Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Multi-Hazard Threat

(In addition to features about research in the NatHaz lab, we will periodically post news reports of interest which might spark interesting conversations)

As engineers, we typically like to focus on one problem at a time. However, multiple hazards occurring at the same time present an interesting puzzle for risk assessment and engineering design.

This report, Typhoons trigger earthquakes on Taiwan (click link for news report), highlights research which identifies sensor recordings of 20 "slow" earthquakes coinciding with 11 typhoons. The "slow" earthquake unfolds over a hours or days, rather than a few minutes or seconds. The researchers suggest that the low atmospheric pressure generated by the typhoon actually relieves pressure on one side of the converging plates. Interestingly, it is theorized that the stress relief caused by the typhoon may actually inhibit larger earthquakes from occurring, periodically releasing the stress build-up.

The question that remains is how do tall structures in Taiwan react to both the occurrence of "slow" earthquakes and wind action of the typhoon?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave your comments here.