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Sandi H.,Romanian Academy of Sciences | Sandi H.,Institute of Geodynamics of the Romanian Academy | Borcia I.S.,INCERC National Building Research Institute
Pure and Applied Geophysics | Year: 2011

The paper is intended to summarize the most important instrumental data of direct relevance for engineering activities, obtained in connection with the strong Vrancea earthquakes of 4 March 1977, 30 August 1986, 30 May 1990, and 31 May 1990, and to point out some significant consequences and conclusions derived on this basis. Two main objectives of this analysis may be emphasized: (a) in-depth analysis of the radiation pattern; and (b) analysis of the spectral contents of ground motion in connection with the features of local conditions, and with the intention of assessing the relative importance of two main factors: source mechanism and long-distance wave propagation, versus features of local geological conditions. Some specific methodological developments used in this context may be mentioned: (a) use of a new approach to the quantification of ground motion intensity on the basis of instrumental (accelerographic) information; (b) analysis of radiation pattern in spectral and directivity terms; (c) parametric analysis of site-specific transfer functions for the local sequences of geological layers; and (d) a critical view on the outcome of post-earthquake survey techniques, keeping in view the implications of the spectral features of ground motion. The main results obtained are related to: (a) ground motion radiation features that have to be taken into account in connection with the data on the source mechanisms of the successive events dealt with; (b) expected spectral features of future strong ground motion at different sites; (c) methodological developments proposed for the assessment of local transfer functions; and (d) implications for microzonation activities. © 2010 Springer Basel AG.

Sandi H.,Academy of Technical science of Romania | Sandi H.,Institute of Geodynamics of the Romanian Academy | Borcia I.S.,INCERC National Building Research Institute
Pure and Applied Geophysics | Year: 2011

This paper begins with a critical assessment of the concept of macroseismic intensity, on which traditional scales, such as MSK and EMS, are based. The main shortcoming identified is the model's failure to consider the spectral features of ground motion. This omission may lead to erroneous seismic zonation, as shown in the paper. As a result, the model is of little interest to engineers who must design and build safe structures while adopting economical solutions. The paper presents a way to radically improve this situation. The starting point for this approach was the experience of the destructive Vrancea earthquake of 1977.03.04, which made it clear that intensity appears to be different for structures having natural periods pertaining to different spectral domains. The solution proposed to the shortcomings of the traditional intensity concept is postulated on a system of analytical expressions, covering definitions of global intensities, of intensities related to oscillation frequency and of intensities related to a definite spectral band. The latter definition lies at the basis of a definition of discrete intensity spectra. Illustrative applications are presented, in relation to global intensities and to discrete intensity spectra. We then analyze an illustrative case in which the use of traditional macroseismic survey techniques led to erroneous seismic zonation. Finally, some conclusions and recommendations are presented. Based on the authors' long-term experience, we strongly recommend close interaction between seismologists and engineers in working groups and joint projects targeted on radical improvement of the basic concepts of seismic intensity and of specific analysis procedures. © 2010 Springer Basel AG.

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