The non-linear behavior and stability under static and dynamic loads of an inverted spatial pendulum with rotational springs in two perpendicular planes, called Augusti’s model, is analyzed in this paper. This 2DOF lumped-parameter system is an archetypal model of modal interaction in stability theory representing a large class of structural problems. When the system displays coincident buckling loads, several post-buckling paths emerge from the bifurcation point (critical load) along the fundamental path. This leads to a complex potential energy surface. Herein, we aim to investigate the influence of nonlinear modal interactions on the dynamic behavior of Augusti’s model. Coupled/uncoupled dynamic responses, bifurcations, escape from the pre-buckling potential well, stability and space–time-varying displacements, attractor-manifold-basin phase portraits are numerically evaluated with the aim of enlightening the system complex response. The investigation of basins evolution due to variation of system parameters leads to the determination of erosion profiles and integrity measures which enlighten the loss of safety of the structure due to penetration of eroding fractal tongues into the safe basin.

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