monitored to define a semi-empirical relationship, which is ultimately generalized for spherical domes with varying span-to-height ratios.
Subsequently, in order to numerically determine the load carrying capacity of a masonry dome, this thesis further investigates three established techniques of FE modeling for the masonry dome: detailed micro-modeling, simplified micro-modeling, and macro-modeling. Linear properties of these three alternative models are first calibrated with the modal parameters identified through dynamic modal testing conducted on the scaled dome specimen in the laboratory. Then, the fidelity and robustness of these three different modeling approaches are evaluated by comparing the model predictions against static load-to-failure test data obtained in the laboratory.