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Full text of "The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program : hearing before the Subcommittee on Basic Research of the Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, October 24, 1995"

THE NATIONAL EARTHQUAKE HAZARDS 
REDUCTION PROGRAM 



Y4.SCI 2:104/29 



The national Earthquake Hazards Red... 

HEARING 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON BASIC RESEAKCH 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE 
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 



OCTOBER 24, 1995 



[No. 29] 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Science 




■PR 02 .„ 



THE NATIONAL EARTHQUAKE HAZARDS 
REDUaiON PROGRAM 



HEARING 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON BASIC RESEAKCH 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE 
U.S. HOUSE OP REPRESENTATIVES 

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 



OCTOBER 24, 1995 



[No. 29] 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Science 




U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
21-033CC WASHINGTON : 1995 

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 

Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 

ISBN 0-16-052294-3 



COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE 



ROBERT S. WALKER, Pennsylvania, Chairman 



F. JAMES SENSENBREhfNER, Jr., 

Wisconsin 
SHERWOOD L. BOEHLERT, New York 
HARRIS W. FAWELL, Illinois 
CONSTANCE A. MORELLA, Maryland 
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania 
DANA ROHRABACHER, California 
STEVEN H. SCHIFF, New Mexico 
JOE BARTON, Texas 
KEN CALVERT, California 
BILL BAKER, California 
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland 
VERNON J. EHLERS, Michigan** 
ZACH WAMP, Tennessee 
DAVE WELDON, Florida 
LINDSEY O. GRAHAM, South Carolina 
MATT SALMON, Arizona 
THOMAS M. DAVIS, Virginia 
STEVE STOCKMAN, Texas 
GIL GUTKNECHT, Minnesota 
ANDREA H. SEASTRAND, California 
TODD TL\HRT, Kansas 
STEVE LARGENT, Oklahoma 
VAN HILLEARY, Tennessee 
BARBARA CUBIN, Wyoming 
MARK ADAM FOLEY, Florida 
SUE MYRICK, North Carolina 

David D. Clement, Chief of Staff and Chief Counsel 

Bajxry Berinoer, General Counsel 

TiSH Schwartz, Chief Clerk and Administrator 

Robert E. Palmer, Democratic Staff Director 



GEORGE E. BROWN, Jr., California RMM* 

RALPH M. HALL, Texas 

JAMES A. TRAFICANT, Jr., Ohio 

JAMES A. HAYES, Louisiana 

JOHN S. TANNER, Tennessee 

PETE GEREN, Texas 

TIM ROEMER, Indiana 

ROBERT E. (Bud) CRAMER, Jr., Alabama 

JAMES A. BARCIA, Michigan 

PAUL McHALE, Pennsylvania 

JANE HARMAN, California 

EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas 

DAVID MINGE, Minnesota 

JOHN W. OLVER, Massachusetts 

ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida 

LYNN N. RIVERS, Michigan 

KAREN McCarthy, Missouri 

MIKE WARD, Kentucky 

ZOE LOFGREN, California 

LLOYD DOGGETT, Texas 

MICHAEL F. DOYLE, Pennsylvania 

SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas 

WILLIAM P. LUTHER, Minnesota 



Subcommittee on Basic Research 

STEVEN SCHIFF, New Mexico, Chairman 



JOE BARTON, Texas 

BILL BAKER, California 

VERNON J. Ehlers, Michigan 

GIL GUTKNECHT, Minnesota 

CONSTANCE A. MORELLA, Maryland 

CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania 

ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland 

ZACH WAMP, Tennessee 

DAVE WELDON, Florida 

LINDSEY O. GRAHAM, South Carolina 

VAN HILLEARY, Tennessee 

SUE MYRICK, North Carolina 



•Ranking Minority Member 
**Vice Chairman 



PETE GEREN, Texas 
ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida 
LYNN N. RIVERS, Michigan 
LLOYD DOGGETT, Texas 
WILLIAM P. LUTHER, Minnesota 
JOHN W. OLVER, Massachusetts 
ZOE LOFGREN, California 
MICHAEL F. DOYLE, Pennsylvania 
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas 
(Vacancy) 
(Vacancy) 



(H) 



CONTENTS 



WITNESSES 



Page 
October 24, 1995: 

Dr. Paul Komor, Former Project Director, Office of Technology Assess- 
ment 9 

Dr. Daniel P. Abrams, Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Illi- 
nois at Urbana Champaign, on Behalf of the Earthquake Engineering 
Research Institute, Oakland, California 190 

Richard T. Moore, Associate Director for Mitigation, Federal Emergency 
Management Agency 245 

Dr. Robert M. Hamilton, Program Coordinator for Geological Hazards, 
United States Geological Survey 258 

Dr. Joseph Bordogna, Assistant Director for Engineering, National 
Science Foundation 269 

Dr. Richard Wright, Director, Building and Fire Research Laboratory, 
National Institute of Standards and Technology 278 

Dr. Anne S. Kiremidjian, Professor of Civil Engineering and Director 
of the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center, Stanford Uni- 
versity, Stanford, California 325 

Dr. Thomas Anderson, Fluor Daniel Corporation, on Behalf of the 
NEHRP Coalition, Arlington, Virginia 337 

Dr. Thomas Jordan, Chair, Department of Earth Science, Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 352 

Dr. Paul Somerville, Engineering Seismologist, Woodward-Clyde Federal 
Services, Pasadena, California 361 

APPENDDC 

Responses to post-hearing questions submitted by Hon. Steven Schiff, 
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Basic Research to: 

Dr. Richard Wright 381 

Dr. Paul Komor 387 

Dr. Joseph Bordogna 388 

Dr. Thomas Anderson 391 

Richard Moore 394 

Dr. Robert Hamilton 399 

(III) 



THE NATIONAL EARTHQUAKE HAZARDS 
REDUCTION PROGRAM 



TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 1995 

House of Representatives, 

Committee on Science, 
Subcommittee on Basic Research, 

Washington, DC. 

The Subcommittee met at 1 p.m. in Room 2318 of the Raybum 
House Office Building, the Honorable Bill Baker, Acting Chairman, 
presiding. 

Mr. Baker. Thank you for your attention. The new Congress 
does meet on time, but Pete Geren is on his way here from his of- 
fice and we are going to wait just a moment for him and we will 
begin. 

Thank you so much for your attention. 

[Pause.] 

Mr. Baker. My good friend, lead Democrat fi-om Texas, Pete 
Geren is here. And, we are going to begin. And, I really appreciate 
your attention. 

Without any objection, I am going to ask that the remarks of 
Steve Schiff, the Chairman of this Subcommittee, be entered into 
the record for your perusal. And, anyone else, any other member, 
that would like to enter remarks that isn't here, we will also do the 
same for them. 

[The prepared statements of Mr. Schiff and Mr. Brown follow:] 

Prepared Statement of Hon. Steven H. Schiff, Chairman of the 
Subcommittee on Basic Research 

Today the subcommittee will examine the National Earthquake Hazards Reduc- 
tion Program (NEHRP) as well as two recently completed reports on NEHRP by the 
former Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) and the Earthquake Engineering Re- 
search Institute (EERI). 

The impetus for NEHRP was and is the catastrophic loss of life and property suf- 
fered during earthquakes, particularly in California. We have all been horrified by 
the statistics of humans killed and injured and property damaged and destroyed by 
these disasters. However, earthquakes are by no means exclusive to California. 
Thirty-nine States are at some risk for a moderate to m^or earthquake in the near 
future. In fact, even my home State of New Mexico, hardly an earthquake center, 
experienced a series of small earthquakes this past summer. 

NEHRP is currently administered by four Federal agencies, the Federal Emer- 
gency Management Agency (FEMA), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), 
the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institute of Standards and 
Technology (NIST). Almost two-thirds of NEHRP funds go to earth science research 
administered by USGS and NSF. Fourteen percent of the NEHRP budget pays for 
structural engineering research at NIST. The remaining twenty-one percent is used 
by FEMA for overall coordination of NEHRP and implementation of Federal earth- 
quake disaster mitigation programs. 

(1) 



NEHRP has led to a better understanding of why and where earthquakes have 
occurred; where they will probably occur in the future; and what happens to the 
Earth, to buildings and lifelines, and to people, when they occur. In addition, the 
research conduct«l through NEHRP helped in the development of new building de- 
signs, bmlding codes, and reliabiUty and risk assessment techniques that have re- 
duced economic loss. 

Despite the successes of NEHRP, the program has been criticized in past hearings 
and other venues for insufficient application of research results and technology de- 
velopments. It is argued that there snould be a stronger emphasis on the implemen- 
tation of disaster mitigation programs. FEMA's implementation role, however, is 
limited to supplying information on earthquake risks and loss prevention. Because 
advances made in earthquake related research and engineering far outpace the im- 
plementation of new knowledge, some argue that the Federal Government should 
play a larger role in ensuring that disaster mitigation programs are implemented. 
Whether this should be accompUshed through ^fEHRP or whether it is a Federal 
matter at all, are issues that need to be discussed. 

NEHRP has also been criticized for lacking a clear strategy or set of goals. The 
OTA report recognizes this as an ongoing problem. I hope this issue will be ad- 
dressed today as well. 

Finally, I believe Congress needs to reassess the way we manage disaster assist- 
ance programs. Should the Federal Government tie disaster assistance to mitiga- 
tion? Should we require high risk States and regions to implement mitigation pro- 
grams, enforce building codes, or regulate land use in order to receive Federal as- 
sistance following a natural disaster? I realize this is a very controversial issue, and 
I am certainly not endorsing it at this time, but Federal spending in the coming 
years will be based on a very tight budget and this mandates that we do as much 
as possible toward preventing economic losses. 



STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE GEORGE E. BROWN, JR. 

AT THE NATIONAL EARTHQUAKE HAZARDS REDUCTION ACT 

REAUTHORIZATION HEARING 

October 24, 1994 



Mr. Chairman, I would like to commend you for convening this hearing. 
The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program has been instrumental in 
preparing communities for the inevitable ravages of earthquakes, both in 
California and across the nation. It is also a classic example of a federal 
program that promotes and utilizes basic and applied research for the benefit of 
the average taxpayer. 

Recently, unexpected events have driven the need for further earthquake 
research. For instance, in the last few decades, scientists have discovered new 
earthquake hazards in the Pacific Northwest, the Central United States, and the 
New Madrid Region. In the last five years, the Whitier and Northridge 
earthquakes in Los Angeles broke along faults that did not even reach the 
surface— a phenomenon previously not thought possible by much of the science 
community. Since the Northridge earthquake, engineers have also recognized 
severe weaknesses in steel-framed buildings. These engineers had previously 

1 



thought that steel-framed buildings were relatively safe in large earthquakes, so 
most skyscrapers were built using this technology. Now we fmd, however, that 
the welds in these structures break even in moderate-size earthquakes like the 
Northridge and Kobe quakes and that an unexpected threat exists to much of 
our building stock. 

Without NEHRP, these problems would languish without a focussed 
research effort. With NEHRP, communities gain valuable time for the 
successful mitigation of these hazards. Mitigation of earthquake hazards is 
important— obviously— to the people who are directly affected like many who 
live in California and elsewhere. However, it is also important for the rest of 
the nation because of the keenly felt responsibility to respond and ameliorate the 
damage caused by natural disasters. The federal tab for the Northridge 
earthquake exceeded $13 billion and there is no reason to think that similar 
disasters are not in store for the future. 

Finding a long-term approach to decrease the expense of natural disasters 
has become increasingly important in this budget climate. Taxpayers in 
different regions of the country, and their representatives in Congress, are 



increasingly hostile to having to pay for yet another earthquake, while allowing 
people to move right back in to where the trouble began. Without a long-term 
approach that has credibility with the public, this resistance to paying for 
others' problems will undoubtedly increase. 

Through NEHRP, the community has made great strides in the 
development of buildings that withstand earthquakes, model building codes for 
all structures, and mapping to determine where such codes are most needed. 
However, as the Office of Technology Assessment points out, there are still 
gaps in implementation, for instance in the development of analytic tools to 
better inform communities of the costs and benefits of mitigation measures, and 
there are significant research efforts that NEHRP should undertake, for example 
increased applied geological research efforts. 

In addition, as recommended by OTA, the Congress will hopefully begin 
a national dialogue on the federal responsibility toward the mitigation of, and 
response to, natural disasters such as earthquakes, through the discussion of 
NEHRP and of related bills on natural hazards insurance and protection. 



We are fortunate today, because several reports have been issued recently 
on which we can draw. For instance, the Office of Technology Assessment 
performed a comprehensive analysis of the content of NEHRP, while the Office 
of Science and Technology Policy looked at NEHRP's internal organization. 
The most recent reauthorization of the Act also required OSTP to perform a 
study of earthquake engineering testing facilities to propose an approach to fill 
an oft-noted gap in the implementation and testing of new engineering concepts. 
Finally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, responding to a previous 
legislative requirement, has produced a report on the protection of lifelines 
from earthquake-induced damage. 

I look forward to hearing from our witnesses about the results of each of 
these studies and to discussing prospective changes for NEHRP. Again, Mr. 
Chairman, I commend you for convening this hearing and I look forward to 
working with you on the reauthorization of this important program. Thank 
you. 



Mr. Baker. Today, the Subcommittee on Basic Research is focus- 
ing on the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act. And, I am 
pleased to acknowledge that the former Chairman of the Science 
Committee, George Brown, is largely responsible for the organiza- 
tion of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act. 

Following the great earthquakes in Alaska, San Fernando, Cali- 
fornia in 1964 and 1971, Congress began to see a need for a feder- 
ally-sponsored earthquake research program. Congressman Brown 
introduced legislation in the House, creating NEHRP, and vigor- 
ously pursued its enactment. 

Today, NEHRP is a multi-agency program charged with re- 
searching, developing and disseminating information and tech- 
nology to reduce earthquake hazards. NEHRP is administered by 
four federal agencies, including the United States Geological Sur- 
vey, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National 
Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and 
Technology. 

NEHRP can be credited with increasing our knowledge of seismic 
risk, enhancing our understanding of how buildings and other 
structures will fare during earthquakes and developing model 
building codes. Some of this knowledge has been applied in high 
risk seismic zones in California and other states. 

But, it is clear from one of our states most recent earthquakes 
that implementation of technologically and scientifically advanced 
earthquake hazard and mitigation activities is still lagging. Disas- 
ter mitigation is critically important to the economic well-being of 
both my state, California, and of the nation. 

We cannot continue to absorb billions of dollars of economic 
losses, as was the case in the Northridge earthquake in 1994 and 
in the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, to say nothing of the loss 
of lives. I believe we must enact legislation that will ensure a 
greater role for hazard mitigation before disaster strikes again. 

For example, I've co-sponsored legislation introduced by Rep- 
resentative Bill Emerson, H.R. 1856, the Natural Disaster Protec- 
tion Partnership Act, which establishes incentives for building code 
enforcement and land use planning. In addition, this legislation ad- 
dresses the shortage of disaster insurance by creating a privately- 
owned corporation which will enable insurers to join forces to bet- 
ter provide insurance to home and business owners in risk prone 
areas. 

This is a compelling need for states like mine. Nearly 75 percent 
of the victims of California's Northridge earthquake were unin- 
sured, a trend which continues even after this devastating event. 

Although we cannot prevent natural disasters such as earth- 
quakes, we can plan intelligently to minimize the financial and 
{)hysical harm they cause by coupling effective research programs 
ike NEHRP with programs that provide incentives for implement- 
ing disaster mitigation programs. I realize the legislation I've de- 
scribed is somewhat separate from the thrust of NEHRP's research 
program and that the other committees of Congress have jurisdic- 
tion over it, but it's vital to our earthquake mitigation efforts. 

Before I recognize the first panel of witnesses to begin their testi- 
mony, I would like to recognize Mr. Peter Geren for an opening 
statement. Pete. 



Mr. Geren. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to congratulate 
the Subcommittee Chairman for convening this hearing and for 
taking an interest in natural disaster research. 

Fortunately, the district I represent in Texas has not experienced 
devastating earthquakes and the long-term damage they wreak. 
However, earthquakes are not unknown in Texas and certainly are 
experienced in many other states throughout our nation. 

Earthquakes, like the Loma Prieta and Northridge events in 
California, are imavoidable natural disasters that aflfect the nation 
at large when they occur. From my limited acquaintance with the 
National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, I found a pro- 
gram that has successfully focused on short and long-term ap- 
proaches to mitigating the damage from earthquakes. 

The program has also served as a model for the rapid dissemina- 
tion of basic and applied research advances to the advantage of all 
Americans. I think that we all wish the program continued success 
and are meeting today to see how that can happen within the strict 
budget climate. 

I am glad to be here to learn more about NEHRP but also to 
begin a discussion of the Federal role in natural disaster protection 
and relief. In Texas, we have hurricanes, floods and tornados. As 
our state experiences these problems, so has every other state in 
the nation. 

Natural disasters are a nationwide problem. And, the Federal 
Government seldom gets off the hook when natural disasters occur. 

In the long-term, research and technology development are key 
to our nation's ability to mitigate and respond to natural disasters. 
So, I welcome the chemce today to consider long-term actions as op- 
posed to simply responding to each natural disaster as it comes. 

I look forward to the testimony of the witnesses. And, I want to 
thank each one of them for appearing before the Subcommittee 
today. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Baker. Peter, thank you. Mr. Bartlett, do you have a little 
word for the guests? 

Mr. Bartlett. Thank you very much. We have not had an earth- 
quake in our area of the country for a long while now, but I noted, 
with interest, on a map that there is a major fault line that runs 
not too far from us. And, so it's not — it would not be imanticipated 
that there would be one in the future. 

Of course, what hurts one of us hurts all of us. And, so I am 
happy to be here today to attend this meeting. 

Thank you very much for convening it. And, welcome to the pan- 
eUsts. 

Thank you. 

Mr. Baker. And, as one of the three scientists on this Commit- 
tee, you will probably be the only one that understands what is 
being said here today. Dr. Bartlett. So, we will count on you. 

Our first two witnesses were asked to be here today to discuss 
separately recent completed reports on NEHRP. Dr. Paul Komor, 
representing the former Office of Technology Assessment, is here to 
present OTA's report. And, Dr. Dan Abrams, representing the 
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, will discuss a report 



EERI was contracted to do, as mandated by the most recent 
NEHRP reauthorization. 

Without objection, both reports will be made part of the hearing 
record. And, all written testimony submitted today at the request 
of the Subcommittee will also be made part of the hearing record. 

Dr. Komor and Dr. Abrams, you are both here. Okay. Go ahead. 

STATEMENT OF DR. PAUL KOMOR, FORMER PROJECT 
DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT 

Mr. KOMOR. Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, 
I appreciate the opportunity to testify today. My testimony draws 
from an Office of Technology Assessment report entitled "Reducing 
Earthquake Losses," although my testimony today reflects my own 
beliefs and views and not necessarily those of the Office of Tech- 
nology Assessment. 

I would like to make five major points in my testimony today. 
Point Number 1. Much of the U.S. is at risk fi*om earthquakes. 

The greatest likelihood of U.S. earthquakes is in the coastal re- 
gions of California. However, other regions of the U.S., including 
the Pacific Northwest, the western mountain states and sections of 
the central and eastern U.S., have experienced infi-equent earth- 
quakes in the past. 

Future occurrences are very uncertain. But, if and when they do 
occur, losses — ^that is, deaths, injuries and financial and social dam- 
age — could be quite high, as these areas are largely unprepared. 
Although future losses are uncertain, there is general agreement 
that damaging earthquakes will strike the United States in the 
next few decades, causing at the minimum dozens of deaths and 
tens of billions of dollars in losses. 

Point Number 2. Although earthquakes are unavoidable, the 
losses they cause can be reduced through greater application of ex- 
isting knowledge. 

In the two recent California earthquakes, for example, modem 
structures meeting current building codes and incorporating known 
earthquake-resistant practices did not collapse. Even in the disas- 
trous 1995 Kobe, Japan earthquake, modem structures remained 
standing. 

This is not to say that we know all we need to about earthquake 
science and engineering. Many uncertainties remain. However, it is 
clear that greater use of existing knowledge would reduce losses 
significantly. 

Point Number 3. The Federal Earthquake Program, NEHRP, has 
made major contributions toward improving our understanding of 
earthqusikes. 

The Federal Government currently responds to the earthquake 
threat with a number of policies and programs. Its primary effort 
is the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, estab- 
lished in 1977. 

The program combines the effort of four federal agencies — the 
U.S. Geological Survey, the National Science Foundation, the Fed- 
eral Emergency Management Agency and the National Institute of 
Standards and Technology. The program has centered on the sup- 
port of science and engineering research. 



10 

Approximately 64 percent of the NEHRP budget goes towards re- 
search in the earth sciences. And, 14 percent supports engineering 
research. The remaining 22 percent of the budget goes to imple- 
mentation activities such as technical translation, education and 
outreach. 

Examples of NEHRP contributions include NEHRP-supported re- 
search that led to recognition of the seismic risk in the Pacific 
Northwest and NEHRP funding that helped develop the knowledge 
base that now makes it possible to design and construct new build- 
ings that are unlikely to collapse in an earthquake. 

Although NEHRP is principally a research program, it has made 
some contributions towards implementation of earthquake knowl- 
edge and mitigation as well. For exEunple, we now have model 
building codes that reflect a national consensus on new building 
seismic design. 

Point Number 4. Much of NEHRP-generated knowledge has not 
been applied, leaving the U.S. at risk for major earthqu£ike losses. 

The failure to implement known technologies and practices is a 
direct result of NEHRFs approach to reducing earthquake losses. 
NEHRP's approach is to supply information on earthquake risks 
and possible countermeasures to those who may wish to mitigate. 

This approach implicitly assumes that the interest or incentive 
for mitigation is sufficient for people to act on such information. 
However, the current paucity of mitigation activities suggests that 
individuals, organization and local and state governments often 
lack incentives for mitigation. 

Whether or not the Federal Government should play a role in en- 
suring that there are sufficient incentives for mitigation is a sen- 
sitive policy question. In any case, however, NEHRP's approach of 
supplying information alone clearly limits the program's impact. 

NEHRP faces serious operational problems as well. Numerous 
congressional reports and expert review panels have noted that 
NEHRP lacks clear and workable goals and strategies. 

NEHRP spending by the four participating agencies does not 
suggest any unified multi-agency agreement on specific goals, strat- 
egies or priorities. In the absence of a multi-agency consensus, each 
of the four psirticipating agencies has developed a portfolio of 
NEHRP activities that largely reflect the agency's own mission and 
priorities. 

Point Number 5. OTA has identified poUcy options that Congress 
could consider to improve Federal efforts to reduce earthquake 
losses. 

Three types of policy options are identified. Tjrpe Number 1. 
Changes in the specific research and other activities that NEHRP 
undertakes; tj^De Number 2, management and operational changes 
in NEHRP; and, type Number 3, changes to federal disaster assist- 
ance and related programs. 

. I will briefly discuss a few examples of each type. Under changes 
in specific activities of NEHRP, earth science research accounts for 
almost two-thirds of NEHRP money and the earth science portfolio 
supported by NEHRP includes a range of activities but leans to- 
wards more basic earth science research. Decisions about what type 
of earth science research to support under NEHRP should be made 
in the context of the goals of the program. 



11 

If Congress would like NEHRP to reduce earthquake losses in 
the short-term and to focus on implementing known technologies 
and practices, then the earth science portfolio should favor more 
applied short-term work, such as microzonation and groimd motion 
mapping. In contrast, if Congress views NEHRP as a program for 
reducing earthquake risk over the long-term, then it would be ap- 
propriate to retain the current focus towards basic earth science re- 
search. 

Under earthquake engineering research, new structures meeting 
current seismic codes are unlikely to collapse in an earthquake and 
are, therefore, unlikely to cause many deaths. However, even new 
structures will likely suffer expensive non-structural and contents 
damage. Research into ways to reduce this expensive damage could 
be given higher priority. 

Under implementation, one of NEHRP's most promising imple- 
mentation activities is to directly assist communities in their ef- 
forts to understand earthquake risks and to devise mitigation op- 
tions. Tools to estimate likely losses in the event of a future earth- 
quake and to predict the likely benefits of mitigation would be of 
great help to commiuiities. 

Also, options of the second type, management and operational 
changes in NEHRP. NEHRP spending by the four participating 
agencies suggests a loosely coordinated confederation of agencies 
with no overarching agreement on specific goals, strategies or pri- 
orities. 

One pohcy option is for FEMA, as the lead agency, to work with 
other NEHRP agencies and with the professional earthquake com- 
munity to come up with specific goals and priorities for NEHRP. 
Congress could require FEMA to report on progress towards defin- 
ing and meeting these specific goals. Since FEMA has no expUcit 
budgetary or other control over the other agencies that participate 
in NEHRP, Congress may wish to provide oversight to ensure that 
all these agencies work toward defining and meeting the agreed- 
upon goals. 

Pohcy options of Type Number 3, changes to federal disaster as- 
sistance and related programs. Options include using federal disas- 
ter assistance as an incentive for mitigation, an increased federal 
role in disaster insurance, and greater use of financial incentives 
to promote mitigation. 

These policy options have the potential to significantly increase 
implementation of seismic safety knowledge, something NEHRP, in 
its current form, is unlikely to accomphsh. However, these options 
would likely require new legislation and would be a significant de- 
parture fi*om current policy. They would also be quite controversial. 

In considering these options, a central issue is: What is the ap- 
propriate role of the Federal Government in mitigation? Some 
argue that increased investment in mitigation by the Federal Gov- 
ernment would save money by reducing fiiture disaster outlays. 

Others argue that the very existence of federal disaster assist- 
ance programs creates disincentives for mitigation. Still others 
argue that mitigation tools, notably land use planning and building 
regulation, are state and local issues in which an increased Federsd 
role is inappropriate. 



12 

One policy option, largely outside the scope of NEHRP as ciir- 
rently defined, would be for the Federal Government to require 
states and localities to adopt model building codes or to dem- 
onstrate a minimum level of code enforcement as a condition for re- 
ceiving federal disaster aid. 

To summarize, the United States will experience damaging 
earthquakes in the next few decades. This damage could be re- 
duced through greater use of known technologies and practices. 

NEHRP has, to date, done much to expand this knowledge. A key 
remaining challenge is putting this knowledge to use. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement and attachments of Dr. Komor follow:] 



13 



p. Konior and K. Scott: Reducing Earthquake Losses 



REDUCING EARTHQUAKE LOSSES 

TESTIMONY OF PAUL KOMOR 

FORMER PROJECT DIRECTOR 

OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT 

Accompanied by 

KELLEY SCOTT 

FORMER SENIOR ANALYST 

OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT 

Before the 

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE 
SUBCOMMITTEE ON BASIC RESEARCH 

24 October 1995 



Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee: 

We appreciate the opportunity to testify today on technologies and policies to reduce 
earthquake losses. Our testimony draws from an Office of Technology Assessment repon 
entitled Reducing Earthquake Losses. This report was requested by this Committee in 
March 1994 and was delivered to the Congress in September 1995. Chapter 1 of the 
report, which summarizes the key findings of the report and discusses the policy options, 
is provided as an attachment to this testimony. Copies of the full report are available 
through the Government Printing Office. 

1 was the Project Director and Kelley Scott was the Senior Analyst for the report. 
However, our testimony today refleas our own beliefe and views and not necessarily 
those of the Office of Technology Assessment. 



14 



p. Komor and K. Scott: Reducing Earthquake Losses 



1. MUCH OF THE U.S. IS AT RISK FROM EARTHQUAKES. 

The earthquake risk varies widely from region to region: 

• The greatest likelihood of U.S. earthquakes is in the coastal regions of California, 
where moderate earthquakes are frequent and population densities are high. 
California, in addition, feces a lower probability of larger, very damaging 
earthquakes. 

• The Pacific Northwest has experienced rare but very large earthquakes in the past; 
the timing of future earthquakes in this region of the country is uncertain. 

• Earthquakes in the section of the Intermountain West running from southern Idaho 
and western Montana through Utah and Nevada can endanger communities 
historically unprepared for any seismic activity. 

• The central United States (chiefly, the region near the intersection of Missouri, 
Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas) and sections of the eastern United States 
have experienced infrequent earthquakes in the past. Future occurrences are very 
uncertain, but if and when they do occur, losses could be quite high as these areas 
are largely unprepared. 

The primary hazard associated with earthquakes is ground shaking, which damages and 

destroys buildings, bridges, and other structures. Ground shaking also causes liquefection, 

landslides, and other ground feilures that can damage structures. This damage and 

destruction has both short- and long-term implications. In the short term, people are 

killed and injured by felling buildings and other objects. The fires associated with 

earthquakes are often difficult to fight because water pipes have been broken and roads 

have been blocked by debris. In the long term, the costs of repair or replacement, coupled 

with the loss of customers and employees (e.g., due to impassable roads), can force 

businesses and industries to close. Local governments may be forced to cut services to 

cover the costs of infi^structure repair. And if reductions in the supply of housing lead to 

higher rents, there may be increased homelessness. 

Although fiiture losses are uncertain, there is general agreement that damaging 
earthquakes will strike the United States in the nest few decades, causing at the 



15 



p. Komor and K.. Scott: Reducing Eanhquake Losses 
minimum dozens of deaths and tens of billions of dollars in losses. 

2. ALTHOUGH EARTHQUAKES ARE UNAVOIDABLE, THE LOSSES 
THEY CAUSE CAN BE REDUCED THROUGH GREATER USE OF EXISTING 
KNOWLEDGE. 

In the two recent California earthqual<es, for example, modem structures meeting 

current building codes and incorporating known earthquake-resistant practices generally 

performed quite well. Even in the disastrous 1995 Kobe, Japan earthquake, modem 

structures generally performed quite well. 

This is not to say that we know all we need to about earthquake science and 
engineering: many significant uncertainties remain, including for example the surprising 
damage done to modem steel structures in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. However, it 
is clear that greater use of existing knowledge would reduce losses significantly. 
Examples of our failure to use existing knowledge include: 

• In much of the U.S., seismic building codes are not adopted or not enforced. 

• Few communities outside of California have addressed the difficult problem of 
upgrading the existing building stock. 

• Many bridges in the U.S. are susceptible to significant earthquake damage. 

3. THE FEDERAL EARTHQUAKE PROGRAM--NEHRP-HAS MADE 
SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS TOWARD IMPROVING OUR 
UNDERSTANDING BOTH OF EARTHQUAKES AND OF STRATEGIES TO 
REDUCE THEIR IMPACT. 

The federal government currently responds to the earthquake threat with a number of 

policies and programs. Its primary effort is the National Eanhquake Hazard Reduction 

Program (NEHRP), established in 1977 to "reduce the risks of life and property from 

future earthquakes in the U.S...." The program combines the efforts of four federal 

agencies: the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the National Science Foundation (NSF), 

-3- 



16 



p. Komor and K. Scott: Reducing Earthquake Losses 

the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the National Institute of 
Standards and Technology (NIST). 

NEHRP's original charter included wide-ranging provisions for earthquake prediction, 
earthquake control and vigorous implementation of seismic safety knowledge. In 
practice, however, the program has centered on the support and dissemination of science 
and engineering research. Thus, 64 percent of the NEHRP budget goes (via USGS and 
NSF) to research in the earth sciences, and another 14 percent supports engineering 
research; the remaining 22 percent of the budget goes to "implementation" activities such 
as technical translation, education, and outreach. 

