During the shaking of the earth, a lot of energy is released to the earth’s crust. In the crust, this energy leads to the production of the seismic waves. The seismic waves whose intensities vary have different effects on their areas of operation. The level of damage will therefore be different. When the epicentre happens to be on the offshore, the whole seabed can be displaced and this usually results into the creation of the tsunami. In the places where the crust is too weak, the volcanic eruptions can take place while accompanied by landslide. The plant and animals are affected in the equal measure. In order to provide real solution to these problems, a lot of knowledge is needed and have the effects and impacts reduced. To ensure that the preparations are of the required standard, the scientific technologies must be applied. The engineering field that serves to design and build structures while having the issues of earthquake in mind has sprung up (Hori, 2011, p.266). The major objective of this project is to have a look at the current applications of the earthquake engineering and the benefits it has brought to the areas that are prone to the earthquake.
The core objective of this engineering branch is to foresee the effects of the earthquakes on the infrastructure such as roads, bridges and buildings in the urban centres. The field also monitors the design and the construction of the structures to perform an exposure test to the expectations. That would mean that this engineering branch cannot work in isolation but must rely on other branches to have proper results. It has become an interdisciplinary field that utilises knowledge from other fields such as mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering and earth science.
The research was conducted using the modern scientific methods. The relevant materials for the research were collected including note books for the recoding data, cameras for the photograph taking, safety kits, and pair of compass for the telling directions. The methods that were used in the collection of the data were very scientific and somehow reliable. They included the following.
- Use of the direct Observations which included visiting the affected areas: The study focussed on viewing of the existing applications of the earthquake engineering practice. The existing destroyed areas by the earthquake and the area mostly affected. This included travelling to the areas that are prone to the earthquake. The forum of the damage inspections and assessment were established(Srbulov, 2008, p.278).
- Reading of the existing books and journals on the earthquake proof engineering: The existing materials were thoroughly read to establish the much-needed information on the topic that was under study. This was necessary to make the study relevant and to work from the informed point of view.
- Visiting the laboratories that researches on the engineering applications to that are aimed at managing the effects of the earthquakes
- Intensive Interviews on the relevant authorities including the affected individuals
- Questionnaires: The questions asked were of different types and they included.
- What are the experiences of earthquakes to the individuals?
- What are the extents of destruction of earthquakes in the areas affected?
- What is the level of preparedness for the earthquakes disasters by the authorities and other agencies?
- What are the examples of existing structures that are meant to protect and subvert the consequences of the earthquake and how effective are these structures?
- How effective are these structures and do they have limitations and weaknesses? Which ones?
In process of the research, the interviews predominated the most of the work. The audience of the experts on the earthquake engineering was sort and their experiences recorded for further analysis and evaluation of the findings (Paz, 2012, p.266).
The study experienced a lot of challenges. The research was conducted purely in English and some of the information needed was to be collected in other languages since the locals could not understand the English language. Language barrier therefore was one of the limitations and difficulties faced. Heavy rains and very hot weather
The period that was allocated for the study was too short to cover everything at once
Having an access to some areas were a major challenge due to poor roads
There was lack of information in some places that were visited and this was a big blow to the study.
The infrastructure that is always resistant is meant to lower and withstand the impacts of the earthquake in the areas affected. The loss of lives has been reduced through preventing the collapse of the new and old buildings. The earthquake engineering has utilised the research results and computer technology used and to offer the requirements to combats and minimise the impacts of the phenomenon (Srbulov, 2008, p.232).
The current structures have been made strong and ductile to survive the shaking and vibrations that shorten the durability. The technologies minimise on the damages caused. Such structures do not have to be costly. They have been erected in such a way as to withstand the earthquake while at the same time sustaining the permitted level of damage. The examples of the structures that employed the technique were the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angles together with the Acropolis Museum.
Retrofitting for the seismic has been done on the current structures in the areas that are prone to the earthquakes. This process involves the change of the structure to make it more resistant to the waves (Takewaki, 2013, p.322). The research also found out that there are no earthquake proof-structures but the performance of the structure can be greatly improved during the design or subsequent changes.
The modes of failure were observed and a close examination discovered two effects, soft story effect and soil water holding capacity. In the soft story effect structures collapsed due to the absence of enough stiffness and stability on the ground.
In the soil liquefaction, the structures fall as a result the hydrostatic pore of water that are excess hence non-uniform settlement of the structure after the construction and this leads to change of alignment of these structures during the tremor. It was the possible cause of collapse of a building in Niligata, Japan in the year1964.
