Archives for April 2014

Call for Abstracts: 3rd International Conference on Urban Disaster Reduction

The 3rd International Conference on Urban Disaster Reduction (3ICUDR) will be held September 28–October 1, 2014 in Boulder, Colorado. The conference builds on an established practice of international collaboration and knowledge-sharing after disaster events in Japan, U.S., and Taiwan. In this third conference, New Zealand joins the three collaborating countries. The mission for this conference is to develop, integrate, and promote new knowledge and best practices in sustainable disaster recovery, with a particular emphasis on urban environments.

Save the Date: 3rd International Conference on Urban Disaster Reduction (3ICUDR)Abstracts that take bold steps in describing new strategies and ways of thinking to significantly reduce potential casualties, damage, and disruption from future disasters, and create safe, resilient, and adaptive communities, regions, and nations are being solicited. Young scholars are encouraged to present emerging research. Papers that bridge the knowledge gaps between research and practice are particularly welcomed. For more information and suggested topic areas, view the Call for Abstracts at The deadline for submission is May 15, 2014.

3ICUDR websiteThe conference is being organized by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute in collaboration with colleagues from the following partner organizations: (1) the Natural Hazards Center, Boulder, Colorado; (2) the Research Center for Disaster Reductions Systems (DRS), Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, Kyoto, and the Risk Management Office/Research Center for Natural Hazard & Disaster Recovery, Niigata University, Niigata, in coordination with the Institute of Social Safety Science; (3) the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction (NCDR) and the Disaster Management Society of Taiwan; and (4) the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE) and GNS Science, New Zealand. For more information about the conference, visit:

M8.2 Iquique, Chile Earthquake and Tsunami: Preliminary Reconnaissance Observations

The EERI Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) Committee, led by chair Ken Elwood (M. EERI, 1994), reached out to colleagues in Chile to compile this article for the EERI membership that summarizes their initial observations from the April 1, 2014 M8.2 earthquake and tsunami. This article is compiled by Juan Carlos de la Llera Martin of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile external link icon with contributions from researchers at the National Research Center for Integrated Natural Disasters (CIGIDEN), Santiago, Chile; researchers from University of Concepción; and Rene Lagos Engineers.

Pounding and infill masonry damage to mid-rise structures. Photo source: Rene Lagos Engineers. (Chile, 2014)On April 1, 2014 at 20:46:50 local time (23:46:50 UTC), a Mw8.2 megathrust earthquake, with a depth of 20.1 km and epicenter 95 km NW from Iquique, ruptured an estimated surface of about 40 km (strike) by 30 km (dip) with a maximum slip of about 6.5 m (USGS). This earthquake occurred in a historic seismic quiescence zone in Northern Chile (previous significant Mw8.8, 1877). The seismic sequence started March 16 with an Mw6.7 earthquake, and foreshock activity that ended in a quiet period of 2.5 days. Following the main shock, a new aftershock (Mw7.6) occurred south of Iquique April 3 at 2:43:14 UTC (21:43:14 local time). Six people have been reported dead as a direct consequence of this earthquake.

More than a million people felt the ground shaking. The seismic intensity was strongest in Iquique (MMI VII), Arica (VII), and Tacna (VI). The earthquake also generated a tsunami with a maximum water run up measured of 4.4 meters above sea level and 3.15 meters above sea level at Patache and Iquique, respectively (CIGIDEN). The tsunami affected mostly fishermens’ activities and all coastal towns from Arica to Iquique. The maximum inland penetration of water was 315 m at the Ike-Ike beach.

Tall building with no visible structural or non-structural damage. Photo source: Rene Lagos Engineers. (Chile, 2014)The region is an industrial area (mining, fishing, commerce). Small towns and villages with non-engineered adobe and masonry houses were strongly affected by the main shock (Figure 1). Some concrete-block masonry houses and short buildings were severely damaged, but no collapse was observed. Heavy damage occurred in some locations in Iquique and Alto Hospicio, the latter showing a clear topographic amplification effect. Three-story building blocks founded on collapsible soils in Alto Hospicio were damaged due to seismically-induced settlement. Extensive diagonal shear cracks were observed in the first-story masonry walls of the 5-story complex Pablo Neruda (Iquique). The estimated total number of damaged houses in the affected region is over 13,000.