Examples of NEHRP contributions include NEHRP-supported research that led to 
recognition of the seismic risk in the Pacific Northwest, and NEHRP funding that helped 
develop the knowledge base that now makes it possible to design and construct new 
buildings that are unlikely to collapse in earthquakes. Although NEHRP is principally a 
research program— over 75 percent of its funds are directed toward research-it has made 
some contributions to the implementation of earthquake mitigation, as well. Thus, for 
exan^le, we now have model building codes that reflect a national consensus on new 
building seismic design, as well as several interdisciplinary centers that work to translate 
research results into useful information for decisionmakers. 

4. THE U.S. REMAINS AT RISK FOR MAJOR EARTHQUAKE LOSSES, 
AND IT IS NOT CLEAR THAT NEHRP IN ITS CURRENT FORM WILL 
SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE THIS RISK. 

Earthquakes continue to cause massive losses in the United States. The 1994 

Northridge earthquake caused more than $20 billion in losses, and scenarios of possible 



17 



p. Komor and K. ScoR: Reducing Earthquake Losses 

future U.S. earthquakes suggest that thousands of casualties and tens or even hundreds of 
billions of dollars in losses may occur. Although there is no consensus on what level of 
loss is acceptable,' there is cleariy a significant remaining exposure to earthquake 
damage—due in large part to a failure to implement known technologies and 
practices. Many communities, especially in California, have taken steps to reduce 
earthquake losses, but there still remains a large gap between what current knowledge 
says could be done and what actually is done. 

The failure to implement knovm technologies and practices, or "implementation gap," is 
a direct result of NEHRP's approach to reducing earthquake losses. NEHRP's approach 
can be thought of as supplying information on earthquake risks and possible 
countermeasures to those who may wish to mitigate. By supplying this infonnation, the 
program hopes to motivate individuals, organizations, and local and state govenunents 
toward action by providing guidelines on how to proceed. This approach implicitly 
assumes that the interest or incentive for mitigation is sufficient for people to act on such 
information. However, the current paucity of mitigation activities suggests that 
individuals, organizations, and local and state governments often lack incentives for 
mitigation. Whether or not the federal government should play a role in ensuring that 
there are sufficient incentives for mitigation is a sensitive jwlicy question. In any case, 
NEHRP's approach of supplying infonnation alone clearly limits the program's 
impact. 

NfEHRP feces serious operational problems as well. Numerous congressional reports 
and expert review panels have noted that NEHRP lacks clear and workable goals and 

strategies. Although NEHRP's authorizing legislation does set broad overall objectives 



Although DO losses would seem desuable. achicvuig zero losses would be either impossible or impradjcally expensive 

-5- 



18 



p. Komor and K. Scon: Reducing Earthquake Losses 

for the program, actual NfEHRP spending by the four participating agencies does not 
suggest any unified multiagency agreement on specific goals, strategies, or priorities. In 
the absence of a multiagency consensus on NEHRP goals and strategies, each of the four 
participating agencies (USGS, NSF, FEMA, and NIST) has developed a portfolio of 
NEHRP activities that reflects its own agency mission and priorities. In addition, the lack 
of agreement on goals and strategies makes it difiScult to judge the impact or success of 
the overall program, since there are few criteria by which to measure performance. 



5. OTA HAS IDENTIFIED SEVERAL POLICY OPTIONS THAT CONGRESS 
COULD CONSIDER TO IMPROVE FEDERAL EFFORTS TO REDUCE 
EARTHQUAKE LOSSES. 

Three general types of policy options are discussed here: 

• changes in the specific research and other activities that NEHRP undertakes. 
OTA identifies key research and implementation needs that NEHRP could address 
within its current scope. 

• management and operational changes in NEHRP. Such changes could make 
NEHRP a more efiBcient, coordinated, and productive program. 

• changes to federal disaster assistance and insurance, regulation, and financial 
incentives. Such changes are outside the current scope of NEHRP and would 
represent a significant change in direction for the program. However, such changes 
are necessary to yield major national reductions in earthquake risk. 

-CHANGES IN SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES OF NEHRP 
Earth Science Research 

Decisions about what earth science research to support should be made in the context 
of the goals of the earthquake program. If Congress would like NEHRP to reduce 
earthquake losses in the short term and also to focus on implementing known technologies 
and practices, then the earth science research portfolio should fevor more applied, short- 
term work such as microzonation, ground motion mapping, and hazard assessment. In 



19 



p. Komor and K. Scon: Reducing Earthquake Losses 

contrast, if Congress views NEHRP as a program for reducing earthquake hazards over 
the long term, it would be appropriate to retain the current focus on basic earth science 
research. 

Earthquake Engineering Research 

A new structure that meets current seismic building codes will be ver>- resistant to 
collapse due to earthquakes. The construction of buildings that are resistant to collapse is 
a great technical accomplishment in which NEHRP played a considerable role. Since this 
has been achieved, it is time to consider moving some resources to the next research 
challenge— reducing earthquake-related structural, nonstructural, and contents damage. 
Although data are scarce, it appears that much of the damage in recent earthquakes was 
due not to collapse, but to these other types of damage. 

Much of the risk of both collapse and other types of damage lies in existing structures, 
which do not incorporate current codes and knowledge. Relatively few of these structures 
have been retrofitted to reduce risk; and where retrofits have been performed they have 
often been expensive, complex, and of uncertain benefit. More research is needed to 
improve retrofit methods. 

Implementation 

One of NEHRP's most promising implementation activity is to directly assist 
communities in their efforts to understand earthquake risk and to devise mitigation 
options. Analytic tools to estimate likely losses in the event of a future earthquake and to 
predict the likely benefits of mitigation would be of great help to communities. 

FEMA currently has several programs intended to promote implementation of known 
mitigation technologies and practices. Very few of these programs have been evaluated 



20 



p. Komor and K. Scott: Reducing Earthquake Losses 

carefiiUy in the past, leaving current program planners with little guidance as to what 
works, what does not, and why. All mitigation programs should be evaluated carefully, 
and the results should be used to improve, refocus, or— if necessary—terminate programs. 

In addition to direct support for implementation, NEHRP also supports some research 
into the behavioral, social, and economic aspects of mitigation. Further research of this 
type could improve our understanding of some key issues that currently hinder mitigation. 

-MANAGEMENT AND OPERATIONAL CHANGES IN NEHRP 

NEHRP spending by the four participating agencies suggests a loosely coordinated 
confederation of agencies with no overarching agreement on specific goals, strategies, or 
priorities for NEHRP. One policy option is for FEMA, as the lead agency, to work with 
other NEHRP agencies and with the professional earthquake community to come up with 
specific goals and priorities for NEHRP. Defining overarching goals for NEHRP would 
not be easy and would have to address the difficult issue of acceptable risk. Yet it is 
necessary for NEHRP to move beyond a loose confederation of four agencies. Congress 
could require FEMA to report on progress toward defining and meeting specific goals for 
NEHRP. Since FEMA has no explicit budgetary or other control over the other agencies 
that participate in NEHRP, Congress may wish to provide oversight to ensure that all 
these agencies work toward defining and meeting the agreed-on goals. 

The continuing congressional dissatisfaction with FEMA's management and 
coordination of NEHRP has led some to consider transferring lead agency responsibility 
fi-om FEMA to another agency. OTA's finding that inplementation is emerging as 
NEHRP's key challenge, however, suggests that, of the four principal NEHRP agencies, 
FEMA appears to be the most appropriate lead agency. FEMA has the most direct 
responsibility for reducing losses fi'om natural disasters; it is in direct contact with state. 



21 



p. Komor and K. Scott: Reducing Earthquake Losses 

local, and private sector groups responsible for reducing earthquake risks; it has a 
management rather than research mission; and it coordinates regularly with other agencies 
in carrying out its mission. The other NEHRP agencies are principally involved in 
research and therefore may find it difScuh to develop the strong implementation 
component necessary to lead the program. One policy option would be for Congress to 
allow FEMA to continue as lead agency but to provide fi^uent oversight to ensure that 
lead agency responsibilities are carried out. 

-BEYOND THE CURRENT NEHRP 

Congress could consider other policy options that go beyond the scope of the current 
NEHRP. These include using federal disaster assistance as an incentive for mitigation, an 
increased federal role in disaster insurance, increased regulation, and greater use of 
financial incentives to promote mitigation. These policy options have the potential to 
significantly increase implementation of seismic safety knowledge—something NEHRP, in 
its current form, is unlikely to accomplish. However, these options would likely require 
new legislation and would be a significant departure fi'om current policy. They wouki also 
be quite controversial 

In considering these options, a central issue is: What is the appropriate role of the 
federal government in mitigation? Some argue that increased investmem in mitigation 
by the federal government would save money by reducing fiiture disaster outlays. Others 
argue that the very existence of federal disaster assistance programs creates disincentives 
for mitigatioa Still others argue that mitigatbn tools, notably land-use planning and 
building regulation, are state and k)cal issues in which an increased federal role is 
inappropriate. These arguments involve different political and philosophical beliefe. 

Insurance and disaster assistance can be a vehicle for mitigation, as well as a 

•9- 



22 



p. Komor and K. Scott: Reducing Earthquake Losses 

disincentive against mitigation, depending on how the program is structured. Insurance 
can be a strong incentive for earthquake damage mitigation— if the cost of insurance 
reflects the risk. In addition, social science research suggests that individual mitigation 
decisions are not made on an economically rational cost-benefit basis but are considerably 
more coiiq)lex. Insurance programs should recognize these complexities. 

One policy option, largely outside the scope of NEHRP as currently defined, would be 
for the federal government to take a stronger position on implementation via regulation. 
In the current policy environment, regulation in the form of building codes is the most 
widely used mitigation tool, but is typically a state or local responsibility. The federal 
goverrunent plays only an indirea role by providing technical support for code 
development and implementation. In addition. Executive Order 12699 (issued January 5, 
1990) requires that new buildings constructed with federal assistance meet current codes. 
A more aggressive policy option would be to require states and localities to adopt model 
building codes, or demonstrate a minimum level of code enforcement, as a condition for 
receiving federal aid. Nonstructural mitigation efforts could be advanced through an 
executive order addressing this problem in federal buildings. 



To simimarize, the U.S. will experience damaging earthquakes in the next few decades. 
This damage could be reduced— but not eliminated— through greater use of known 
technologies and practices. NEHRP has to date done much to expand this knowledge; a 
key remaining challenge is putting this knowledge to use. 



23 



Office of Technology Assessment Congress of the United States 



REDUCING 
EAR TJ^B U A K E 
L O ^ X E S 




24 



Recommended Citation: U.S. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment, Reducing 
Earthquake Losses. OTA-ETI-623 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 
September 1995). 



For sale by the U.S. Cktvemmenl Printing Office 
Supenntendent of Documents, Mail Stop: SSOP. Washington, IXT 20402-9328 
ISBN 0-16-048267-4 



25 



F, 



Much of the nation is at risk for earthquakes. Although considerable 
uncertainty remains over where and when future earthquakes will 
occur, there is general consensus that earthquakes will strike the 
United States in the next few decades, causing at a minimum dozens 
of deaths and tens of billions of dollars in losses. 

Recent congressional hearings on the nation's earthquake program — the 
National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) — revealed some 
dissatisfaction with the program, yet little agreement on problems or solutions. 
The House Committee on Science. Space, and Technology (now the Commit- 
tee on Science) and its Subcommittee on Science (now the Subcommittee on 
Basic Research) asked the Office of Technology Assessment to review the na- 
tion's efforts to reduce earthquake losses, and to provide options for improving 
these efforts. 

This Report assesses the state of the knowledge, identifies key future chal- 
lenges in each of the three components of earthquake risk reduction — earth sci- 
ence, engineering, and implementation — and offers policy options to improve 
federal efforts. The Report concludes that, since its beginning in 1977, NEHRP 
support of efforts to better understand earthquake risk and find ways to reduce 
it have advanced our knowledge considerably, although many significant un- 
certainties remain. However, there is a large gap between knowledge and ac- 
tion — many known technologies and practices are just not used. In addition, 
NEHRP suffers from a lack of specific goals, making progress difficult to mea- 
sure. Policy options for improving federal efforts include changes in the specif- 
ic activities supported by NEHRP, changes in the management and operations 
of the program, and extension of federal activities into areas in which NEHRP 
is not currently active. 

OTA benefited greatly from the substantial assistance received from many 
organizations and individuals in the course of this study. Members of the advi- 
sory panel, the reviewers, and many others willingly lent their time and exper- 
tise; OTA and the project staff are grateful for their assistance. 



ROGER C. HERDMAN 

Director 



oreword 



26 



A 



dvisory Panel 



Gilbert F. White, chairman 

Professor 

University of Colorado 

Jesus Burciago 

Assistant Fire Chief 
Los Angeles County Fire 
Department 

Charles D.Eadie 

Assistant Planning Director 
City of Watsonville 

Dean C. Flesner 

Vice President, Operations 
State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. 

I.M. Idriss 

Professor 

Department of Civil and 

Environmental Engineering 
University of California at Davis 

Cynthia Ingham 

Assistant Director for Capital 

Programs 
University of California at 

Los Angeles 

Tom Jordan 

Professor and Department Chair 
Department of Earth, Atmospheric 

and Planetary Sciences 
Massachusetts Institute of 

Technology 



Joseph Kelly 
Senior Consulting Engineer 
Port Authority of New York and 
New Jersey 

Howard Kunreuther 

Director of Risk Management 

Center 
The Wharton School 
University of Pennsylvania 

Mike Lynch 

Earthquake Program Manager 
Kentucky Department of 
Emergency Services 

Steven A. Mahin 

Professor 

Earthquake Engineering Research 

Center 
University of California at 

Berkeley 

Diane F. Merten 
Chair 

Benton County Emergency 
Management Council 

Joanne M.NIgg 

Director 

Disaster Research Center 

University of Delaware 



Dennis K.Ostrum 

Consulting Engineer 
Southern California Edison 

Vernon H. Persson 

Chief, Division of Safety of Dams 
California Department of Water 
Resources 

James Smith 

Executive Director 

Building Seismic Safety Council 

PaulG.Somerville 

Senior Associate 

Woodward Clyde Consultants 

Robert S. Yeats 

Professor 

Department of Geosciences 

Oregon State University 

Nabih Youssef 

President 

Nabih Youssef and Associates 



Note: OTA appreciales and is grateful for the valuable assistance and thoughtful critiques provided by the advisory panel members. 
The panel does not. however, necessarily approve, disapprove, or endorse this report. OTA assumes full responsibility for the report 
and the accuracy of its contents. 



27 



P, 



reject Staff 



Peter D. Blair 
Assistant Director 
Industry, Commerce, and 
International Security Division 


PRINCIPAL STAFF 
Paul Komor 
Project Director 


PUBLISHING STAFF 
Mary Lou HIggs 

Manager, Publishing Services 


Emilia L. Govan 

Program Director 
Energy, Transportation, and 
Infrastructure Program 


Kelley Scott 

Senior Analyst 

Winston Tao 

Analyst 


Oenise Felix 
Production Editor 

Dorlnda Edmondson 

Electronic Publishing Specialist 




EricGllle 

Research Assistant 


Susan Hoffmeyer 
Graphic Designer 




ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF 

Marsha Fenn 
Office Administrator 


CONTRACTORS 
Florence Polllon 
Editor 




TInaAlkens 

Administrative Secretary 


VSP Associates, Inc. 




Gay Jackson 

PC Specialist 






Lillian Chapman 
Division Administrator 





28 



R 



eviewers 



Thomas Anderson 

RAND 

William Anderson 

National Science Foundalion 

William Baiiun 

United States Geological Survey 

Ian Buckle 

National Center for Earthquake 
Engineering Research 

Riley Chung 

National Institute of Standards 
and Technology 

Caroline Clarke 

National Research Council 

Brian Cowan 

Federal Emergency Management 
Agency 

Alan Crane 

Office of Technology Assessment 



Thomas Durham 
Central U.S. Earthquake 
Consortium 

Robert Friedman 

Office of Technology Assessment 

Kenneth Goettel 

Goettel & Homer Inc. 

James Goltz 
EQE International 

Robert Hamilton 

U.S. Geological Service 

Murray HItzman 
Office of Science and Technology 
Policy 

Klaus Jacob 

Columbia University 

James Jlrsa 
University of Texas 

Laurie Johnson 

Spangle Associates 



Peter May 

University of Washington 

James Mieike 

Congressional Research Service 

William Petak 

University of Southern California 

Christopher Rojahn 

Applied Technology Council 

Craig Weaver 

United States Geological Survey 

James Whitcomb 

National Science Foundation 

Robin White 

Office of Technology Assessment 

Loring Wyllie 

Degenkoib Engineers 

Arthur Zeizel 

Federal Emergency Management 
Agency 



29 



C 



ontents 



1 Summary and Policy Options 1 

Inirixiuclion lo Earthquakes 1 
Policy Response lo Dale Focus on NEHRP 12 
NEHRP Contributions and Challenges 16 
Policy Options 20 

2 Understanding Seismic Hazards 33 

Earthquakes 34 

Seismic Hazards Across the United States 41 
Earthquake-Related Research in Earth Science 51 
Summary and Key Findings 67 

3 The Built Environment 71 

Casualties 72 
Damage to Buildings 74 
Damage to Lifelines 86 

Accomplishments and Needs of Federally Sponsored 
Research 90 

4 Implementation 95 

TTie Implemenlalion PriKess 96 
Factors Affecling Implementation 111 
How Malters Might Be Improved 119 



APPENDICES 

A The National Earthquake Hazards 
Reduction Program 125 

B Agency Efforts in the Current 
NEHRP 129 

C International Earthquake Programs 144 

D Acronyms 157 

Index 159 




OT-n^-i _ Qa 



30 



Li xecutive 
Summary 



The 1994 Northridge, California, earth- 
quake caused dozens of deaths and over 
$20 billion in losses. In 1995 an earth- 
quake in Kobe, Japan, killed more than 
5,000 and resulted in losses of well over $100 bil- 
lion. These disasters show the damage earth- 
quakes can inflict. Although future losses are 
uncertain, there is general agreement that damag- 
ing earthquakes will strike the United States in 
the next few decades, causing at the minimum 
dozens of deaths and tens of billions of dollars 
in losses. 

Since 1977, the federal government has had a 
research-oriented program to reduce earthquake 
losses. This program — the National I£arthquake 
Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP) — has made 
significant contributions toward improving our 
understanding of earthquakes and strategies to re- 
duce their impact. However, much of the United 
States remains at risk for significant earthquake 
losses. Risk-reduction efforts lag far behind the 
knowledge base created by research; this lag, or 
"implementation gap," reflects the limitations of 
NEHRP's information-based strategy for encour- 
aging nonfederal action. NEHRP also suffers 
from a lack of clear programmatic goals. 

THE EARTHQUAKE THREAT 

Much of the United States is seismically active. 
Risks vary widely from region to region: 



■ The greatest likelihood of repeated economic 
losses due to earthquakes is in the coastal re- 
gions of California, where moderate earth- 
quakes are frequent and population densities 
are high. California, in addition, faces a lower 
probability of larger, very damaging earth- 
quakes. 

■ The Pacific Northwest has experienced rare but 
very large earthquakes in the past; the timing of 
future earthquakes in this region of the country 
is uncertain. 

• Quakes in the section of the Intermountain 
West running from southern Idaho and western 
Montana through Utah and Nevada can endan- 
ger communities historically unprepared for 
any seismic activity. 

• The central United States (chiefly, the region 
near the intersection of Missouri, Kentucky, 
Tennessee, and Arkansas) and sections of the 
eastern United States have experienced infre- 
quent earthquakes in the past. Future occur- 
rences are very uncertain, but if and when they 
do occur, losses could be quite high as these 
areas are largely unprepared. 

The primary hazard associated with earth- 
quakes is ground shaking, which damages and de- 
stroys buildings, bridges, and other structures. 
Ground shaking also causes liquefaction, land- 
slides, and other ground failures that endanger 
structures. This damage and destruction has both 

Ix 



31 



short- and long-term implications. In the short 
term, people are killed and injured by falling 
buildings and other objects. The fires associated 
with earthquakes are often difficult to fight be- 
cause water pipes have been broken and roads 
have been blocked by debris. In the long term, the 
costs of repair or replacement, coupled with the 
loss of customers and employees (e.g., due to im- 
passable roads), can force businesses and indus- 
tries to close. Local governments may be forced to 
cut services to cover the costs of infrastructure re- 
pair. And if reductions in the supply of housing 
lead to higher rents, there may be increased home- 
lessness. 

THE U.S. POLICY RESPONSE TO DATE 

The federal government currently responds to the 
earthquake threat with a number of policies and 
programs. Its primary effort is the National Earth- 
quake Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP), es- 
tablished in 1977 to "reduce the risks of life and 
property from future earthquakes in the U.S...." 
The program combines the efforts of four federal 
agencies: 
■ the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), 

• the National Science Foundation (NSF), 

• the Federal Emergency Management Agency 
(FEMA), and 

• the National Institute of Standards and 
Technology (NIST). 

NEHRP's original charter included wide-rang- 
ing pro\ sions for earthquake prediction, earth- 
quake control, and vigorous implementation of 
seismic safety knowledge. In practice, however, 
the program has centered on the performance and 
dissemination of science and engineering re- 
search. Thus, 64 percent of the NEHRP budget 
goes (via USGS and NSF) to research in the earth 
sciences, and another 14 percent supports engi- 
neering research; the remaining 22 percent of the 
budget goes to "implementation" activities such 
as technical translation, education, and outreach. 



NEHRP: PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS 

NEHRP-sponsored research has yielded an 
impressive list of accomplishments. Although 
past accomplishments do not ensure future ones, 
it is clear that NEHRP has led to significant ad- 
vances in our knowledge of both earth science 
and engineering aspects of earthquake risk re- 
duction. For example, NEHRP-supportcd re- 
search led to recognition of the seismic risk in the 
Pacific Northwest, and NEHRP funding helped 
develop the knowledge base that now makes it 
possible to design and construct new buildings 
that are unlikely to collapse in earthquakes. Al- 
though NEHRP is principally a research pro- 
gram — over 75 percent of its funds are directed 
toward research — it has made some contributions 
to the implementation of earthquake mitigation, 
as well. Thus, for example, we now have model 
building codes that reflect a national ton.sensus on 
new building seismic design, as well as several in- 
terdisciplinary centers that work to translate re- 
search results into useful information for 
decisionmakers. 

Despite these successes, however, earthquakes 
continue to cause massive losses in the United 
States. TTie 1994 Northridge earthquake caused 
more than $20 billion in losses, and scenarios of 
possible future U.S. earthquakes suggest that 
thousands of casualties and tens or even hundreds 
of billions of dollars in losses may occur. Al- 
though there is no consensus on what level of loss 
is acceptable,' there is clearly a signincant re- 
maining exposure to earthquake damage — 
due in large part to a failure to implement 
known technologies and practices. Many com- 
munities, especially in California, have taken 
steps to reduce earthquake losses, but there stillre- 
mains a large gap between what current knowl- 
edge says could be done and what actually is done. 

The failure to implement known technologies 
and practices, or "implementation gap," is a direct 
result of NEHRP's approach to reducing earth- 



' Although no losses would seem desirable, achieving zero losses would be cither impossible or impracticatly expensive. 



32 



quake losses. NEHRP's approach can be thought 
of as supplying information on earthquake risks 
and possible countermeasures to those who may 
wish to mitigate. By supplying this information, 
the program hopes to motivate individuals, orga- 
nizations, and local and state governments toward 
action while providing guidelines on how to pro- 
ceed. This approach implicitly assumes that the 
interest or incentive for mitigation is sufficient for 
people to act on such information. However, the 
current paucity of mitigation activities suggests 
that individuals, organizations, and local and state 
governments lack sufficient incentives for mitiga- 
tion. Whether or not the federal government 
should play a role in ensuring that there are suffi- 
cient incentives for mitigation is a sensitive policy 
question. In any case, NEHRP's approach of 
supplying information alone clearly limits the 
program's impact. 

NEHRP faces serious operational problems as 
well. Numerous congressional reports and expert 
review panels have noted that NEHRP lacks 
clear and workable goals and strategies. Al- 
though NEHRP's authorizing legislation does set 
broad overall objectives for the program, actual 
NEHRP spending by the four participating agen- 
cies does not suggest any unified multiagency 
agreement on specific goals, strategies, or priori- 
ties. In the absence of a multiagency consensus on 
NEHRP goals and strategies, each of the four par- 
ticipating agencies (USGS, NSF, FEMA, and 
NIST) has developed a portfolio of NEHRP acti- 
vities that reflects its own agency mission and pri- 
orities. In addition, the lack of agreement on goals 
and strategies makes it difficult to judge the im- 
pact or success of the overall program, since there 
are few criteria by which to measure performance. 

POLICY OPTIONS 

OTA has identified several policy options that 
Congress could consider to improve federal ef- 
forts to reduce earthquake losses. Three general 
types of policy options are discussed: 
• One type of option involves changes in the spe- 
cific research and other activities that NEHRP 
undertakes. OTA identifies key research and 



implementation needs that NEHRP could ad- 
dress within its current scope. 

• The second type of option involves manage- 
ment and operational changes In NEHRP. Such 
changes could make NEHRP a more efficient, 
coordinated, and productive program. 

■ The third type of option includes changes to 
federal disaster assistance and insurance, regu- 
lation, and financial incentives. Such changes 
are outside the current scope of NEHRP and 
would represent a significant change in direc- 
tion for the program. However, such changes 
are necessary to yield major national reduc- 
tions in earthquake risk. 

CHANGES IN SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES 
OF NEHRP 

I Earth Science Research 

Decisions about what earth science research to 
support should be made in the context of the goals 
of the earthquake program. If Congress would like 
NEHRP to reduce earthquake losses in the short 
term and also to focus on implementing known 
technologies and practices, then the earth science 
research portfolio should favor more applied, 
short-term work such as microzonation, ground 
motion mapping, and hazard assessment. In con- 
trast, if Congress views NEHRP as a program for 
reducing earthquake hazards over the long term, 
it would be appropriate to retain the current focus 
on basic earth science research. 

I Earthquake Engineering Research 

A new structure that meets current seismic build- 
ing codes will be very resistant to collapse due to 
earthquakes. The construction of buildings that 
are resistant to collapse is a great technical accom- 
plishment in which NEHRP played a considerable 
role. Since this has been achieved, it is time to con- 
sider moving some resources to the next research 
challenge — reducing earthquake-related structur- 
al, nonstructural, and contents damage. 

Much of the risk of both structural failure and 
nonstructural and contents damage lies in existing 
structures, which do not incorporate current codes 
and knowledge. Relatively few of these structures 

xi 



33 



have been retrofitted to reduce risk; and where ret- 
rofits have been performed they have often been 
expensive, complex, and of uncertain benefit. 
More research is needed to improve retrofit meth- 
ods. 

I Implementation 

One of NEHRP's most promising implementation 
activity is to directly assist communities in their 
efforts to understand earthquake risk and to devise 
mitigation options. Analytic tools to estimate 
likely losses in the event of a future earthquake 
and to predict the likely benefits of mitigation 
would be of great help to communities. 

FEMA currently has several programs in- 
tended to promote implementation of known miti- 
gation technologies and practices. Very few of 
these programs have been evaluated carefully in 
the past, leaving current program planners with 
little guidance as to what works, what does not, 
and why. All mitigation programs should be eval- 
uated carefully, and the results should be used to 
improve, refocus, or — if necessary — terminate 
programs. 

In addition to direct support for implementa- 
tion, NEHRP also supports some research into the 
behavioral, social, and economic aspects of miti- 
gation. Further research of this type could im- 
prove our understanding of some key issues that 
currently hinder mitigation. 

MANAGEMENT AND 
OPERATIONAL CHANGES 

NEHRP spending by the four participating agen- 
cies suggests a loosely coordinated confederation 
of agencies with no overarching agreement on 
specific goals, strategies, or priorities for NEHRP. 
One policy option is for FEMA, as the lead 
agency, to work with other NEHRP agencies and 
with the professional earthquake community to 
come up with specific goals and priorities for 
NEHRP. Defining overarching goals for NEHRP 
would not be easy and would have to address the 
difficult issue of acceptable risk. Yet it is neces- 
sary for NEHRP to move beyond a loose confed- 

xii 



eration of four agencies. Congress could require 
FEMA to report on progress toward defining and 
meeting specific goals for NEHRP. Since FEMA 
has no explicit budgetary or other control over the 
other agencies that participate in NEHRP, Con- 
gress may wish to provide oversight to ensure that 
all these agencies work toward defining and meet- 
ing the agreed-on goals. 

The continuing congressional dissatisfaction 
with FEMA's management and coordination of 
NEHRP has led some to consider transferring lead 
agency responsibility from FEMA to another 
agency. OTA's finding that implementation is 
emerging as NEHRP's key challenge, however, 
suggests that, of the four principal NEHRP agen- 
cies, FEMA appears to be the most appropriate 
lead agency. FEMA has the most direct responsi- 
bility for reducing losses from natural disasters; it 
is in direct contact with state, local, and private 
sector groups responsible for reducing earthquake 
risks; it has a management rather than research 
mission; and it coordinates regularly with other 
agencies in carrying out its mission. The other 
NEHRP agencies are principally involved in 
research and therefore may find it difficult to de- 
velop the strong implementation component nec- 
essary to lead the program. One policy option 
would be for Congress to allow FEMA to continue 
as lead agency but to provide frequent oversight to 
ensure that lead agency responsibilities are carried 
out. 

BEYOND THE CURRENT NEHRP 

Congress could consider other policy options that 
go beyond the scope of the current NEHRP. These 
include using federal disaster assistance as an in- 
centive for mitigation, an increased federal role.in 
disaster insurance, increased regulation, and 
greater use of financial incentives to promote mit- 
igation. These policy options have the potential to 
significantly increase implementation of seismic 
safety knowledge — something NEHRP, in its cur- 
rent form, is unlikely to accomplish. However, 
these options would likely require new legislation 
and would be a significant departure from current 
policy. They would also be quite controversial. 



34 



In considering these options, a central issue is: 
What is the appropriate role of the federal gov- 
ernment in mitigation? Some argue that in- 
creased investment in mitigation by the federal 
government would save money by reducing future 
disaster outlays. Others argue that the very exis- 
tence of federal disaster assistance programs 
creates disincentives for mitigation. Still others 
argue that mitigation tools, notably land-use plan- 
ning and building regulation, are state and local is- 
sues in which an increased federal role is 
inappropriate. These arguments involve different 
political and philosophical beliefs; OTA does not 
attempt to resolve them but rather suggests that 
policymakers consider the policy options in light 
of their own beliefs. 

Insurance and disaster assistance can be a ve- 
hicle for mitigation, as well as a disincentive 
against mitigation, depending on how the pro- 
gram is structured. Congressional decisions as to 
the fate of hazards insurance legislation will in- 
volve many issues, most of which are beyond the 
scope of this report. With respect to mitigation, 
however, it is clear that insurance can be a strong 
incentive for earthquake mitigation — if the cost of 
insurance reflects the risk. In addition, social sci- 



ence research suggests that individual mitigation 
decisions are not made on an economically ration- 
al cost-benefit basis but are considerably more 
complex. Insurance programs should recognize 
these complexities. 

