You are on page 1of 5


An Earthquake is a shaking of the ground surface caused by movement of the earths crust . It is a form of energy of wave motion transmitted through the surface layer of the earth circle from a point of sudden energy release . it is a vibration or oscillation of the surface of earth caused by a transient disturbance of the elastic or gravitational equilibrium of rocks at or beneath the surface of the earth . A sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time.

Earth quake are mainly caused due to disequilibrium in any part of the earth crust. The cause of disequilibrium or isostatic imbalance in the earths crust. These causes are as follows : 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Volcanic irruptions Faulting and folding Upwraping and downwraping Gaseous expansion and contraction inside the earth Hydrostatic pressure of man-made water bodies like reservoir & lakes Plate movement

TECHNICAL TERMS 1. Focus or Hypocentre

The points of the origin of earthquake is called focus . it always lies beneath the earths surface . It is also known as seismic centre .

The points or line on the earth surface immediately above the focus recording the seismic waves first time is called epicenter.

The waves which are generated by an earthquake are called seismic waves . There are three main types of seismic waves , a. Primary waves (P-Waves) b. Secondary waves (S-Waves)

c. Surface or long waves (L- Waves)

4. Magnitude of Earthquake
It is the total amount of energy released during the time of the earthquake. It is measured by RICHTER SCALE devised by CHARLES F RICHTER in 1935. The magnitude of earthquake is the logarithmic to base 10 of the maximum trace amplitude, expressed in microns , registered by seismometer at an epicentral distance of 100 km. It is an instrument with which we can measure the time taken by Ps, S & L waves in travelling distance . the difference between the time of arrival of P & S waves indicates the place of the earth

5. Seismograph

An earthquake consists of various forms of waves originating at the centre of disturbance and causing horizontal and vertical ground movement or vibrations. These movements are very complex in nature due to forced and superimposed vibrations. These movements are divided into vertical and horizontal vibrations. The horizontal vibrations are much more disastrous than vertical vibrations. These horizontal vibrations are mainly considered in the design of earthquake resisting structures.


The major reason for the high frequency and intensity of the earthquakesin India is that the Indian plate is driving into Asian plate at a rate of approximately 47 mm/year The latest version of seismic zoning map of India given in the earthquake resistant design code of India [IS 1893 (Part 1) 2002] assigns four levels of seismicity for India in terms of zone factors. According to the present zoning map, Zone 5 expects the highest level of seismicity whereas Zone 2 is associated with the lowest level of seismicity

Special Techniques used earthquake on the building






Special techniques are required to design buildings like hospitals such that they remain practically undamaged even in a severe earthquake Two basic technologies are used to protect buildings from damaging earthquake effects. These are Base Isolation Devices & Seismic Dampers. The idea behind Base Isolation is to detach (isolate) the building from the ground in such a way that earthquake motions are not transmitted up through the building, or at least greatly reduced. Seismic dampers are special devices introduced in the building to absorb the energy provided by the ground motion to the building (much like the way shock absorbers in motor vehicles absorb the impacts due to undulations of the road).

Building Failure
Due to earthquake forces, the buildings are damaged and due to which condition becomes detrimental for people who are in the building. For design a earthquake resistance building it is necessary to know and understand the types or way of failure in buildings and these are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Soft storey Damage to Damage to Damage to Damage to failure structural elements infill walls exterior wall water tank

1. Soft storey damage

buildings in metropolitan cities taller first storey for parking of vehicles and/or for retail shopping etc are required. Due to this functional requirement, the first storey has lesser strength and stiffness as compared to upper stories, which are stiffened by masonry infill walls. This creates weak or soft storey problems in multi-storey building

2.Damage to structural element The earthquake results failure in reinforced columns in buildings. Lack of confinement due to large tie spacing, insufficient development length, inadequate splicing of column bars at the same section, hook configuration of reinforcement doesnt comply with ductile requirements. The opening of the ties and the disintegration of concrete, lead to shortening the column under axial load.

Inadequacy of reinforcement in beam column joints, absence of confining hoop reinforcement, inappropriate location of bar splices in columns are common cause of failure of beam column joint. In case of RCC slab and beam slab joint in building, the damage is mainly due to widening of existing micro cracks, which are formed either because of bending action or temperature stresses

3.Damage to Infill Wall

In general design practice, the strength and stiffness of infill walls are ignored with assumption of conservative design. In actual, infill walls add considerably to the strength and rigidity of the structure and their negligence will cause will cause failure of many multi-storied buildings. The failure is basically due to stiffening effect of infill panels which is caused by Unequal distribution of lateral forces in different frame and overstressing of some of the building frames, torsional forces

4.Damage to exterior walls During earthquake, the exterior walls are subjected to out of plane vibrations. When subjected to intense shaking, these large un-reinforced masonry panel confined by stiff member have a tendency to resist large out of plane vibration with little sign of distress. When the flexural

strength of these panels becomes insufficient to resist these forces, the entire infill panels fail 5.Damage to water tank Water tanks constructed at the roof level of buildings experience large inertial forces due to amplification of the ground acceleration along the height of the building. Un-reinforced concrete parapet with large height to thickness ratio and improper anchoring to the roof diaphragm may also constitute a hazard