An inverse finite element method (iFEM) is presented for the estimation of load and response of linear dynamic structures, based on measurement data. It produces load and response estimates which exactly verify dynamic equilibrium while the loads are reasonably small and the response in reasonable agreement with the measurements. iFEM is used to process measurement data from VIV experiments on a reduced scale riser model in shear current. The technique allows to visualise the distribution and history of hydrodynamic forces and excitation and damping zones.

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