One policy option, largely outside the scope of 
NEHRP as currently defined, would be for the 
federal government to take a stronger position on 
implementation via regulation. In the current 
policy environment, regulation in the form of 
building codes is the most widely used mitigation 
tool, but it is performed at the state or local level. 
The federal government plays only an indirect role 
by providing technical support for code develop- 
ment and implementation. In addition. Executive 
Order 12699 (issued January 5. 1990) requires 
that new buildings constructed with federal assist- 
ance meet current codes. A more agsressive 
policy option would be to require states and locali- 
ties to adopt model building codes, or demonstrate 
a minimum level of code enforcement, as a condi- 
tion for receiving federal aid. Nonstructural miti- 
gation efforts could be advanced through an 
executive order addressing this problem in federal 
buildings. 



xlH 



35 



Summary 

and 

Policy Options 



1 



Earthquakes have caused massive death and destruction, 
and potentially damaging earthquakes are certain to occur 
in the future. Although earthquakes are uncontrollable, 
the losses they cause can be reduced by building struc- 
tures that resist earthquake damage, matching land use to risk, de- 
veloping emergency response plans, and other means. Smce 
1 977, the federal government has had a research oriented program 
to reduce earthquake losses— the National Earthquake Hazards 
Reduction Program (NEHRP). This program has made signifi- 
cant contributions tovk-ard improving our understanding of earth- 
quakes and strategies to reduce their impact. Implementing action 
based on this understanding, however, has been quite difficult. 

This chapter provides an introduction to earthquakes: a sum- 
mary of the earthquake hazard across the United Stales, a review 
of the types of losses earthquakes cause, a discussion of why 
earthquakes are a congressional concern, and an introduction to 
mitigation— iclions taken prior to earthquakes that can reduce 
losses when they occur. The federal policy response to date. 
NEHRP, is then described and reviewed. Finally, specific policy 
options for improving federal efforts to reduce future earthquake 
losses are presented. 

INTRODUCTION TO EARTHQUAKES 
I When and Where Earthquakes Occur 

Many parts of the United States are subject to earthquakes, which 
occur when stress accumulates in underground rocks. This build- 
up of stress typically reflects the slow but continuous motion of 
the earth's outennost rocky layers, large sections of which drift 




36 



21 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



about the globe as moving tectonic plates. Where 
adjacent plates collide or grind against one anoth- 
er, rocks are highly stressed, and this stress is re- 
leased in sudden shifts in the earth's surface. As a 
result, plate boundaries are the primary breeding 
ground for earthquakes. 

One such boundary lies in California, where 
two major plates slide against one another along 
the San Andreas fault. Stresses along this and 
associated faults make California subject to fre- 
quent and sometimes powerful earthquakes. In the 
north of the state, detailed earth science research 
suggests a 67 percent probability of one or more 
earthquakes of magnitude 7' or greater in the 
San Francisco Bay area by 2020.^ To the south, 
where hazard assessments are less certain due to 
the geologic complexity of the Los Angeles re- 
gion, a recent report estimates an 80 to 90 percent 
probability of a magnitude 7 or greater earth- 
quake in southern California before 2024.^ 

The colliding of adjacent plates produces ex- 
tremely powerful earthquakes along the Alaskan 
coast, one of which severely damaged the city of 
Anchorage in 1964. A similar earthquake threat 
has recently been recognized in the Pacific North- 
west states of Oregon and Washington; according 
to a 1991 study, a great earthquake (magnitude 
8 to 9) is possible in the Pacific Northwest; 
magnitude 6 to 7 earthquakes have occurred in 
this area in the past and are likely to occur in 
the future.'* 

Other parts of the United States are also seismi- 
cally active — due not to plate collisions, but to 
other processes not well understood. Regions ex- 



periencing damaging earthquakes in the re- 
cent past include parts of the Intermountain 
West (i.e., sections of Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, 
Montana, and Nevada); the Mississippi Valley 
region of the central United States (centered on 
an area north of Memphis, Tennessee); and 
cities on the Atlantic seaboard (notably 
Charleston, South Carolina, and Boston, Mas- 
sachusetts). (See figure 1-1.) Earthquakes in 
these regions (called intraplate earthquakes be- 
cause they occur far from current plate bound- 
aries) are infrequent but potentially powerful. 

I Earthquake Effects 

Earthquakes can cause deaths, injuries, and dam- 
age to buildings and other structures, and may in- 
flict a wide range of longer term economic and 
social losses as well.' Although estimating future 
losses is very uncertain (see box I - 1 ), there is gen- 
eral agreement that in the next 50 years or so one 
or more damaging earthquakes will occur in 
the United States, resulting in at least hundreds 
of deaths and tens of billions of dollars in 
losses. Larger events, involving thousands of 
deaths and hundreds of billions of dollars in losses 
(such as that seen in the 1995 earthquake in Kobe, 
Japan), are also possible, although scientific un- 
certainty makes it difficult to estimate their likeli- 
hood. 

The primary hazard associated with earth- 
quakes is ground shaking, which can damage or 
destroy buildings, bridges, and other structures. 
Figure 1-2 shows expected ground motions from 



' A magnitude 7 earthquake is one large enough to cause serious damage. For comparison, a magnitude 5 will cause slight damage, and a 
magnitude 8 or greater can cause total damage. See chapter 2 for a discussion of earthquake magninide scales. 

^ Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities, Probabilities of Large Earthquakes in the San Francisco Bay Region. California, 
U.S. Cieological Survey Circular 1053 (Washington. EXT: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1990). 

^ Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities, "Seismic Hazards in Southern California: Probable Earthquakes, 1994-2024," 
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, vol. 85, No. 2. April 1995. p. 379. 

* Kayc M. Shedlock and Craig S. Weaver. Programfor Earthquake Hawrds Assessment in the Pacific Northwest, U.S. Geological Survey 
Circular 1067 (Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1991). p. I. 

^ Damage generally refers to the direct physical effects of earthquakes, while losses include all the societal effects including deaths, injuries, 
direct finaiKial costs, indirect costs (such as those resulting from business interruptions), and social impacts such as increased homelessness. 



37 



Chapter 1 Summary and Policy Options 13 





5 


/ 




/I|/J 


I 


■ ^^ 


-^^i^ 


^^ 


^•^H 


r 
















1 


• 


3 
6 


! 



41 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



Dependable estimates of likely losses from earthquakes would be useful in developing appropriate poli- 
cies for eartfiquake mitigation — for example, by allowing comparisons with other threats to life and proper- 
ty. Unfortunately, the huge uncertainties in the location, timing, and magnitude of earthquakes themselves: 
in the response of the built environment to earthquakes, and in the inventory of structures that might be 
damaged make estimating future losses very difficult.' 

Despite these difficulties, some estimates of future losses have been made. The results of several such 
studies are summarized here to provide a sense of the probable range of such losses These studies can- 
not be compared, since they examine different geographical areas and different types of losses. As a 
group, however, they give some indication of the expected scale of future losses A 1992 study for the 
property insurance industry estimated losses for several geographic areas, including sections of Califor- 
nia, the Pacific Northwest, and the central United States Total losses due to building damage for a magni- 
tude 7 8 earthquake on the northern section of the San Andreas fault near San Francisco, for example, 
were estimated at $35.2 billion.^ This does not include public sector losses, such as those due to damaged 
schools or bridges. Another study estimated both dollar losses and fatalities for scenario earthquakes in 
California and in the central United States For the larger earthquakes (magnitude 7.5 or greater), losses 
were on the order of tens of billions of dollars and fatalities in the thousands -^ 

fvluch more dramatic results can be seen from attempts to predict damages from worst-case earth- 
quakes — great earthquakes that strike close to population centers A repeat of the 1906 magnitude 8.3 
earthquake in San Francisco could cause 2.000 to 6.000 deaths Z* A repeal of the 181 1 central US earth- 
quake could cause more than $100 billion in damage due to ground motion.^ 

An alternate method for arriving at an overall sense of future earthquake damage is to examine the 
damage caused by past earthquakes As shown m the table below. US earthquakes since 19(X) have, in 
total, resulted in about 1 .200 deaths and $40 billion in damage. However, extrapolating from historical 
earthquake damages is problematic for several reasons 

■ All else equal, damage will increase over time as both population and urbanization increase — especially 
in the western United States, which has experienced rapid population growth in recent years. 

■ The recent historical record shows no major earthquakes in the eastern United Stales, although such 
earthquakes have occurred and may occur again 



' According to a National Academy of Sciences report, "even using ttie Ijest of today's methods and Itie most experienced expert 
opinion, losses caused by scenario earttiquakes can only be estimated approximately Overall property loss estimates ate often un- 
certain by a factor of 2 to 3, and estimates ol casualties and hiomeless can be uncertain by a factor of to " National Researcti Council. 
Estimating Losses fmm Future Earthquakes (Wastimgton, DC National Academy Press. 1989). p 3 

Althiough loss estimation methods are still relatively crude and hampered by lack of data, recent technological advances suggest 
that loss estimation may soon be a more useful and accurate policy analysis tool The rapid development of computer hardware and 
software — specifically the ability to store large amounts o) data on CD-ROMs or tapes, and the availability of software that can make 
sense of these data — has made it possible to manage detailed databases of all structures in specific geographic areas Geographi- 
cal information systems are now being used in combination with probabilistic ground motion data to yield useful forecasts ol likely and 
worst-case earthquake damages The Federal Emergency Management Agency, lor example, is supporting the development of a 
computer-tiased loss estimation tool that would be available to city planners and emergency managers on their desktop computers 

2 Risk Engineering, Inc , "Residential and Commercial Earthquake Losses in the US,' prepared lof the Nalionai Committee on 
Property Insurance, Boston MA, May 3, 1993 Zero-deductible assumption "Loss" does not reflect deaths or Injuries 

^R Litanetal , "Physical Damage and Human Loss The Economic impact of Earthquake Mitigation Measures." prepared for 7>ie 
Earthquake Pro)ec1, National Committee on Property Insurance, February 1992 Base-case scenarios, without mitigation Expected 
losses do not include deaths or injuries 

* See "'Repeat' Quakes May Cause Fewer Deaths, More Damage," CmI Engineenng , November 1994, pp 19-21 

^ National Academy of Sciences, The Economic Consequences of a Catastrophic Earthquake. Proceedings ol a Forum, Aug 1 
and 2, 1990 (Washington. DC National Academy Press. 1992), p 72 



39 



Chapter 1 Summary and Policy Options 1 5 



BOX 1-1 (cont'd.): Loss Estimatic 



Major U.S. Ear1hqual<es, 1900-94 



LoCallfomlation 



Damages 
(million $1994) 



1906 


San Francisco, California 


700 


6,000 


1925 


Santa Barbara, Calilorma 


13 


60 


1933 


Long Beach, California 


120 


540 


1935 


Helena, Montana 


4 


40 


1940 


imperial Valley, California 


8 


70 


1946 


Aleutian Islands, Alaska 


n/a 


200 


1949 


Puget Sound, Washington 


8 


220 


1952 


Kern County, California 


12 


350 


1952 


Bakersfield, California 


2 


60 


1959 


Hebgen Lake, Montana 


28 


n/a 


1964 


Anchorage. Alaska 


131 


2,280 


1965 


Puget Sound, Washington 


8 


70 


1971 


San Fernando, California 


65 


1.700 


1979 


Imperial County, California 


n/a 


60 


1983 


Coalinga, California 





50 


1987 


Whittier Narrows, California 


8 


450 


1989 


Loma Prieta, California 


63 


6.870 


1992 


Petrolia, California 





. 70 


1992 


Landers, California 


1 


100 


1993 


Scotts Mills, Oregon 


n/a 


30 


1993 


Klamath Falls, Oregon 


2 


10 


1994 


Northridge, California 


57 


20,000 


TOTAL 




1.225 


39,160 



KEY n/a = not available 

SOURCE Office ol Technology Assessmeni, 1995 

• Some argue that in certain regions, more and larger earthquakes should be expected in the future.^ 

• A single event can influence the data significantly More than half the deaths since 1 900 occurred m just 
one incident — the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, while about half of the total dollar damages were 
from the 1994 Northridge event. This demonstrates the "lumpiness" of earthquakes the deaths and 
losses occur not m regular intervals, but m large and catastrophic single events, 

■ On the other hand, new buildings meeting current seismic codes are much more resistant to structural 

failure than old buildings, which should help to reduce fatalities. 

The uncertainties both in projecting losses and in extrapolating historical data make predicting future 
losses difficult It is generally agreed, however, that in the next 50 years or so, damaging earthquakes will 
occur in the United States, resulting in at least hundreds of deaths and tens of billions of dollars in losses 
Larger events, involving thousands of deaths and hundreds of billions of dollars m losses, are possible, 
although less likely. 



^ J DOlan et al , "Prospects tor Larger or More Frequent Earthquakes in the bos Angeles t^etropolitan Regie 
Jan 13, 1995. pp 199-205 



" Science «ol 267, 



61 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



40 




Failure of the ground itself can make an otherwise sound 
building unusable 

future earthquakes in the United States. Ground 
shalcing can also cause liquefaction, landshdes, 
subsidence, and other forms of ground failure that 
can endanger even the best-built structures, and 
moreover may generate coastal tsunamis (great 
surges of water popularly known as tidal waves). 
The damage and destruction wrought by earth- 
quakes has both short- and long-term implica- 
tions. In the short term, people are killed and 
injured by collapsing buildings and falling debris. 
The fires that can result may be difficult to fight 
due to broken water pipes and roads blocked by 



debris. In the long term, the costs of repair or re- 
placement coupled with the loss of customers and 
employees (e.g., due to impassable roads) can 
force businesses and industries to relocate or 
close. Local governments may be forced to cut 
services to cover the costs of infrastructure repair, 
and housing rents can increase (due to reductions 
in supply), leading to increased homelessness. 

Deaths 

A single earthquake can cause thousands of deaths 
and tens of thousands of injuries. In just the last 
decade— 1980 to 1990— earthquakes killed al- 
most 100,000 people worldwide. About two- 
thirds of these deaths occurred in just two 
catastrophic earthquakes — over 25,000 deaths in 
Armenia* in 1988 and 40,000 in Iran in 1990.'' 

The historical record of U.S. earthquake fatali- 
ties is less unfortunate. Since 1900, about 1,200 
people have died in U.S. earthquakes (see box 
1-1). Most of these earthquakes occurred in re- 
gions that were, at the time, sparsely populated. 
Thus, the low fatality figures for earthquakes from 
1900 to 1950 are not surprising. However, even 
those quakes occurring since 1950 in heavily pop- 
ulated areas of California have had relatively low 
fatalities, due largely to the fact that many build- 
ings and other structures in California are built to 
resist seismic collapse.^ Casualties from future 
earthquakes are uncertain. One estimate found 
that a repeat of the 1 906 San Francisco earthquake 
would cause 2,000 to 6,000 deaths;' another study 
found that a large earthquake striking the New 
Madrid region of the central United States would 
result in 7,000 to 27,000 deaths.'" 

Most deaths in earthquakes occur when 
structures collapse. In Armenia, for example. 



* L. Wyllic. Jr., President, Eanhquake Engineering Research Institute, personal communication. May 1 1 . 1995. 

' B. Boll, Earihqiuikts (New York, NY: W H Freeman and Co.. 1993), pp. 272-273 

^ There is an element of luck here as well. The Loma Pneta earthquake, for example, struck during the World Series baseball game when 
roads were relatively empty. Fatalities would have been m the hundrexls. perhaps higher, if traffic had been at more typical weekday levels. 

' See "'Repeat' Quakes May Cause Fewer Deaths, More Damage." Civil Engineering. November 1994. pp. 19-21. 

'° National Academy of Sciences. 77ie Economic Consequences of a Catastrophic Earthquake, Proceedings of a Forum, Aug. I and 2, 1990 
(Washington [XT: National Academy Press. 1992). p. 68. 



41 



Chapter 1 Summary and Policy Options 17 



FIGURE 1-2: U.S. Seismic Hazard Map 




NOTE Map shows expected ground acceieraiion as a perceniage o1 graviiaiionai acceleration (100% = 
3-second pericxJ shaking and has a 10% probabilily ot being exceeded m 50 years 
SOURCE Office 0l Technology Assessment, 1995, based on U S Geological Survey 



1 G) This expected acceleration is for 



most of the deaths were caused by people being 
crushed under collapsing buildings. Nearly all of 
the deaths in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake 
were due to structural collapse." The second ma- 
jor cause of death in earthquakes is fire. In the 
1923 Tokyo earthquake, for example, many of the 
143,000 deaths were caused by the firestorms that 
occuned after the quake. '^ 



Injuries 

In a typical earthquake, many more buildings are 
damaged than are destroyed. It is this damage to 
buildings and their contents that causes most inju- 
ries. In the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, for ex- 
ample, 95 percent of the injuries did not involve 
structural collapse.'^ TTiese injuries are caused by 



' M. Durkin and C. Thiel. "Improving Measures To Reduce Earthquake Casualties. " Earthquake Spectra, vol. 8, No. 1 . February 1992, 



' Boll, see footnote 7. pp 2 1 9. 27 1 . 
' Durkin and Thiei. see footnote 1 1 . 



8 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



42 




Earthquake injuries are often tne result or sri'ting conrenrs 

falls, getting struck by falling or overturned ob- 
jects, or getting thrown into objects. For example, 
bookcases and file cabinets can tip over, tumbling 
books onto people and knocking over other ob- 
jects, and lighting fixtures and ceiling tiles can 
come down on people's heads. 

Damage to Buildings 

Earthquakes can cause four types of damage to 
buildings: 1 ) collapse — tlie destruction of an en- 
tire building, with the death of most of its occu- 
pants; 2) structural damage, which leaves the 
building standing but still unsafe; 3) nonstructural 
damage to walls, water pipes, windows, and so 
forth; and 4) damage to contents. The costs of such 
damage are borne by the building owners and, if 
the building is insured, by the insurance industry. 
As discussed later, these costs are in turn shared in 
many cases by the federal government through 
disaster assistance programs. 



Damage to Lifelines 

Lifelines — transportation, energy, water, sewer, 
and telecommunications systems — are often 
damaged by earthquakes. These systems can be 
very expensive to repair; yet even those costs may 
be dwarfed by the costs of service interruptions. In 
the short term, interruptions in water supply can 
cause a city to bum down, and breaks in key trans- 
portation links can block access by emergency ve- 
hicles. As with buildings, the costs of repair 
typically fall on the owner (which for many life- 
lines is the state or local government), the insur- 
ance industry if the system is insured, and the 
federal government through disaster assistance 
programs. 

Other Costs 

In addition to deaths, injuries, and damage to 
buildings and lifelines, earthquakes also cause 
losses of a different sort. These losses, sometimes 
called "economic." "indirect," or "social." in- 
clude the following: 

• People cannot get to work when a transporta- 
tion system is damaged; as a result, businesses 
must close or reduce their services. 

• Basic services such as energy and communica- 
tions are interrupted, making economic activity 
difficult or impossible. 

• Small business with limited access to capital 
often cannot survive the combination of loss of 
business and capital requirements to repair 
damage. 

However, there are those who benefit from earth- 
quakes as well. A severe earthquake is typically 
followed by a large inflow of money from the gov- 
emment. Construction and associated businesses, 
such as building materials and architectural firms, 
experience large increases in business. Housing 
vacancy rates go down. 

The net longer-term economic effects of earth- 
quake are not clear. As a recent review noted, ". . . 
no systematic research has been conducted on the 
overall economic effects of a major disaster on the 
public sector, much less on trying to project these 



43 



Chapter 1 Summary and Policy Options 1 9 



impacts for a future catasu'ophjc earthquake. ..."'■' 
Clearly, an earthquake has distributional impacts 
(e.g.. damaged businesses lose and construction 
companies gain), but the net effects are difficult to 
measure. 

Social losses 

Often missing from attempts to measure the ef- 
fects of earthquakes are very real social losses. 
Low-income housing, which is often concentrated 
in older buildings that are less resistant to seismic 
damage, may be the most severely affected, lead- 
ing to increases in homelessness and dislocation. 
Communities faced with the huge costs of repair- 
ing earthquake-induced damage to public proper- 
ty may be forced to reduce other services. Housing 
rents may increase (because of a reduction in sup- 
ply), resulting in hardship for low-income house- 
holds. The trauma of seeing one's home or 
livelihood threatened or destroyed can be severe. 
Damaged structures may be left unrepaired for 
years, creating an eyesore and detracting from a 
sense of community. 

I Congressional Interest in Earthquakes 

The large and continuing losses from earthquakes 
are of concern to Congress for several reasons. 
The federal government has long assumed some 
responsibility for responding to disasters that are 
beyond the abilities of individuals and local 
governments to manage. Earthquakes can easily 
overwhelm state and local disaster response capa- 
bilities, and without federal support, many more 
people would suffer great personal and financial 
pain. In recent years, however, the financial costs 
of federal earthquake relief have been very high. 
In two recent U.S. earthquakes^Loma Prieta 
(1989) and Northridge ( 1 994)— Congress passed 
supplemental appropriations bills to help pay for 
the losses. For Northridge. this bill totaled about 
$10 billion (although not all of it was to be spent 
on the Northridge quake).'' Future earthquakes 




The 1994 Northridge. California earthquake caused 
extensive damage to this parking garage 




Nonstructural damage can be very costi/ and disruptive 



may well receive the same response from Con- 
gress — a large supplemental appropriation that 
strains the federal budget and aggravates the defi- 
cit. Since the U.S. government pays much of the 
costs of earthquakes, it is in the government's fi- 
nancial interest to understand what these costs are 
due to and how they could be reduced. 

In addition to the intermittent large supplemen- 
tal appropriations to cover some of the costs of 
earthquakes, the federal government currently 
spends about S 100 million annually on NEHRP— 



'^ National Academy of Sciences, see footnote 10. p. S. 

" ■Disaster Relief: A Trial Run for the tVficii Battle.' Congrtsnonal Qm 



t(>. Feb, 12, 1994. p. 319. 



10 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



44 




The San Francisco-Oc.kfand Bay Bridge was damaged in the 
1989 Loma Pneta earthquake 




Earthquakes often disrupt business services such as 
banking 



the national program intended to reduce earth- 
quake losses (NEHRP is discussed in detail 
below). Congressional ov:;rsight of this program 
is needed to ensure that this money is well spent. 
The federal government's own property — fed- 
eral buildings and federally sponsored or sup- 
ported highways, dams, and other projects — is 
also at risk from earthquakes. About 40 percent of 
federal buildings and employees are located in 



seismically active areas, and about 15 percent are 
located in areas of high or very high seismic haz- 
ard.'* A recent General Accounting Office report 
found that, "agencies' efforts to reduce building 
vulnerability have been limited."'^ Reducing this 
vulnerability is in the federal government's inter- 



I Mitigation: Reducing the Losses 

Although earthquakes are unavoidable and un- 
controllable, much of the losses they cause are 
not. Numerous technologies and practices are 
available that can sharply reduce damage and 
casualties from earthquakes. Some of these are al- 
ready in use— largely in California, which leads 
the nation in earthquake mitigation. However, 
many technologies are underutilized due to lack of 
incentives, lack of information, and other barriers 
(discussed in chapter 4). 

Mitigation measures (i.e., actions) include: 

• incorporating seismic design features into new 
buildings and lifelines; 

• reuofitting existing buildings and lifelines to 
improve resistance to seismic forces; 

■ securing nonstructural components so that they 
do not fall or become sources of injury in an 
earthquake: 

• matching land use to the hazard; and 

■ developing response plans that ensure the 
availability of fire, ambulance, and other re- 
sources as needed. 

There are numerous tools, or levers, to promote 
these measures, including: 

■ building codes that set minimum seismic re- 
quirements for new construction; 

• land-use regulations that steer inappropriate 
development away from dangerous areas (e.g., 
prohibiting residential construction in land- 
slide-prone areas); 



" U.S. Congress, Genenl Accounting Office. "Federal Buildings: Many Are Threatened by Earthquakes, but Limited Action Has Been 
Taken." GAO/GGD-92-62. May 1992. 
" Ibid. 
" The federal govenimenl has taken some steps, including the signing of two enecutive orders, to reduce the risk in federal buildings 



45 



Chapter 1 Summary and Policy Options 111 



■ provision of information such as detailed 
ground motion maps to decisionmakers; 

■ public education programs; 

■ financial incentives, such as insurance, that 
promote the use of mitigation measures; and 

■ research, to better defme the risk and improve 
methods to reduce it." 

Clearly, mitigation can save lives and reduce 
losses. The relatively low fatalities in the two re- 
cent Califomia earthquakes, for example, are due 
largely to the fact that for many years Califomia 
has had a building code that requires the use of 
seismic design principles in new building 
construction. However, mitigation has its chal- 
lenges as well; these are summarized below. 

Knowledge Gaps and Uncertainties 

Although considerable progress has been made in 
defining the earthquake hazard and in understand- 
ing how to design structures to reduce the chances 
of collapse, much remains unknown; these uncer- 
tainties make mitigation more difficult. Key 
knowledge and understanding gaps include: 
• the earthquake hazard outside Califomia — the 
probabilities, magnitudes, and resulting 
ground motions of potentially damaging earth- 
quakes; 

■ how to design buildings to minimize structural 
and nonstructural damage (as distinguished 
from minimizing the chances of collapse); 

■ low-cost and effective ways to retrofit existing 
structures to reduce earthquake damage; and 

" the costs and benefits of mitigation. 

Information Access 

Decisionmakers may not have access to the latest 
information, or current knowledge may not be 
available in a useful and understandable form. For 



example, structural engineers may not be trained 
in the latest thinking on seismic design, and home- 
owners may not know that gas water heaters 
should be secured to the wall. Similarly, city plan- 
ners and land-use zoning officials may not have 
accurate and readily understandable risk maps 
showing which areas of the city are susceptible to 
earthquake-induced liquefaction or landslides. 

Costs, Benefits, and Incentives 

The use of mitigation technologies and practices 
increases upfront (initial) costs. These costs can 
be calculated with reasonable certainty, and they 
can be considerable. For example, the estimated 
cost to seismically retrofit buildings at one cam- 
pus of the University of Califomia is $500 mil- 
lion.^^ The t)enefits of mitigation — avoided 
damage — occur in the future and are, like earth- 
quake risk, uncertain. Forecasting the benefits of 
mitigation in just one building requires informa- 
tion on future earthquake timing, effects, damage 
without mitigation, and reduction in damage due 
to mitigation. These are all uncertain, and this un- 
certainty makes it very difficult to determine the 
net benefits (i.e., benefits minus costs) of mitiga- 
tion. Although there is general agreement in the 
professional community that greater mitigation 
would have positive net financial benefits (i.e., 
benefits would exceed costs), this can be difficult 
to demonstrate due to the numerous uncertainties. 
Even when mitigation clearly provides posi- 
tive net benefits, many individuals and institu- 
tions demand rapid paybacks from investments 
(i.e., they heavily discount future retums) and are 
less likely to invest in mitigation since its benefits 
are long term. For example, if a building owner 
expects to own a building for only a short time, he 
or she may see the probability of an earthquake in 
that time period as low and therefore not justifying 



" The canhquake hawrd is ground shaking, liqucfaclion. and other nalural phenomena thai cannot be controlled, while the mk is the po- 
tential for losses and can be controlled. 

™C Ingham andT. Sabol.'A Comprehensive Seismic Program: The Experience at UCLA." in Rrocecdings ofihe Fifth U.S. Nalmnal Con- 
ference on Earihqmke Engineering. July 10- 1 4, 1 994, Chicago. IL (Oakland, CA: Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, 1 994), vol 1. p 
842. 



12 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



46 



FIGURE 1-3: NEHRP Authorizations and 
Actual Spending, 1978-94 




Authorizations 

Actual spending 



SOURCE Otfic 
budget data 



82 84 86 88 90 92 94 
Fiscal year 



; ol Technology Assessment. 1995. based on NEHRP 



mitigation. In addition, the costs and tjenefiis of 
mitigation may fall on different groups. For exam- 
ple, if an individual believes that an insurance 
company or the federal government is likely to 
pay for earthquake damage, there is less financial 
incentive to mitigate. 

POLICY RESPONSE TO DATE: 
FOCUS ON NEHRP 

The federal government currently responds to the 
earthquake threat with a number of policies and 
programs. Its primary effort is NEHRP, estab- 
lished in 1 977 to "reduce the risks of life and prop- 
erty from future earthquakes in the U.S. . . ."^' 
This program combines the efforts of four federal 
agencies — the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), 
the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Fed- 
eral Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 
and the National Institute of Standards and 
Technology (NIST) — in an effort to reduce earth- 



quake risk through research, development, and 
implementation. 

This Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) 
report was prepared in response to a request by the 
House Committee on Science for use in reautho- 
rizing the NEHRP program. Therefore, it focuses 
on NEHRP. However, the federal government has 
a number of other policies and programs for ad- 
dressing earthquakes. Although these are largely 
response and recovery programs, they have some 
effect on mitigation. The principal federal disaster 
program is the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief 
and Emergency Assistance Act,^^ which autho- 
rizes the President to issue major disaster or emer- 
gency declarations, sets eligibility criteria, and 
specifies the types of assistance that federal agen- 
cies may offer. In the event of a presidentially de- 
clared disaster, the region becomes eligible for a 
number of programs, many of which are operated 
by FEMA. In the case of large disasters such as the 
1989 Loma Prieta and 1994 Northridge earth- 
quakes. Congress passed supplemental appropri- 
ations bills to fund FEMA and other agencies' 
disaster response programs. 

A number of federal agencies have earthquake 
mitigation research and implementation programs 
that deal with specific earthquake risks faced by 
these agencies. The Department of Veteran's Af- 
fairs, the Department of Energy, the Department 
of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmos- 
pheric Administration, and others conduct a wide 
range of earthquake-related research and mitiga- 
tion (see appendix B). 

Two recent executive orders address the earth- 
quake risk in federal buildings. Executive Order 
12699 (signed January 5, 1990) directs federal 
agencies to incorporate seismic safety measures in 
new federal buildings; Executive Order 12941 
(signed December 1 , 1 994) establishes standards 



21 Public Ljw 93- 124, Oct. 7. 1 977. as amended. 
"42U.S.C. 5l2l«jf^. 



47 



Chapter 1 Summary and Policy Options 113 



FIGURE 1-4: NEHRP Spending in 
:urrent and Constant Dollars. 1978-94 




Constant (1978) dollars 



1978 8082848688909294 
Fiscal year 



SOURCE Oflice o( Technology Assessment. 1995. leased on NEHRP 
Ixjdgetdata. 



for use by federal agencies in evaluating and retro- 
fitting existing federal buildings. 

I Brief Description Of NEHRP^ 

The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Pro- 
gram was enacted on October 7, 1977, and has 
been amended several times. The original law pro- 
vided authorizations only for USGS and NSF. 
Amendments in 1980 estabhshed FEMA as the 
lead agency, and extended authorizations to 
FEMA and to NIST. Amendments in 1990 clari- 
fied agency roles and set congressional reporting 
requirements. 

NEHRP actual spending has, in most years, 
been considerably lower than that authorized (fig- 
ure 1 -3) and has decreased in constant (real) dol- 
lars (figure I -4). 

There is no NEHRP agency or central office. 
Rather, NEHRP is a program in which four federal 
agencies— USGS, NSF. FEMA, and NIST— par- 



ticipate. Almost two-thirds of NEHRP funds go 
for earth science research — via USGS and NSF 

earth science programs (see figure 1-5). Fourteen 
percent is used for engineering research, and 21 
percent is used by FEMA, mostly for implementa- 
tion programs. (See figure 1-6 for data on how 
agency funding has changed over time.) 

