Sritharan, the Wilson Engineering Professor of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, spent more than a week in Christchurch as part of a team from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s Learning from Earthquakes Program. The team’s reconnaissance trip was supported by the National Science Foundation.
“I saw more damage than I expected to see,” said Sritharan, who recently won a three-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study how walls that are safely allowed to rock during earthquakes can reduce damage to buildings.
In Christchurch, Sritharan said unreinforced brick masonry buildings built in the 1930s and ’40s suffered significant damage. Older buildings that had been upgraded to withstand earthquakes, however, resisted collapse and saved lives and property. Even so, several of those buildings will require significant repair or even replacement.
He said newer buildings tended to survive the Christchurch earthquake if they were regular in shape. Buildings that weren’t regular or symmetric tended to suffer more damage.
Researchers take these reconnaissance trips to study the real impacts of earthquakes on buildings. Teams make a quick survey of damage, document important findings and assess the need for new areas of research while helping with any local needs.
The researchers’ goal is to reduce the risks of earthquakes by advancing the science of earthquake engineering and advocating realistic measures to reduce earthquake damage.
Sritharan said he left New Zealand with three ideas for further study: the interaction of soils and structures during earthquakes, the role structural symmetry plays in resisting earthquake loads and the significance of vertical accelerations in this and other earthquakes.
And, Sritharan said the emergency response from New Zealand authorities was very effective. There was adequate control. There was no looting. There were few security problems. And so Sritharan said there are civil defense lessons to be learned from the Christchurch earthquake as well.
Mike Krapfl | Newswise Science News
Climate change weakens Walker circulation
20.10.2017 | MARUM - Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften an der Universität Bremen
Shallow soils promote savannas in South America
20.10.2017 | Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseen
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research