Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Understanding risk to Seattle's high-rise buildings from a giant Cascadian earthquake

14.04.2009
The Cascadia subduction zone is likely to produce the strongest shaking experienced in the lower 48 states. Although seismic activity in the Pacific Northwest has been relatively low in the past two centuries, there is a growing consensus that this fault zone ruptures in giant earthquakes (magnitude exceeding 9); the last rupture is inferred to have occurred in 1700.

What is the risk to high-rise buildings from such a giant earthquake? Although four giant subduction earthquakes occurred elsewhere in the past century, there were no cities with high-rise buildings in the heavily shaken areas for any of these events. Furthermore, ground motions have never been recorded in areas strongly shaken by a giant earthquake.

T. Heaton and J. Yang of Caltech simulated ground shaking from an earthquake similar to the giant Sumatran earthquake (M 9.2) that occurred in 2004, and which is hypothesized to be similar to the giant earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest. The simulated shaking lasts for more than four minutes and it is dominated by low frequency motions. While smaller buildings (e.g., wooden houses) are not particularly susceptible to these low frequency motions, tall buildings resonate at the low frequencies contained in these simulations. The Seattle basin exacerbates the situation by significantly amplifying these long-period motions in the Seattle metropolitan area. Heaton and Yang simulated the response of modern steel 6- and 20-story buildings to the hypothetical ground motions. Although there are many unanswered questions about such a future earthquake, they report that severe damage and possible collapse is indicated in many of their simulations.

Buildings that were constructed prior to important building code changes that were made as a result of the 1994 Northridge earthquake are especially vulnerable to this long period shaking. Heaton and Yang report that, given the current state of understanding, there is insufficient knowledge of ground shaking and of building response to ensure the integrity of tall buildings in such an earthquake.

SSA is a scientific society devoted to the advancement of earthquake science. Founded in 1906 in San Francisco, the Society now has members throughout the world representing a variety of technical interests: seismologists and other geophysicists, geologists, engineers, insurers, and policy-makers in preparedness and safety.

Nan Broadbent | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.msn.com

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht The Wadden Sea and the Elbe Studied with Zeppelin, Drones and Research Ships
19.09.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung

nachricht FotoQuest GO: Citizen science campaign targets land-use change in Austria
19.09.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>