2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM


PEIRIS, Inoka, SCHMITZ, Darrel W. and MAY, James, Geosciences, Mississippi State University, P.O. Box 5448, Mississippi State, MS 39762, imp12@msstate.edu

Mississippi State University is one of the many public institutions in Mississippi located within a seismic hazard zone known as the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Prior research assumes that strong earthquakes will occur along the New Madrid seismic zone within this generation as well as within the lifetime of the presently existing structures (Olshansky, 1994). It has been recently estimated that the probability of another earthquake of magnitude 8.0 or greater taking place in the next fifty years is between 7-10 percent (Smalley R Jr. et. al., 2005). Previous studies revealed the possibility of damage to the campus during an earthquake is in the order of ten percent. But the effects of an earthquake upon its structures have not yet been properly investigated.

The process of risk assessment includes identifying hazard, profiling a hazard event, making an inventory of the assets and estimation of losses. The HAZUS-MH MR3 is a reliable earthquake model, which can be used to estimate physical damage, economic loss and social impact of an earthquake event. HAZUS provides resources to estimate damages to different kinds of buildings at various peak ground acceleration values; it also provides details about the type of building and appropriate PGA value with seismic design level to estimate percent structural damage. Building data required by the model includes building type, type of foundation, building code design level and date of construction; all of which is housed by the University Physical plant. Another requirement of the model is the peak ground acceleration determined using preliminary ground surface response evaluation.

The major results include building damage ratio, loss of function and direct and indirect economic loss for each building on the campus and social impact. The results depend on the magnitude of the earthquake, and the construction of the buildings. The risk assessment helps in understanding associated losses due to an earthquake. Implementing necessary mitigation procedures helps reduce the damage.