DS01 - Gestion sobre des ressources et adaptation au changement climatique

EXperimental Assessment and Modelling of ground motion spatial variability for performance based seismic risk assessment of industrial plants and INfrastructures – EXAMIN

Submission summary

The integrity of critical facilities and networks during an earthquake is a vital element for the sustainable development of societies and environments. The spatial variation of seismic ground motions at local and regional scale is generally not accounted for in risk and loss assessment. Though, it is now recognized that the resulting spatial variability of seismic load has an impact on extended and multi-supported structures such as bridges, embedded galleries, pipelines and more generally on infrastructure networks or industrial plants comprising several adjacent buildings. Als, many past earthquakes have outlined spatially heterogeneous damage distribution over short distances (tens to hundreds of meters; e.g. Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, Northridge in 1994,) even for similar engineering structures (e.g. Christchurch, 2010). This project proposes a multi-disciplinary approach involving synthesis of geophysical and in-situ experimental data and the development of stochastic models and numerical simulation to be integrated into the full risk assessment chain. This includes the development of methods based on ambient seismic noise recordings to capture near-surface local spatial soil heterogeneity in terms of correlation length and coefficient of variation of shear-wave velocity, as an alternative to classical but costly geotechnical approach. The local spatial soil variability is then represented by random fields characterized by the determined soil parameters. We perform 3D physics-based wave propagation simulation by means of the spectral element method, including local spatial variability of soil properties and regional variability due to basin and topography effects. The spatial variability of seismic load will then be assessed at different scales, from the local (several meters) to the regional (several kilometers) level. We also perform soil-structure interaction analysis for extended structures in order to assess the impact of local soil variability. The developed models allow for assessing the reliability of the infrastructures including the local and regional spatial ground-motion variability and will be implemented in the integrated risk analysis chain. The physical soundness and the feasibility of the approach will be demonstrated by the application to a case study. The site for the demonstrative risk assessment is the Grenoble basin that has been extensively studied by researchers from ISTerre in former projects. The outcome of this project will allow to more accurately evaluate the vulnerability and resilience of urban systems and infrastructure exposed to spatial seismic hazard. The developments and studies conducted within this project will be based on opensource software developed and distributed by the project partners.

Project coordination


The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


BRGM Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières
ISTerre Institut des Sciences de la Terre

Help of the ANR 476,547 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: November 2017 - 48 Months

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