High-rise buildings (38 stories or less) showed no structural damage in Iquique beyond small pounding between structures (Figure 2), and localized moderate cracking and spalling in some columns. Large non-structural damage was observed in Zofri (Iquique’s free trade zone). Nonstructural failures contributed largely to the public’s perception of significant damage.

Damage to the north end of Iquique Port Pier 1. Photo source: Gonzalo A. Montalva and Fernando A. Cerda. (Chile, 2014)The port of Iquique had one of the two piers damaged due to liquefaction and lateral spreading in the eastward direction (Figure 3). The damaged pier dates from 1928, and the east wall of the damaged pier tilted outward leading to a settlement of about 1.4 m of the central platform measured next to the pier. The other pier, responsible for 85% of the cargo of the port, had been retrofitted in 2007, thus suffered only minor damage.

The electricity was shut down as a result of the earthquake, with 50% of the service recovered in Iquique in 24 hours. Water supply was recovered slower than electricity, taking a full week to recover at Cerro Dragon (Iquique).

Slope (20°) displacement on Route A16 is 40cm vertical and 10 cm horizontal. Photo source: Gabriel Candia A. (Chile, 2014)Traffic on route A16 was interrupted as a result of movement of several unstable slopes and rock falls. This route is strategic for the regional economy, and an 80 m long section dropped 40 cm (Figure 4). Slope stability failures occurred at various locations on the natural terrace along the coast; measured accumulated displacement reached over one meter. Rockfalls from the hillside caused major traffic delays, until the traffic flow was partially restored two days after the earthquake. Basement walls, bridge abutments, and retaining walls performed well at this level of ground accelerations (PGA ~ 0.3g). Some cantilever walls of Cerro Dragon (Iquique) sustained significant rotations (Δ/H~1%-8%).

More information can be found and continues to be added to the Clearinghouse website at

M5.1 La Habra, CA Earthquake: California Earthquake Clearinghouse

At 9:09 p.m. on March 28, 2014, a M5.1 earthquake struck near the city of La Habra in Southern California. The California Earthquake Clearinghouse used this lower magnitude event in an urban area to exercise its activation procedures. The management committee of the Clearinghouse, which includes EERI as vice-chair, conducted a call-down shortly after the earthquake and activated a low-level virtual clearinghouse.

The earthquake occurred on the Puente Hills fault, which has been the focus of much attention recently with new efforts in Los Angeles to increase earthquake safety. While instances of structural damage have been reported, most damage in the epicentral area appears to be to non-structural elements and contents.

California Earthquake Clearinghouse (EERI)As part of this activation, discussion forums were established on the Clearinghouse website, and a SpotOnResponse map, the Clearinghouse’s situational awareness tool, was placed on the website. EERI members in California were notified by email of the Clearinghouse’s response and members in the affected area were encouraged to submit observations to EERI or the Clearinghouse.

Taking preliminary reports of damage into consideration, the Clearinghouse management committee deactivated the virtual clearinghouse at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 30, 2014. EERI members interested in learning more about the California Earthquake Clearinghouse are encouraged to register online at

10NCEE Program Is Available Online: Register Today Before Rates Go Up!

The full program for the Tenth U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering (10NCEE) is now available online at The program includes over 1,000 presentations in 130 sessions, including 27 invited presentations by distinguished speakers in the plenary and theme sessions. The online program is completely searchable and can be used to search for presentations by colleagues or to find presentations by keyword.

10NCEE websiteRegister now for 10NCEE in Anchorage, Alaska, July 21–25, 2014. Registration rates will increase after May 15, 2014 (by $100 for full conference rate and by $50 for one-day rates).

