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Geotechnical Factors for Assessing Seismic Risk and Building Retrofitting

manage risk factors you can control

You hear the seismic magnitude scale announcements on the news immediately following any earthquake: ‘only’ a magnitude 2, a catastrophic magnitude 6. It should be noted that the earthquake magnitude is only one of the factors impacting seismic force and damage. However, when reported on the news, this is the most commonly-cited statistic, other than the devastation that ensues. In reality, the damage sustained by structures will depend much more on the ground acceleration felt and the resiliency of the structural design to handle lateral loads than just its seismic scale value. But what does that really mean? How is it determined?

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