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Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

Performance of Wood Structural Systems in Earthquake Zones

Tsunami damaged building in the town of Dichato, Chile, 2010. Forest ServiceSnapshot : FPL scientists were actively involved in field assessments of low-rise structures, particularly wood structures, looking for seismic and tsunami damage in Concepci?n, San Pedro de la Paz, Talcahuano, and Dichato. Presentations were made to Chilean wood industry representatives and government officials regarding FPL's international research effort on the structural performance of multi-story wood-frame structures subjected to simulated earthquakes.

Research Location : Global
Research Station : Forest Products Laboratory (FPL)
Year : 2010
Highlight ID : 179

Summary

On February 27, 2010, a magnitude-8.8 earthquake occurred off the west coast of Chile, more than 60 miles north of Concepci?n and about 250 miles southwest of the capital, Santiago. Over 340 people were killed and tsunami warnings were generated as far away as Russia. A team of technical experts from the American Society of Civil Engineering - Structural Engineering Institute, including FPL scientists, travelled to Chile to document the performance of structures and assess whether changes to current building codes and standards used in the United States might be warranted. United States Geological Survey scientists believe a similar type of earthquake could occur in the U.S., particularly in the Pacific Northwest region between Northern California and Seattle. The twenty member team was in Santiago and Concepci?n from April 5 to April 12. FPL scientists were actively involved in field assessments of low-rise structures, particularly wood structures, looking for seismic and tsunami damage in Concepci?n, San Pedro de la Paz, Talcahuano, and Dichato. Presentations were made to Chilean wood industry representatives and government officials regarding FPL's international research effort on the structural performance of multi-story wood-frame structures subjected to simulated earthquakes. This research is aimed at reducing the seismic risk of high rise wood-structures, and is a cooperative effort with partners from Colorado State University, Simpson Strong Tie, Texas A&M University, SUNY University at Buffalo, RPI, University of Delaware, and FP Innovations.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Colorado State University, Simpson Strong Tie, Texas A&M University, SUNY University at Buffalo, RPI, University of Delaware, and FP Innovations.

Research Topics

Priority Areas

  • Resource Management and Use
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