Indian Journal of Advances in Chemical Science Volume: 5, Issue: 1, January 2016


ISSN No.: 2320-0898 (Print); 2320-0928 (Electronic)

DOI: 10.22607/IJACS.2017.501009



Research Article


      Relevance of Site Characterization in Seismic Studies    
S. K. Prasad*, K. V. Vijayendra
Earthquakes have been devastating all over the globe. Earthquakes have not only caused strange problems, but many of the behaviors of structures during earthquake are difficult to understand. Very strong and stable structures are found to be vulnerable sometimes. Tall structures on some occasions have performed better than short structures making the researchers to think beyond the quality of structures. Many times, the ground condition at the site plays a significant role in controlling the performance of structures resting on it. The ground condition at the site is termed as “site effect” and proper characterization of site is necessary to analyze the structures for their seismic performance. This paper discusses the relevance of site characterization with examples and presents the summary of some of the earlier works of the authors regarding site characterization. The effect of Bhuj earthquake of 2001 on buildings in Ahmedabad far off from epicenter is presented. Resonance effect and amplification in ground motion are considered major culprits for damage to more than 100 buildings in Ahmedabad. More accurate method of assessing the natural frequency of ground is necessary for which a simplified and effective approach suggested by authors is presented. Input for such evaluations is shear wave velocity of soil. Many times, it is difficult to determine shear wave velocity at a site. Hence, the author’s contribution of summarizing shear wave velocity from standard penetration number is discussed. In summary, rational and simplified methods of analysis with simple input data are more effective to understand the ground behavior during earthquakes. For decades, such studies have been attempted by many researchers to refine the understanding of actual ground behavior during earthquakes.

Key words:  Site effect, Earthquake, Shear wave velocity, Resonance, Ground amplification.



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