Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Should We Better Prepare for Earthquakes?

16.12.2011
University of Adelaide researchers are leading an international project to help identify buildings most vulnerable to earthquakes and the best ways to strengthen them.

Chief Investigator Professor Mike Griffith, from the University’s School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering, says the model will help determine priorities for strengthening the more susceptible unreinforced masonry buildings .

The team, including researchers from the University of Auckland in New Zealand and the University of Pavia in Italy, is using data on building damage collected in Christchurch following the earthquakes in February 2011 and September 2010 as part of their work for the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission.

“We are taking what we observed and learned from Christchurch to assess the level of risk posed by earthquakes to masonry buildings generally,” said Professor Griffith.

“We are also looking at the unreinforced masonry buildings in Christchurch that had some seismic strengthening to see how those buildings behaved in the September and February earthquakes in order to identify which retrofitting schemes were more effective than others.”

Professor Griffith said New Zealand and Australia were both settled around the same time with many buildings built before the 1930s with similar styles of construction.

“Hence, the Christchurch earthquakes give us a unique opportunity to learn how to prevent widespread damage to heritage construction in future earthquakes,” he said.

New Zealand stopped building masonry buildings after the major 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake, but this style of construction continued in Australia and many people are still renovating and living in this type of building – some are heritage listed.

Work to date has shown that buildings strengthened to about one-third of modern building standards offered no significant protection against the Christchurch earthquake. Buildings that were strengthened to two-thirds of new building requirements showed significant reduction in damage.

“These higher level strengthening schemes are more invasive and obviously come at much higher cost,” said Professor Griffith. “We want to be able to calculate how much improvement we can achieve by strengthening schemes and at what cost – a cost/benefit ratio for retrofitting buildings against earthquake damage.”

The model will be applicable for different building construction styles used around the world. The research project won funding under the latest round of Australian Research Council Discovery Projects for funding from 2012.

Media Contact:
Professor Mike Griffith
School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8303 4316
Mobile: +61 417 197 225
michael.griffith@adelaide.edu.au
Robyn Mills
Media Officer
The University of Adelaide
Phone: +61 8 8303 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084
robyn.mills@adelaide.edu.au

Robyn Mills | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.adelaide.edu.au

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites
24.11.2017 | Universität Heidelberg

nachricht Lightning, with a chance of antimatter
24.11.2017 | Kyoto University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>