This paper presents a modeling method based on multibody dynamics formulation for simulating the three-dimensional nonlinear seismic response of a large, movable container crane, including the contact problem regarding the wheels attached to the bottom of its legs and the rails on which they ride. As a container crane is large and flexible structure, its wheels should be lifted up and derailed due to the seismic excitation. The contact configuration and the contact forces between the wheels and the rail or the ground that significantly affect the seismic response of the structure are classified and calculated in reference to geometric relationships between contact-judging markers on the wheels and the rails. It is found that the numerical simulations with the presented modeling method quite accurately simulates the nonlinear seismic response of a container crane including the uplifting and derailment behavior of the wheels that is found in large-scale model shaking tests.

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