Studying the effect of earthquakes on soil could improve building design

Following Japan’s March 11 Tohoku Earthquake, scientists have been investigating the after effects of rare magnitude 9 earthquakes on the rock and soil beneath the surface.

By analysing data from several measurement stations, researchers have found that the earthquake weakened subsurface materials by as much as 70 percent.

An understanding of how the soil responds to earthquakes will be important for the design of future buildings to withstand similar magnitude earthquakes.

“Understanding how soil loses and regains its strength during and after large earthquakes is crucial for better understanding and predicting strong ground motions,” Georgia Tech’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences associate professor Zhigang Peng said.

Read more at Georgia Institute of Technology