Você está na página 1de 2

Seismological Background

Dynamic loadings that act on structural systems may result from a wide range of
input mechanisms. One important class of loading involves vehicular systems such as
ships, airplanes, automobiles, etc., for which the dynamic loading is a result of the
motion of the vehicle. The other basic class concerns _xed civil engineering
structures such as bridges, buildings, dams, etc.,to which the dynamic loading is
applied externally. Of the many sources of external load that must be considered in
the design of _xed structures, the most important by far in terms of its potential for
disastrous consequences is the earthquake.

The degree of importance of earthquake loading in any given region is related, of

course, to its probable intensity and likelihood of occurrence . that is, to the
seismicity of the region. However, the importance of the earthquake problem, in
general, was amplified greatly some years ago by the advent of the nuclear power
industry because stringent seismic criteria were adopted that had to be considered in
the design of nuclear power stations to be built in any part of the United States, and
similar criteria also are applicable in most welldeveloped areas of the world. For this
reason alone it would be desirable to use the _eld of earthquake engineering as the
framework on which to demonstrate the application of the theories and techniques
presented in Parts One through Four of this text.

In addition, however, it is evident that the design of economic and attractive

structures which can successfully withstand the forces induced by a severe ground
motion is a challenge demanding the best in structural engineering, art, and science.
Furthermore, to paraphrase the comment made by Newmark and
Rosenblueth:1.Earthquakes systematically bring out the mistakes made in design and
construction. even the most minute mistakes; it is this aspect of earthquake
engineering that makes it challenging and fascinating, and gives it an educational
value far beyond its immediate objectives..

The essential background for study or practice in the _eld of earthquake engineering
is, of course, knowledge about the earthquake itself. The detailed study of
earthquakes and earthquake mechanisms lies in the province of seismology, but in
his or her studies the earthquake engineer must take a different point of view than
the seismologist. Seismologists have focused their attention primarily on the global
or longrange effects of earthquakes and therefore are concerned with very small-
amplitude ground motions which induce no signi_cant structural responses.
Engineers, on the other hand, are concerned mainly with the local effects of large
earthquakes, where the ground motions are intense enough to cause structural
damage. These socalled strongmotion earthquakes are too violent to be recorded by
the very sensitive seismographs typically used by seismologists and have
necessitated the development of special types of strongmotion seismographs.
Nevertheless, even though the objectives of an earthquake engineer differ from
those of a seismologist,there are many topics in seismology which are of immediate
engineering interest. A brief summary of the more important topics is presented in
this chapter.
The seismicity of a region determines the extent to which earthquake loadings may
control the design of any structure planned for that location, and the principal
indicator of the degree of seismicity is the historical record of earthquakes that have
occurred in the region. Because major earthquakes often have had disastrous
consequences, they have been noted in chronicles dating back to the beginnings of
civilization. In China, records have been kept that are thought to include every major
destructive seismic event for a time span of nearly 3000 years; thus it is evident that
considerable knowledge about the seismicity of China is available. Also there are
reports of major earthquake damages that occurred in the Middle East as much as
two thousand years ago, though the record for that region is not as complete as it is
in China.

In general, however, information about global seismicity is much less extensive