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Research papers, The University of Auckland Library

The 2010 Darfield earthquake is the largest earthquake on record to have occurred within 40 km of a major city and not cause any fatalities. In this paper the authors have reflected on their experiences in Christchurch following the earthquake with a view to what worked, what didn’t, and what lessons can be learned from this for the benefit of Australian earthquake preparedness. Owing to the fact that most of the observed building damage occurred in Unreinforced Masonry (URM) construction, this paper focuses in particular on the authors’ experience conducting rapid building damage assessment during the first 72 hours following the earthquake and more detailed examination of the performance of unreinforced masonry buildings with and without seismic retrofit interventions.

Research papers, Lincoln University

At 4.35 a.m. on the 4th of September 2010 Christchurch residents were shaken awake by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the largest earthquake to hit urban New Zealand for nearly 80 years. It was a large earthquake. On average the world only has 17 earthquakes a year larger than magnitude seven. Haiti’s earthquake in January 2010 was magnitude 7.1 and Chile’s earthquake in February was magnitude 8.8. Although it was a big quake, Christchurch was lucky. In Haiti’s earthquake over 230,000 people were killed and in Chile 40,000 homes were destroyed. Happily this was not the situation in Christchurch, however the earthquake has caused considerable damage. The challenge for the Landscape Architecture community is to contribute to the city’s reconstruction in ways that will not only fix the problems of housing, and the city’s urban, suburban and neighbourhood fabric but that will do so in ways that will help solve the landscape problems that dogged the city before the earthquake struck.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

This paper presents the probabilistic seismic performance and loss assessment of an actual bridge– foundation–soil system, the Fitzgerald Avenue twin bridges in Christchurch, New Zealand. A two-dimensional finite element model of the longitudinal direction of the system is modelled using advanced soil and structural constitutive models. Ground motions at multiple levels of intensity are selected based on the seismic hazard deaggregation at the site. Based on rigorous examination of several deterministic analyses, engineering demand parameters (EDP’s), which capture the global and local demand, and consequent damage to the bridge and foundation are determined. A probabilistic seismic loss assessment of the structure considering both direct repair and loss of functionality consequences was performed to holistically assess the seismi risk of the system. It was found that the non-horizontal stratification of the soils, liquefaction, and soil–structure interaction had pronounced effects on the seismic demand distribution of the bridge components, of which the north abutment piles and central pier were critical in the systems seismic performance. The consequences due to loss of functionality of the bridge during repair were significantly larger than the direct repair costs, with over a 2% in 50 year probability of the total loss exceeding twice the book-value of the structure.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

Liquefaction of sandy soil has been observed to cause significant damage to infrastructure during major earthquakes. Historical cases of liquefaction have typically occurred in sands containing some portion of fines particles, which are defined as 75μm or smaller in diameter. The effects of fines on the undrained behaviour of sand are not however fully understood, and this study therefore attempts to quantify these effects through the undrained testing of sand mixed with non-plastic fines sourced from Christchurch, New Zealand. The experimental program carried out during this study consisted of undrained monotonic and cyclic triaxial tests performed on three different mixtures of sand and fines: the Fitzgerald Bridge mixture (FBM), and two Pinnacles Sand mixtures (PSM1 and PSM2). The fines content of each host sand was systematically varied up to a maximum of 30%, with all test specimens being reconstituted using moist tamping deposition. The undrained test results from the FBM soils were interpreted using a range of different measures of initial state. When using void ratio and relative density, the addition of fines to the FBM sand caused more contractive behaviour for both monotonic and cyclic loadings. This resulted in lower strengths at the steady state of deformation, and lower liquefaction resistances. When the intergranular void ratio was used for the interpretation, the effect of additional fines was to cause less contractive response in the sand. The state parameter and state index were also used to interpret the undrained cyclic test results – these measures suggested that additional fines caused less contractive sand behaviour, the opposite to that observed when using the void ratio. This highlighted the dependency on the parameter chosen as a basis for the response comparison when determining the effects of fines, and pointed out a need to identify a measure that normalizes such effects. Based on the FBM undrained test results and interpretations, the equivalent granular void ratio, e*, was identified from the literature as a measure of initial state that normalizes the effects of fines on the undrained behaviour of sand up to a fines content of 30%. This is done through a parameter within the e* definition termed the fines influence factor, b, which quantifies the effects of fines from a value of zero (no effect) to one (same effect as sand particles). The value of b was also determined to be different when interpreting the steady state lines (bSSL) and cyclic resistance curves (bCR) respectively for a given mixture of sand and fines. The steady state lines and cyclic resistance curves of the FBM soils and a number of other sand-fines mixtures sourced from the literature were subsequently interpreted using the equivalent granular void ratio concept, with bSSL and bCR values being back-calculated from the respective test data sets. Based on these interpretations, it was concluded that e* was conceptually a useful parameter for characterizing and quantifying the effects of fines on the undrained behaviour of sand, assuming the fines influence factor value could be derived. To allow prediction of the fines influence factor values, bSSL and bCR were correlated with material and depositional properties of the presented sand-fines mixtures. It was found that as the size of the fines particles relative to the sand particles became smaller, the values of bSSL and bCR reduced, indicating lower effect of fines. The same trend was also observed as the angularity of the sand particles increased. The depositional method was found to influence the value of bCR, due to the sensitivity of cyclic loading to initial soil fabric. This led to bSSL being used as a reference for the effect of fines, with specimens prepared by moist tamping having bCR > bSSL, and specimens prepared by slurry deposition having bCR < bSSL. Finally the correlations of the fines influence factor values with material and depositional properties were used to define the simplified estimation method – a procedure capable of predicting the approximate steady state lines and cyclic resistance curves of a sand as the non-plastic fines content is increased up to 30%. The method was critically reviewed based on the undrained test results of the PSM1 and PSM2 soils. This review suggested the method could accurately predict undrained response curves as the fines content was raised, based on the PSM1 test results. It also however identified some key issues with the method, such as the inability to accurately predict the responses of highly non-uniform soils, a lack of consideration for the entire particle size distribution of a soil, and the fact the errors in the prediction of bSSL carry through into the prediction of bCR. Lastly some areas of further investigation relating to the method were highlighted, including the need to verify the method through testing of sandy soils sourced from outside the Christchurch area, and the need to correlate the value of bCR with additional soil fabrics / depositional methods.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