Information about Travel and Lodging, Airline Discounts, Pre-Conference Events, and Thursday Evening at the Alaska Native Heritage Center is available at

Questions or concerns about the online program should be sent to

New 10NCEE Sponsors: AMEC and PRA

AMECAMEC is a new Bronze Sponsor of 10NCEE. Ranked 24th in Engineering News-Record‘s Top 500 Design Firms, AMEC (EERI Bronze Subscribing Member) is one of the leading engineering and design, environmental, and construction services companies in the US. Providing a full range of services to more than 7,000 public and private clients worldwide, AMEC’s 3,000-plus employees, with specialists in over 50 scientific and engineering disciplines, work from over 100 offices across the U.S. AMEC’s broad geographic coverage and technical depth allows the company to perform virtually any scope of work, regardless of location, size or complexity. For more info, visit the AMEC website at external link icon.

Petrotechnical Resources of Alaska (PRA)Petrotechnical Resources of Alaska (PRA) is a new Bronze Sponsor of 10NCEE. PRA was founded in 1997 by a group of five independent consultants. Currently managed by Chris Livesey and Tom Walsh, PRA has grown into a group of over 115 affiliated geologists, geophysicists and petroleum engineers, among other diverse oil and gas professionals. Most of PRA’s affiliates have in excess of 20 years in the oil industry with the bulk of that experience in Alaska. PRA’s professionals have worked in every basin in Alaska on both exploration and development projects. From the North Slope to Cook Inlet, PRA consultants know and understand the regional geology, the unique operating conditions, and the regulatory environment. For details, visit the PRA website at external link icon.

New 10NCEE Exhibitors

The following companies and organizations are new exhibitors for 10NCEE in Anchorage:

SidePlate Systems, Inc.
Unbonded Brace

For the full list of 10NCEE exhibitors, visit:

10NCEE Cooperating Organizations

The following organizations have agreed to be non-financial sponsors of 10NCEE:

Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission
American Concrete Institute
Central U.S. Earthquake Council
Consortium of Organizations for Strong Motion Observation Systems
Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering
International Code Council
Mid-American Earthquake Center
Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado
Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center
Southern California Earthquake Center
Western States Seismic Policy Council

Register today for 10NCEE at! We hope to see you in Anchorage this summer.

EERI Honorary Members: Bill Anderson and Bill Iwan

The EERI Board of Directors selected William (Bill) A. Anderson (M. EERI, 2001) and Wilfred (Bill) D. Iwan (M. EERI, 1989) as Honorary Members of the Institute. Honorary membership is awarded to recognize members who have made sustained and outstanding contributions to the field of earthquake engineering and to EERI and the pursuit of its objectives. Presentation of EERI Honorary Awards and Tribute to Bill Anderson will take place at the 10NCEE Wednesday lunch on July 23, 2014.

William (Bill) A. AndersonEERI Honorary Member Bill Anderson (1937–2013) passed away unexpectedly in late December external link icon. Anderson was trained as a sociologist at the Ohio State University Disaster Research Center and was a professor of Sociology at Arizona State University before going to the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation in 1976, where he remained for the next 26 years.

While on leave from NSF, Anderson took a position with the Disaster Management Facility at the World Bank where he was one of the architects of the ProVention Consortium. In 2001, he moved to the National Academy of Sciences to direct the Disasters Roundtable and serve as associate executive director of the Division on Earth and Life Studies.

Coming from a tradition of field research carried out in the immediate aftermath of disasters, Anderson recognized the value of EERI’s Learning from Earthquakes program, enabling multidisciplinary teams to collect perishable data after damaging earthquakes. NSF funding for the LFE program enabled EERI to disseminate field observations through written reconnaissance reports and live presentations throughout the country.