U.S. Geological Survey 

USGS accounts for about half of NEHRP fund- 
ing — $49.9 million in fiscal year 1994. The ma- 
jority of USGS activities related to earthquakes 
are under the agency's Earthquake Hazards Re- 
duction Program, whose stated goals are: 

■ understanding the earthquake source; 

• determining earthquake potential; 

■ predicting the effects of earthquakes; and 

• using research results.^'* 



FIGURE 1-5: NEHRP Spending by Agency, 1994 




KEY USGS = U S Geological Survey, NSF > National Science Founda- 
tion. FEMA = Federal Emergency Management Agency. NIST = Nation- 
al Institute of Standards and Technology 

SOURCE Oftice of Technology Assessment. 1995. tesed on NEHRP 
tudgetdata. 



^ See afiiieiidu A of this report for > detailed history of NEHRP. 

" Rotien A. Pige e« il.. Gaaii, Oppornmiiits. and Priorities for the USGS Eanhtimike Hazards Reduction Program, U.S. Geological Sur- 
vey Cirailir ia79(Wishin{ton.DC: U.S. Govermnnit Printing Office, 1992). pp. 1-2. 



48 



141 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



FIGURE 1-6; NEHRP Spending by Agency, 1978-94 



NIST ^ NSF □ USGS □ FEMA 



iii 



a 



il 



'^'&''^ 



^ 



ill 



1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 
Fiscal year 

KEY: USGS = U S Geological Survey, NSF = National Science Foundalion, FEMA = Federal Emergency Management Agency, NIST = National Insti- 
tute ol Standards and Technology 
SOURCE Office ol Technology Assessment. 1995, tjased on NEHRP budget data 



More than two-thirds of its NEHRP funding is 
used internally — to support USGS scientists in re- 
gional programs, laboratory and field activities, 
national hazards assessment projects, and seismic 
network operations. The remainder is spent as 
grants to outside researchers for specific projects. 
In general, the internal work focuses more on ap- 
plying knowledge to describe hazards, while the 
external program emphasizes expanding and 
strengthening the base of scientific knowledge. 

National Science Foundation 

NSF accounts for about 27 percent of NfEHRP 
funding, 1 1 percent for earth science research and 
16 percent for engineering research. 

NSF awards grants directly to researchers for 
the study of earthquake sources, active tectonics, 
earthquake dating and paleoseismology, and shal- 
low crustal seismicity.^ The program also sup- 



ports a university consortium for seismological 
research and a southern California earthquake re- 
search center. Instrument-based seismology, tec- 
tonics, and geodesy received the bulk of the 
funding (together, about 90 percent) in recent 
years; paleoseismology and microzonation ef- 
forts, in contrast, constituted about 5 percent of 
the overall budget for individual awards. 

The NSF earthquake engineering budget can be 
divided into four major areas: support for the Na- 
tional Center for Earthquake Engineering Re- 
search (NCEER) in Buffalo, New York; 
geotechnical research (e.g., liquefaction and soil 
response); structural and mechanical research 
(e.g., active control systems and design methodol- 
ogies); and socioeconomic and planning research 
(e.g., cross-cultural hazard response studies and 
investigations of code enforcement). 



^ James Whilcomb, Direclor, Geophysics Program, National Science Foundation, personal commiinicaiion. Nov. 21.1 994. 



49 



Chapter 1 Summary and Policy Options 115 



TABLE 1 -1 : Wlaior Budget Components of FEMA, FY 1 993 



Approximate 

annual budget 

(million $) 



Examples 



Leadership 



Design and construc- 
tion standards 



State and local hazards 
reduction program 



Multihazard studies 



Federal response 
planning 



1 .3 User needs assessment. 

Small-business outreach program. 
NEHRP plans, reports, and coordination. 

5.0 Manual tor single-tamily building construction. 
Preparation of seismic design values 
Technical support for model codes 

6 1 Grants to states and cities for mitigation 

programs 
Grants to multistate consortia. 

1 . 1 Training in use of NEHRP provisions 
Dissemination of information on retrofit tech- 
niques 

1 .7 Loss estimation software development. 

Wind-resistant design techniques. 
9 Urban search and rescue 

National federal response 



SOURCE Federal Emergency Managemenl AgerK:y. Office of Earthquakes and Natural Hazards. 'Funds Tracking Re- 
port.' 1993 



Federal Emergency Management Agency 
reMA is the lead agency of NEHRP and has re- 
sponsibility for both overall coordination of the 
program and implementation of earthquake miti- 
gation measures.^* FEMA's activities in NEHRP 
are summarized in table I - 1 . 

National Institute of Standards 
and Technology 

MIST'S role in NEHRP has been largely in applied 
engineering research and code development. 



NIST's funding under NEHRP has been relatively 
low — less than $1 million annually until the 
1990s — so its NEHRP-related activities have 
been modest in size and scope. Current NEHRP- 
related work is varied and includes:^^ 

• applied engineering research, such as testing of 
building components: 

• technical support for model code adoption of 
the NEHRP Recommended Provisions;^* 

" technology transfer (support of conferences 
and meetings for engineering research); and 



^ This description of FEMA activities draws on Federal Emergency Management Agency, Building for the Future, NEHRP FY 1 99 1 -92 
Repoit to Congress (Washington, DC; E)ecemt>er 1992): Federal Emergency Management Agency, Preserving Resources Through Earihquoke 
Mitigation, NEHRP FY 1 993-94 Report to Congress (Wastiington. IX: December 1 994); and Federal Emergency Management Agency. Office 
of Einhqtilkes and Natural Hazards, •Funds Tracking Report FY I993.' 1993 

^ Inforaiabon drawn from Federal Emergency Management Agency, Preserving Resources Through Earthquake Mitigation, see foomote 



26. 



^ The lecomineiided prov 



document used by tnodel code developers. 



50 



161 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



HBHBB^BIHS 



iiaafg 



Earth science 



Engineering 



Implementation and 
technology transfer 



Underslanding the potential fof great coastal earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest 
Ability to determine earthquake locations and magnitudes instantaneously 
Long-term, probabilistic forecasts of earthquakes for the San Francisco Bay region. 
Instrumental recordings of liquefaction during strong ground shaking 
Availability of a strong-motion database- 
Improved understanding of fault behavior and ground motion propagation 
Paleoseismology 

Understanding of the role of local soil conditions in influencing ground motion. 
Improved techniques for nonlinear analysis of building components and structures. 
Advances m analytical and modeling techniques that permit seismic structure design on 
inexpensive computers 

Improved understanding of how structures behave under earthquake-induced stress- 
leading to better building codes in areas such as bracing systems for steel structures. 
Advances in new technologies, such as base isolation and active control. 
Better reliability and risk assessment techniques for lifelines and structures 
Improved disaster response planning from social science research that sheds light on, for 
example, cultural differences in perceptions of disaster. 

NEHRP provisions adopted by model codes. 
Handbooks for seismic retrofits. 

Information centers (information services at the National Center for Earthquake Engineering 
Research at the State University of New York at Buffalo, the Earthquake Engineering Re- 
search Center at the University of California, and the Natural Hazards Center at the Univer- 
sity of Colorado) 

Executive orders covering new and existing federal buildings. 
l\/1ultistate consortia. 



SOURCES Robert A Page el ai . Goals. Opportunilies. and Pnorilies lor the USGS Hazards Reduction Program. US Geological Survey Circjiar 
1 079 (Washington. DC U S Government Printing Office. 1992). p 5; and National Science Foundation, "Directions lof Research in the Next Decade," 
Report on a Workshop. June 1983 



• international cooperation (support of meetings 
and exchange programs with other countries). 

NEHRP CONTRIBUTIONS 
AND CHALLENGES 

I Contributions 

NEHRP has led to significant advances in our 
knowledge of both earth science and engineer- 
ing aspects of earthquake risk reduction (see 
table 1-2). For example, NEHRP has contributed 
to the following accomplishments: the seismic 
risk in the Pacific Northwest is better understood, 
structures can be built that are unlikely to collapse 
in an earthquake, and improved computer-based 



structure design tools are available. Although 
NEHRP is principally a research program, it has 
contributed to the implementation of earthquake 
mitigation as well. For example, we now have 
model building codes that reflect a national con- 
sensus on new building seismic design, as well as 
several interdisciplinary centers that work to 
translate research results into useful information 
for decisionmakers. 

Despite these successes, however, earthquakes 
still cause massive losses in the United States. The 
1994 Northridge earthquake caused more than 
$20 billion in losses, and scenarios of possible fu- 
ture U.S. earthquakes suggest that thousands of 
casualties and tens or even hundreds of billions of 



51 



Chapter 1 Summary and Policy Options 117 



dollars in losses may occur. Although there is no 
consensus on what level of loss is acceptable,^' 
there is clearly a significant remaining exposure to 
earthquake damage — due in large part to a failure 
to implement known technologies and practices. 
Although many communities, especially in 
California, have taken steps to mitigate earth- 
quake losses, a large gap still exists between what 
current knowledge says could be done and what 
actually is done. Addressing this implementa- 
tion gap is NEHRP's greatest challenge. 

I Implementation Gap 

When NEHRP began in 1977, the enabling legis- 
lation contained a number of objectives, including 
educating the public, ensuring the availability of 
earthquake insurance, and promoting seismic 
building codes and seismic considerations in 
land-use policy. However, actual funding was au- 
thorized only for USGS and NSF, to be used for 
earthquake-related research. Although in later 
years some funding was authorized for imple- 
mentation activities by FEMA, NEHRP has re- 
mained largely a research program. Currently, 
about 75 percent of the NEHRP budget is used for 
research. 

This historical focus on research can be under- 
stood in part by recognizing that NEHRP was 
founded at a time of great scientific optimism. 
Newly discovered principles of plate tectonics 
(see chapter 2) had led to great insights into earth- 
quake mechanisms and many believed that short- 
term earthquake prediction would soon become a 



reality. This prediction capability was thought 
sufficient to motivate widespread mitigation ac- 
tion. Therefore, NEHRP was given neither regula- 
tory teeth nor significant financial incentives to 
promote mitigation. Instead, the program aimed 
to develop a body of knowledge from which local 
and state authorities and the private sector would 
draw. Since then, however, prediction has proved 
more elusive than originally thought, and the orig- 
inal role of NEHRP as a source of knowledge from 
which decisionmakers would eagerly draw is now 
seen by many as insufficient, due to the lack of 
regulations or incentives to implement the knowl- 
edge. This has contributed to the current situation 
of an implementation gap. 

Examples of this implementation gap include 
the following: 

■ An assessment of California's mitigation status 
found, "we still have many earthquake-vulner- 
able buildings . . . it's now possible to avoid 
seismically hazardous areas and build earth- 
quake-resistant structures, but too often the in- 
formation needed is not used."^" 

• Many states in moderate risk areas do not have 
state seismic codes. ^' 

■ In those states that do have codes, many coun- 
ties are not even aware of their existence. ^^ 

■ Even when codes are adopted, they may not 
coverall buildings — for example, they may ex- 
empt single-family dwellings.'^ 

■ A recent study concluded, "Even in California, 
many localities consider seismic risks in only 
the most rudimentary manner."^'* 



^ Although no losses would seem desirable, achieving this would be cither impossible or impraclically expensive. 

*• California Seismic Safety Commission. Co/z/ormo a/ Rij*. 1994 Status Repon. SSC 94-01 (Sacramento, CA 1 994). p. I 

" R. Olshansky. 'Earthquake Hazard Mitigation in the Central United States A Progress Report, " in Proceedings of the Fifih U.S. Nahonal 
Conference on Earthquake Engineering. July 10-14. 1994, Chicago IL (Oakland. CA : Earthquake Engineering Research Insitute, 1994). p. 
991. 

"Ibid. 

'^ The building code in Paducah. Kentucky, for example, exempts single-family dwellings; unanchored foundations are common, VSP 
Associates. Inc.. ■Suie and Local Efforts To Reduce Earthquake Losses. " contractor report prepared for the Office of Technology Assessment. 
December 1994. p. III-9. 

5* P. Betke and T. Bealley. Planning for Earthquakes (Baltimore. MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. 1992). 



52 



18 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 




Natural Hazards Observer January 1995 



The gap between knowledge (understanding) and 
implementation can be daunting 



If NEHRP continues along a similar path — 
a focus on research, with a relatively small ef- 
fort to promote implementation-'^ — then we 
will likely see advances in earthquake-related 
earth science and engineering continue to out- 
pace the implementation of new knowledge. 

I Additional Challenges 

The implementation gap is a key issue for 
NEHRP. However the program faces several addi- 
tional challenges as well. These include a lack of 
specific goals and strategies, differing expecta- 
tions by different groups, tensions between basic 
and applied research, and the inherent limitations 
of NEHRP's information-only approach to earth- 
quake mitigation. 

Goals and Strategies 

In recent years, NEHRP has been criticized for its 
lack of concrete goals and strategies: 



• A 1991 study found that, "federal agency de- 
scriptions of NEHRP ... do not provide much 
sense of an overall strategy."-'^ 

■ In hearings for the 1993 reauthorization, wit- 
nesses commented, "[NEHRP's] fragmented, 
four-agency suiicture has contributed to an in- 
ability to define program and budgetary priori- 
ties and achieve realistic, well-coordinated 
goals."^^ 

• A 1993 congressional report accompanying 
NEHRP reauthorization legislation noted, 
"long-standing concerns about NEHRP — (in- 
cluding] lack of an overall strategic plan."^* 
Although the NEHRP authorizing legislation 

sets broad overall objectives for the program, ac- 
tual NEHRP spending by the agencies involved 
does not suggest any unified multiagency agree- 
ment on specific goals, strategies, or priorities. In 
the absence of clear goals and strategies, each 
agency's NEHRP activities have evolved into a 
portfolio that reflects that agency's missions and 
priorities, rather than strong multiagency agree- 
ment. In addition, this lack of agreement on goals 
and strategies makes judging the impact or suc- 
cess of the overall program difficult, since there 
are few criteria by which to measure performance. 

Differing Expectations 

Different groups have different expectations from 
NEHRP. In the absence of clear goals and strate- 
gies, these differing expectations make allocating 
NEHRP's scarce resources difficult. 

The earth science research community is con- 
cerned with the state of knowledge of earth- 
quakes. In its view, earthquakes are a poorly 
understood natural phenomenon. TTius, better un- 
derstanding of earthquakes — why and how they 



" Currenlly NEHRP, through FEMA, does have some programs to promote implementation, but these are generally quite small. Forexam- 
ple. f^MA's program to support state and local mitigation efforts is funded at about S6 million annually or, given 39 states that face a reasonable 
seismic risk, at about $ 1 50,000 per slate. 

^ P. May, "Addressing t*ublic Risks: Federal Earthquake Policy Design," Journal of Policy Analysn and Management, vol. 10. No. 2. p. 
270. 

^' U.S. Congress, House Committee on Science. Space, and Technology. Subcommittee on Science, hearing. Sept, 14. 1993. p. 20. 

^ U.S. Congress. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, "Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act Reauthorization," Nov. 15, 
1993. p. 6. 



53 



Chapter 1 Summary and Policy Options 1 19 



occur, and when and what type of earthquakes are 
Hkely to occur in the future — is an important com- 
ponent of reducing earthquake losses. This com- 
munity would like NEHRP to be a source of 
funding for research and data collection that 
could, in the long term, help reduce such losses. 

The engineering research community is con- 
cerned with how the built environment — build- 
ings, bridges, dams, and so forth — is damaged in 
earthquakes and how these structures should be 
built so as to reduce losses. It sees the need for im- 
provement in the current understanding of struc- 
tural response to earthquakes, and considers 
engineering research an important component of 
reducing earthquake losses. Much like thc-«arth 
science research community, this group is con- 
cerned with the amount of funding NEHRP can 
provide for research. 

State and local government officials concerned 
with earthquakes, in contrast, would like NEHRP 
to provide products to help them reduce risk. State 
highway agencies, for example, would like tech- 
nical assistance in prioritizing and conducting ret- 
rofits of highway bridges. City planners would 
like detailed maps showing liquefaction and land- 
slide potential to help determine where and how to 
guide development. Local code enforcement offi- 
cials would like software to help determine code 
compliance. Emergency managers would benefit 
from methods to ensure that critical facilities 
(such as hospitals and emergency communication 
systems) survive earthquakes. 

The practicing engineering and design commu- 
nity would like NEHRP to provide information on 
the earthquake-related issues it faces: how to de- 
sign safe buildings at low cost, what specific types 
of ground motion to expect and when, and what 
levels of retrofit protection to provide. 

The public generally is unaware of or uninter- 
ested in NEHRP; however some individuals con- 
cerned with reducing earthquake risk have needs 
that could be met by the program. Some large 
companies and institutions have risk managers 
whose responsibilities include earthquakes; these 
individuals would like tools to help them reduce 
risk, such as information on expected ground mo- 
tion and likely damage, and methods for retrofit 



prioritization. Electric and gas utilities would like 
technical assistance in determining risk, and in 
prioritizing and conducting retrofits. Some re- 
gions have community and grassroots groups con- 
cerned with earthquake risks; these groups would 
like pamphlets, workbooks, and other material to 
help inform the public. The media are often inter- 
ested in information after an earthquake: how big 
was the earthquake, where was the epicenter, and 
what is the probability of significant aftershocks? 
The.se different perspectives on NEHRP's 
function — each valid and sincere in its own right 
— pull the program in different directions. These 
pulls — between research versus implementation, 
basic versus applied research, and earth science 
versus engineering — complicate the allocation of 
NEHRP's finite resources, and can only be re- 
solved through the setting of clear program goals. 

Tensions Between Basic 
and Applied Research 

NEHRP currently supports a range of research, 
from basic studies on how faults move to applied 
work in testing building components. (See appen- 
dix B for a full description of NEHRP's research 
and development (R&D) portfolio.) Tension ex- 
ists over the appropriate levels of support for these 
different activities. Some argue that certain press- 
ing short-term needs, if met, would yield signifi- 
cant social benefits. Others point out that basic 
research is required to continue to advance the 
knowledge base and that this work will not be 
done without federal support. 

It is useful to recognize that the distinction be- 
tween "basic" and "applied" is better seen as a 
continuum and that work at all levels is potentially 
useful. In addition, across this continuum runs the 
need for data collection, which can also demand 
significant R&D resources. 

Information Alone Has Its Limits 

NEHRP's approach to reducing earthquake losses 
can be thought of as supplying information on 
earthquake risks and possible countermeasures to 
those who may wish to mitigate. By supplying 
this information, the program hopes to motivate 



54 



20 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



individuals, organizations, and local and state 
governments toward action while providing 
guidelines on how to proceed. This approach im- 
plicitly assumes that the interest or incentive for 
mitigation is sufficient for people to act on such 
information. However, the frequent lack of miti- 
gation activity often reflects not a lack of informa- 
tion, but a lack of interest or incentives to take 
action. Information alone will not result in 
widespread implementation. Whether or not the 
federal government should play a role in ensuring 
that there are sufficient incentives for imple- 
mentation is a sensitive policy question that is dis- 
cussed below. In any case, NEHRP's approach of 
supplying only information limits the program's 
impact. 

POLICY OPTIONS 

NEHRP reauthorization offers an opportunity for 
Congress to consider what it wants to accomplish 
with NEHRP and how it wishes the program to 
proceed. A key decision is whether to maintain the 
current federal role of research sponsor and in- 
formation provider or to change the federal role 
through, for example, changes in federal disaster 
policy, insurance, or regulation. As discussed 
above, NEHRP has had numerous research ac- 
complishments and has made significant con- 
tributions to earthquake knowledge; it has 
become clear that taking action based on this 
knowledge is a key challenge for the future. 
Significant changes in the federal role could po- 
tentially help close this knowledge-implementa- 
tion gap. However, increasing the federal role 
would be controversial. Furthermore, doing so 
would represent a significant shift in NEHRP and 
would require the participation of additional con- 
gressional committees. 

Three types of policy options are discussed here: 
1. Specific activities undertaken by NEHRP. 
The Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) 
identifies key research and implementation 
needs that NEHRP could address within its cur- 
rent scope. Addressing these while maintaining 
the current portfolio would require increased 
funding. 



2. Management and operational changes in 

NEHRP These could allow NEHRP to be a 
more efficient, coordinated, and productive 
program. 

3. Changes to federal disaster assistance and 
insurance, regulation, and financial incen- 
tives. These would be necessary if Congress 
decides that the federal government should take 
greater responsibility for the implementation 
of NEHRP-produced knowledge. They are out- 
side the current scope of NEHRP and would 
represent a significant change in direction for 
the program. 

I NEHRP Portfolio Changes 

NEHRP currently supports earth science research, 
engineering research, and implementation sup- 
port and promotion. In each of these areas OTA 
has identified specific topics needing further 
attention. 

Earth Science Research 

Earth science research can help to reduce earth- 
quake-caused deaths, injuries, and other losses by: 

■ narrowing the uncertainty of when and where 
large earthquakes will occur; 

■ estimating, as accurately as possible, the ex- 
pected ground motions, ground failure, and 
other effects that will occur in future earth- 
quakes; and 

• developing maps of these seismic hazards for 
use by engineers, land-use planners, and emer- 
gency managers. 

Historically, NEHRP has focused on basic 
research that contributes primarily to the first 
objective and, to a much lesser degree, on dis- 
seminating research results to the public. In large 
part, this is due to the absence of clear goals or 
strategies for the program, an issue discussed in 
greater detail in a following section. Without con- 
sensus on programmatic goals, NEHRP's earth 
science R&D portfolio has been strongly in- 
fluenced by the values and concerns of the agen- 
cies supporting it — NSF and USGS — both of 
which have strong research orientations. Basic re- 
search into fundamental earth processes (e.g., how 



55 



Chapter 1 Summary and Policy Options 1 21 



do earthquakes begin and propagate) dominates 
the research supported by NSF under NEHRP. 
uses supports research that is generally more ap- 
plied than that of NSF (e.g., developing and dis- 
tributing detailed maps showing expected ground 
motions), but conducts and sponsors some basic 
research as well. With NEHRP funding, NSF and 
USGS also support seismic monitoring networks 
and other data collection efforts related to earth- 
quake research and seismic hazard assessment. 

If Congress views NEHRP's earth science acti- 
vities as primarily a means of providing long-term 
benefits (e.g., enhancing fundamental under- 
standing of earth processes such that uncertainties 
in the timing, location, and magnitude of future 
earthquakes can be reduced), retaining the current 
concentration in more basic research would be ap- 
propriate. This work has yielded new insight into, 
for example, the relationship between plate de- 
formation and earthquakes, the mechanics of fault 
rupture, and the sources of some intraplate 
quakes. In time, this research may narrow the un- 
certainties in future earthquake location, timing, 
and effects. 

Today, however, knowledge of seismic hazards 
in many U.S. metropolitan areas remains very 
limited. Outside of coastal California and a few 
other cities (e.g.. Salt Lake City, Memphis, Port- 
land, and Seattle), assessing and mapping earth- 
quake hazards is proceeding very slowly. If 
Congress believes that NEHRP should now place 
more emphasis on near-term applications of data 
and research results to risk assessment (e.g., mi- 
crozonation), then NEHRP's earth science portfo- 
lio should include a greater share of activities that 
meet these goals. 

Engineering Research 

Knowledge of how to design and build structures 
to reduce earthquake-induced losses has im- 
proved tremendously. However the problem is far 
from solved. The 1 994 Northridge earthquake oc- 




Tsunamis are an infrequent bui Jj 
earthquakes. 




curred in the area of the United States that is prob- 
ably the most well prepared; nevertheless, the 
quake caused dozens of deaths and more than $20 
billion in losses. Scenarios of future earthquakes 
suggest that large losses are likely. 

Greater use of existing knowledge, practices, 
and technologies could reduce these losses. For 
example, the collapse of the 1-880 elevated high- 
way in the 1 989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which 
caused the deaths of 42 people, could have been 
prevented with the use of known retrofit technolo- 
gies.'' The implementation (or lack thereoO of 
these technologies to date has been determined 



^' U.S- Congress. Genera) Accounting Office, "t-oma Pricia Eaithquake: Collapse of the Bay Bridge and the Cypress Viaduct," G AO/ 
RCED-90-177. June 1990. p 2 



56 



22 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 




Many older buildings are vulnerable to structural collapse 

largely by economic, behavioral, institutional, 
and other factors — not by the state of current 
knowledge. 

Nevertheless, additional knowledge could 
have several benefits. First, although our under- 
standing of how to build new su-uctures to resist 
seismic damage is good, it is far from perfect (e.g., 
the steel weld failures in modem buildings in the 
Northridge earthquake, discussed in chapter 3). 
Second, most of the financial losses in recent 
earthquakes were not due to building collapse. 
Rather, they resulted from structural, nonstructur- 
al, and contents damage — areas that could benefit 
from further research. Third, much of the casualty 
risk lies in existing structures, and retrofit meth- 
ods are just now being refined and standardized. 
More research into improving retrofits could re- 
duce this risk. Fourth, to the extent that the upfront 
costs of mitigation reduce implementation, re- 
search that reduces these costs could lead to great- 
er implementation. 

New buildings 

A new building that meets current seismic build- 
ing codes will be very resistant to collapse due to 
earthquakes. This is a great technical accomplish- 
ment in which NEHRP played a considerable role. 
Since this has been achieved, it is time to consider 
moving some resources to the next research chal- 



lenge: reducing structural, nonstructural, and 
contents damage. Possible areas of research in- 
clude: 

■ data collection and analysis of structural, non- 
structural, and contents damage from recent 
earthquakes; 

■ analytical methods to measure and predict such 
damage; 

• guidelines for designing lighting, electrical, 
water, and other systems so as to minimize seis- 
mic damage; 

• building codes that address structural, non- 
structural, and contents damage; and 

■ new technologies — notably active and passive 
control (see chapter 3) — that can reduce this 
damage. 

Existing buildings 

Much of the risk of both structural collapse and 
nonstructural and contents damage lies in existing 
buildings, which do not incorporate current codes 
and knowledge. Relatively few of these buildings 
have been retrofitted to reduce risk, and where ret- 
rofits have been performed they have often been 
expensive, complex, and of uncertain benefit. Al- 
though NEHRP has made progress in understand- 
ing and improving retrofits (e.g., through FEMA's 
existing buildings program), more research is 
needed to improve retrofit methods. 

The first area of research for existing build- 
ings should be to better understand their vul- 
nerability. Laboratory and field experiments, and 
collection and analysis of data on how buildings 
respond in earthquakes, are needed. Improved 
tools to determine risk in existing buildings — 
such as nondestructive evaluation techniques — 
are needed as well. A second area is the 
development of low-cost standardized retrofit 
techniques. Standardized methods, such as those 
contained in codes for new construction, would 
reduce costs and could allow for multiple levels of 
safety to account for different risk preferences. A 
third research area is to extend retrofits to non- 
structural and contents damage reduction. 



57 



Chapter 1 Summary and Policy Options 123 



Lifelines 

Lifelines are expensive to repair, and service inter- 
ruptions, which are at best inconvenient and at 
times deadly, may result in large economic losses. 
The lack of an accepted national standard for the 
design and construction of lifelines raises costs 
and reduces performance. Although the 1990 
NEHRP reauthorization directed that FEMA and 
NIST work together to develop a plan for develop- 
ing and adopting design and construction stan- 
dards for lifelines by June 30, 1992, as of May 
1995 no such plan had been submitted to Con- 
gress. 

Much of the life safety risk associated with life- 
lines lies in existing facilities. Research is needed 
to develop methods to better determine the risks in 
existing facilities, to prioritize retrofits, and to re- 
duce retrofit costs. Low-cost, easy-to-use proce- 
dures to analyze lifelines for weak links would 
help to ensure their continued function in earth- 
quakes. 

Implementation of Mitigation 

NEHRP supports mitigation several ways: 
through technical support of state and local ef- 
forts, through research to better understand the 
implementation process, and through knowledge 
transfer efforts. Some promising directions that 
could improve these activities are discussed be- 
low. 

Perhaps the most promising implementation 
activity is to directly assist communities in their 
efforts to understand earthquake risk and to devise 
mitigation options. In particular, it is critical that 
communities be given analytic tools to estimate 
likely losses in the event of a future earthquake 
and to predict the likely benefits of mitigation. 
At present, it is difficult to quantify these basic pa- 
rameters, and this absence inhibits vigorous ac- 
tion at all mitigation levels. Fortunately recent 
advances in computers — and specifically in geo- 
graphical information systems — suggest that it 



will soon be possible to provide local decision- 
makers with highly detailed and specific informa- 
tion on seismic risks, even on a sf>ecific building 
level. FEMA is now supporting an effort to make 
these regional loss estimation tools available to 
local govemments. TTiis is a promising direction 
that could reduce considerably the uncertainty in 
risk. These tools often require large amounts of 
detailed data on local land-use patterns and build- 
ing stock; communities need help in defining data 
needs and collecting data as well. User training 
may also be needed. 

Better evaluation of FEMA implementation 
programs is needed. Very few of these programs 
have been evaluated carefuPy in the past, leaving 
current program planners with little guidance as to 
what works, what does not work, and why. All 
mitigation programs should be evaluated careful- 
ly, and the results should be used to improve, refo- 
cus, or — if necessary — terminate programs. 

Because individual local "advocates" can play 
a powerful role in fostering and maintaining com- 
munity interest in mitigation, efforts to create or 
assist advocates are potentially quite useful. The 
federal government can support advocates by 
identifying and working closely with them to en- 
sure their access to the latest mitigation informa- 
tion and analysis tools. 

Media and public outreach activities can have a 
powerful indirect effect. The more publicity there 
is concerning earthquakes, the more likely that ad- 
vocates will arise and act. Public interest in earth- 
quakes largely depends on how recently a major 
quake last occurred, so preparing outreach materi- 
als to take advantage of disaster "windows" is a 
prudent measure. The advantage of this outreach 
is that it is relatively inexpensive and can be very 
effective.''*^ 

To complement activities on the seismic front, 
efforts could be made to incorporate seismic im- 
plementation into a larger "all-hazards" frame- 
work. Much of the nonstructural preparation 



^ The disadvantage is thai in places where desmictive seismic activity is extremely infrequent (e.g., the U.S. east coast), these windows are 
rarely open. 



58 



24 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



THE FAR SIDE 



By GARY LARSON 







\\^^\V■' 



is,.,. 





Some areas ot the U S are threatened by a variety of natural 
hazards (The Far Side cartoon by Gary Larson is reprinted 
by permission of Chronicle Features. San Francisco. CA All 
rights reserved) 



required for seismic mitigation (e.g., predisaster 
emergency planning) is useful in the event of fire, 
flood, wind storm, or other natural disasters, and 
can thus gain in political and economic attractive- 
ness when viewed in a larger context. 

In addition to direct support for implementa- 
tion, NEHRP also supports some research into the 
behavioral, social, and economic aspects of miti- 
gation. Further research of this type could im- 
prove our understanding of some key questions 
that currently hinder mitigation. Examples of spe- 
cific questions that NEHRP could address include 
the following: 
■ How do flnancial and other incentives affect 

mitigation behavior? To what extent is insur- 



ance and the expectation of federal disaster re- 
lief currently a disincentive for mitigation? 

■ How is NEHRP-generated information (e.g., 
hazard maps and building seismic response 
data) used by the mitigation community? How 
should this information be presented to ensure 
its appropriate and productive use? 