Earthquakes impacting on the built environment can generate significant volumes of waste, often overwhelming existing waste management capacities. Earthquake waste can pose a public and environmental health hazard and can become a road block on the road to recovery. Specific research has been developed at the University of Canterbury to go beyond the current perception of disaster waste as a logistical hurdle, to a realisation that disaster waste management is part of the overall recovery process and can be planned for effectively. Disaster waste decision-makers, often constrained by inappropriate institutional frameworks, are faced with conflicting social, economic and environmental drivers which all impact on the overall recovery. Framed around L’Aquila earthquake, Italy, 2009, this paper discusses the social, economic and environmental effects of earthquake waste management and the impact of existing institutional frameworks (legal, financial and organisational). The paper concludes by discussing how to plan for earthquake waste management.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

The University of Canterbury Dept. of Chemistry has weathered the Canterbury Earthquake of September 4, 2010 very well due to a combination of good luck, good planning and dedicated effort. We owe a great deal to university Emergency Response Team and Facilities Management Personnel. The overall emergency preparedness of the university was tested to a degree far beyond anything else in its history and shown to be well up to scratch. A strong cooperative relationship between the pan-campus controlling body and the departmental response teams greatly facilitated our efforts. Information and assistance was provided promptly, as and when we needed it without unnecessary bureaucratic overheads. At the departmental level we are indebted to the technical staff who implemented the invaluable pre-quake mitigation measures and carried the majority of the post-quake clean-up workload. These people put aside their personal concerns and anxieties at a time when magnitude-5 aftershocks were still a regular occurrence.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

Among the deformation features produced in Christchurch by the September 4th Darfield Earthquake were numerous and widespread “sand volcanoes”. Most of these structures occurred in urban settings and “erupted” through a hardened surface of concrete or tarseal, or soil. Sand volcanoes were also widespread in the Avon‐ Heathcote Estuary and offered an excellent opportunity to readily examine shallow subsurface profiles and as such the potential appearance of such structures in the rock record.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

A team of earthquake geologists, seismologists and engineering seismologists from GNS Science, NIWA, University of Canterbury, and Victoria University of Wellington have collectively produced an update of the 2002 national probabilistic seismic hazard (PSH) model for New Zealand. The new model incorporates over 200 new onshore and offshore fault sources, and utilises newly developed New Zealand-based scaling relationships and methods for the parameterisation of the fault and subduction interface sources. The background seismicity model has also been updated to include new seismicity data, a new seismicity regionalisation, and improved methodology for calculation of the seismicity parameters. Background seismicity models allow for the occurrence of earthquakes away from the known fault sources, and are typically modelled as a grid of earthquake sources with rate parameters assigned from the historical seismicity catalogue. The Greendale Fault, which ruptured during the M7.1, 4 September 2010 Darfield earthquake, was unknown prior to the earthquake. However, the earthquake was to some extent accounted for in the PSH model. The maximum magnitude assumed in the background seismicity model for the area of the earthquake is 7.2 (larger than the Darfield event), but the location and geometry of the fault are not represented. Deaggregations of the PSH model for Christchurch at return periods of 500 years and above show that M7-7.5 fault and background source-derived earthquakes at distances less than 40 km are important contributors to the hazard. Therefore, earthquakes similar to the Darfield event feature prominently in the PSH model, even though the Greendale Fault was not an explicit model input.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

