Basic Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering by KAMALESH KUMAR


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The important earthquake resistant features which are recommended in the latest BIS codes (IS 13828:1993) should be followed (Bhagwan and Sreenath, 1996). Normally houses are built to withstand vertical load only. Consequently, they collapse when subjected to horizontal stresses produced by earthquake waves. The main requirements for preventing the collapse are a lateral load carrying system. The system should have enough residual capacity to safely resist lateral forces. It is said that the buildings made after 1981 basically had no damage due to Kobe event of 1995 in Japan because these fulfilled earthquake standards of construction (Struck, 1999).

These parameters are then utilised for preparing seismo-tectonic and seismic zoning maps. The work in seismic zoning in India was started by Indian Standard Institute (now Bureau of Indian Standard) in the year 1960. The first map was included in the code IS: 1893-1962. A significant progress has been made since then both in seismic zoning and instrumental monitoring of seismicity. However, many questions regarding the location and nature of potential seismic zones/faults still remain unsolved.

Because P waves are the fastest seismic waves, they will usually be the first ones that our seismograph records. The next set of seismic waves on your seismogram will be the S waves. These are usually bigger than the P waves. If there aren’t any S waves marked on your seismogram, it probably means the earthquake happened on the other side of the planet. S waves can’t travel through the liquid layers of the earth so these waves never made it to our seismograph. The surface waves (Love and Rayleigh waves) are the other, often larger, waves marked on the seismogram.

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