■ How well have NEHRP-supported information 
and technology u-ansfer efforts worked? What 
contributed to their successes and failures, and 
what does this suggest for future efforts? 

The answers to these questions could help im- 
prove the next generation of NEHRP-supported 
implementation programs. 

The four NEHRP agencies have put increasing 
effort into "knowledge transfer" — institutions 
and procedures that promote the delivery of useful 
information to decisionmakers. For example, 
NEHRP funds several "centers" that emphasize 
matching research to user needs and ensuring re- 
search results are provided in a useful form to de- 
cisionmakers. NEHRP also supports several 
information services that provide research results 
to interested users, as well as multistate consortia 
that coordinate state activities and facilitate com- 
munication between researchers and users. 

The implementation gap discussed above sug- 
gests that these efforts be continued and expand- 
ed. Options for expansion include increasing 
funding for knowledge transfer programs, requir- 
ing utilization plans for applied research projects, 
and establishing formal utilization criteria for 
evaluating applied research proposals."" All such 
efforts should be evaluated carefully and regu- 
larly. 

Allocating NEHRP Funding 

Current NEHRP funding is about $100 million 
annually. The ideal method to determine appropri- 
ate funding levels would be to consider the costs 
and benefits of future NEHRP spending. Al- 
though the direct costs are clear — simply the pro- 



*' A detailed discussion of options for increasing the use of applied research can Ije found in Applied Technology Council. Enhancing the 
Transfer ofUSGS Research Results into Engineering Practice. ATC-35 (Redwood City, CA 1994) 



59 



Chapter 1 Summary and Policy Options 125 



jected funding — the benefits are not. Much of 
NEHRP funding is for research, and the results of 
research — greater understanding — are not easily 
quantified. NEHRP's spending for implementa- 
tion should be somewhat easier to evaluate. How- 
ever, as noted above, past implementation 
programs have not been evaluated in a systematic 
way; thus there is little guidance on the likely 
benefits of future spending. Improved evalua- 
tion would provide guidance for deciding 
funding levels and allocations. 

NEHRP spending, both in allocation and in to- 
tal, should reflect national priorities. Basic con- 
ceptual earth science research enhances our 
understanding and will likely, in the long term, 
translate into better mitigation. Engineering re- 
search can produce more immediate benefits. Im- 
plementation programs, such as FEMA's state and 
local grants, can have immediate impacts. The 
current NEHRP portfolio is tilted strongly toward 
earth science research: 64 percent of NEHRP 
spending is under USGS and NSF earth science. If 
Congress would like NEHRP to emphasize im- 
proving basic knowledge, and thus provide longer 
term societal benefits, then the present mix is ap- 
propriate. If, however. Congress would like 
NEHRP to produce more immediate societal risk 
reduction, then a tilt toward engineering and im- 
plementation would be appropriate. 

I Structural and Operational Changes 

Policy options related to the structure and opera- 
lions of NEHRP include changes to improve pro- 
gram coordination, changes in the lead agency, 
and improvements in cross-agency coordination. 



Program Coordination 

Overall program coordination and the selection 
and role of the lead agency in NEHRP have been 
problematic since the program began.'*^ Initial 
NEHRP legislation directed the President to se- 
lect a lead agency, and the 1 980 reauthorization 
designated FEMA as the lead agency. Since then, 
evaluations of and hearings on NEHRP have often 
criticized FEMA's management and coordination 
of the program. Examples of this criticism in- 
clude: 

• a 1983 General Accounting Office report that 
noted, "FEMA needs to provide stronger guid- 
ance and direction";*^ 

" the Senate report accompanying the 1 990 reau- 
thorization that noted, "the need to improve 
coordination of the agencies in the program";** 

• hearings for the 1993 reauthorization in which 
witnesses commented on, "the diffusion of re- 
sponsibility inherent in four different federal 
agencies attempting to implement NEHRP"; *^ 

■ a 1993 congressional report that noted, "insuf- 
ficient coordination among the [NEHRP] agen- 
cies to shape a unified, coherent program."^ 
Coordination is difficult to measure. OTA's 
meetings and discussions with NEHRP agencies, 
and its reviews of NEHRP activities, did not un- 
cover any glaring examples of poor coordination. 
NEHRP staff in each agency were aware of activi- 
ties in other agencies; they had frequent informal 
contact with each other and made efforts to keep 
one another informed of changes and findings. 
FEMA has produced congressionally mandated 



*^ See David W. Cheiwy. Congressional Research Service, The National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program." 89-473 SPR. Aug. 9, 
1 9S9; U.S. Congress, General Accounting OfTice. "Stronger Diiection Needed for ihe National Earthquake Program." GAO/RCED-83- 103, 
July 1983. and VSP Associates Inc., To Save Lives and Protect Properly, ' Report for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 
FEMA-lSI.July 1989 

^' General Accounting Office, sec footnote 42, p. 7. 

** U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Commerce. Science, and Transportation. National Earthquake ttazards Reduction Program Reau- 
thorization Act. Repon 101 •446. (Washington, DC; Aug. 9. 1990). p. 3. 
*^ House Subcommittee on Science, see foomote 37. 
* House Committee on Science. Space, and Technology. "Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act Reauthorization." see footnote 38. 



60 



26 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



reports and plans thai describe the NEHRP pro- 
grams in detail. 

As discussed above, however, actual NEHRP 
spending by the agencies does not suggest any 
overall multiagency agreement on specific goals, 
strategies, or priorities, but suggests instead a 
loosely coordinated confederation of agencies. In 
the absence of clear goals and strategies, each 
agency's NEHRP activities reflect that 
agency's missions and priorities rather than a 
strong multiagency agreement. This lack of 
agreement on goals and strategies also makes it 
difficult to judge the impact or success of the over- 
all program, because there are no criteria by which 
to measure performance. In OTA's view, coor- 
dination must be preceded by agreement on 
specific goals and priorities — and such agree- 
ment is largely lacking. 

One policy option is for FEMA, as lead agency, 
to work with the NEHRP agencies and the profes- 
sional earthquake community to come up with 
specific goals and priorities for NEHRP. An ex- 
ample of such a goal is to have 80 percent of new 
building construction incorporate the seismic 
knowledge represented in today's model codes by 
2005. Defining such goals would not be easy and 
would have to address the difficult issue of accept- 
able risk. Congress could require FEMA to report 
on progress toward defining and meeting these 
goals. Since raMA has no explicit budgetary or 
other control over the other agencies that partici- 
pate in NEHRP, Congress may wish to provide 
oversight to ensure that all these agencies work to- 
ward defining and meeting the agreed-on goals. 

The Lead Agency 

The continuing congressional dissatisfaction with 
FEMA's management and coordination of 
NEHRP has led some to consider transferring lead 
agency responsibility from FEMA to another 



agency. OTA's finding thai implementation is 
emerging as NEHRP's key challenge, however, 
suggests that, of the four principal NEHRP agen- 
cies, FEMA appears to be the most appropriate 
lead agency. FEMA has the most direct responsi- 
bility for reducing losses from natural disasters; it 
is in direct contact with state, local, and private 
sector groups responsible for reducing earthquake 
risks; it has a management rather than research 
mission; and it coordinates regularly with other 
agencies in carrying out its mission. The other 
NEHRP agencies are principally involved in re- 
search and, therefore, may find it difficult to de- 
velop the strong implementation component 
necessary to lead the program. In addition, FEMA 
has recently shown a stronger commitment to mit- 
igation, as evidenced by its proposed National 
Mitigation Strategy.'*^ One policy option would 
be to allow FEMA to continue as lead agency, but 
to provide frequent oversight to ensure that lead 
agency responsibilities are met. 

Coordinating with Non-NEHRP Agencies 

Although NEHRP is the government's central 
earthquake program, a significant fraction of fed- 
eral spending on earthquake mitigation occurs not 
within the four NEHRP agencies, but in other 
agencies that both sponsor research and imple- 
ment earthquake mitigation. The Department of 
Veterans Affairs, the Department of Energy, the 
Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics 
and Space Administration, the National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration, and other feder- 
al agencies conduct a wide range of earthquake-re- 
lated research and mitigation (see appendix B). 
Although there is no unified federal earthquake 
budget, federal non-NEHRP earthquake spending 
probably far exceeds the $100 million NEHRP 
budget.*^ Despite this wealth of activity, there are 
few formal structures for coordinating non- 



*^ The National Mitigation Strategy, uttder development by FEMA. is an effon to increase attention on mitigation a 
demand for disaster response resources. 

^ The last budget dau were for the period ending in 1987. Cheney, see footnote 42. p. 20. 



61 



Chapter 1 Summary and Policy Options 127 



NEHRP federal efforts.'" Improved coordination 
across all agencies would be useful. For example, 
it could allow one agency to serve as a demonstra- 
tion site for a technology developed with NSF 
funding, or enable agencies to share data on 
ground motion or retrofit techniques. 

Ensuring multiagency coordination is chal- 
lenging. The first step in doing so could be to pro- 
mote a thoughtful combination of improved 
information sharing and incentives for coordina- 
tion. Examples might include: 

• establishing a "Federal Agency Earthquake 
Activities" home page on the Internet, hosted 
by FEMA; 

• sharing employees across agencies (e.g., a 
NIST seismic design researcher could spend 
one month as a "visiting scholar" to assist the 
Department of Veterans' Affairs in retrofitting 
hospitals); and 

■ encouraging agencies implementing seismic 
technologies to communicate with NSF- and 
NIST-funded researchers working on these 
technologies, to ensure their appropriate use or 
to demonstrate new and innovative approaches. 
More aggressive actions to ensure multiagency 

coordination include: 

■ requiring the NEHRP lead agency to maintain 
a database with information on all federal 
agency earthquake-related activities, and to 
make this database available electronically to 
agencies and to state and local governments; 

• requiring all agencies with earthquake activi- 
ties to participate in the goal-setting process 
proposed above; or 

• requiring the submission of an annual budget 
laying out all earthquake-related agency activi- 
ties. 



I Beyond the Current NEHRP 

Congress could consider other policy options that 
are outside the scope of NEHRP as currently de- 
signed. This section discusses three areas in which 
policy change could be considered: insurance and 
federal disaster relief regulation, and incen- 
tives.^*' The policy options discussed here have 
the potential to significantly increase imple- 
mentation — something NEHRP, in its current 
form, is unlikely to accomplish. However, these 
options would likely require new legislation and 
would be a significant departure from current 
policy. They would also be quite controversial. 

In considering these options, a central issue is 
what is the appropriate role of the federal gov- 
ernment in disaster mitigation? Some argue that 
increased investment in mitigation by the federal 
government would save money by reducing future 
disaster outlays. Others argue that the very exis- 
tence of federal disaster assistance programs 
creates disincentives for mitigation. Still others 
argue that mitigation tools, notably land-use plan- 
ning and building regulation, are state and local is- 
sues in which an increased federal role is 
inappropriate. These arguments involve different 
political and philosophical beliefs. OTA does not 
attempt to resolve them. 

Insurance and Federal Disaster Assistance 

The issue of insurance and federal disaster assist- 
ance — and specifically, what role, if any, the fed- 
eral government should play in earthquake 
insurance (or natural hazards insurance in gener- 
al) — is complex and contentious. Several bills to 
set up a comprehensive federal disaster insurance 
program were introduced in the 103d Congress 
(none were passed), and others have been or are 



^ Many federal agencies participate in a multiagency group known as the Interagency Committee on Seismic Safety in Construction, set up 
to establish and implement standards for federal construction and retrofit. Some agencies also participate in the Subcommittee on Natural Disas- 
ter Reduction, under the National Science and Technology Council. 

^ Much of this section applies to federal policy toward other natural disasters as well, such as floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. 



62 



281 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



expected to be introduced in the 104ih Congress. 
Other bills propose changes in federal disaster as- 
sistance; for example, one bill proposes giving 
stales financial responsibility for natural disas- 
ters. Congressional interest in disaster insurance 
is motivated largely by the recent string of natural 
disasters in the United States, and the fact that, in 
fiscal years 1992 to 1994, Congress passed $10.8 
billion in supplemental appropriations for natural 
disasters.^' 

Among the issues involved in this debate are: 

■ Equity. Is it "fair" for natural disaster losses to 
be covered by the U.S. Treasury? To what ex- 
tent should those at risk pay for their own 
losses? Should the federal government pay for 
the noninsured and underinsured? Should natu- 
ral disaster insurance be required for those at 
risk? 

■ Insurance industry financial health. Can the 
insurance industry survive a series of large dis- 
asters? Should the federal government have a 
formal mechanism to provide secondary insur- 
ance to the industry? 

■ Mitigation. What is the relationship between 
insurance or disaster assistance and mitigation? 

■ Appropriate roles. What are the appropriate 
roles of the federal government, state regula- 
tors, and the private insurance industry in natu- 
ral disaster funding? 

The following discussion focuses on the rela- 
tionship between insurance or disaster assistance 
and mitigation. Readers interested in other aspects 
of insurance are referred elsewhere.^^ 



Insurance and disaster assistance can be a ve- 
hicle for mitigation, as well as a disincentive 
against mitigation, depending on how the pro- 
gram is structured. At its simplest, an insurance 
program — whether private or public — can simply 
require mitigation as a condition of insurance. For 
example, the federally subsidized national flood 
insurance program requires, as a condition of re- 
ceiving insurance coverage, that the lowest floor 
of a new structure be above the base flood level.'^ 
In the case of earthquakes, insurance might re- 
quire a basic level of seismic safety, or might not 
be offered for structures built in high-risk areas 
such as landslide-prone hills. This approach is 
complicated by the fact that relatively few resi- 
dences are covered by earthquake insurance; re- 
quiring mitigation would most likely further 
reduce this number. One solution is a mandatory 
insurance program, where owners of structures at 
risk are required to purchase insurance. Structures 
in high-hazard flood areas, for example, are re- 
quired to have insurance if federal loans or grants 
were involved in building or buying the struc- 
ture.^'* 

Insurance can also promote mitigation by hav- 
ing rates reflect risk.'^ Much as drivers who have 
had accidents pay more for automobile insurance, 
structures that are located in high-risk areas or that 
do not incorporate accepted seismic design prin- 
ciples can be charged more (or be subject to higher 
deductibles or lower coverage limits) for earth- 
quake insurance. This approach is limited by the 
fact that earthquake insurance is voluntary and 



5 ' For comparison, the total supptementa] appropriations from 1 974 to 1 99 1 was $4.4 billion. U.S. Congress. Congressional Research Ser- 
vice. -reMA and Disaster Relief." 95-378 GOV. Mar. 6. 1995. p. 10. 

5^ See. e.g.. U.S. Congrtss, Congressional Research Service. "Natural Hazard Risk and Insurance: The Policy Issues." 94-542E. July 5. 
1994; U.S. Congress. Congressionat Budget Office. "The Economic Impact of a Solvency Crisis in the Insurance Industry." April 1994; Federal 
Emeigcncy Management Agency and [>epanment of the Treasury. "Administration Policy Paper Natural Disaster Insurance and Related Is- 
sues." Feb. 16. 1995. 

^^ The l»se flood level is the elevation at which there is a 1 percent chance of flooding in a given year. U.S. Congress. Genetat Accounting 
Office. "Flood Insurance: Financial Resources May Not Be SufTicieni To Meet Future Expected losses." GAO'RCED-94-80, March 1994. p. 
II. 



"Ibid. 

SS Earthqtiake risk is often very uiKertain. Development of nsk 
es IS well 



tools as discussed above would be helpful in setting insurance 



63 



Chapter 1 Summary and Policy Options 129 



often not purchased. Large rate increases would 
presumably further decrease the number of struc- 
tures (especially high-risk ones) covered by earth- 
quake insurance. Again, making earthquake 
insurance mandatory would address this, but it 
raises fundamental questions about individual re- 
sponsibility and the role of government. 

Insurance can work against mitigation as well. 
In our present system, most structures do not have 
earthquake insurance. In recent earthquakes, 
losses have been covered in part from the U.S. 
Treasury via supplemental appropriations. This 
can be considered a form of insurance in which the 
premiums are the federal taxes paid by all. In this 
form of insurance, there is no relationship be- 
tween premiums and risk. Similarly, insurance in 
which there is no connection between either pre- 
miums, or the availability of insurance, and risk 
can work against mitigation through what is 
known as "moral hazard." In this situation, ap- 
propriate mitigation measures are not taken be- 
cause of the belief that insurance will cover losses 
in any case. 

The issue of moral hazard is especially relevant 
to earthquakes. One commonly held belief is that 
current federal disaster policy is a disincentive for 
property owners to purchase private earthquake 
insurance. If one believes that the federal govem- 
ment will cover one's losses in the event of an 
earthquake, then in theory it would not be eco- 
nomically rational to pay for private insurance. 
This argument is sometimes used to explain the 



surprisingly low fraction of California homeown- 
ers who purchase earthquake insurance — current- 
ly about 25 percent.^* 

Evidence from surveys, however, suggests that 
the relationship between mitigation and expected 
federal aid is somewhat more tenuous than com- 
monly thought: 

Most homeowners said they do not anticipate 
turning to the federal government for aid should 
they suffer losses ... we hypothesize that most 
homeowners in hazard-prone areas have not 
even considered how they would recover should 
they suffer flood or earthquake damage ... the 
(survey) results suggest the people refuse to at- 
tend to or worry about events whose probability 
is below some threshold." 

This evidence suggests that the low rate of insur- 
ance ownership in Califomia could be explained 
in part by a general lack of interest in low-proba- 
bility events such as earthquakes, not simply by 
the expectation of federal aid.'* 

Congressional decisions as to the fate of hazard 
insurance legislation will involve many issues, 
most of which are beyond the scope of this report. 
With respect to mitigation, however, clearly in- 
surance can be a strong incentive for earth- 
quake mitigation — if the cost of insurance 
reflects the risli. In addition, social science re- 
search suggests that individual mitigation deci- 
sions are not made on an economically rational 
cost-benefit basis but are considerably more com- 
plex. Federal insurance programs should recog- 
nize these complexities. 



^'H. Kunreulher el at. "On Shaky Ground''" Risk Management. May 1993. p. 40. 

" H Kunreulher. Disaster Insurance Proieclion (New York. NY John Wiley and Sons. 1978). pp. 236-238. More recenlly. There is lilUe 
empirical evidence suggesling Ihal individuals are nol interested in insurance because ihey expecl liberal disaster relief following a disaster." H. 
Kunreulher. "The Role of Insurance and Regulations in Reducing t-osses Hurricanes and Other Natural Disasters." your/w/ of Risk and Uncer- 
tainty, fonhcoming. 

" Some argue Ihal high premium costs and high deductibles contribute to the low levels of insurance ownership as well. Earthquake pre- 
miums in Califomia prior to the Northridge earthquake were typically $2 per $ 1,000 of coverage per year, with a 10 percent deductible. U. S. 
Congress. Congressional Research Service. "A Descriptive Analysis of Federal Relief. Insurance, and l^ss Reduction Programs for Natural 
Hazards." 94-195 ENR. Mar. 1. 1994. p. 106. 



64 



301 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



Regulation 

A key challenge to eaithquake mitigation is its 
voluntary nature: people are often unwilling to in- 
vest time and money to prevent unknown, uncer- 
tain, or unlikely future damage. NEHRP relies 
mostly on a supply-side approach to mitigation: it 
makes available information and technical exper- 
tise, and leaves the decision of adoption to the 
state, local government, or individual. 

One policy area, largely outside the scope of 
NEHRP as currently defmed, would be for the 
federal government to take a stronger position on 
implementation via regulation. In the current 
policy environment, regulation in the form of 
building codes is the most widely used mitigation 
tool, but it is performed at the state or local level. 
The federal government plays largely an indirect 
role by providing technical support for code de- 
velopment and implementation. A more aggres- 
sive policy option would be to require states and 
localities, as a condition for receiving federal aid, 
to adopt model building codes or demonstrate a 
minimum level of code enforcement. Nonstruc- 
tural mitigation could be advanced through an 
executive order addressing this problem in federal 
buildings. 

Arguments in favor of increasing the federal 
role in requiring the use of seismic mitigation 
measures include: 

■ The federal government pays much of the costs 
of seismic losses through disaster relief; it 
would be economical to require some reason- 
able level of mitigation. 
• The information and behavioral barriers to mit- 
igation are great. It may be less expensive to 
regulate than to attempt to overcome these bar- 
riers with public information or incentive pro- 
grams. 
" There are many precedents for regulations to 
protect public safety and property. Examples 
include safety and performance requirements 



for consumer goods (e.g., seat belts and bum- 
pers for cars) and safety standards for services 
(e.g., safety training for airline pilots and flam- 
mability limits for airplane cabins). 

• Regulation is usually simpler and less expen- 
sive (in terms of direct government outlays) 
than most other policy options (e.g., R&D, fi- 
nancial incentives, or improved consumer in- 
formation). 

■ The losses resulting from a damaged or de- 
stroyed structure can be considered an external- 
ity (defined as a cost to society not captured in 
the market price of a good), because some costs 
are paid by society as a whole through disaster 
assistance programs. As such, the price of 
structures should be raised to a level reflecting 
their true cost to society. (Strictly speaking, this 
is an argument for market intervention, not nec- 
essarily for regulation.) 

There are, as well, a number of arguments 
against increasing the federal role in requiring the 
use of seismic mitigation measures, including: 

■ Regulation of buildings and construction is 
currently a state and local issue, not a federal 
one. Any federal role beyond that of providing 
information could be considered an infringe- 
ment on state and local rights. 

• Current levels of mitigation reflect individual 
and market preferences. Regulation would im- 
pose costs and investments that would other- 
wise not be made. 

■ The inherent inflexibility of regulations may 
result in mitigation investments that increase 
net societal costs.'^ 

• Regulation is not a cure-all — many individual 
mitigation actions, such as not putting heavy 
books on the top of bookshelves, cannot realis- 
tically be regulated. 

Evaluation of these arguments is a political, 
not a technical, decision. //Congress does decide 



^' Not all mitiguioa is fiiuncully pnideni (an eiireine uample mifhl be Rquiring a building used eiclusively for storage to provide a high 
level of life safety). 



65 



Chapter 1 Summary and Policy Options 131 



to pursue a regulatory approach, then a much bet- 
ter understanding of the costs and benefits of miti- 
gation would be needed to set these regulations at 
an appropriate level. 

Financial Incentives 

NEHRP currently relies on information, along 
with a modest amount of technical support, to pro- 
mote mitigation. A policy direction that, like reg- 
ulation, is outside the scope of the current 
NEHRP, would be the use of financial incentives 
to promote mitigation. These could take the form 
of rewards for greater mitigation (e.g., tax credits 
or low-interest loans) or punishments for insuffi- 
cient mitigation (e.g., taxing buildings not meet- 
ing code, or reducing disaster assistance to those 
who did not mitigate). 

Among the advantages of such an approach 
are: 

■ It retains some flexibility and freedom of 
choice, since participation is voluntary. 

" It can be structured so as to require no net feder- 
al spending (e.g., by using a combination of 
taxes and grants). 

■ As mentioned above, as long as the public pays 



for disaster relief, the losses resulting from a 
collapsed structure can be considered an ex- 
ternality (i.e., a cost to society that is not cap- 
tured in the market price of a good). As such, 
the price should be raised to a level reflecting 
the true cost. 
Disadvantages include: 

• The administrative costs of such a system could 
be high. 

• The response of the market to financial incen- 
tives is not well known; it may be that very 
large subsidies (or penalties) are needed to 
change behavior. 

■ As with regulation, the benefits of mitigation 
are often difficult to quantify. Thus, incentives 
for increased mitigation may mean more 
money poorly spent. 

A decision as to what, if any, financial incentive 
should be used to promote mitigation is, like the 
decision to regulate, largely a political and not a 
technical decision. Financial incentives can pro- 
mote mitigation. However, the behavioral re- 
sponse to such incentives is not well understood. 
Thus, such incentive programs should be thought 
out carefully and tested on a pilot scale before full- 
scale implementation. 



66 



Understanding 

Seismic 

Hazards 



2 



Earthquakes remind us that the earth is continually chang- 
ing, sometimes with disastrous consequences for its in- 
habitants and for the relatively fragile structures built atop 
its outermost layer. Our understanding of the seismic haz- 
ard (i.e., the potential for earthquakes and related effects) has im- 
proved significantly in the last two decades, largely through 
research supported by the National Earthquake Hazards Reduc- 
tion Program (NfEHRP). This improved knowledge of the seismic 
hazard can in turn be applied to better estimation of the potential 
impact on specific communities. For example, earthquake-re- 
lated research and development (R&D) to date has yielded de- 
tailed information on historical and estimated future ground 
motions that earthquake engineers now use for research, design, 
and building code development. 

Federal support for earthquake-related R&D in the earth 
sciences is concentrated in programs directed by both the Nation- 
al Science Foundation and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 
under the aegis of NEHRP; other federal agencies conduct related 
research as well (see appendix B). Since focused efforts began, 
there have been many achievements in earth sciences. However, 
the complexity of the task of understanding earthquake phenome- 
na means that significant uncertainties remain about the timing 
and location of future damaging earthquakes and the exact nature 
of their effects. 

This chapter reviews the current knowledge of earthquake phe- 
nomena and of seismic hazards across the United States. It then 
outlines the role of basic and applied earth science R&D in meet- 
ing information needs for the nation's earthquake loss mitigation 
program, and provides examples of research efforts needed to ad- 
dress knowledge gaps. 




133 



67 



341 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



EARTHQUAKES 

An "earthquake" technically refers to trembling or 
strong ground shaking caused by the passage of 
seismic waves through the earth's rocky interior. 
These waves arise from phenomena as varied as 
explosions.' volcanic eruptions, or quarry blasts, 
but the source most commonly associated with the 
term is the fracturing, or faulting, of rocks deep 
underground through the action of powerful geo- 
logic forces. 

Seismic waves radiate away from a rupturing 
fault in the same way that ripples in a pond spread 
outward from a splashing pebble. These waves die 
away with distance from the initial source, so that 
very distant or very deep earthquakes are of rela- 
tively little concern. Like pond ripples, the waves 
can bounce and bend around obstacles to produce 
intricate patterns. Because the structure of the 
earth is far more comphcated than the surface of a 
pond, what happens when seismic waves reach the 
earth's surface can be exceedingly complex. 

Efforts to assess risks to U.S. communities 
posed by future earthquakes rest on the ability to 
estimate where and when earthquakes will occur 
and to quantify, where possible, what will happen 
when earthquake-generated seismic waves hit the 
earth's surface. (Figtire 2-1 illustrates seismicity 
that has occurred in the United States.) Specific 
questions addressed by current earth science re- 
search include: 

• What causes a particular fault to rupture? 

• How do seismic waves propagate through the 
earth? 

■ How do seismic waves and local geology inter- 
act to produce strong ground motions^ or dam- 
age to the earth's surface? 



Two distinct methods of evaluating the severity 
of an earthquake are: I ) calculating its magnitude, 
and 2) estimating its intensity. The magnitude of 
an earthquake is related to the amount of seismic 
energy released at the quake's source; it is based 
on the amplitude of the seismic waves recorded on 
seismographs. Earthquake magnitude calcula- 
tions also take into account the effects of distance 
between the recording instrument and the source 
of the waves, and the type of instrument itself.^ 

The magnitude scale most widely used for 
many years is the Richter magnitude scale, 
introduced in 1935 by Charles Richter and Beno 
Gutenberg. A strong earthquake, for example, 
would have a Richter magnitude (M) of 6.0 to 7.0, 
while a great earthquake such as the 1906 earth- 
quake beneath San Francisco would measure 
above M8. Although it is open-ended, the Richter 
scale does not accurately measure large earth- 
quakes on faults with a great rupture length. "• To 
better quantify the severity of great quakes, scien- 
tists have developed the moment magnitude scale. 
The moment magnitude (Mw) measures the total 
seismic energy released, which is a function of 
rock rigidity in the fault, the area of rupture on the 
fault plane, and the amount of slip. These scales 
are compared in table 2- 1 . 

In contrast to magnitude, an earthquake's inten- 
sity is a highly subjective measure. For many 
years the Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) 
scale, developed in 1931, has been used to de- 
scribe the relative strength of ground shaking ex- 
perienced at a particular location. Seismologists 
assign intensity using the 12-increment scale that 
reflects the effects of shaking on people, damage 
to the built environment, and changes in the natu- 



' Nuclear explosions, for example, generate seismic waves thai can be detected at great distances by eajthquake-inonitoring networks. 
^ Strong motions arc eneigetic ground displaccmenis that cause damage to buildings and other structures. 

^ U.S. Geological Survey. "The Severity of an Earthquake," brochure, 1 990. This report adopts the classification for quakes of diffeient 
strengths as follows (M^nagnitude): moderate, M5-6; strong, M6-7; major. M7-8; and great, M>8. 

^ Much of the energy of a large earthquake is transmitted via long-wavelength seismic waves, the fiequency of which is too low to factor into 
calculations of earthquake magnitude. 



68 



Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Hazards 135 




69 



361 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



:IIAMJLUUJLUI.II;IIJ.1I: 



eM;m»IWnniBiiilmBi«lt 



Earthquake 



Richter magnitude 



Moment magnitude 



Chile, 1960 

Alaska. 1964 

New Madnd. Missouri. 1812 

Mexico. 1985 

San Francisco. California. 1906 

Loma Pneta. California. 1989 

Kobe, Japan. 1995 

San Fernando. California. 1971 

Northridge. California. 1994 



SOURCE Rick Gore, "Living with Calilornia's Faults,' Nationa/ Geographic, vol 187, No 4, ApriM995, p 10 



ral environment.^ Table 2-2 provides an abbre- 
viated description of the MMl scale. 

Continuing research has illuminated both the 
basic setting for earthquakes and their hazardous 
effects. These two topics set the stage for under- 
standing the seismic hazards that exist in different 
areas of the country. 

I Geologic Setting for Earthquakes 

The overall framework that guides the discussion 
of earthquake occurrence is the theory of plate tec- 
tonics, a large-scale picture of the earth's basic 
workings originally set forth in the 1960s and 
1970s.* In this conceptual framework, the rocks 
making up the outer layers of the earth are broken 
into a patchwork of ever-shifting tectonic plates 
(see figure 2-2). Some of these plates are enor- 
mous—the rocks underlying much of the Pacific 
Ocean, for example, lie on a single 10,000-km- 
wide Pacific Plate — whereas others may span 



only a few hundred kilometers. What distin- 
guishes a plate, however, is that it moves as a 
cohesive body across the surface of the earth.^ As 
a plate moves, it grinds or knocks against its 
neighbors; this plate-to-plate interaction produces 
the majority of the world's earthquakes. 

With a few significant exceptions, identifying 
the most likely breeding ground for damaging 
earthquakes is thus synonymous with finding the 
boimdaries of tectonic plates. The two types of 
plate boundaries associated with damaging earth- 
quakes in the United States are subduction zones 
and strike-slip faults. In addition, there are intra- 
plate earthquakes, whose origins are less well un- 
derstood^ (see box 2- 1 ). 

I Earthquake Effects at 
the Earth's Surface 

Besides knowing where and when earthquakes 
might occur, those interested in reducing earth- 



5 "Quak£ Intensity," Earthquakes and Volcanoes, vol. 24. No. 1 . 1993, p. 42. 

' It should be noted that many of the data that supported the theory's development were derived from pre-NEHRPcfTorts (e.g,. Department 
of I^cfense mapping of scafloors, and global seismic monitoring aimed at detecting nuclear testing in the former Soviet Union). 

