Maximizing Learning from Real Earthquakes
Mentor:Stephen Mahin, Byron and Elvira Nishkian Professor of Structural Engineering, Director, Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California Berkeley
Earthquakes act as natural occurring experiments and provide a wealth of data on the seismic performance of structures. Earthquake investigations are a common practice in the collection of this data. Currently, separate organizations conduct their own investigations, using self-determined procedures and independently store and organize their data. Due to this lack of cooperation, much of the data collection efforts are not synchronized and result in redundant records, a general lack of structure in the overall compilation of data, and inefficiencies in the use of time and other resources. This has created a need for a streamlined approach for earthquake investigations and a common hub for the archive and organization of gathered information. This project seeks to develop a database and procedure for use with pre and post-earthquake investigations. The intent of this is to foster cohesion in the rush to gather data after an earthquake and provide a central system of organization for all information relevant to the earthquake engineering community for seismic performance analyses. Rather than trying to answer a specific question, the work of this project is directed towards working towards a specific solution to the mentioned problem. Though this project does not have a definitive end due to its nature, significant progress was made through the development of earthquake investigation procedures and the development of the Seismic Performance Observatory (SPO), a database primarily used for the organization and utilization of earthquake engineering data. This resource is web-based and utilizes metadata to facilitate the organization and use of its contents. Through this and SPO's ability to synch with resources from outside organizations like USGS, this database can act as a great tool for seismic performance analyses and Performance Based Earthquake Engineering (PBEE) by presenting all relevant information for a specific earthquake or structure to the user.