9520204 Sitar The January 17, 1995, Hyogo Nanbu Earthquake in Japan caused extensive damage in the port city of Kobe, in adjacent Osaka, and even in more distant Kyoto. Over 5000 people died, with thousands of dwellings and other structures destroyed, and with close to 300,000 people displaced. Preliminary damage estimates place this event as the most costly natural disaster in Japan in this century. The geologic setting, topography, and the level and the type of development in the affected area suggest that there is a great similarity to the San Francisco Bay area, and specifically to the region along the Hayward Fault. It is also apparent that the geotechnical aspects of the earthquake are quite significant. Experience from the two most recent California earthquakes, Loma Prieta and Northridge, shows that it is critical that as much information as possible be gathered and documented in the immediate aftermath of an event, since the geotechnical data is often highly perishable. The objective of this research effort is to perform a geotechnical reconnaissance of the affected region, and to gather and document as much data associated with the geotechnical aspects of the earthquake as logistically possible. Particular focus is directed towards assessing the following: (1) liquefaction and ground compaction, and associated ground displacement, (2) effect of local soil conditions on ground surface shaking characteristics and damage patters, (3) seismic response of natural slopes, (4) the seismic response of earth structures, and structural fills, (5) the influence of soil conditions on the performance of port facilities, and (6) the effect of surface rupture on damage to structures and lifelines. The reconnaissance is being planned in cooperation with the leading geotechnical earthquake engineers in Japan. The team will promptly report its findings tot he U.S. research community; especially via new Internet Mosaic servers at the University of Southern Ca lifornia and the University of California at Berkeley - servers set up specifically to share information within the geotechnical earthquake engineering community. ***

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University of California Berkeley
United States
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