Subsurface cavities or stiff inclusions represent mechanical discontinuities for seismic waves propagating in soils. They modify the propagation pattern of seismic waves and alter soil response in correspondence to the ground level or building foundations. In the literature, different analytical and numerical solutions have been proposed to account for the effect of underground cavities or inclusions on the motion generated by P, S or R waves. In these former studies, the subsoil was assimilated to a homogeneous, isotropic and linear elastic halfspace containing one or more cavities. In the present study, the effect of subsurface cavities on ground motion amplification has been analysed accounting for soil stiffness degradation and associated damping increase with increasing levels of shear strains, a fundamental aspect of soil behaviour under earthquakes. The analysed model was inspired to a real case represented by the village of Castelnuovo (Italy), which during the 2009 Abruzzo earthquake suffered huge damage. The main shock (6 April 2009) caused the collapse of 50 % of the whole built environment. The historical centre of Castelnuovo rises on a hill. In its subsoil, there are many cavities with roofs 2-3 m below the ground level. The longitudinal NW-SE section of the hill has been investigated by 2D nonlinear site response analyses. A preliminary site response analysis was performed without modelling cavities, to identify ground motion amplification due to mere stratigraphic and topographic factors. The numerical model was later refined inserting: (1) a single cavity below the hilltop, (2) multiple cavities placed below the ground surface of the hill and (3) multiple cavities filled with concrete (inclusions). The performed study highlights the important role exerted by underground cavities on the ground motion computed at the hill surface. This effect should be properly considered for both microzonation studies and the correct determination of the seismic actions on specific buildings.
|Titolo:||Ground motion amplification due to shallow cavities in nonlinear soils|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|