Using ambient vibration measurements for risk assessment at an urban scale: from numerical proof of concept to Beirut case study (Lebanon)
Earth, Planets and Space
Post-seismic investigations repeatedly indicate that structures having frequencies close to foundation soil frequencies exhibit significantly heavier damages (Caracas 1967; Mexico 1985; Pujili, Ecuador 1996; L' Aquila 2009). However, observations of modal frequencies of soils and buildings in a region or within a current seismic risk analysis are not fully considered together, even when past earthquakes have demonstrated that coinciding soil and building frequencies leads to greater damage. The
... present paper thus focuses on a comprehensive numerical analysis to investigate the effect of coincidence between site and building frequencies. A total of 887 realistic soil profiles are coupled with a set of 141 single-degree-of-freedom elastoplastic oscillators, and their combined (nonlinear) response is computed for both linear and nonlinear soil behaviors, for a large number (60) of synthetic input signals with various PGA levels and frequency contents. The associated damage is quantified on the basis of the maximum displacement as compared to both yield and ultimate post-elastic displacements, according to the RISK-UE project recommendations (Lagomarsino and Giovinazzi in Bull Earthq Eng 4(4): 2006), and compared with the damage obtained in the case of a similar building located on rock. The correlation between this soil/rock damage increment and a number of simplified mechanical and loading parameters is then analyzed using a neural network approach. The results emphasize the key role played by the building/soil frequency ratio even when both soil and building behave nonlinearly; other important parameters are the PGA level, the soil/rock velocity contrast and the building ductility. A numerical investigation based on simulation of ambient noise for the whole set of 887 profiles also indicates that the amplitude of H/V ratio may be considered as a satisfactory proxy for site amplification when applied to measurements at urban scale. A very easy implementation of this method, using ambient vibration measurements both at ground level and within buildings, is illustrated with an example application for the city of Beirut (Lebanon). which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.