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Earthquake and Earthquake Engineering

Definition of Earthquake Engineering:

An earthquake is a sudden slipping or movement of a portion of the Earth's crust or plates, caused
by a sudden release of stresses. Earthquake epicenters are usually less than 25 miles below the
Earth's surface and are accompanied and followed by a series of vibrations.

EarthQuake Engineering Jobs

What causes earthquakes and where do earthquakes happen

The earth has four major layers: The inner core, outer core, mantle and crust. The crust and the top of the
mantle make up a thin layer on the surface of earth. But this layer is not a single cover, it is made up of
many pieces like jigsaw covering the surface of the earth. These keep slowly moving around each other,
slidepast one another and bump into each other. These puzzle pieces are called tectonic plates, and the
edges of the plates are called the plate boundaries. The plate boundaries are made up of many faults,
and most of the earthquakes around the world occur on these faults. Since the edges of the plates are
rough, they get stuck while the rest of the plate keeps moving. Finally, when the plate has moved far
enough, the edges unstick on one of the faults and there is an earthquake.

Continue reading... What causes earthquakes and where do earthquakes happen???

Types of earthquakes

Most earthquakes in the world occur along the boundaries of the tectonic plates and are called Inter-plate
Earthquakes. A number of earthquakes also occur within the plate itself away from the plate boundaries,
called Intra-plate Earthquakes.

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How are earthquakes recorded

Earthquakes are recorded by instrument called seismographs. The recording they made, is called
a seismogram. The seismo gram consists of two parts, a base and a weight, to held it firmly in the
ground. When an earthquake causes the ground to shake, the base of the seismograph shakes too, but
the hanging weight does not. Instead the spring or string that it is hanging from absorbs all the movement.
Thus the difference between the moving and immovable part is recorded.

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How are earthquakes measured??

The size of an earthquake depends on the size of the fault and the amount of slip on the fault, but this
cannot be measured directly as faults are deep in the earth. The seismogram recordings made on the
seismographs at the surface of the earth are used to determine the intensity of earthquake. A short line
with less zigzag portions represents a small earthquake and a lengthy line with a lot of zigzag sections
shows a large earthquake. The length of line on the seismograph depends on the size of the fault and the
wigginess of the line depends upon the amount of slip of the fault. The size or intensity of earthquake is
called Magnitude of earthquake.
Continue reading ... How are earthquakes measured?

Earthquake Engineering

Earthquake Engineering can be defined as the branch of engineering devoted to mitigating earthquake
hazards. Eearthquake engineering covers the investigation and solution of the problems created by
damaging earthquakes, and hence the work involved in the practical application of these solutions in
planning, designing, constructing and managing earthquake-resistant structures and facilities.

Purpose and background of earthquake engineerng

With the introduction of ASCE 7-02 Minimum Load Standards and the 2003 International Building Code
(IBC), some consideration of seismic resistant design is required for most building structures in the United
States. Effective use of these documents requires a thorough understanding of the principles of
earthquake engineering, from ground motion seismology, to structural dynamics, to inelastic behavior, to
design and detailing. understanding to practicing professional engineers that have little or no previous
training in earthquake engineering. While other seismic seminars focus on the design aspect of
earthquake engineering, the purpose of this seminar is to concentrate on the fundamentals. The course
begins with a historical and philosophical review of earthquake engineering and seismic code
development, followed by an overview of the latest code approaches to seismic resistant design. These
code approaches are then broken down into their basic components, and a detailed step-by-step
explanation is provided on how and why each component was developed. The seminar includes a
description of a variety of seismic resistant structural systems in reinforced concrete and structural steel.
The seminar ends with a brief look towards the future: passive energy systems, seismic isolation, and
performance based concepts in earthquake engineering. Whenever possible, the material is taught by
example. The powerful NONLIN computer program, developed by FEMA for earthquake engineering
education, serves a prominent role during the first day of the course. To maximize your ability to continue
to learn about earthquake engineering, detailed reference material is provided for each slide presented in
the seminar. The course also gives you the latest information on earthquake engineering materials
available on the world wide web.

Aims and Objectives of earthquake engineering study

The main objective of this volume is to illustrate to students of structural and architectural engineering the
problems and solutions in attaining efficient earthquake-resistant structures and facilities. To achieve this
objective, after a brief discussion of the general goals in seismic-resistant design and construction of
structures and facilities, the different sources of damage that can be triggered by an earthquake are
discussed and illustrated.

Emphasis is placed on the discussion and illustration of damage induced by vibration on timber, masonry,
concrete and steel structures. The importance of a comprehensive approach to the problem of
earthquake resistant construction is emphasized next and the need for placing more emphasis on
conceptual design is discussed by offering guidelines for and illustrations of efficient seismic-resistant
design. The need for research in earthquake-resistant design and construction is briefly discussed and
examples of integrated experimental and analytical investigations in the development of modern seismic-
resistant design are also shown.

What earthquake engineer should study / know

 Geotechnical earthquake engineering


 Performance-based seismic engineering
 Disaster planning
 Earthquake resistant design and analysis
 Engineering seismology
 Risk and reliability seismic engineering
 Soil dynamics
 Structural dynamics