Non-Stationary Characteristics of Tornadoes and Induced Dynamic Impact on a Large-Span Dome Structure


Tornadoes may be one of the most destructive natural disasters. They cause about 10 billion dollars in damage and kill 70 people on average annually in the United States. Effects of tornadoes on civil structures have been widely studied. However, the research on their dynamic impact has been lacking. In this study, non-stationary characteristics of tornadoes are investigated, and then their dynamic impact on a dome structure is determined. Computational fluid dynamics simulations are applied to characterize tornado-induced time-variant wind pressure on the dome surface, which is then mapped onto the finite element model of the dome structure. Next, transient time-history analyses are conducted to explore tornado-induced dynamic responses. Numerical results show that wind pressure becomes non-stationary and the induced dynamic responses are significant when the core radius of the tornado translates to the dome edge. More severe dynamic impact is observed when the tornado first approaches the dome structure.

Meeting Name

Structures Congress 2019 (2019: Apr. 24-27, Orlando, FL)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research


National Science Foundation, Grant 1455709

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2019 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

27 Apr 2019