Recognizing the need to develop ties to researchers in other earthquake-prone countries, Anderson funded a series of international workshops that allowed researchers to exchange information about their work and to develop personal relationships. That tradition served EERI well after major earthquakes in many countries; it lived on after Bill left NSF, ensuring valuable post-earthquake research collaboration throughout the world.

Wilfred (Bill) D. IwanEERI Honorary Member Bill Iwan is emeritus professor of applied mechanics and emeritus director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. Professor Iwan joined the Caltech faculty in 1964. His research deals with fundamental areas of mechanics, understanding and characterization of strong earthquake ground motion, analysis and monitoring of the response of structural systems subjected to extreme events, and public policy regarding disasters.

Iwan’s research achievements include the development of methods to represent complex nonlinear structures with simpler linear systems, the development of practical methods for earthquake-resistant design, and the development of simplified methods for the analysis of seismic isolation systems for critical equipment. In 1979 he proposed an earthquake early-warning system for urban regions. He introduced the concept of a “drift demand spectrum” as a means of measuring the damage potential of strong earthquake ground motion, and has worked toward improving both seismic instrument design and the interpretation of data.

Professor Iwan is a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and a member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). He is a recipient of the George W. Housner Medal awarded by EERI, both the William H. Wisely American Civil Engineer Award and the Nathan M. Newmark Medal awarded by ASCE, the Alfred Alquist Medal awarded by the Earthquake Safety Foundation, and a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Consortium of Strong Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS). He was the inaugural recipient of the Bruce A. Bolt Medal awarded jointly by EERI, the Seismological Society of America, and COSMOS.

For more information on the EERI Honorary Membership, visit the EERI website at external link icon.

Note: See the full list of 2014 EERI Award Recipients at external link icon. In the next issue of The Pulse, we will feature the Earthquake Spectra Outstanding Paper Award.

Heidi Tremayne Joins EERI Staff as Program Manager

The EERI Board of Directors and Staff are thrilled to announce that Heidi Tremayne, P.E. (M. EERI, 2004) became EERI’s Program Manager in early April. In this new position, Heidi will be responsible for managing multiple projects and programs, creating and leading professional development programs, and supporting the Institute’s committees and chapters.

Heidi Tremayne, EERI Program ManagerPrior to joining EERI, Heidi was the Outreach Director at the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) for six years where she coordinated PEER’s numerous education and communications programs. A selection of her accomplishments include convening a successful symposium on the twentieth anniversary of the Northridge earthquake, creating PEER’s Internship Program that provided internationally-respected research opportunities for undergraduate students, facilitating numerous technical workshops and webinars, and overseeing an elementary school outreach program for the nees@berkeley laboratory.

Heidi is also currently serving the second year of her two-year term as the President of the EERI Northern California Chapter. Her experience at the regional chapter level will make her an ideal liaison for regional and student chapter representatives looking to engage with other chapters and expand their activities.

Heidi is passionate about earthquake risk mitigation and looks forward to helping EERI both further its mission and serve its members. Please don’t hesitate to contact her at with ideas, questions, or suggestions as she launches into her career at EERI!

Earthquake Spectra Preprints

In early April, several preprint manuscripts were posted on the Earthquake Spectra website prior to their formal publication. The list of new preprint manuscripts, including authors, follows:

  • Earthquake Spectra“Epistemic Uncertainty for NGA-West2 Models” by Linda Al Atik and Robert R. Youngs (M. EERI, 1983)
  • “Nonlinear Response Potential of Real versus Simulated Ground Motions for the 11th March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake” by Katsuichiro Goda (M. EERI, 2009), Susumu Kurahashi, Hadi Ghofrani, Gail M. Atkinson (M. EERI, 1981), and Kojiro Irikura (M. EERI, 2000)
  • “Recorded ground motion and estimated soil amplification for the May 11, 2011 Lorca earthquake” by Myriam Belvaux, Albert Macau, Sara Figueras, Xavier Goula, and Teresa Susagna

To read preprint manuscripts or browse the complete list of preprint manuscripts, visit the Earthquake Spectra website at external link icon.

