Ground vibrations induced by large flood discharge from a dam can damage surrounding buildings and impact the quality of life of local residents. If ground vibrations could be predicted during flood discharge, the ground vibration intensity could be mitigated by controlling or tuning the discharge conditions by, for example, changing the flow rate, changing the opening method of the orifice, and changing the upstream or downstream water level, thereby effectively preventing damage. This study proposes a prediction method with a modified frequency response function (FRF) and applies it to the in situ measured data of Xiangjiaba Dam. A multiple averaged power spectrum FRF (MP-FRF) is derived by analyzing four major factors when the FRF is used: noise, system nonlinearity, spectral leakages, and signal latency. The effects of the two types of vibration source as input are quantified. The impact of noise on the predicted amplitude is corrected based on the characteristics of the measured signal. The proposed method involves four steps: signal denoising, MP-FRF estimation, vibration prediction, and noise correction. The results show that when the vibration source and ground vibrations are broadband signals and two or more bands with relative high energies, the frequency distribution of ground vibration can be predicted with MP-FRF by filtering both the input and output. The amplitude prediction loss caused by filtering can be corrected by adding a constructed white noise signal to the prediction result. Compared with using the signal at multiple vibration sources after superimposed as input, using the main source as input improves the accuracy of the predicted frequency distribution. The proposed method can predict the dominant frequency and the frequency bands with relative high energies of the ground vibration downstream of Xiangjiaba Dam. The predicted amplitude error is 9.26%.
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