Commenced in January 2007
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Specific Earthquake Ground Motion Levels That Would Affect Medium-To-High Rise Buildings

Authors: Rhommel Grutas, Ishmael Narag, Harley Lacbawan

Abstract:

Construction of high-rise buildings is a means to address the increasing population in Metro Manila, Philippines. The existence of the Valley Fault System within the metropolis and other nearby active faults poses threats to a densely populated city. The distant, shallow and large magnitude earthquakes have the potential to generate slow and long-period vibrations that would affect medium-to-high rise buildings. Heavy damage and building collapse are consequences of prolonged shaking of the structure. If the ground and the building have almost the same period, there would be a resonance effect which would cause the prolonged shaking of the building. Microzoning the long-period ground response would aid in the seismic design of medium to high-rise structures. The shear-wave velocity structure of the subsurface is an important parameter in order to evaluate ground response. Borehole drilling is one of the conventional methods of determining shear-wave velocity structure however, it is an expensive approach. As an alternative geophysical exploration, microtremor array measurements can be used to infer the structure of the subsurface. Microtremor array measurement system was used to survey fifty sites around Metro Manila including some municipalities of Rizal and Cavite. Measurements were carried out during the day under good weather conditions. The team was composed of six persons for the deployment and simultaneous recording of the microtremor array sensors. The instruments were laid down on the ground away from sewage systems and leveled using the adjustment legs and bubble level. A total of four sensors were deployed for each site, three at the vertices of an equilateral triangle with one sensor at the centre. The circular arrays were set up with a maximum side length of approximately four kilometers and the shortest side length for the smallest array is approximately at 700 meters. Each recording lasted twenty to sixty minutes. From the recorded data, f-k analysis was applied to obtain phase velocity curves. Inversion technique is applied to construct the shear-wave velocity structure. This project provided a microzonation map of the metropolis and a profile showing the long-period response of the deep sedimentary basin underlying Metro Manila which would be suitable for local administrators in their land use planning and earthquake resistant design of medium to high-rise buildings.

Keywords: Earthquake, Ground Motion, Seismic Microzonation, microtremor

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