On 4 September 2010, a magnitude Mw 7.1 earthquake struck the Canterbury region on the South Island of New Zealand. The epicentre of the earthquake was located in the Darfield area about 40 km west of the city of Christchurch. Extensive damage occurred to unreinforced masonry buildings throughout the region during the mainshock and subsequent large aftershocks. Particularly extensive damage was inflicted to lifelines and residential houses due to widespread liquefaction and lateral spreading in areas close to major streams, rivers and wetlands throughout Christchurch and Kaiapoi. Despite the severe damage to infrastructure and residential houses, fortunately, no deaths occurred and only two injuries were reported in this earthquake. From an engineering viewpoint, one may argue that the most significant aspects of the 2010 Darfield Earthquake were geotechnical in nature, with liquefaction and lateral spreading being the principal culprits for the inflicted damage. Following the earthquake, a geotechnical reconnaissance was conducted over a period of six days (10–15 September 2010) by a team of geotechnical/earthquake engineers and geologists from New Zealand and USA (GEER team: Geo-engineering Extreme Event Reconnaissance). JGS (Japanese Geotechnical Society) members from Japan also participated in the reconnaissance team from 13 to 15 September 2010. The NZ, GEER and JGS members worked as one team and shared resources, information and logistics in order to conduct thorough and most efficient reconnaissance covering a large area over a very limited time period. This report summarises the key evidence and findings from the reconnaissance.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

On 4 September 2010, a magnitude Mw 7.1 earthquake struck the Canterbury region on the South Island of New Zealand. The epicentre of the earthquake was located in the Darfield area about 40 km west of the city of Christchurch. Extensive damage was inflicted to lifelines and residential houses due to widespread liquefaction and lateral spreading in areas close to major streams, rivers and wetlands throughout Christchurch and Kaiapoi. Unreinforced masonry buildings also suffered extensive damage throughout the region. Despite the severe damage to infrastructure and residential houses, fortunately, no deaths occurred and only two injuries were reported in this earthquake. From an engineering viewpoint, one may argue that the most significant aspects of the 2010 Darfield Earthquake were geotechnical in nature, with liquefaction and lateral spreading being the principal culprits for the inflicted damage. Following the earthquake, an intensive geotechnical reconnaissance was conducted to capture evidence and perishable data from this event. This paper summarizes the observations and preliminary findings from this early reconnaissance work.

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

The Resilient Organisations Research Programme and the University of Canterbury are undertaking a longitudinal study to examine the resilience and recovery of organisations within the Canterbury region following the 4 September Canterbury earthquake. The preliminary data suggest the physical, economic and social effects of the earthquake were varied across industry sectors within Canterbury. These preliminary results catalogue organisations’ perceptions of the: - disruptions to their ability to do business - challenges faced in the aftermath of the earthquake - factors that have helped mitigate the effects of the earthquake - revenue changes and projections for the duration of this change - financing options for recovery

Research papers, University of Canterbury Library

This paper presents site-specific and spatially-distributed ground-motion intensity estimates which have been utilized in the aftermath of the 2010-2011 Canterbury, New Zealand earthquakes. The methodology underpinning the ground motion intensity estimation makes use of both prediction models for ground motion intensity and its within-event spatial correlation. A key benefit of the methodology is that the estimated ground motion intensity at a given location is not a single value but a distribution of values. The distribution is comprised of both a mean and standard deviation, with the standard deviation being a function of the distance to nearby observations at strong motion stations. The methodology is illustrated for two applications. Firstly, maps of conditional peak ground acceleration (PGA) have been developed for the major events in the Canterbury earthquake sequence, which among other things, have been utilized for assessing liquefaction triggering susceptibility of land in residential areas. Secondly, the conditional distribution of response spectral ordinates is obtained at the location of the Canterbury Television building (CTV), which catastrophically collapsed in the 22 February 2011 earthquake. The conditional response spectra provide insight for the selection of ground motion records for use in forensic seismic response analyses of important structures at locations where direct recordings are absent.