This process was as a result of the non-uniform soil settlement. The soil consolidation occurs when stress occurs is applied to the soil hence making it to get compacted together. If there was a lot of water, it will be squeezed out in a particular side and in the process the building collapse (Plevris, 2012, p.255). This problem is normally solved by isolating the base of the building and providing a proper foundation to the structure itself.
The engineering of earthquake has tried to solve these problems by making improved seismic performance of the above construction (Paz, 2012, p.259). The considered factors include the following;
Nature of the construction, a very compact and box-type layout and a seismic reinforcement
The structures that are made of sand and limestone have been reinforced through application of modern technology of retrofitting to improve on the survivability of the initially unreinforced structures. The best example of this is the Salt Lake City. This particular structure is known to have survived the effects of the earthquakes for a long time. Thanks to the earthquake engineers for this miraculous work.
The knowledge of the earthquake engineering has led to the construction of the reinforced structures that are all aimed at reducing the far-reaching consequences of the earth tremor whenever they occur. Reinforced concrete has steel of fibres incorporated to strengthen them e.g. for the construction of the bridges. This technology has made it much possible to have the construction of very tall buildings even in the seismic zones. The buildings are normally given a proper isolation from the earthquake effects while ensuring that they provide a good degree of flexibility to accommodate the forces.
The field of engineering employs the use of timber framing in which the buildings are provided with their complete skeletal framing made of timber. Light frame structures also gain seismic opposition from the rigid plywood. Their walls and drag struts helps to distribute the much load along the sheet (Hori, 2011, p.121). He the buildings are made from the timber, it becomes very much flexible to the external forces and when under the influence of these forces, it can easily adjust to accommodate the effects. The researchers have indicated that the level of destruction is much reduced in these structures during the occurrence of the earthquakes. However, proper and regular maintenance is usually required since timber has specific life duration beyond which the functional qualities are compromised.
The installation of the dampers in the skyscrapers and usually swing like a pendulum. These oscillating pendulums of several metric tonnes of mass are normally use to decrease the resonant amplification of the horizontal displacements in the building that is caused by earthquake (Takewaki, 2013, p.312). The hysteretic dampers are of different types with the most common types being the semi solid dampers and the pure dampers.
The use of the steel structures has been the latest technology of managing earthquake and with the significant applications of the earthquake engineering in the seismic zones. Although the steel is considered earthquake resistant, sometimes failure does occur to the structures that are made from this particular precious metal. This included the brittle behaviour of the welded steel moment-resisting frames in the buildings and other constructions that utilises the steel use (Gioncu, 2010, p.217). This has led to the emergence of pre -qualifying cyclic test that seeks to check on the suitability the steel in terms of ductility as one of the properties required.
In some cases, the building or the structure may be isolated from the effect of the seismic waves using engineering techniques. The base isolation normally prevents the kinetic energy from being transmitted or transformed into elastic energy in the building. It involves the rubber bearing technique, springs that uses damper base isolator among others.
This field of engineering has helped in the prevention of damages to the infrastructure and generally in saving very many lives of those in the areas that are prone to earthquake. The laboratory evaluations of predicting the seismic performance is mostly done through practical simulations. This method relies on the similarities of a repeated pattern obtained from an issue that is under investigation and this may sometimes may not reflect on the reality. The research for the topic given meant both fieldwork and analytical investigation. The experimental results were reflections of the permitted concepts in the light of revised work. The communication platforms have been given to the researchers to share their laboratory and experimental results on the topics they have been doing study on. The information should be securely stored, organised and if shared then on the standardisation framework that adheres to the conventional values and units. Continuous consultations among the colleagues have led to the development of the better solutions to the challenge at hand. The hybrid solution is better used since the samples targeting one method may not be accurate and even if so, it may not be reliable. In the recent past, numerical value analysis and evaluation is used to evaluate the effects of this earthquake and also to determine the extent of the destruction that are normally caused. It is from here that the future prediction can be done and possible prevention put in place and even communicated to the affected people or the society at large.
Gioncu, V., 2010. Earthquake Engineering for Structural Design. Manchester: CRC Press.
Hori, M., 2011. Introduction to Computational Earthquake Engineering. Oxford: World Scientific.
Paz, M., 2012. nternational Handbook of Earthquake Engineering: Codes, Programs, and Example. Liverpool: Springer Science & Business Media.
Plevris, V., 2012. Structural Seismic Design Optimization and Earthquake Engineering: Formulations and Applications: Formulations and Application. Newyork: IGI Global.
Srbulov, M., 2008. Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering: Simplified Analyses with Case Studies and Examples. London: Springer Science & Business Media.
Takewaki, I., 2013. Critical Excitation Methods in Earthquake Engineering. Chicago: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Takewaki, I., 2013. Critical Excitation Methods in Earthquake Engineering. Manchester: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2013.