'This motion is slow — usually on the order of a few centimeters or less per year. Over millions of years, however, it can cany continents 
from the equator to the poles, rip landmasses apart, or assemble disconnected land fragments into continents. 

* Ino^plate quakes, which can strike deep within a plate's interior, are relatively rare. There are also earthquakes associated with mountain- 
building and active continental deformauon far inland from plate boundaries One theory is that such activity in western stales reflects the pres- 
ence of a diffiise plate boundary suetchmg from the Pacific coast to the front ranges of Ulah. in which case earthquakes in the bilermountain 
West are not "intraplate" quakes at all. This report adopts the convention that the North American Plate ends near the Pacific coast and that 
earthquakes in the Intermountain West are intraplate events. 



70 



Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Hazards 137 



LMJMMIHIM«M»IJJ1IM1J1I]M.IJ.LIJJ1. 

DesctipOon 



Not felt except by a very few under especially favorable circumstances 
Felt only by a few persons at rest, espeoally on upper floors of txjildings- 
Felt quite noticeably indoors, especially on upper floors of txiildings 
During the day, felt indoors by many, outdoors by few At nigfit, some awakened 

Felt by nearly everyone, many awakened Some disfies windows Ixoken, a tew instances of cracked plaster; unstable 
objects overturned 

Felt by all, many fngfitened and run outdoors Some fieavy fumiture rrxsved: a few instances of fallen plaster or dam- 
aged ctiimneys Damage slight 

Damage negligible m buildings of good design and constnx:tion, sltgfit to moderate in well-txiilt ordinary structures; 
considerable in poorly built or badly designed structures Some chimneys broken 

Damage slight in specially designed structures, considerable in ordinary substantial buildings, with partial collapse; 
great in poorly txiill structures. Chimneys, factory stacks, columns, monuments, and walls fall 
Damage considerable in specially designed structures, vwll-designed frame structures thrown out of plumb, damage 
great in substantial buddings 

Some well-built wooden structures destroyed, most masonry and frame stnx:tures destroyed with foundations; ground 
badty cracked Rails t^ent 

Few masonry structures remain standing Bridges destroyed 
Damage total Lines of sight and level distorted Obtects thrown upward into the air. 



SOURCE; US. Geological Sunrey, "Ttie Seventy of an Earthquake," twochure, 1990 



quake losses are concerned with what effects an 
earthquake might have on nearby communities. 
Earthquake engineers, for example, desire quanti- 
tative assessments of expected ground motion or 
deformation in order to evaluate the likely impact 
on buildings or lifelines.' 

Ground Shaking 

Contrary to the popular image in Hollywood mov- 
ies or the more spectacular literary accounts, the 
earth generally does not open up and swallow 
buildings during earthquakes. Cracks and fissures 
do occasionally break the earth's surface. How- 
ever, they are secondary effects of the most dam- 
aging earthquake phenomenon — strong ground 
shaking caused by seismic waves. 

Analogous to sound waves,'" seismic waves 
can be produced at different frequencies (corre- 



sponding to the pitch of a musical note) and at dif- 
ferent amplitudes (corresponding to volume). 
Large earthquakes (which involve big motions on 
big faults) tend to produce larger amplitude, lower 
frequency waves. In reality, however, all earth- 
quakes produce a complex suite of different waves 
of varying amplitudes and frequencies. 

The damage done to structures and their con- 
tents depends on the characteristics of the ground 
motion. The shaking may be up and down, side to 
side, or some complex combination of the two. 
There may be a short flurry of rapid, energetic mo- 
tions followed by rolling or swaying motions that 
last several seconds or more. Higher frequency ac- 
celerations" primarily affect shorter, stiffer struc- 
tures; repetitive, lower frequency motions pose a 
special threat to very tall or flexible structures. 
Displacements produced by very large amplitude 



^ LifeUnes are roads, bridges, communicadon systems, udlities, and other essenda] infrastnictiire. See chapter 3. 
"^ One type of seismic wave, the P-wave. is in fact an underground sound wave. 

"Accelciauon is commonly expressed asafniction of the strength of eafth'sgravity.j.Avcrticalaocclention of moie than 1 gcan actually 
tfuow objects in the air 



71 



381 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



FIGURE 2-2: World's Major Tectonic Plates 



Eurasia 
Plate 




SOURCE: Oltice of Technology Assessment, 1995. based on Bruce A Boll. Earthquakes (New York. NY w H Freeman and Co . 1 993). p 36 



waves can stretch or twist structures beyond their 
engineering limits. The frequency, energy con- 
tent, and duration of shaking are not related sim- 
ply to earthquake size, but also to distance from 
the fault, direction of rupture, and local geology, 
including soil conditions. 

Increasingly, earth scientists have ^plied 
state-of-the-art R&D to determining what sort of 
ground acceleration and displacement is to be ex- 
pected in different earthquake regions. Such esti- 
mates require knowledge (or prediction) of what 
waves are originally generated by the earthquake 
(which implies an understanding of exactly how 
earthquakes occur) and of how these waves decay, 
grow, or combine as they travel through the earth. 



The latter requires geophysical and geological 
mapping of the rocks between the earthquake and 
the area of concern. 

Because softer soils and clay tend to amplify 
ground motions, compared with those experi- 
enced on bedrock, research has also been directed 
at how seismic waves interact with surficial and 
near-surface materials to enhance ground shaking. 
A dramatic example of the effects of localized 
geology was the 1985 Mexico City earthquake; 
ground motions there were significantly enhanced 
at periods of several seconds compared with those 
at hard-rock sites closer to the quake source '^ (see 
box 2-2). 



'^ Tlwmas H. Healon and Stephen H. Hanzell, "Earthquake Ground Motions." Amml Revirw of Earth Planeiary Science, vol. 1 6, 1988. p. 



72 

Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Hazards 139 



Subductlon Zoiws 

In Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, the overriding of the North American continent over the various 
plates of the Pacific Ocean has led to the formation of subduction zones, a type of plate boundary that 
generally produces very large earthquakes In a subduction zone, the layers of rock making up an oceanic 
plate move toward a landmass and. in the resulting collision, are forced down into the earth's deep intenor 
In ttie Pacific Norttiwest, this collision is responsible for the presence of the region s coastal mountains, for 
the volcanic activity ttiat tias produced the Cascade Mountain Range, and — nnost significantly — for the po- 
tential for major earthquakes to occur where the sutxJucting plate is stuck, or locked, against the overrid- 
ing continent In most cases, this is at depths of 15 to 45 km (10 to 30 miles) 

Earthquakes in sulxJuction zones generally reflect the presence of thrust faults — fractures in the earth 
that allow one rock mass to slide toward and over its neightxx The seismic waves thus generated shake 
the ground upward and downward as well as forward and back Because the faults allow for vertical mo- 
tions, subduction zone earthquakes can lead to ttie uplift or subsidence of local landmasses. over time 
flooding coastal areas or leaving them high and dry If the earthquake occurs offshore taeneath ttie ocean 
(the plate txiundary in a sutxJuction zone generally lies underwater and out of sight), the vertical motion of 
the sea bottom can send a surge of water (a tsunami) racing toward vulnerable seaside communities Fi- 
nally, since sutxJuction zones are typically mountainous (t)ecause of all ttie vertical fault rrxjtion). strong 
subduction temblors can set off major landslides, avalanches, or mudflow 

StrlKe-Sllp Plate Boundaries 

A very different type of plate interaction is at work m California and southeast Alaska Here, ttie Pacific 
Plate (on which Baja California and the westernmost sliver of the North American continent rest) slides 
sideways against the North American Plate in a motion known geologically as strike-slip On a strike-slip 
lx)undary, there is very little up-and-down motion, most earthquake waves are side to side, and seismic 
activity does not raise mountains or produce tsunamis in the way it does in a sulxluction zone 

In the case of California, ttie seam between the North American and Pacific Plates is the San Andreas 
fault, a long and distinct scar in the earths surface that runs beneath San Francisco, through central 
California, and southward toward (Mexico through the desert east of Los Angeles ' Tfiere is another strike- 
slip plate tjoundary fault off the coast of southeast Alaska Earthquakes occur along these faults primarily 
tjecause relative motion, or slip, along either fault is not continuous over time or distance That is. the fault 
is locked rrxjst of time, so that no slip occurs Ttie inexorable movement of the tectonic plates, however, 
causes stress to build along the fault until, for poorly understood reasons, one or more segments of the 
fault rupture, releasing the stored-up energy in an earttiquake 

In California, most of the slip tjetween the North American and Pacific Plates occurs along the San An- 
dreas fault or in the immediate vicinity Some deformation of ttie plate edges also occurs many miles from 
the primary fault, leading to stress-relieving earttiquakes on strike-slip faults located on either side of the 
San Andreas An example is ttie 1992 Landers earthquake (1^7 3) The largest US earttiquake in 40 years. 
it occurred in a relatively sparsely populated area several miles norttieast of Los Angeles. 



^ A continuous narrow txeak in the eartti's crust, ttie entire fault zone is more than 600 rniies long and extends at least 16 lun be- 
neath the earth's surtace Sandra E Schulz and Robert E Wallace. The San Andreas Fault, prepared lor ttw U S Geological Sun«y 
(Wastlington. DC U S Government Pnnting Office, 1993), pp 3-A 

(continued) 



73 



401 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



BOX 2-1 (cont'd.): Geologic Settings for Earthquakes 



A pronounced bend in the San Andreas north of the Los Angeles area etieclively locks the motion of the 
tectonic plates, contributing to vertical delormation and setting the stage for earthquakes on downward- 
dipping faults hidden from view tjeneath the earths surface The 1971 San Fernando and 1994 Northndge 
quakes both ruptured such "blind" thrust faults 

Intraplate Earthquakes 

Although more than 90 percent of the world s earthquakes occur on plate boundaries, damaging earth- 
quakes have also occurred in areas far from plate edges Intraplate earthquakes, which though uncommon 
can be sizable, seem to reflect processes that are a topic of current tectonic and geophysical research 
Possible explanations include 1) dynamic interactions between the earths stiff exterior layers and its 
deeper, more flowing mantle, 2) a continent's adjusting to evolving plate boundary geometries (the Basin 
and Range Province of Nevada, for example, is stretching east-west following the disappearance of a sub- 
duction zone that once lay to the west), or 3) the interaction between zones of weakness within a plate and 
stresses transmitted across the plate from its boundaries. 

The regions of the United States in which future intraplate earthquakes are most likely to occur are the 
Intermountain West and central United States, although parts of the Atlantic seaboard are also suscepti- 
ble.2 Compared with interplate earthquakes, uncertainty over the origin, likelihood, severity, and character- 
istics of intraplate quakes is very high Improved understanding can come only through further basic earth 
science research 



2 The eastern coast ol North America, while marking (he edge ol the comment, is not a plaie boundary. North America is joined 
directly to the rocks underlying the western hall ol the Atlantic Ocean, and the eastern boundary ol the North American Plate lies in the 
middle ot the Atlantic 

SOURCE Office of Technologi' Assessment. 1995 



Other Effects 

The shaking caused by seismic waves, in addition 
to directly damaging structures, can also affect the 
earth's surface in ways equally detrimental (or 
more so) to the built environment. Ground failure, 
as these effects are often called, has several differ- 
ent facets: 
• liquefaction, whereby shaking transforms a 

water-saturated soil or sediment into a thick, 

quicksand-like slurry; 



ground rupture, in which shaking opens up fis- 
sures and cracks in the soil; 
surface faulting, in which an earthquake fault 
reaches the surface of the earth and produces 
vertical or horizontal offsets of material astride - 
the fault; 

landslides or avalanches; and 
damaging water waves (e.g., tsunamis and 
seiches).'-' 



*:* Fast-moving surges of water that travel across (he ocean, tsunamis form a sleep wall of water wtien enrcnng stiallow water along sliore- 
lines. The local wave tieighl and run-up length are affecled by the lopography of the seafloor and continental sttelf and by the shape of the shore- 
line — t^iunamis with crests as tiigti as 25 meters have devastated part.s of Japan, Bruce A, Bolt. Earthquakes (New York. N Y: W.H. Freeman and 
Co.. 1 993). pp. 1 48, 151. Tsunami generation is not fully understood, and may result more from the absolute motion of material at an earthquake 
fault than from the ground shaking from seismic waves. Seiches are earthquake-generated surges of water on lakes and enclosed bays. 



74 



Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Hazards i41 



On September 19, 1985. Mexico City experienced the effects of an t^8 1 quake that occurred in a sub- 
duction zone 350 km away Strong shaking caused extensive damage, killed thousands of people.' and left 
many more thousands homeless l^ost of the damage was confined to areas of the city built on soft, water- 
saturated soils 

Key factors in the devastating losses included 

• the long duration of shaking, 

• local soil conditions that amplified seismic energy and produced extensive liquefaction. 

• poor overall configuration and significant irregularities in the distribution of buildings mass, strength, 
and stiffness, and 

• poor quality control of building materials 

Rupture on the segment of a subduction zone known as the Michoacin gap produced approximately 
1 5 minutes of shaking with a roughly two-second period (Higher frequency motions were damped over 
the distance between the earthquakes focus and fvlexico City) 

Liquefaction was widespread, and soil-structure interaction increased the structural response of many 
multistory buildings to a period that coincided with the long-period motion produced by the quake The 
effects of this resonance included drift, deformation, and pounding Ijetween buildings 



' The otiicial count is 4.596 lives lost although other estimates are as high as 20.000 
SOURCE Appliea Technology Council and Eanhguake Engineering Research Institute. Proceedings ol the Wbrtsftop for Utilization 
ot Research on Cngineenng and Soaoeconomic Aspects otthe 1985 Chile and Mexico Earthquakes, ATC-30 (ReOwood City. CA 
Applied Technology Council). 1991 



Lilce strong ground shaking, ground failure is 
strongly dependent on the surface and near-sur- 
face geology. Areas adjacent to waterways and de- 
veloped with artificial fill are particularly 
susceptible to liquefaction, as seen in the Marina 
district in San Francisco during the 1989 Loma 
Prieta earthquake and in the 1 995 Hyogoken-Nan- 
bu earthquake that struck Kobe, Japan. Lateral 
spreading (in which surface layers are transported 
laterally over liquefied soils) ruptured water and 
sewer lines in the Kobe quake. The shaking pro- 
duced by the 1994 Northridge, California, quake 
and its aftershocks caused thousands of landslides 
in nearby mountains. 



SEISMIC HAZARDS ACROSS 
THE UNITED STATES 

Earthquake researchers use an understanding of 
the basic setting for earthquakes and knowledge of 
prior earthquakes to assess seismic hazards and re- 
late these to affected communities. Earthquake 
hazards vary widely across the country, from high 
in Alaska and the West Coast to low (but not zero) 
in much of the eastern United States. There is a 
continuum of earthquake risk,'"* as well: where 
heavy urbanization exists and frequent damaging 
earthquakes are expected, the risk is very high 
(e.g., in the San Francisco Bay or Los Angeles 



'* Seismic hazard is the potential for an canhqualie and irlalcd cffecls lo occur. Sets 
built environment, or oilier losses lo occur as a result of earthquakes 



r risk is Uie likeliliood for casualties, damage lo Ihe 



75 



42 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



FIGURE 2-3: Tectonic Settinq and Significant Earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest 



BRITISH COLUMBIA. 
CANADA 




NOTE • indicates earthquakes ol magnitude greater than 7 

SOURCE Otiice ol Technology Assessment, 1995. based on U S Geological Survey 



areas). In the Pacific Northwest, the seismic risk 
steins from the potential for infrequent but large to 
great earthquakes and from the region's status as a 
relative newcomer to mitigation (i.e., fewer steps 
have been taken to reduce risk). Likewise, central 
and eastern areas of the United States face the 
threat of significant earthquakes over very long in- 
tervals; the low frequency of damaging seismic 
events in recent history has contributed to the 
more limited implementation of mitigation mea- 
sures than in the West, despite the vulnerability of 
many population centers (e.g.. New York City or 
Boston) to even moderate shaking. The following 
sections describe current knowledge of earth- 



quake hazards in different regions of the United 
States. 

I Pacific Northwest 

The coastal area stretching from Alaska's western 
Aleutian Islands to the states of Washington and 
Oregon is at risk for both moderate and enormous- 
ly powerful earthquakes. This area encompasses 
the growing metropolitan areas of Seattle, Port- 
land, and Anchorage, as well as cities on Canada's 
west coast. Estimates of possible earthquake mag- 
nitudes in the region range as high as magnitude 9 
(see figure 2-3). 



76 



Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Hazards i43 



The convergence of tectonic plates creates a 
high likelihood of seismic activity. For this rea- 
son, Alaska frequently experiences potentially 
damaging earthquakes, but due to its relatively 
low population density the impact is smaller than 
in more developed areas. In 1964, the second larg- 
est quake of this century struck Alaska, uplifting 
sections of the ocean floor and causing extensive ■ 
damage to the Anchorage area. The Mw9.2 quake 
also caused a tsunami that led to further loss of life 
and damage in Alaska and in the northern Califor- 
nia coastal town of Crescent City. 

If such a temblor occurred further south, it 
could affect coastal communiti,;s from Vancouv- 
er, British Columbia, to northern California. 
However, off the coasts of Oregon and Washing- 
ton, there have been no quakes of this size during 
recorded history. Awareness of this particular seis- 
mic threat was low until evidence of tsunami de- 
posits and changes in coastal elevation, gathered 
in large part through NEHRP, revealed that great 
subduction zone earthquakes had occurred in the 
past. Based on tsunami records from Japan, the 
most recent may have been in the year 1700." 

Moderate-lo-large crustal earthquakes in Ore- 
gon and Washington have been relatively infre- 
quent, but the risk to population centers is 
significant. A major quake struck the Cascades of 
northern Washington in 1872;'^ the Puget Sound 
region experienced quakes of magnitudes 7. 1 and 
6.5 in this century;'^ and as recently as March 
1993, a M5.6 temblor rocked the Oregon capital 
city of Salem.'* 



Uncertainty remains over how likely or how se- 
vere future events may be. Research into this 
question, much of it involving the modeling of 
geophysical processes in the region, is active and 
growing, and may eventually remove much of this 
uncertainty. In the meantime, complementary re- 
search into paleoseismology (the study of early 
historic or prehistoric earthquake activity based 
on geologic evidence) seeks to refine estimates of 
the timing and magnitude of previous subduction 
zone and crustal quakes. Besides indicating that 
prehistoric, devastating tsunamis occurred, the 
geologic record also suggests that a major earth- 
quake took place 1 , 1 00 years ago directly beneath 
what is now downtown Seattle.'^ 

I California 

A combination of high population density, heavy 
levels of urbanization, and the relatively frequent 
occurrence of moderate to great earthquakes 
makes California a state with very high seismic 
risk. Other areas in the United States may experi- 
ence equally severe earthquake disasters, but the 
likelihood is lower. 

For many years it was thought that the earth- 
quake hazard in California stemmed primarily 
from the great San Andreas fault system, which 
accommodates the sliding of the North American 
continent sideways against the Pacific Plate. Sev- 
eral M8-(- earthquakes have occurred along the San 
Andreas, including the great 1906 San Francisco 
Earthquake. The long-awaited "Big One" is ex- 



'^ Kenji Satake el al., "A Possible Cascadia Earthquake of January 26, 1 700, as Inferred from Tsunami Records in Japan." Geological Soci- 
ety of America 1995 Abstracts with Programs, vol. 27, No. 5, 1995, p. 76. 

'^ Reponed effects indicate that its magnitude was approximately 7.4, protiably the largest during recorded history for thai area. Thomas 
Yelin ci al.. Washington and Oregon Earthquake History and Hazards. U.S. Geological Survey Open File Repon 94-226B (Demtr. CO: Na- 
tional Earthquake Information Center, 1994), p. 7. 

' 7The quakes took place in 1949 (M7. 1 ) and 1 965 (M6.5); both deep quakes (depths of 54 to 63 km), they caused several deaths and signifi- 
cant damage. Linda L^wraiKC Noson el al., Washington Slate Earthquake Hazards. Information Circular 85 (Olympia, WA: Washington De- 
partment of Natural Resources. 1988). p. 21 . 

'^ Six months later, a pair of strong quakes occurred a little more than two hours apart near Klamath Falls, in the southern part of the sute. 
Shallow crustal quakes like these have also occurred in the Portland area. Yelin el al., see footnote 16. 

" Ibid., p. 9. 



441 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



77 




Looking northwest along the San Andreas fault, the seam 
between the North Antencan aryd Pacific Plates, in the Carnzo 
Plain (central California) 



pected to involve rupture of the fault's southern 
section. 

A more recently recognized danger is the likeli- 
hood of future moderate-to-large earthquakes oc- 
curring on lesser known or even unsuspected 
faults adjacent to or directly underneath major 
metropolitan centers (see figure 2-4). The quake 



beneath Northridge in January 1994 revealed all 
too well the hazardous potential of blind thrust 
faults in the Los Angeles area.^" 

The danger of these blind thrust systems is a 
combination of the size of their associated earth- 
quakes and their proximity to urban centers. Be- 
cause an earthquake's damaging effects tend to 
decrease rapidly with distance, the physical sepa- 
ration between the San Andreas and a metropoli- 
tan center such as Los Angeles allows 
policymakers to prepare the built environment 
against a lesser amount of damage than sheer 
earthquake magnitude might seem to warrant. 
However, if a fault capable of producing earth- 
quakes is close by, then its proximity allows even 
a moderate event to inflict more damage than 
might result from the long-awaited "Big One."^' 

In northern California, the geometric complex- 
ity of the San Andreas fault system that prevents 
North America from sliding cleanly against the 
Pacific Plate causes the San Andreas to branch off 
into a series of smaller faults that run in a north- 
south direction along the east side of San Francis- 
co Bay (see figure 2-5). In addition to the 1 906 San 
Francisco and 1989 Loma Prieta earthquakes, the 
Bay Area has experienced 20 other moderate to 
great earthquakes in the last 160 years.^^ 

Because of these and other findings from recent 
research, the true earthquake hazard in California 
remains uncertain, and future estimates may well 
be subject to upgrading. As of 1990, the esti- 
mated likelihood of major (M7-I-) earthquakes 
stands at 67 percent over 30 years in the San 



^^ Seismograph and strong-motion instrument data recorded during and after the Northridge earthquake indicate larger ground motions 
than have typically been observed or reflected in engineering design in California. The aftermath of the quake included realization that im- 
proved knowledgeof the system of blind thrust faults lying beneath the l-os Angeles area and environs would be useful for targeting mitigation 
cffons. While oil company studies are a good source of information about subsurface structure, the mapping rarely extends to depths where 
earthquakes initiate. 

^' It appears that one such fault, the Elysian Park blind thrust fault, lies directly beneath downtown Los Angeles. 

^^ Association of Bay Area Governments. 'The Bay Area Is Earthquake Country.'" Internet, address http //www.abag.ca.gov/bayarea/eq- 
maps/doc/textl.hlmltfbackground. citing Jeanne B. Perkins and John Boatwrighl. The San Francisco Bay Area — On Shaky Ground {Oaklind, 
CA: As.sociation of Bay Area Governments. April 1995). 



78 



Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Hazards 145 




NOTE Sadecl a>ees K it atat rjijue zones lor eemjjates axx^ 
StxnCE uS Gewvca Sovey 199S 



Francisco Bay area.^ Studies of the potential for 
liquefaaion and ground failure that would result 
from shaking on the San Andreas and its neigh- 
bon across the Bay are continuing.^* as are inves- 
tigations of local fault structures. 

The 30-year probability of a major earth- 
quake in southern California, estimated in 



1994, is 80 to 90 percent (this estimate reflects 
both San Andreas and blind thrust hazanls for the 
urt>an corridor from San Bernardino through Los 
Angeles to Santa Bartjara).^ Scientists have also 
noticed a historical deficit in the size or number of 
earthquakes expected for southern California; 



""Till iiMiij r Biiii n iMi II I ilMiiilfiiiilii I miin iiimmtii irpnr— r -'•^- ' 

tgiorteb«y.«tec>cCMi»of*eHi>^»d»KlRo<)groCicettMiB-W(»tiagGtoiyoBC»ltfonii»EwhqaiteProt«fci h^ 

yfiiHi r«ift<|Mliin*r Tw rnw-iirr ffiri ftrri- rir'^i — ^^r ■■' <-— '-f— i' f^-: — u. i n<-» nifc j .i-p^ nr 1 1 <: r,. »„» .» « 

PriaiagOfficx. 1990). p. 31 

^' llB is » sa of coa|>enk» bencn IJSCS ad te Caiitoiia Dmooa oTMn sKl Geolocy. 1^ 

^f^^'** hlZVd TfTHf^ 

^^l^atiBtGn^<MCiUomaExjliqa*ePn*i±ihaci.-UacxH*iM^mSautiem(UbIaai^ Protable Eintacyiako. 1994-2024.' 
B^lemcfiktStivK>iotu^Soaeo<^*'ieruui.nLiS.fio.ZAfra\99S.p.rr9.VSOSmaSCSCSaeais^ 
e ofn Jamy I9M.- &i<iK«. VOL 266. Oct. 21. 1994. p. 396. 



461 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



79 




SOURCE U S Geological Sutvey. 1995 



geologic and geodetic data indicate that too few 
earthquakes have occurred to account for strain 
accumulation.^* Whether this points to bigger 
quakes or to more frequent quakes is still under 
discussion in the scientific community. 

I Intermountain Seismic Belt 

A region not commonly associated with seismic 
hazards — yet nevertheless under considerable 
risk — is the Intermountain Seismic Belt. Stretch- 
ing from southern Idaho and western Montana 



down through southwestern Utah and Nevada, 
this area includes the urban center of Salt Lake 
City, Utah, and other rapidly growing commimi- 
ties in the Intermountain West (e.g., Boise, Idaho, 
and Reno, Nevada). 

Earthquakes here do not stem from the plate 
collisional processes of the Pacific Northwest or 
from the sideways sliding of adjacent plates seen 
in California. Rather, they arise from intraplate 
deformation of the North American continent 
associated with the uplift of the Rocky Mountains 



^ James F. IX>Um e> al. "FYospecB for Laijer or More Fitquent Etnliquakes in ihc Los Angeles Metropolian Area." Srinn. vol. 2 
13. I99S. p. 203; and Working Group on California Earthquake Probabiliiies. see foomoie 25 



80 



Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Hazards 147 



and the east-west stretching of the Basin and 
Range Province. Because this region lies within 
the interior of the North American Plate and far 
from the active deformation, collision, and sliding 
experienced at the plate edges, damaging earth- 
quakes are relatively rare. However, since these 
earthquakes reflect active mountain-building 
processes in the continental interior, when they do 
occur, they can be sizable (M7 or higher). 

Even though the maximum earthquake magni- 
tudes in this region appear to be less severe than 
those projected or observed in the Pacific North- 
west or California, the potential for disaster exists 
simply because the scarcity of historic earth- 
quakes has led to a relatively low level of pre- 
paredness. General settlement of the area did not 
begin until the 1840s; in the intervening years, 
there have been no large quakes near the region's 
few urban centers. Consequently, damaging earth- 
quakes have generally been less of a public con- 
cern than is the case in California. The region's 
last major quakes were in Montana in 1959, when 
several people were killed by landslides, and 
southern Idaho in 1983. 

Awareness of the threat to Utah's metropolitan 
corridor grew as a result of a major NEHRP proj- 
ect to study the Wasatch Front, which is formed by 
the uplift of the Rocky Moiuitains along a long, 
north-south fault zone — the Wasatch fault zone 
(see figure 2-6). The research showed that major 
earthquakes have occurred in the past, with paleo- 
seismic evidence suggesting a roughly 400-year 
recurrence along the most urbanized part of the 
Wasatch fault zone.^^ In 1991 , the probability of 
a M7-f earthquake anywhere along the Wa- 
satch was estimated to be 13 percent over a 
50-year period.^ An earthquake of that size any- 
where along the fault zone will be felt throughout 



MmajMiMiiimium 




NOTE. Thick line designates the Wasatch fault About 80 percent of 
Utah's population, or nearly 1 6 million people, are at nsk to movement 
of the fault- 
SOURCE US Geokigical Survey. 1995 

the system, and is likely to damage structures in 
the closest cities.^' 

Although a major earthquake in a California 
city would cause considerable damage and loss of 
life, an occurrence in less-prepared Utah could be 



^^ Michael N. Machette et al., "Paleoseismology of the >A^saIch Fault Zone: A Siumnaiy of Recent Investigations, Inie>pietaoons. and Con- 
clusions." uses Professional Paper 1 500- A. November 1990, p. A55. Ixd by USGS and die Utah Geological and Mineral Survey, die project 
was completed in the early 1 990s; seismic hazard and risk assessment continues today under state and local authorities. 

^ S. Nishcnko, "Probabilistic Estimates for the Wasatch Fault," in Proceedings of the National Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council. 
June 11-12. 1991. Alia. Utah, USGS Open File Report 92-249 (Washington, EiC: U.S. Geological Survey, 1992). pp. 16-19. 

^ Kaye Shedlock. U.S. Geological Survey, Earthquake and Landslide Hazards Branch, personal consnunication, Apr. IS, 1995. 



81 



481 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



far worse. '° Moreover, continued population 
growth in the region will likely lead to urbaniza- 
tion in areas relatively unlargeted (until recently) 
by earthquake researchers; this raises the possibil- 
ity of additional damage in areas currently un- 
aware of their seismic hazard. 

I Central United States 

A series of three great earthquakes occurred be- 
tween December 1811 and February 1812 near 
New Madrid, Missouri, opening chasms in the 
earth, destroying the scattered settlements in the 
region, and causing sections of the Mississippi 
River to temporarily reverse and flow backward. 
Although there were no modem seismographic 
instruments available then to record the quakes' 
magnitudes, the level of destruction witnessed 
places these events among the most powerful 
ever.^' 

The challenge to the earth science community 
has therefore been to determine the likelihood of 
future damaging earthquakes in this region, and to 
decide whether the great New Madrid earthquakes 
were a geophysical fluke or the offspring of geo- 
logic conditions specific to the region. ^^ In many 
respects, this task has been more difficult to per- 
form than is generally the case in the western 
United States, because earthquakes in the central 



and eastern United States cannot be accounted for 
by classic plate tectonic theory. Compounding 
this difficulty is an observational problem caused 
by the presence of the Mississippi. Sediments car- 
ried by the river and deposited overland during 
floods over the eons have blanketed the region 
with kilometers of mud. sand, clay, and soil that 
effectively hide potential earthquake faults from 
view.^' 

About a decade ago, a major success was 
achieved in the identification of a geologic struc- 
ture that appears tied to the region's earthquakes. 
This structure, the Reelfoot Rift, is a buried series 
of faults and anomalous rock formations formed 
500 million years ago when tectonic forces tried 
but failed to split North America in two.^"* The 
rifting event in effect drew a wounding scar 
through the more-or-less contiguous landmass of 
the central and eastern United States. It is this sin- 
gular zone of weakness (identified through geo- 
physical surveys) that may account for the New 
Madrid earthquakes (see figure 2-7). 

Thus, it appears that seismicity in this area is 
tied to a particular geologic structure, and is not 
expected to recur randomly elsewhere (see figure 
2-7). However, scientists have also learned that 
any earthquakes that do occur in the eastern half of 
the United States will be felt far more widely than 



^ A 1976 USGSsIudy, for example, projecied 14.000 rataliliesin the event of a major Wasatch Front event. The Salt Lake area has since 
upgraded its seismic zone status and implemented hazard assessment and mitigation projects. 