In addition, the Spectra editors also posted Special Collections of Preprints of the papers that will be published in the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence external link icon special issue (forthcoming) and the NGA-West2 external link icon special issue (forthcoming, August 2014).

Recent Earthquakes in Chile

EERI is closely monitoring the recent earthquake activity in Chile, including the effects of the M8.2 earthquake and tsunami on April 1st, and several strong aftershocks. The Learning from Earthquakes Executive Committee, under the direction of its new chair, Ken Elwood, met yesterday to determine EERI’s response. For now, EERI will be coordinating with Chilean members and colleagues to produce a brief report for the next issue of EERI’s online newsletter, The Pulse. EERI’s activities will adjust as necessary in response to new events and changing conditions in the region.

EERI has also established a virtual clearinghouse for this event, which can be viewed at Members and colleagues are encouraged to check frequently for new information or to post their own observations and photos.

Questions or concerns about the Chile earthquake and Clearinghouse may be sent to

Register Today for 10NCEE: DDBD Seminar, New Sponsors, and SDC Registration

10NCEE websiteRegister now for the Tenth U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering (10NCEE) in Anchorage, Alaska, July 21–25, 2014. Information about Travel and Lodging, Airline Discounts, Pre-Conference Events, and Thursday Evening at the Alaska Native Heritage Center is available at The following is the latest information about the Direct Displacement-Based Seismic Design of Buildings Seminar, New 10NCEE Sponsors, and Registration for the 2014 EERI Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition:

Pre-Conference Event: Direct Displacement-Based Seismic Design of Buildings LATBSDC Seminar

Date: Monday, July 21, 2014
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: Hilton Anchorage
Presenters: Dr. Nigel Priestley, Dr. Michele Calvi (M. EERI, 1990), and Dr. Mervyn Kowalsky (M. EERI, 1994)

This seminar will introduce participants to displacement-based seismic design (DDBD) and demonstrate how it can be implemented in the design office as a simple and rational alternative to current prescriptive methods of seismic design. The course will show that serious conceptual problems exist with current force-based seismic design and will demonstrate how these deficiencies are resolved when a simple displacement-based design approach is adopted. The DDBD approach results in structures with uniform seismic risk for a given performance level, which is compatible with uniform risk spectra. This is not achieved with current force-based design procedures. To read the seminar program, visit:

Cost: Early-bird registration is $295. A companion textbook, if ordered as a part of early-bird registration for the seminar, can be obtained for the price of $120, including shipping, and will be available for pickup at the seminar. Note that current prices for the textbook on Amazon are $206. Registration increases to $365 on June 15th, at which point companion textbooks are no longer available.

Register for the event now at

New 10NCEE Sponsors

Oregon State University (OSU) College of Engineering (logo)Oregon State University (OSU) College of Engineering is a new silver sponsor of 10NCEE. Founded in 1889, OSU College of Engineering has a long history of graduating world-class engineers who have made major impacts on civilization through significant contributions in science and technology. By emphasizing authentic, experiential engineering experiences within its curriculum, OSU equips students with the knowledge, skills, and passion to advance innovative solutions to today’s most complex engineering challenges. Visit the OSU College of Engineering at external link icon.

Alyeska Pipeline Service (logo)Alyeska Pipeline Service is a new bronze sponsor of 10NCEE. Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, established in 1970, was named after the Aleut word, “Alyeska,” meaning mainland. Its 800 employees are proud of the pipeline’s history – one enriched by teamwork, innovation and a commitment to safety, reliability, and the integrity of TAPS. The 800 mile pipeline withstood the magnitude 7.9 Denali earthquake in 2002. The ground along the fault moved an estimated 18 feet horizontally and nearly 2.5 feet vertically. Due to Alyeska’s earthquake protection, the Denali Fault earthquake did not compromise the integrity of the pipeline. No oil spilled, and pipeline operations resumed after minor repairs. Visit the Alyeska Pipeline website at external link icon.

