Archives for August 2014

M6.0 South Napa, California Earthquake: California Earthquake Clearinghouse

EERI South Napa Virtual Earthquake Clearinghouse: external link icon

Clearinghouse Physical Location (CLOSED):
Napa Caltrans Maintenance Station
3161 Jefferson Street
Napa, CA 94558

At 3:20 AM (local time) a magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck in Napa, CA. The California Earthquake Clearinghouse is closely monitoring the situation. At this time a virtual Clearinghouse activation is in effect. The Clearinghouse Management Committee is exploring the possibility of establishing a physical Clearinghouse location. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

California Earthquake Clearinghouse (EERI)Any persons conducting scientific or engineering investigations in the affected area are encouraged to submit observations to the Clearinghouse. A forum has also been established to share information and help groups coordinate with each other at external link icon. More information about how to share and view data is available at external link icon.

South Napa, California

August 24, 2014, M 6.0 Earthquake


Available Information



10th U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering: Highlights

More than 1,100 attendees from nearly 50 countries participated in the 10th U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering (10NCEE) in Anchorage, Alaska, on July 21-25. The backdrop for the meeting was the 50th anniversary year of the 1964 Great Alaska earthquake and tsunami. By all accounts the meeting was a resounding success with many longtime national conference attendees calling it the best ever!

Alaska State Seismologist Mike West addresses 10NCEE attendees at plenaryParticipants, including more than 250 students, were immersed in a multidisciplinary program of 800 papers, 750 oral presentations, and 250 posters. Regional speakers included Alaska Governor Sean Parnell, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, Alaska State Seismologist Mike West, and former Alaska State Seismologist John Davies, all part of Tuesday morning’s opening session.

EERI Honorary Member Tom O’Rourke (M. EERI, 1980) and Kathleen Tierney (M. EERI, 1987) delivered presentations in Wednesday’s plenary session addressing mega disasters from the technical and social perspectives. Thursday’s plenary, as part of the 2014 NEES Quake Summit, featured Julio Ramirez (M. EERI, 2001) and EERI Honorary Member Bill Holmes (M. EERI, 1975) highlighting contributions of the NEES program in advancing knowledge and transforming practice over the first ten years of operation. On Friday, EERI Honorary Member Chris Poland (M. EERI, 1978) and Sjoerd Van Ballegooy (M. EERI, 2014) delivered plenary presentations on community resilience from two perspectives: building resilience into existing infrastructure and rebuilding resilience after the Christchurch earthquakes.

Shah Prize winners and Professor Haresh Shah (M. EERI, 1972) In addition to the technical program, many conference participants attended the Evening at the Native Heritage Center event and fieldtrips to Turnagain Arm and the Tsunami Warning Center near Hatcher Pass. Some attendees also learned to use the Clearinghouse Field Notes Application external link icon by capturing and recording photos of themselves with bears around Anchorage and contributing them to a virtual clearinghouse. Many attendees also watched the shaking of basal-wood tall building models during the 2014 EERI Seismic Design Competition and bid in the auction to raise funds for future competitions.

2014 EERI Annual Meeting Activities: Awards and Business Meetings
At the first luncheon, David Wald (M. EERI, 1988) delivered the 2014 EERI Distinguished Lecture “Challenges in Estimating Real-time Earthquake Shaking & Impact”  in which he discussed USGS’s near-real time earthquake information systems that provide rapid and automated alerting of estimated economic and human impacts following earthquakes. The Institute also presented 2014 EERI Awards and Honors external link icon to this year’s recipients. At the second luncheon, EERI President Ian Buckle (M. EERI, 1989) reported on the State of the Institute, and EERI Secretary/Treasurer Janiele Maffei (M. EERI, 1992) delivered the financial report external link icon during the annual Business Meeting.

Photos external link icon are captured by longtime EERI member Marshall Lew (M. EERI, 1978) unless otherwise noted.

Professional Development Hours (PDHs)
10NCEE websiteConference attendees who would like to receive Professional Development Hours (PDHs) for attending the technical portions of the conference may register for them on the EERI website at external link icon.

Access to 10NCEE Proceedings
Conference proceedings were loaded on a thumb drive that was provided to conference attendees. Included on the drive are all accepted papers, the Conference Program, the EERI Brief to Members, and the NEES Retrospective.

10NCEE Proceedings thumb drives are now available for purchase in the EERI Knowledge Center ($145 for non-members; 15% discount for members) at external link icon.

Conference registrants can still access all 10NCEE papers at the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) website at external link icon. Login and password are required. Please be sure to sign up with the same email address used to register for 10NCEE. NEEShub registration is free.

We appreciate our many sponsors, friends, and cooperating organizations for their generous support, and thank our colleagues at NEES for their collaborative spirit and exceptional contributions to the technical program.

2014 EERI Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition: Results

Over 175 students participated in the 2014 EERI Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition (SDC) external link icon, organized by the EERI Student Leadership Council (SLC), held during the 2014 EERI Annual Meeting and 10NCEE. Teams of undergraduate students from EERI Student Chapters at universities across the U.S. and from around the world brought their balsa wood high-rise structures to Anchorage to see if they could survive the 1940 El Centro earthquake, 1994 Northridge earthquake, and the SLC-designed UC Davis “extreme ground motions.”

