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Seismic risk assessment for architectural heritages in historic areas using field and centrifuge tests

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For the seismic risk assessment of architectural heritages in historic areas, this study organises the field site characterisation, site-specific ground response analysis and GIS based microzonation for Korean historic areas. And this study proposes dynamic centrifuge modelling test for stone masonry structures and shows that the seismic risk of actual architectural heritages can be assessed through this test.

A seismic risk assessment is conducted for cultural heritage sites in Gyeongju and Buyeo, the capitals of Korea’s ancient kingdoms. An extensive geotechnical survey including a series of in situ tests is presented, providing pertinent soil profiles for site response analyses on cultural heritage sites. After the shear wave velocity profiles and dynamic material properties were obtained, site response analyses were carried out at each historical site and the amplification characteristics, site period, and response spectrum of the site were determined for the earthquake levels of 2400 and 1000 years return periods based on the Korean seismic hazard map. Results are given in the form of the spatial distribution of bedrock depth, site period, and site amplification coefficients, which are particularly valuable in the context of a seismic vulnerability study. Many stone architectural heritages include masonry structures that appear to be vulnerable to horizontal dynamic loads such as earthquakes. However, such structures have stood for thousands of years despite numerous historic earthquakes. This study proposes dynamic centrifuge modelling tests as a way of seismic risk assessment in order to find out how stone architectural heritages with masonry structures endured the seismic load, and whether there is any possibility of future earthquake damage. The seismic behaviour of a three-storey, freestanding stone block structure was modelled and tested within a centrifuge. Models were made at three different scales and dynamic tests were conducted using differing centrifugal acceleration fields so that the behaviours could be transformed to an equivalent full-scale prototype and compared. This modelling of models procedure confirms that the seismic behaviour of stone structures can be predicted using scaled-down models. Dynamic centrifuge tests on one fifteenth scale models of three representative stone architectural heritages in Korea were conducted. The seismic behaviour of the architectural heritages was then predicted in the event of earthquakes.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Geotechnical Research Seminars series.

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