BP (logo)BP is a new bronze sponsor of 10NCEE. Alaska remains one of BP’s leading resource basins. After more than 36 years of production, the North Slope still has a large amount of the discovered oil and gas remaining. BP focuses its strategy and investment in Alaska on the known resources; on renewing its North Slope infrastructure; on ensuring safe and sustainable operations; and on commercializing Alaska natural gas. Visit the BP website for more information at external link icon.

Star Seismic (logo)Star Seismic is a new bronze sponsor of 10NCEE. Star Seismic has pioneered the engineering and design of Buckling Restrained Braces (BRBs). From commercial structures and high-rise buildings, to state-of-the-art medical centers and stadiums, Star Seismic’s buckling restrained brace systems have played a key role in a wide range of award-winning construction projects all over the globe. Visit the Star Seismic website at external link icon.

SDC Registration

Official registration for the 2014 EERI Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition will open in early April at Every year, hundreds of the nation’s brightest engineering undergraduates from leading engineering universities get together for the EERI Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition (SDC), organized by the EERI Student Leadership Council (SLC).

Teams from thirty-eight universities pre-registered for the SDC, including international competitors from as far away as Vietnam, India, and Romania. The 2014 EERI Undergraduate SDC will be held in conjunction with the 10th U.S National Conference on Earthquake Engineering (10NCEE) and the 66th EERI Annual Meeting on July 21-25, in Anchorage, Alaska.

Register today for 10NCEE at! We hope to see you in Anchorage this summer.

Anthony Shakal to Receive the Bruce Bolt Medal

Anthony Shakal (M. EERI, 1980), California Geological Survey (CGS) Supervising Geologist/Program Manager, was chosen as the 2014 recipient of the Bruce A. Bolt Medal, which is awarded jointly by the Seismological Society of America, the Consortium of Organizations for Strong-Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS), and EERI.

Anthony Shakal (photo)The Bruce A. Bolt Medal was established to recognize individuals worldwide whose accomplishments involve the promotion and use of strong-motion earthquake data and whose leadership in the transfer of scientific and engineering knowledge into practice or policy has led to improved seismic safety. Professor Bolt was recognized in his time by earthquake engineers and seismologists worldwide as the expert in engineering seismology.

Dr. Shakal has been associated with the CGS’s Strong Motion Instrumentation Program (SMIP) external link icon for the past 32 years, and has successfully grown and led the Program for the past 27 years. Under Dr. Shakal’s direct supervision and innovative management, the SMIP operates the largest and most advanced strong-motion network in the United States. The SMIP is also the largest strong-motion component in the U.S. Geological Survey’s Advanced National Seismic System. In 2006 at the commemoration of the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, the SMIP received the Applied Technology Council/Engineering News Record joint award as the Best Seismic Program of the Twentieth Century.

To date, Dr. Shakal’s SMIP group has installed over 5,000 accelerometers at nearly 1,200 stations around the State. These seismic monitors have been placed in over 850 free-field ground stations, on more than 80 bridges, and in 200 buildings. Ground motion and structural response data gathered from this network are directly employed in the California Building Code to make structures more earthquake resilient. Two very recent examples of Dr. Shakal’s diverse skills can be seen in the successful completions of the One Rincon Tower and the new east span of the Oakland Bay Bridge.

Dr. Shakal continues to expand and promote the educational and communication links between the structural engineering and seismological communities through financially supporting an annual conference in which SMIP-sponsored research papers are presented. (SMIP13 was in Los Angeles, California.) He participates as an active member of the standards setting committee at COSMOS, and works closely with Caltrans, and the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development on projects related to earthquake engineering for hospitals. Dr. Shakal also finds time to write technical research papers to help publicize the latest findings from the programs he oversees.

For more information on the Bruce A. Bolt Medal, visit the EERI website at

Note: See the full list of 2014 EERI Award Recipients at In the next issue of The Pulse, we will feature the 2014 EERI Honorary Members.