^' With MMI of XI and XII. these temblors were the largest to occur within the coterminous United Slates; the 1 8 1 2 quake was felt through- 
out an area of 5 mdlion square kilometers. Forcomparison. the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 had an MMI of XI and registered 8. 3 the 
Richter scale. William Atkinson. The Next New Madrid Earthquake: A Suri'tval Guide for the Midwest (Carbondale and Edwardsville. IL; 
Southern Illinois University Press. 1989). p 22; and Bolt, see foomote 13, pp 5. 270. 277. 

^^ The former conclusion would suggest that a repeal might occur virtually anywhere in the United States; the latter, although disquieting to 
local residents, at least conftnes the likely region of future devastation. 

^^ Although the deep sedimentary cap precludes direct observation of the faults, sedimentation faciliutes paleoseismic work, and some 
infonnation about the region's tectonic structures can be inferred by its topography. Geologic evidence indicates that three large earthquakes 
have occurred m the New Madnd area over the last 2.400 years, a recurrence rate comparable to that for the Wasatch fault or many reverse faults 
in California. Robert Yeats. Department of Geosciences. Oregon Slate University, personal communication. May 7, 1 995; and see Keith I . Kel- 
son et al., "Multiple Lais Holocene Earthquakes Along the Reelfoot Fault. Central New Madrid Seismic Zone," Journal of Geophysical Re- 
search, forthcoming. January 1996. 

^ Roben M. Hamilton and Arch C. Johnston (eds.), Tecumseh's Prophecy: Preparing for the Next New Madrid Earthquake. U.S. Geologi- 
cal Survey Circular 1066 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1990), p. 9. Atthetimc. North America was joined to Eurasia and 
Africa. Following the failure of the Reelfoot Rift, the landmass farther east split to form the proto- Atlantic Ocean. 



82 



Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Hazards 149 



FIGURE 2-7: New Madrid Seismic Zone 



MISSOURI 



* ARKANSAS 




siting of earthquakes, it does not by itself predict 
their occurrence. At present, there is no clear con- 
sensus on what mechanism causes tectonic stress 
in the region to build up to the point of an earth- 
quake. In the absence of a conceptual tectonic 
model, the best guide to future earthquake activity 
in this region lies in the record of past earthquakes. 
This record suggests a recurrence of moderate 
quakes every 60 to 90 years (the last moderate 
event was in 1895).^' The probability of an 
M6.3 quake before 2040 is 86 to 97 percent; of 
an M8.3 quake, 2.7 to 4 percent^ 

Furthermore, outside the immediate New Ma- 
drid Seismic Zone, the characteristics of the 
source zones in the central (and eastern) United 
States are poorly known. The region is virtually 
devoid of identifiable active faulting,^^ and geo- 
logic studies of seismogenic features are in the re- 
connaissance stage. Although current levels of 
seismicity indicate a low hazard, NEHRP-sup- 
ported studies have provided evidence of several 
major quakes in the Wabash Valley area (southern 
Indiana and Illinois) over the last 20,000 years. 



NOTE: Shaded area shows region of intense liquefaction in 1811 to 
1812 earthquakes, small hatches represent seismicity dunng 1974 to 
1 991 . and heavy dashed lines indicate boundaries of the ReeHoot Rift 
SOURCE U S Geological Survey, 1995 

quakes that occur west of the Rockies (see box 
2-3). 

Given the potentially far-flung and devastating 
effects of a major earthquake in the central United 
States, it is critical that earthquake severity and 
timing estimates are refined to the point that re- 
gional policymakers know the need and time scale 
for action. Unfortunately, uncertainties for the re- 
gion remain substantial. Although the presence of 
the Reelfoot Rift provides an explanation for the 



I Eastern United States 

The Pacific Northwest, California, Intermountain 
West, and central United States have constituted 
the primary earthquake concerns in this counoy 
because the likelihood and potentially devastating 
effects of damaging earthquakes are known with 
greatest certainty in these regions. However, other 
parts of the country are also at risk (although the 
hazards are more uncertain) and may come more 
to the forefront with continued research and un- 
derstanding. These regions include the Atlantic 
seaboard, which has experienced rare but moder- 
ately damaging earthquakes centered near 
Charleston, South Carolina; Boston, Massachu- 



^^ Atkinson, see footnote 31, p. t; and ibid., p. 8. 

^ Hanulton and Johnson (eds.), see footnote 34. 

^' Arch C. Johnston and Susan J. Nava, "Seismic Hazard Assessment in the Central United States," Proceedings o/ATC-35 Seminar onNew 
Developments in EarthqutUu Ground Motion Estimation and Implications for Engineering Design Practice. ATC-35- 1 , Applied Technology 
Council (ed.) (Redwood City, CA: Applied Technology Council, 1 994). p. 2-7. An exception is the Meers Fault in Oklahoma, which has geolog- 
ic expression indicative of previous strong earthquakes but very low modem seismicity. 



83 



501 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



BOX 2-3: Relative Impact Areas for Eastern and Western Earttiquakes 



The two halves of the North American continent have very different tectonic histories East of the Rock- 
ies, the North American landmass has held together (the abortive Reeltoot Rift notwithstanding) for a good 
part of the last billion years, and the tectonic plate material is strong In contrast, the continent west of the 
Rockies has experienced repeated breakup, reassembly, uplift, compression, extension, and shear — heat- 
ing and weakening it Seismic waves radiating from a western earthquake therefore dimmish more rapidly 
as they pass through fractured and heated rock, so that a major earthquake along the San Andreas can 
fiave relatively moderate effects on the distant Los Angeles basin East of the Rockies, however, seism'c 
waves are far less weakened as they radiate through hard. cold, strong rock,~and even a moderate quake 
has the potential for destruction over a wide geographic range ' 

Relative Impact Areas for Severe Earthquakes in Western and Eastern United States 




NOTE Figure Shows areas ol Modified Mercaili Intensity of VI and VII tof two great earthquakes (New Madrid, Missouri, in 1811 and 
San Francisco. California, m 1906) and two major damaging earthquakes (Chaileston, South Carolina, in 1886 and San Fernando. 
Calitornia. in 1 971 ) Potential damage area corresponds to intensity VII and greater, an area of roughly 2SO.0(X square miles for the 
New Madrid earthquake 

SOURCE Otiice ol Technology Assessment. 1995. t>ased on R Hamilton and A Johnston (eds ). TecumsehS Prophesy Preparing 
for the Next New Madna Earthquake. US Geological Sun/ey Circular 1066 (Washington. DC US Govefment Printing Ottice, 1990) 
pp 6. 12. w Nuttli. "The Mississippi Valley Earthquakes ol 181 1 and 1812 — Intensities. Ground Motion, and Magnitudes.* 8u//e//n 
oliheSeisnxilogicalSoaetyol America. vol 63. 1973. pp 227-248. and D W.Rankin (ed), 'Studies Related totheCharleslon.Soutti 
Carolina. Earthquake ol 1886— A Preliminaty Report.' US Geological Survey Professional Paper 1028. 1977 



' The 1812 New Madrid shock was leit m Boston, Canada. Georgia, and at least as far west as Kansas and Netwaska Moderate 
ground shaking was leit over an area of nearty 1 million square miles, in contrast to some 60.000 square miles in the 1 906 San Francis- 
co quake William Atkinson, The Next New MadridMafthquake A Survival Guide for the Midwest (Cartxyidale and Edwardsville, IL: 
Southern Illinois University Press, 1989), p I8 

SOURCE Office ol Technotogy Assessment. 1995 



84 



Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Hazards 151 



setts; and northward toward the Saint Lawrence 
Valley. 

Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are at 
risk from earthquakes in the Caribbean's subduc- 
tion zone. In 1917, Puerto Rico suffered a major 
earthquake (M7). 

I Limiting Factors in 
Assessing Seismic Hazards 

Damaging earthquakes have occurred in many 
parts of the United States, and several metropoli- 
tan areas are located in regions of moderate to very 
high seismic hazards (see table 2-3). Over the last 
quarter of a century, understanding of these haz- 
ards has increased considerably. In the past five 
years, advanced instrumentation and computer- 
based analytic tools have revolutionized earth sci- 
ence research and laid the groundwork for new 
hazard estimation capabilities. 

Despite the many achievements to date, uncer- 
tainties still plague our ability to characterize seis- 
mic hazards. Engineers desire better information 
on the types of ground shaking expected for a giv- 
en area so that methods for analyzing and improv- 
ing a structure's seismic resistance can be 
enhanced. Likewise, planners and emergency 
managers would greatly benefit from improved 
knowledge of which areas in a city are likely to be 
hardest hit by future earthquakes. Factors that lim- 
it our knowledge of faults capable of producing 
earthquakes, of how often quakes occur on them, 
and of their likely effects include the following: 
■ The historical and instrumental records are 

very short compared with the time scales on 

which earthquakes are generated, particularly 

east of the Rockies. 

• Most quakes begin rupturing 1 km or more be- 
neath the surface of the earth: although some 
earthquake phenomena and causative factors 
are observed directly in surface faulting and 
geodetic strain, other information must be in- 
ferred from seismological and other data. 

• Detailed mapping of the structural features that 
influence earthquake damage has been com- 
pleted in only a small portion of the United 
Sutes. 



■ There are few records of strong ground motions 
in close proximity to fault ruptures, and data on 
crustal deformation and stress are likewise 
sparse. 

Such challenges to our understanding of seis- 
mic hazards and progress toward the long-term 
goal of accurately predicting earthquakes will 
likely be more readily surmounted in the future, 
given the present confluence of new tools, trained 
scientists, and expanded databases. These ad- 
vances stem from work in the earth sciences sup- 
ported by NEHRP and from other federal, state, 
local, and international activities. 

EARTHQUAKE-RELATED RESEARCH 
IN EARTH SCIENCE 

The preceding sections outlined some of the sub- 
stantial progress made by the earth science com- 
munity in achieving a basic understanding of the 
earthquake problem. This understanding has 
made it possible for policymakers to identify fu- 
ture trouble spots and to take preventive action. 
Current knowledge of seismic hazards in different 
regions, however, has not reached the point where 
scientists and policymakers are no longer sur- 
prised by earthquakes and their effects. Scientific 
uncertainties for much of the country remain high 
enough to discourage the implementation of of- 
tentimes costly mitigation measures. Under 
NEHRP, earth science researchers seek to reduce 
these uncertainties and to make available much 
needed information for the implementation of 
seismic risk reduction policies, practices, and 
technologies. This section discusses current re- 
search efforts that address the primary knowledge 
gaps. 

I Objectives 

The objectives of current earthquake-related earth 

science include: 

• identifying the regions of potential risk; 

■ producing or refining estimates of future earth- 
quake location, timing, and severity; 

" highlighting special geologic hazards that may 
accompany future events (e.g., landslides, tsu- 
namis, unusual ground shaking); and 



85 



521 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



TABLE 2-3: Summary ol U.S. Earthquake Hazards 



Frequency/probability of return 



Comments on tectonic framewor1( 



Pacific Northwest 



Northern California 



Southern California 



Intermountain West 



Central United States 



Puerto Rico and U S 
Virgin Islands 



Since 1900. one M8 or larger quake € 
ery 13 years, one M7+ quake every 
year, and several moderate to large 
quakes every year 

90-year return period for a M7 5 



67 percent chance of a M7 or greater 
earthquake m the San Francisco Bay 
area by 2020 



80-90 percent probability of a M7 or 
greater earthquake before 2024 in great- 
er Los Angeles area 



Frequent seismicity associated with vol- 
canic activity, last ma|or quake (M7 1) m 
1975 

30 percent chance of major quake any- 
where along Utah's Wasatch fault zone 
in the next 100 years 
Growing population centers elsewhere in 
Intermountain Seismic Belt also suscep- 
tible to damaging earthquakes 
40-63 percent probability of recurrence 
of M = 6+ quake in New Madnd Seismic 
Zone before 2006. 86-97 percent proba- 
bility before 2040. approximately 
250-year return period for a M7 6 or 
greater 

300-year return period estimated for a 

M7 

Last moderate quakes in New York area 

in1944and 1985 

Charleston. South Carolina, struck by 
large quake (M6 7) m 1886 
High concentration of seismicity in east- 
ern Tennessee 

Last ma|Or quake in 191 7. estimated 
70-year return perKxJ 



Subduction zone along Aleutian Islands. Alaskan Peninsula, 
and southern Alaska 
Frequent strong intraplate seismicity 

Damaging quakes also possible on stnke-slip Queen Charlotte 
fault in southeast Alaska 

Shallow crustal quakes, massrve subduction zone quakes 
possible offshore, and quakes within subducted plate deep 
beneath Puget Sound 

Primary faults strike-slip San Andreas and Hayward/Rogers 
Creek faults on the east side of the bay, quakes on local blind 
thrust faults also possible 

Northern California coast subject to quakes with several 
sources northern segment of the San Andreas. Cascadia 
subduction zone, and inland crustal quakes 
Extensive rupture of strike-slip San Andreas possible, and 
moderate-to-large quakes also likety on secondary fault sys- 
tems Extensive buned thrust fault system tjeneath the Los 
Angeles basin as a result of compressional terrain 
Faults near Los Angeles' and San Diego's port facilities pose a 
similar threat as ttie fault that njptured r>ear Kobe. Japan, in 
1995 
Repeatedly struck by tsunamis, landslide potential high 



Mountain-building region, normal faulting with large vertical 
offsets possible from Utah northward through Idaho and into 
Montana. 



Abundant seismicity in New Madrid Seismic Zone, linked to 
rifted margin, dispersed seismicity elsewtrere in the region not 
linked to specific faults 



"Stable" plate interior, with zone of relatively high seismicity 
from Adirondacks up through St Lawrence Valley, dispersed 
seismicity elsewhere Several large earthquakes scattered 
throughout region since 1600s. primarily in Canadian prov- 
inces 
Tectonic origin for seismicity in eastern United States unclear. 



Subduction zone where the Caribbean Plate meets the North 
Amencan and South Amencan Plates 



SOURCES Working Group on California Earthquake Protiabilities, Probabilities of Large Earthquakes in the San franc/sco Say Region. California. 
U S Geotogical Suvey Circular 1053 (Washington, DC U S Government Printing Oftice. 1990). Working Group on California Earthquake Probabili- 
ties. 'Seismic Hazards in Southern California Prot»ableEarthquakes. 1994 to2024.'flu//e(/no<tf)eS&srr)o/ogca/Soc/efyo^>Vnenca. vol 85. No 2, 
April 1995. pp 379-439. R Hamiltonand A Johnston (eds ). Tecumseh's Prophecy Preparing/of ffte Next New Madnd Earthquake. US Geo\OQica\ 
Sun«y Circular 1066 (Washington, DC US Government Printing Office. 1990). K Shedkx;k and C Weaver. Prog/am /w £arthqua>(e Haza/tfs As- 
sessmentinthe Pacific Northwest. US Geological Survey Circular 1067 (Washington. DC US Government Printing Office. 1991). and Christine A 
Powellelal. 'A Seismotectonic Model for the 300-Kikxneter-LonQ Eastern Tennessee Seismic Zorw.'Soence. vol 264. Apr 29. 1994. pp 686-688 



86 



Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Hazards 153 



■ supporting scientific and engineering applica- 
tions of earthquake data and theories. 
Meeting these objectives and resolving some of 
the unknowns laid out in the first half of this chap- 
ter requires continued effort in several research 
disciplines. This work ranges from exploratory re- 
search into details of earthquake sources to apply- 
ing new computational techniques toward 
predicting ground failure or tsunami develop- 
ment. Earth scieiKe research and data collec- 
tion efTorts have been — and will continue to 
be — essential to the development and selection 
of mitigation options appropriate to a particu- 
lar region's seismic risk. 

For the discussion that follows, earthquake-re- 
lated research is grouped into two broad areas: 1 ) 
basic research into the fundamental processes that 
govern earthquake timing, location, and severity; 
and 2) research applied toward predicting the ef- 
fects of earthquakes, which in turn supports engi- 
neering analyses, land-use planning, and 
emergency response. 

I Foretelling Earthquake Timing, 
Location, and Severity 

The general theory of plate tectonics, while identi- 
fying where earthquakes should occur over the 
long term, does not itself give clear warning of 
earthquake likelihood or timing. This stems from 
the difference between geologic time, which 
spans thousands or millions of years, and the time 
scales that are appropriate for public policy. Plate 
tectonics suggests that if we were to wait several 
millennia, we would expect earthquakes to occur 
essentially everywhere along a plate boundary. 
What it does not tell us is which specific parts of 
that boundary will become active in the next few 
years or decades. Moreover, plate tectonics does 



not easily explain why earthquakes should occur 
far from plate boundaries (as they do east of the 
Rockies), and rising evidence suggests that the 
theory is generally inadequate to describe the 
large-scale tectonic behavior of continental 
masses.'* 

To specify which part of a plate boundary is 
likely to break in the near future, researchers must 
go beyond the large-scale workings of the basic 
plate tectonic model and identify how general 
plate tectonic movements are translated into local 
earthquakes. This quest entails a host of separate 
research endeavors, the chief of which are region- 
al tectonic studies, including geodetic studies; 
fundamental seismological research and monitor- 
ing; and paleoseismology. The following sections 
describe these research areas. 

Regional Tectonic Studies 

Regional tectonic studies seek to determine how 
large-scale plate motions produce finer scale pat- 
terns of stress and deformation (e.g., uplift and 
compression of the earth's surface) in potential 
earthquake zones. If earthquake-causing buildup 
of tectonic stress can be correlated with the occur- 
rence of tectonic deformation, areas of potential 
danger can be identified even in the absence of his- 
torical seismicity through observing changes in 
stress. Such an identification would be particular- 
ly useful in regions such as the Pacific Northwest 
where major earthquakes have been historically 
infrequent. 

Tectonic studies also seek to identify hidden 
structures that are capable of producing earth- 
quakes (e.g., Los Angeles' blind thrust faults) 
through a combination of remote geophysical 
techniques and onsite geologic mapping.-^' For 
example, scientists have studied how the relation- 



^ Cuircni indicaiions are dial the thinner oceanic pajts oT the eanh's surface act more plaie-Iike (i.e.. they are rigid and strong) but that 
continents behave in a more complex fashion. For example, the Basin and Range Province of Nevada is stretching in an east-west direction 
(generating low-level scismiciiy in the process), while the central and eastern parts of the country seem to consist of strong rigid blocks criss- 
crossed with weaker scars from arKienl tectonic activity. 

^ Methods of imaging subsurface geology and seismogenic structures include analysis of the passage of seismic waves through the earth, 
and local changes in the eanh's magnetic and gravitational fields. When combined, the dau reveal variations in material properties or rock types 
that point to the pteserKe of faults. 



87 



541 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



Japan initiated the first geodetic monitoring program at the turn ol tt>e 20th century, many decades be- 
fore a similar program was established In the United States ' Today, both countries have Implemented 
state-of-the-art observation systems intended to reveal strain and stress accumulation from ongoing tec- 
tonic processes Alttiough geodetic measurements are now made in many areas, in only two areas — the 
San Andreas stnke-slip fault zone and the sutxiuction zone along the southern coast of Japan — are there 
sufficient data to attempt to reconstruct the entire quake-loading cycle ^ 

Very Long BaselliM Interlarometry and Global Positioning System 

The paucity of data stems m part from the logistics of geodetic measurement techniques, which for years 
required laborious field surveys However, the availability ol highly accurate clocks and digital telecommunica- 
tions systems has brought significant advances to the field during the last decade or so Very Long Baseline 
Interferometry <y\JB\) and, later. Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites have allowed expanded observa- 
tion ol crustal deformation and measurement of slip rates with greater accuracy ^ GPS-based techniques in 
particular offer speedier calculations of relative distances and thus deformations Other technical advantages 
of GPS systems are absence of line-of-sighl constraints, simultaneous determination of vertical and horizontal 
position, and a useful interstation range from hundreds of kilometers to less than one kilometer* 

Regional networks of continuously recording GPS receivers are operating in Japan and California to 
rrxjnltor strain for earthquake research and forecasting Deployment of portable stations after an earth- 
quake allows scientists to observe post-seismic deformations, these data complement data from seiSHW- 
graphs concerning the depth, orientation, and amount of fault slip ^ 



' Christopher H Scholz, 7heMec/ian«sor£artftqua/(esantf/au/&ng(NewYork. NiY Camtxtdge University Press. 1990). p 223. 

' Ibid . p 227 

■^ VLBI uses radio waves from distant quasars as sources of ranging signals GPS saleltites broadcast time-stamped position data 
at two difterent frequefKses. aiimving lor correction ot signal delays caused by the earth s atmosphere and thus improved resolution 

* Robert A Page e( al , Goals. Oppoflunities. andPnonties tot the USGS Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. USGS Circular 
1079 (Washington. DC U S Government Pnnting Ottice. 1992). p 9 

5 University l^avstar Consortium. Geoscierytific Research and the &ot>al Positioning System Recent Developments and Future 
Prospects (BouWer. CO 1994). pp 3-4 The University Navstar Consortium (UNAVCO) provides inlormation. support, and scientific 
infrastructure to principal Invesligatcrs making use ot GPS satellites tor earth science and related research 



ship between primary tectonic features such as the 
Reelfoot Rift and the continental interior's overall 
stress regime may serve to localize seismicity in 
the New Madrid area.^ Such research may also 
help to explain the spatial and temporal earth- 
quake clustering that has been observed in the 
United States and other parts of the world. 



Geodetic Studies 

A number of technologies (see box 2-4) are used 
to observe and measure tectonic deformation. 
These geodetic studies provide part of the raw ma- 
terial for tectonic studies and serve as intermediate 
checkpoints for earthquake forecasts based on 



*' A cimail hypodmis is tbu most stable continenul quakes occur througl) the reactivation of relatively young rift faults that birak the 
inlegrily of the contiiienial cnm. John Adanu and Peier W. BishiiTk "New Knowledge of Noitheastein North American Earihquak 
ATC-35-l.p. 3-7. oiling C o y p a m iilfa et al.. Methods for Assessing Maximum Eanhquakts in the Central and Eastern United Slates: EPRI 
Pni>>KX Z556- /2, Wbridng Repot (Pik) Alto. CA: Electric Fttwer Research Insiitute). 1 987; and A.C. Johnston. 'The Seismicity of ' Stable C^ 
tineoul 1atnon"Earth^iiallaalNorthAlUxnlic Margins: Neotectonics and Postglacial Rebound. S. Gregcrson and P.W. Basham (eds.) (Dor- 
decht. Nettaeriandi: Khiwer Academic Publishen. 1989). pp. 299-327. 



88 



Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Hazards 155 



Ifflffi 



ml 



Synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery 

An even more recent departure from established ground-based geodetic measurement techniques is the 
use of remote sensing to produce detailed images of deformation fields ly^icrowave signals generated by 
synthetic aperture radar (mounted on aircraft or satellites) and reflected off the ground are processed to esti- 
mate displacement 8 Unlike most geodetic techniques, a surveyed network need not be in place prior to an 
earthquake — satellite images collected at regular intervals can capture co-seismic displacements without 
advance knowledge of an earthquake's location' Other advantages of Synthetic Aperture Radar imagery 
include more dense spatial sampling and tDetter precision than previous space imaging techniques 

Laser Interterometry 

Near Parkfield, Calilornia, the US Geological Survey has Iseen using a two-color laser distance mea- 
suring instrument (geodimeter) to observe relative movement in the vicinity of the San Andreas fault The 
two-color geodimeter measures distances to a precision of 0.3 to 1 mm for ranges between 1 and 9 km 

In-fault Measurements 

A number of instruments placed at various depths in an active fault zone also help to reveal ongoing 
deformation either directly (eg , through creepmeters and strainmeters) or indirectly (eg , through 
changes in water level or pore pressure) Creepmeters continuously monitor fault movement within a few 
meters of fault zones to characterize the rate and nature of fault slip They can detect cfianges of about 1 
mm Borehole volumetric strainmeters can detect changes of 10 parts per billion (1 inch in 1 ,600 miles) for 
signals with periods of several weeks and. for higher frequency signals, can detect even smaller changes 



^WilliamPrescott. "Seeing Earthquakes from Alar,' A/arure. vol 364. Julys, 1993. pp 100-101 

' Didier Massonnet ot al . 'The Dispiacement Field of the Landers Earthquake Mapped by Radar Interterometry." Natum. vol 364. 
Julys, 1993, p 138 

SOURCES: Office of Technology Assessment and US Geological Survey, 1995 



models of regional tectonics. For example, geo- 
detic data are used to infer rates of regional plate 
motion that, along with seismologic or geologic 
evidence of fault locations, can provide estimates 
of the hazard from these faults.^' Important data 
are also obtained from strain measurements at 
depth (e.g., through borehole monitoring of po- 
rosity). 



The advent of space-based geodetic tech- 
niques, such as Very Long Baseline Interferome- 
try. Satellite Laser Ranging, and most recently, 
surveys using the Global Positioning System 
(GPS), has revolutionized this field of study. '*^ 
With these newer techniques, it is possible to di- 
rectly observe crustal deformation, which may ac- 



*' uses and SCEC Scientists, set footnote 25, p. 395, 

*^ Ttie first two lechnologies were developed under the aegis of the National Aeronautics and Space Adminisbatioa's (NASA) Crustal Oy- 
natnics Project, a program aimed at directly measuring the relative velocities of tectonic plates on a gtolnl scale: the original geoscientiHc ap- 
plications of GPS stemmed from this work. University Navstar Consortium, Geosctentific Research and the Global Positioning System: Recent 
Developmenis and Future Prospects (Boulder, CO 1994), p. I . Today, under NASA's Mission to Planet Earth Program, space-based geodetic 
technology development and research continues. 



89 



561 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



celerate the development of reliable earthquake 
forecasting. 

Fundamental Selsntologlcal Research 

To better understand how stresses in the earth 
eventually lead to the rupturing of a fault and the 
production of an earthquake, scientists monitor 
earthquakes via global and regional seismic net- 
works (coordinated systems of sophisticated seis- 
mic listening and measuring devices, known as 
seismometers; see box 2-5) and compare the 
seismology data collected with results from 
theoretical and laboratory models of earthquake 
generation. 

Questions central to seismological research in- 
clude the following: 

• How does an earthquake initiate? 

■ What determines whether a growing earth- 
quake becomes large, moderate, or small? 

• Can a prenascent earthquake telegraph its fu- 
ture birth and characteristics to attentive ob- 
servers? 

■ How does an earthquake affect tectonic stress 
in a region (e.g., does it simply alleviate stress 
and thus reduce the likelihood of an imminent 
recurrence, or can an earthquake create distor- 
tions in the regional stress field that set off 
nearby followers)? 

The advent of faster, more powerfiil computers 
has aided in understanding the processes by which 
crustal stresses lead to earthquakes at any given 
location. Using seismological data, researchers 
now model how fractures initiate and propagate as 
a result of mechanical properties (e.g., frictional 
strength) and stress changes at each point on the 
fault. In addition, three-dimensional models of 
ruptures along segmented faults are being devel- 
oped to study what stops earthquakes and thereby 
to estimate their magnitudes.^^ 



Another effort to understand what controls 
earthquake faulting involves laboratory studies of 
the physical properties of earth materials and 
physical conditions at the earthquake source, the 
interactions between rock and fluid in the fault, 
and nucleation and instability mechanisms.** The 
objective is to improve tools for interpreting ob- 
servations of seismic and geodetic data in terms of 
earthquake processes and conditions at the source. 

Paleoselsmology 

On most faults, the time between similar large 
earthquakes is much longer than the period over 
which modem instruments have observed earth- 
quakes and geodetic changes. Even in regions 
where recorded history spans thousands of years, 
such as the eastern Mediterranean or north-central 
China, contemporary observers often could not 
correlate earthquakes with specific faults.^^ Thus 
our knowledge of how often faults can produce 
damaging earthquakes is very limited. 

To learn whether or not earthquakes consistent- 
ly rupture the same segment of a fault in the same 
way (i.e., act as a characteristic earthquake) or fol- 
low a regular time pattern, it is necessary to extend 
the modem record back long enough to encom- 
pass several similar earthquakes on the same fault. 
This need led to the development of paleoselsmol- 
ogy, a relatively new field of earth science. Re- 
searchers seek and examine evidence of sudden 
coastal subsidence or uplift; fault displacement 
revealed by shallow excavations; and deposits 
related to liquefaction, tsunamis, or other seismi- 
cally induced processes. In many cases, paleoseis- 
mic events can be dated by radiocarbon and other 
techniques, although typically not with as much 
precision as historical events."** 

With funding from NEHRP, this type of data 
collection has accelerated in the past 15 years. Pa- 
leoselsmology has been particularly useful in as- 



'^ Ruth Hanis. U.S. Geological Survey. MenJo Paik. personal communicauon. Nov. 4. 1994. 

** James I>ieieTich. U.S. Geological Survey. Menlo Paiit. personal conununicatjon, Nov. 4, 1994. 

*^ This section is drawn ftxMn Robert Yeals, Depaitmeni of Geosciences, Oregon Sure Univeisiiy. personal communication. May 7. 1995. 

* Kenneth A. Geooel, Goetiel & Homer. Inc.. personal communication. M4y 7. 1995. 