The competition kicked off on Wednesday with team presentations and posters, followed by the 3rd Annual Calcutta Auction that evening. EERI Honorary Member Chris Poland (M. EERI, 1978) resumed his role as auctioneer, and the bidding was spirited. Nearly $6,000 was raised to ensure the support of future seismic design competitions.

Chris Poland (M. EERI, 1978) and the student team from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania)Thursday was filled with excitement as teams put their structures to the test on a shaking table. Those structures that did not fall after the three ground motions usually met their end with a final sine sweep.

On Friday, the competition students joined 10NCEE meeting attendees for the closing plenary session where the SDC awards ceremony was held. Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, who travelled to the competition all the way from Romania, won first place. Finishing in second and third places were teams from the University of California Berkeley and the California State University of Los Angeles, respectively.

The Romanian team scored well because they controlled seismic performance (by minimizing roof drift via a relatively stiff design) while dramatically minimizing structural model weight. The design used an overlapping X bracing lateral system with inclined mega-columns at the base of the model. The structural model itself was one of the lightest, being only 1.4 lbs. The other models that scored well this year that survived the third UC Davis ground motion were heavier, where structural model weight is detrimental for overall score. The other lighter models from the teams that typically do well, unfortunately, were not able to survive the third UC Davis ground motion this year, so they were placed in the collapsed category. The Romanian team’s presentation and architecture rankings gave them performance bonuses that also increased the score gap.

Three additional awards were presented during the ceremony. The Kinemetrics Award for Spirit of the Competition was awarded to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona received the Degenkolb Award for Structural Innovation, and the CSI Communication Award was presented to the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca.

Generous support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Computer and Structures, Inc., Degenkolb Engineers, Oregon State University, California Earthquake Authority, Kinemetrics, and the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) made the 2014 EERI Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition possible.

Call for Nominations for the 2015 Bruce Bolt Medal

The Bruce Bolt Medal is awarded jointly by COSMOS, EERI, and SSA 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.

Bruce BoltThe COSMOS, EERI, and SSA Joint Nomination Panel is now accepting Nominations for the 2015 Bruce Bolt Medalist. Members of EERI, SSA, and COSMOS are encouraged to submit nomination packages for this distinguished award. Nominations will be reviewed in confidence by a six-person Joint Nomination Panel formed by two representatives from each of the three sponsoring organizations. The recommended nominee will be considered in confidence by each organization’s Board of Directors for their approval and joint selection of the medalist.

If you know of a colleague or peer that you would like to nominate for this prestigious honor, please go to the Bruce Bolt Medal webpageexternal link icon of the SSA website to view past recipients, the Nominee Criteria, and Nomination Procedure.

Note: The deadline to submit nominations for the 2015 award is October 31, 2014 (incomplete nomination packages will not be considered by the Joint Nomination Panel). Please direct all questions to Woody Savage (M. EERI, 1975) at

EERI Annual Student Paper Competition: Call for Submissions

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) is pleased to announce its Annual Student Paper Competition. The purpose of the competition is to promote active involvement of students in earthquake engineering and the earthquake hazards research community.

2014 EERI Student Paper CompetitionThe EERI Student Paper Competition is open to graduate and undergraduate applicants. Applicants must be enrolled at an accredited U.S. college or university and must be U.S. residents. Contest rules for graduate and undergraduate paper categories are available on the competition flyer (PDF) at external link icon.

Guidelines for preparing the manuscript are accessible on the EERI website at external link icon. All papers must be e-mailed by November 1, 2014, to Juliane Lane at

Up to four student authors will be invited to the 2015 EERI Annual Meeting in Boston, March 31 – April 3, 2015, and will receive travel support for this purpose. Their papers may also be considered for publication in Earthquake Spectra external link icon. The top paper in the graduate category may be presented at the 2015 EERI Annual Meeting.

Earthquake Spectra Preprints

In late July and early August, 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“Evaluation of Assumptions Used in Engineering Practice to Model Buildings Isolated with Triple Pendulum(TM) Isolators in SAP2000” by Anthony P. Giammona, Keri L. Ryan (M. EERI, 1999), and Nhan D. Dao
  • “Cyclic test data of six unreinforced masonry walls with different boundary conditions” by Sarah Petry and Katrin Beyer (M. EERI, 2010)
  • “Experimental Shake Table Testing of an Adaptive Passive Negative Stiffness Device within a Highway Bridge Model” by Navid Attary, Michael Symans (M. EERI, 1996), Satish Nagarajaiah, Andrei M. Reinhorn (EERI, 1986), Michael C. Constantinou, Apostolos A. Sarlis, Dharma T.R. Pasala, and Douglas P. Taylor (M. EERI, 1998)
  • “Transect Survey as a Post-Disaster Global Rapid Damage Assessment Tool” by Lisa Moon (M. EERI, 2014), David Biggs (M. EERI, 2011), Jason Ingham (M. EERI, 2012), and Michael Griffith (M. EERI, 1990)

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 a Special Collection of Preprints of the papers that will be published in the NGA-West2 special issue (forthcoming, August 2014) external link icon.

Mormori, Iran

August 18, 2014, M 6.2 Earthquake


Available Information