90 



Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Hazards 157 



BOX 2-5: Seismic Monitoring 



Seismic monitoring serves several purposes: it allows determination of the location of significant earth- 
quakes in support of emergency response and public information; it enables nuclear test ban verification, 
and it supports research directed at improving Ijasic understanding of tectonics and earthquake phenome- 
na 

In the 1 9th century, knowledge of major seismicity was for the most part limited to earthquakes felt on 
the continents ' The installation and operation of seismometers in many countries, along with extensive 
cooperation in exchanging data, have since permitted knowledge and illustration of global patterns of seis- 
micity The 1960s witnessed the establishment of a glot3al network of seismic stations (largely with nuclear 
monitoring in mind), at the same time, several regional seismic networks were established in the United 
States. As of 1994, there were more than 1 .400 permanent seismographic stations maintained by regional 
networks^ 

Two primary classes of seismometers exist today: 1) 1 960s-generation equipment that provides data in 
limited frequency and amplitude ranges, largely because of analog transmission constraints, and 2) new 
generation broadband, high-dynamic range instruments available since 1985 The advanced instruments 
and digital telemetry now enable improved representation of the phase and energy spectra of seismic 
waves, essential to ground motion and earthquake processes research With constrained resources, how- 
ever, there are tradeoffs between increasing the quall^/ or the quantity of instruments Likewise, there is 
tension between providing funding for the operation and maintenance of stations and performing research 
with the available data 



Seismogram of Northridge Aftershock 




NOTH Vertical component ol acceleration recorded in ttw San Fefnando Valley Irom a magnitude 4 5 aftershock of thie 1994 Nortti- 

ridge earthquake 

SOURCE: U S Geological Survey, 1995 



' Bruce A Bolt. Inside the Earth Evidence from Earthquakes (San Francisco. CA; WH Freeman and Co , 1982). p 54 
2 Council of National Seismic System. "CNSS Seismic Networks and Data Centers" internet address http //www geophys Wa- 
shington edu/CNSS/cnss sla html. May 1 1 . 1995 CNSS was begun al a meeting in Denver in February 1 993 by representatives Irom 
most ol the U S regional seismic networks and the National Seismic Network to help coordinate eltorts to record and analyze seismic 
data in the United States As of spring 1995. 27 institutions had lormaliy joined the council- 

(cxmtinued) 



91 



581 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



National Seismic Network 

In the late 1980s, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission decided to withdraw support for its networks, 
located primarily in eastern slates The U S Geological Survey proposed to establish the National Seismo- 
graph Network (NSN), a 150-slation network of modern digital stations distributed throughout the country, 
to enable uniform monitoring of significant quakes and provide data for research into a variety of eanh- 
quake problems To date. 23 NSN broadband seismic stations have been installed in the eastern United 
Stales, with nine more stations planned In the western United Stales. 16 NSN broadband stations are op- 
erating, and seven more are planned Installation of an additional 10 to 15 cooperative NSN stations is 
possible over the next few years for the continental United States ^ 

NSN is not intended to perform the monitoring and research functions of the existing regional networks 
Rather, it leverages their capabilities with technology for recording broadband, high-dynamic range, three- 
component seismic data in real time and with low telemetry costs In addition, NSN provides standardized 
data manipulation procedures and a communications network that interconnects regional networks ^ 



3 Harley Benz. U S Geological Survey, personal communication. May 1 1 , 1995 

* Thomas HHealonetal , "National Seismic System Science Plan.* US Geological Survey Circular 1031 (Washington, DC U S 
fkivemment Prmling Ottice, 1989). pp 21-22 

SOURCE Ofliceol Technology Assessment. 1995 



sessing earthquake potential in regions that have 
not been strucic by a major earthquake during re- 
corded history, such as the Salt Lake City metro- 
politan corridor, the San Andreas fault in 
southeastern California, and the Cascadia subduc- 
tion zone in the Pacific Northwest. It has also 
helped to reduce uncertainty about the frequency 
of major quakes in the central United States, and 
to enhance knowledge of historic earthquakes in 
the San Francisco Bay area.*^ 

Earthquake Forecasting and Prediction 

A longstanding objective of efforts to understand 
basic geological and seismological processes is a 
reliable means of predicting earthquakes.^ The 



simplest model of the earthquake cycle is that 
strain accumulates, is released in an earthquake, 
and accumulates again — initiating another cycle. 
The average length of the cycle for a certain type 
of quake at a given location is called the recur- 
rence interval, which is used to roughly estimate 
the time of the next earthquake. To determine this 
interval, scientists rely on seismic monitoring and 
paleoseismology to obtain relationships for mag- 
nitude and recurrence. 

Historical seismicity and paleoseismology 
show, however, that there is great variability in the 
timing, location, and magnitude of earthquakes. 
The variations in earthquake characteristics on a 
single fault segment or the clustering of several 



^^In spite of the fact ti\ilpaleo means ancient, palcoseismologists study tralh prehistoric and historical earthquakes — in areas having short 
historic records, there may be only one enampte of an earthquake on a given fault Carol Prentice and Andrew Michael, U.S. Geological Survey, 
Menio Park, personal communications, June S, 1995. 

^ This repon distinguishes txtween forecasting and prediction as follows: the fornicT refers to estimates of eanhqiiake potential or timing 
over a period of many decades; the latter encompasses estimates of earthquake occurrence on shorter time scales (e.g., imminent — a few se- 
conds or minutes; short-term — several minutes to days or weeks; and intermediate-term — up to several years). 



92 



Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Hazards 159 



LMJMMBII— M 



U.S. region 



International counterpart 



New Madrid Seismic Zone and 

eastern United States 
California 

Intermountain West 
Pacific Northwest 



Australia, peninsular India 

New Zealand, nortfieastern Iran, l\^ongolia, Turkey, Venezuela 
North-central China, Aegean region of Greece and western Turkey 
Southwest Japan, southern Chile 



SOURCE: Robert Steals, Department of Geosciences. Oregon Slate University, personai communication. May 7, 1995. 



earthquakes in time indicate that the simple model 
is not sufficient for many applications. Some areas 
exhibit greater variability than others; typically, 
these are regions of more complex geology and 
plate interaction. Several U.S. metropolitan cen- 
ters are located in such regions (e.g., Los Angeles, 
San Francisco, and cities in the Pacific North- 
west). 

To improve on the simple earthquake model re- 
quires a better understanding of the processes 
through which tectonic stress leads to individual 
earthquakes. This entails developing models of 
earthquake generation and relating these models 
to things we can observe in the earth (some of 
which may turn out to be earthquake precursors). 
Therefore, current efforts at earthquake prediction 
combine historical seismological and paleo- 
seismological data with models of earthquake 
generation, and correlate the results with measure- 
ments of geophysical phenomena. 

Forecasts 

In a few regions of the country, scientists have 
gathered enough data to permit long-term earth- 
quake forecasts; these are often expressed as the 
probabiUty that a certain size earthquake will oc- 
cur within the next few decades, either for a single 
fault (e.g., the southern San Andreas or Wasatch) 



or for a region with several hazardous faults (e.g., 
the San Francisco Bay area).^' Such probabilistic 
assessments have been important in analyzing a 
region's seismic hazard, and directly support land- 
use planning and building code development.'^ 

Because individual earthquakes repeat so infre- 
quently and because there is variability between 
events, these forecasts are subject to considerable 
uncertainty. We can develop and test improved 
models more rapidly if we also look outside the 
United States for data, especially to other parts of 
the world that have similar geologic settings and 
have had large historical earthquakes. Table 2-4 
lists these areas and their international counter- 
parts. 

Prediction 

In theory, prediction could stem from improve- 
ments to the probabilistic forecasting method — 
that is, through reducing uncertainties in the 
assessment of earthquake characteristics and tim- 
ing to permit more precise estimates. But variabil- 
ity in earthquake events is not the only source of 
uncertainty; the probabilistic method is also ham- 
pered in areas where quakes are very infrequent or 
have poor siuf ace expression, and where geophys- 
ical and geodetic data are sparse. Intraplate 
quakes, in particular, tend to have very long recur- 



^ A prol>abilistic forecasting model, for example, incorponites ttie regional stress neld. rate of crustal defonnation in the vicinity of ttie 
foult. and strain acctunulation with seismotogic and geologic data. 

^ Estimates of earthquake potentia] are also used in deterministic assessments of seismic tiazards (i.e., the calculation of strong ground 
motions for a specific earthquake scenario and site); these are frequently used in building design and the construction of seismically resistant 
stiijctures. 



93 



601 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



rence times (e.g., thousands of years), and few 
have surface expression. 

Thus earthquake prediction may hinge on inter- 
preting certain warning signs rather than enhanc- 
ing current models of the seismic cycle. As a first 
step, it is essential to verify whether or not such 
signs exist. Box 2-6 discusses research questions 
related to earthquake prediction. 

I Foretelling Earthquake Effects 

In addition to determining earthquake potential, 
an equally important task for the earth science 
community is to give planners and engineers pre- 
cise information on what earthquakes will actual- 
ly do to the earth's surface that threatens the built 
environment. Earth science R&D with more im- 
mediate application to mitigation has historically 
been overshadowed by the basic research disci- 
plines, but is now receiving increased emphasis (a 
breakdown of funding levels is given in appendix 
B). This applied research is of great importance 
for two reasons. 

First, because earthquake effects on the earth's 
surface are complex, improving the seismic resis- 
tance of lifelines, buildings, and their contents re- 
quires detailed knowledge of the physical forces 
they will encounter. Second, the initial expenses 
of some mitigation measures are such that at-risk 
communities may have difficulty implementing 
them. TTie use of broad-brush, region wide mitiga- 
tion measures is often constrained by political and 
economic concerns (see chapter 4). Research that 
can identify locations of extreme danger and areas 
of relative safety can thus allow communities to 
target limited resources to where they will do most 
good. 



This work includes the fields of su-ong-motion 
studies and seismic zonation (and its subset, mi- 
crozonation).'' Its objective is to examine — and 
quantify where possible — how seismic waves in- 
teract with particular aspects of local geology and 
geography to produce potentially damaging ef- 
fects, including ground shaking, soil amplifica- 
tion, liquefaction, and tsunamis. The following 
discussion explains related studies and their ap- 
plications in more detail. 

General Ground Shaking 

To design buildings and other structures that resist 
seismic damage, the engineering community re- 
quires quantitative estimates of the accelerations, 
velocities, and displacements that will occur in fu- 
ture earthquakes. Producing such estimates re- 
quires knowledge of: 

• future earthquake magnitude; 

• the location, orientation, and size of the likely 
earthquake fault; 

■ the attenuation characteristics of geologic ma- 
terial lying between the earthquake location 
and the area of concern (to determine how rap- 
idly seismic waves decay with distance from 
the epicenter); and 

■ the general soil characteristics of the region. 
This work is partly theoretical and partly empiri- 
cal; it typically involves the correlation of labora- 
tory predictions with data recovered from 
strong-motion seismometers in real-world earth- 
quakes^^ (see box 2-7). Useful data can also be ob- 
tained by temporary regional-scale seismic 
networks deployed in an earthquake's aftermath to 
record the effects of aftershocks. 



*' Strong-motion studies focus on the shaking effects that seismic waves impose on the earth's surface, while zonation is a broader field that 
incorporates such indirect eanhquake hazards as landshdes and tsunamis, as well. Microzonation is hazard assessment on the scale of a town or 
city block. 

^^ Strong-motion devices differ from traditional seismometers in that they can record the strong, violent ground motions from a nearby 
earthquake without failing or going off-scale (traditional observatory-grade seismometers are sensitive instruments designed to detect the faint 
tremors from distant seismic events and cannot handle strong shocks). Gathering strong-motion data has thus historically meant the deployment 
of specialized insuuments for the task. However, recent technical developments have allowed some modem seismometers to function both as 
strong-motion instruments and as observatory devices, and they are increasingly used in many of the newest seismic networks. 



94 



Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Hazards 161 



BOX 2-6: Earthquake Prediction 



To date, programs directed at predicting earthqual<es have had mixed success The central questions 
include 1) are there specific physical conditions that indicate the location, timing, and size of future earth- 
quakes, 2) are current research programs adequately designed to capture and permit assessment of po- 
tential precursors? 

• Is there a recognizable pattern to earthquakes? 

Through statistical analysis of worldwide earthquake occurrences, one can estimate the frequency of 
different magnitude quakes across the globe The monitoring of global seismicity also makes it clear that 
certain areas are much more prone to quakes than others— 90 percent of the worlds earthquakes occur on 
the boundaries of large tectonic plates 

Along a single plate boundary, however, there can be considerable variability in the size and frequency 
of significant earthquakes For example, parts o' the San Andreas fault accommodate the relative motion of 
the North American and Pacific Plates without earthquakes (i e , through aseismic slip); other sections of 
the fault have experienced several large or major quakes during recorded history In general, intraplate 
earthquake sources and processes are even less well known Thus, a better understanding of the relation- 
ships among plate tectonics, regional stresses, and earthquake sources is needed 

• Is an earthquake's size "known" at the time of its initiation? 

Scientists are making progress in understanding earthquake genesis and growth, although there is not 
yet consensus on vrfietrier the eventual magnitude of the quake is random or somehow programmed into 
the surrounding rock Recent observations of earthquake sources using advanced seismographic instru- 
ments, however, show that earthquakes initiate with a distinctive seismic nucleation phase and that ttie size 
and duration of the nucleation phase appear to scale with the eventual size of the earthquake ' These new 
and somewhat controversial results suggest that conditions favoring the growth of large, potentially de- 
structive earthquakes are fundamentally different from those that lead to more common, smaller events if 
so, careful geologic and geophysical monitoring might someday detect the conditions that signal the immi- 
nent risk of a large earthquake 

Local geology (and topography) may also have a role in wtiether larger less frequent quakes (or small- 
er, more frequent ones) are to tx expected on a fault ^ Advanced models of rupture propagation, additional 
geophysical data, and additional seismological data from newer broadband, high-dynamic range instru- 
ments will likely aid in understanding how surficial and subsurface fault characteristics affect rupture and 
maximum magnitude 

• Does the state of stress ttiat causes an earthquake to initiate and a fault to rupture betray itself 
through characteristic sigruils? 

The standard approach to developing a prediction capability hinges on the earth's providing recogniz- 
able signals of impending quakes Ideally, much as we have come to associate certain symptoms with tfie 
onset of a cold, scientists could detect reliable indicators of an earthquake's occurrence in advance of the 
event itself 



' W L Ellswortt) and G C Beroza, "Seismic Evidence lor an Earthquake Nucleation Phase,' Science, vol 268, 1995, p 851 
2 Scientists look lor the presence ot rough patches in the lautl (asperities) through analysis ol seismograms, pTiysical separation 
(eg . step-overs) between fault segments, or other geologic t>aniefs lo the spread ol the rupture zone 

(continued) 



95 



62 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



BOX 2-6 (cont'd.): Earthquake Prediction 



Theoretical and laboratory studies indicate there should be a preiiminary phase prior to rupture. Potential 
earthquake precursors include foreshocks (as material starts to fail under the extreme stress or strain), 
changes in the groundwater table (tnese occur when water-bearing pores in the rock start to deform under the 
stress) and other hydrologic or hydrothermal phenomena, deformation of the earth's surface, changes in the 
rock's electrical conductivity or magnetic properties, and changes in seismic wave properties through the 
area in question In the past, such phenomena have been observed in the field, but not consistently.^ 

Broad efforts to identify potential precursors are being pursued in China, Japan, and the former Soviet 
Union through extensive monitoring of seismicity, crustal deformation , and a variety of other phenomena Chi- 
nese scientists were able to predict the 1975 M7.4 quake in Haicheng and the August 1976 tvl7 2 Songpan 
earthquake^ However, they were unable to predict the July 1976Tangshan earthquake (M7 8). which killed 
hundreds of thousands In Japan, public warning was achieved for the 1978 Izu-Oshima earthquake (Ivl7) ^ 
Japan's monitoring and prediction program focuses primarily on the region surrounding Tokyo, which has the 
highest seismic risk. The Kobe locale, assigned a very low hazard, received little prediction attention. 

It is important to note that Japan's monitoring program is directed at subduction zone earthquakes and 
may not be applicable to the strike-slip boundary on the U S West Coast ^ 

Earthquake Prediction In the United States 

The first US. effort directed at earthquake prediction was located near the central California town of 
Parkfield. adjacent to the San Andreas fault The Parkfield prediction experiment was begun in 1985 after 
analysis of previous earthquake occurrences on a particular fault section indicated that a repeat event 
would occur near the end of the decade 7 The expected "characteristic earthquake" did not happen within 
the prediction window 

Further analysis showed that, while the successive repeat of similar (but not identical) quakes might tie 
expected on individual fault sections, the amount of time between them may be highly variable. Confidence 
in predictions based on estimations of recurrence intervals has decreased: scientists are more sanguine 
about the possibility of identifying one or more of the "red flags" described above * 

Today the Parkfield experiment operates 21 instrument networks to record pre-earthquake phenomena 
(eg , strain transients, electromagnetic signals): five of these networks are monitored in real time Ten 
additional networks are in place to record strong ground motion, co-seismic slip, and liquefaction 9 



■* Paul Silver. Oepartmenl ol Terreslnal Magnetism, Carnegie Institution, personal communication, Apr 5, 1994 

* CInna Lomnilz, Fundamentals of Earthquake Prediction (New York, NY John Wiley & Sons, Inc , 1994), pp 22, 29-30 Some 
argue that (he Haicheng quake was easy to predict because there were many (oreshocks the day before the main shock 

^ Evelyn Roelofts and John Langbem, 'The Earthquake Prediction Experiment at Parkfield. California," AGU Reviews ofGeoptiys- 
ics. vol 32, No 3, August 1994, p 315 

® The Japanese program has also been the subieci of much criticism lor its expense, lack of openness, and lack ol results See, 
e g , Robert J Geiier, 'Shake-up lor Earthquake Predicnon," Nature, vol 352. No 6333, July 25, 1991 . pp 275-276 

' Parktieid has experienced moderate quakes six limes since 1 857 In 1985, on the basis ol this sequence, the recurrence mten/ai 
tor M6 quakes near Parklield was estimated to be atx)ul 22 years, and il was estimated with 95 percent confidence that another similar 
eveni would occur belore 1993 Roelolts and l-angbein, see loolnote 5, p 315 citmgWH BakunandAG Lindh, "The Parktieid, 
Caiilorma, Earthquake Prediction Experiment,' Science, vol 229, 1985, pp 619-624 

® Silver see footnote 3 

9 Roelofts and l.angl3ein, see footnote 5 



96 



Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Haiante 163 



Assessing PredlcUon Fasslblltty 

For prediction to be feasible, however, scientists must be able not only to recognize the red flags, txjt 
also to determine the relationship between these precursors and succeeding earthquakes In addition, the 
red flags must have some predictive power; tfiat is, there must be a sound correlation between tfieir occur- 
rence and the subsequent occurrence of significant eartfKiuakes'" 

According to some scientists, while the current monitonng program at Parkfield may yield useful data 
for tfiat specific spot, it is not comprefiensive enough to verify wtiether or not prediction is feasible 
Instead, they advocate a more extensive program to monitor multiple types of potential precursors through- 
out the San Andreas fault zone New observation techniques (e g , space-based geodetic sun/eys and 
imagery of cruslal deformation) could provide tfie necessary broad coverage and complement in situ mon- 
itoring and fault studies 

Given the complexity of such an undertaking, as well as the relative infrequency of damaging US 
earthquakes, results from this effort might not be expected for another few decades 



"> Silver see loomote 3 
SOURCE; Office of Technology Assessment. 1995 



Early Warning 

Advances in seismometers and telecommunica- 
tions, along with automated analysis of earth- 
quake events, may soon permit early warning of 
seismic waves capable of producing strong 
ground motion. Because electronically trans- 
mitted information travels at a much faster rate 
than seismic waves travel through the earth, real- 
time warning of severe shaking approaching a 
populated area or lifelines will be possible given 
monitoring systems that can automatically deter- 
mine a quake's location and magnitude and esti- 
mate the strong-motion characterictics within a 
few seconds.'-' Early warning systems hold the 
potential for automated response during an earth- 
quake and more rapid, effective response after the 
shaking stops. 



Amplification Effects 

Engineers and planners within specific communi- 
ties also must be aware of the possibility of local- 
ized, unusually high amounts of ground shaking. 
These "hot spots" can result from simple soil am- 
plification, in which the presence of soft soils and 
sediments at the earth's surface significantly in- 
creases the amplitude of passing seismic waves 
(see figure 2-8). 

The collection of ground motion records from 
recent large California quakes and their after- 
shocks, as well as from recent events in Mexico 
and Japan, has aided in understanding site effects 
in these areas.'^ However, records for other areas 
of the United States are very limited. In addition, 
significant geotechnical modeling is still needed 



"Post-outhqiukeiiotifkaiiaatysteim have been operuiiig in souitKin California since 1991 and in nonhein California since 1993. Sy>- 
leni opeiaion expect to achieve early warning capabilities within a few years. 

^ Stefbea Hanzell, U.S. Geological Siovey, Earthquake and Landslide Hazards Branch, personal communication. Oct. 20. 1994. 



97 



641 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



BOX 2-7: Strong Motion Recording 



Beside the seismometer, another essential tool tor defining the impact of a quake is the strong-motion 
accelerograph, typically housed in or near buildings, dams, and other critical engineered structures Sfrong 
motion IS used to mean ground motions that are sufficiently large to cause damage to structures, a strong- 
motion accelerograph is intended to record these large motions without signal saturation The data general- 
ly are used for engineering purposes and, until recently, the instruments were usually triggered only tjy 
events of a minimum magnitude (eg . MA 5 for local events or higher for distant quakes) 

The development of regional seismographic networks began in the 1 960s in response to the need to 
learn more about the distribution of seismicity with areas of recognized earthquake hazards Because the 
primary objective of their implementation was the construction of a catalog of earthquake activity with high 
spatial resolution, the seismometers were adjusted to record smaller, more numerous earthquakes This, 
combined with the use of analog data telemetry to meet high sample rate requirements and an emphasis 
on high-frequency ground motions, limited the effective dynamic range of the monitoring networks. As a 
result, the recording of strong ground motions was largely sacrificed 

Now. digital strong-motion instruments are being integrated into seismic observatories that record both 
weak and strong ground motions 

The majority of strong-motion networks are located in the western states; with these instruments, scien- 
tists and earthquake engineers have obtained a fairly extensive strong-motion data set for the southwest- 
ern United States Few records exist for other parts of the country and, more importantly, there are no near- 
field records from damaging quakes in U S urban centers This means that scientists and engineers still 
lack empirical knowledge of the effects of earthquakes that occur directly beneath densely populated 



^ T^e 1994 Northridge quaKe occurred m a largely sutsurt^an area, and its largest motions were focused toward less populated 
areas The ground motions in downtown Ljos Angeles produced by a quake on ttie burled Elysian Park thrust fault, tor example, would 
likely be mucii larger than triose experienced atxjve tiie source of the Norihhdge quake. Likewise, ttie 1989 l-oma Prieta quake oc- 
curred several miles from heavily populated centers in the San Francisco Bay area. 

SOURCE Olticeol Technology Assessment, 1995. based on Thomas H Healonetai.."NaIionalSeismicSyslemSciercePlan.*U.S. 
Geological Survey Circular 1031 (Washington. DC: US Government Printing Office, 1989) 



to address several facets of site response, includ- 
ing soil properties, stratigraphy, and ground mo- 
tions that occur in the immediate vicinity of a 
fault.55 

Other factors in unusual ground shaking are: 1 ) 
basin effects, in which sedimentary basins (large, 
bowl-shaped deposits of river or lake-borne sands. 



soils, and clays, on which most of the country's lu-- 
ban centers are built) trap, accumulate, and ampli- 
fy passing seismic waves (see box 2-8); and 2) 
ridge effects, in which topographic features such 
as hills and valleys can focus seismic waves to- 
gether in the manner of a lens.'* 



3S Examples are: nonlinear response of soft, weak soils; deep basin response; deep cotiesive sites and shallow, stiff soils; (wo- and three-di- 
mensional topographic and stratigniphic effects; and near-field motions and spatial incoherence. Ray Seed, Earthquake Engineering Research 
Center, University of California, Berkeley, personal communication, Nov. 3, 1994. 

^ Amplification and liasin effects were largely responsible for the unusual amount of devastation wrought in the Mexico City earthquake of 
1 985. as well as for damage to the Marina District of San Francisco in the 1 989 Loma Prieta quake. Rulge effects in the lx>nia Prieta event ate 
thought to have been responsible for vertical accelerations in excess of 1 g in certain severely damaged iieighl)orlKX)ds. 



98 



Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Hazards 165 



Predicting amplification effects is in theory 
straightforward, since the scientific principles in- 
volved are well understood. However, accurate es- 
timates require detailed knowledge of local 
geology (which typically demands a special ef- 
fort), as well as specific predictions of the future 
earthquake's source characteristics (i.e., fault rup- 
ture characteristics and the consequent nature of 
the initial seismic waves). 

Ground Failure 

Combining knowledge of the potential for strong 
shaking and of local geology and soil conditions 
yields an improved capability to identify the po- 
tential for liquefaction, landslides, and other 
forms of ground failure. When water-saturated 
soils and sediments turn into a quicksand-like 
slurry during extended shaking, they lose the abil- 
ity to bear loads, thus causing even seismically 
resistant buildings and structures to fail at the 
foundation. Lateral spreading or permanent 
ground displacement also can cause great damage 
to buried utilities or port facilities. These phenom- 
ena are of particular concern to planners and local 
policymakers, because sites prone to such failure 
may require extraordinary preventive measures or 
relegation to less vulnerable forms of land use. 

Geographical Information System (CIS) tools 
have been increasingly utilized in assessing these 
hazards and in analyzing related risks to special 
facilities or structures. Primarily a research tool 
today with respect to earthquake hazards, GIS- 
based maps can be readily converted to a larger 
educational — or policy — tool as well.'^ 

In addition, systems have been proposed for 
both northem and southern California that will in- 
corporate knowledge of a quake's location, size, 
and faulting mechanism into preexisting data- 
bases on shallow soil structure and the built envi- 
ronment.^^ Their objective is to quickly map the 
zones with most severe ground motion, which will 
indicate where emergency managers should look 



-. 0.05 
I ° 

i 
8-0.05 

* ^.H 

-0.15 
-0.2 



A. Rock. Vertw BiMiia Island 



}lfif f *, jJ> . . . 



Peak acceleration. 0.07 g 



10 15 20 25 30 35 
rime, in seconds 



B. Fill and bay mud. Treasure Island 




Peak acceleration. 0.16 g 



15 20 25 30 35 40 
Time, in seconds 



NOTE: Recorded honzontal ground rTx}tion (easl->we5t direction) from 
tfie 1969 M7 1 Loma Pneta earthquake 
SOURCE US Geological Survey. 1995 

for the most damage and should direct response 
teams. 

Tsunamis and Seiches 

In addition to knowledge of the hazardous effects 
described above, coastal communities also re- 
quire warnings of the possibility of tsunamis and 



^^ Arthur C. T^, U.S. Geological Survey, Earthquake and Landslide Hazards BrarKh. personal communication, Oct 21,1 994. 
^ Barbaia Romanowicz, Seismic Research Onier, University of California, Bericeley, personal communication, Nov. 3, 1994. 



99 



661 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



BOX 2-8: Basin Effects 



Most of the large urban areas in the United States have developed on sediment-tilled basins, which can 
strongly modify the ground motion from an earthquake 'His believed that the shape and material proper- 
ties of a sedimentary basin allow it to focus and collect seismic waves^ The result is large-amplitude sur- 
face waves that reverberate long after the njpture itself has ceased Until recently, however, models of the 
earth's structure and wave propagation could not represent these conditions. 

Under NEHRP. the US Geological Survey is applying new three-dimensional modeling techniques to 
the case of complex propagation effects for the San Bernardino Valley east of Los Angeles, through vrfiich 
ttie San Andreas fault passes The simulated effects include high ground velocities in localized portions of 
the basin, which could pose significant risk to structures with natural periods of one second or longer (eg. 
buildings of 10 or more stories, some highway overpasses, and elevated pipelines) ^ Similar studies are 
under way for the San Francisco Bay area and Washington States Puget Sound region 



^ SteptienHartzeil,U S Geological Survey, Earthquake and Landslide Hazards brancti. personal communication. Oct. 20, 1994 
^TtiomasH Heaton and Steptien H Harlzell. 'Earthquake Ground Motions, "Annua/ ftev7ewo'fa/TftPtenra/y Science, vol 16. 
1966.P I27.citingj A Rial, "CausticsandFocusingProducedbySedimeniafyBasins, Applications ol Catastrophe Theory to Earth- 
quake Seismology,* Geop/7ys/ca/Journa/orrheWoya/Asfronom(ca/Soce(y, vol 79, 1984. pp 923-38 

3 Arthur Frankel. "TTiree-Dimensional Simulations ol Ground Motions in the San Bernardino Valley. California, tor Hypothetical 
Earttiquakes on the San Andreas Fault," Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, vol 83, No 4. August 1993. p 1021 

SOURCE Otiice ol Technology Assessment. 1995 



seiches. Research into these hazards — which 
seeks to understand why they are generated by 
some earthquakes and not others — blends the 
scientific fields of seismology and oceanography. 
Such research has a considerable international 
component (although tsunamis and seiches do 
take place in the United States, considerably more 
experience has been gained by Japan and other 
countries of the far Pacific Rim) and is frustrated 
by the unusual physical characteristics of the phe- 
nomena. Tsunamis, for example, exist in the open 
ocean as extremely fast, extremely broad, but ex- 
tremely low waves that can pass beneath ships 



completely undetected.^' Given these characteris- 
tics, specialized tsunami detection equipment is 
necessary both for research and for establishing 
early warning systems for coastal communities.*" 
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminis- 
tration operates the U.S. tsunami warning system. 
A common thread in all these applied research 
efforts is that they require collaboration between 
specialists in the traditional seismic research com- 
munity and practitioners in other earth science and 
engineering disciplines. Moreover, the work can- 
not be accomplished purely through theory or lab- 



^ The danger of tsunamis is that, althougti extremely low in the open ocean (only inclies tiigta), tlicy are long enough to contain a consider- 
able amouni of water (tsunami waves can stretch a hundred miles ciest to crest), and fast enough to propel thai water far inland. Speeds of 
hundreds of miles per hour are common. In a damaging tsunami strike, the incoming wave slows down as it approaches land. As it slows, the 
back of the wave catches up with the front, the wave height builds to many tens of feet, and the wave ultimately washes ashore as a huge surge of 
water. 

'^ Because tsunami waves are so broad and low, their detection in the open ocean requires devices akin to tide gauges (i.e.. instruments thai 
can detect the passage of an opcn-octan isuoami amid oomal wiad^Uvea waves). 



100 



Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Hazards 167 



oratory experiments; gathering detailed geologic 
information on each region or locality of interest 
requires a concerted effort*' 

For example, the U.S. Geological Survey pre- 
pares maps of seismic hazards on national and re- 
gional scales, using a variety of data sources and 
modeling techniques (see figure 2-9). Maps of ex- 
pected ground shaking are converted by the engi- 
neering commimity into design maps that reflect 
current engineering analyses; they form the 
foundation for model seismic codes. In addition, 
regional hazard maps support state and local land- 
use planning efforts, and can pinpoint areas where 
fiirther study is warranted. 

SUMMARY AND KEY FINDINGS 

Earthquake hazards vary widely across the United 
States. The most active seismic regions in the 
United States are Alaska and California; their high 
seismicity stems from proximity to the boundaries 
between shifting segments of the earth's crust. 
However, few parts of the United States are im- 
mune to quake hazards. Significant earthquakes 
have occurred in the Pacific Northwest, in the cen- 
tral United States, and along the east coast. 

Earth science research, in which NEHRP has 
played a key role, has advanced significantly our 
understanding of U.S. seismic hazards. It is now 
possible to estimate the likelihood of future earth- 
quakes for a few areas (the San Francisco Bay and 
greater Los Angeles areas, where many years of 
study have helped to reduce uncertainties; Utah's 
Wasatch fault zone; and the New Madrid Seismic 
Zone). In the near future, scientists may be able to 
do the same for other regions of the United States. 

The importance of local soil conditions and 
other factors that influence the type and degree of 
damage an earthquake can cause (e.g., soil ampli- 
fication and landslides) are now recognized and 
better understood. It is now possible to produce 
detailed maps showing specific hazards resulting 




Valdez, Alaska, waterfront after fsunam/ caused by 1964 
GocxI Friday earthquake 



from local soUs, and provide more detailed and ac- 
curate expected ground motion information for 
use in building design and model code develop- 
ment. Within a few years, researchers expect to be 
able to provide real-time warnings of approaching 
strong shaking. 

Despite the numerous advances, however, sig- 
nificant uncertainties and knowledge gaps re- 
main. Scientists are far from able to determine the 
specific time, location, and magnitude of future 
earthquakes. Among the key unknowns are ques- 
tions about the constitutive properties of faults, 
the interactions of different fault systems, and the 
mechanisms of rupture. Additionally, in many 
areas of the country, the location of faults capable 
of producing damaging earthquakes is still not 
known, nor is the likelihood of these earthquakes 
or the extent of their hazardous effects. 

There are many societally useful directions for 
future earthquake-related earth science research. 
A key issue is how to strike the appropriate bal- 
ance between types of research efforts and among 
different geographical areas, given both financial 
and time constraints. As with many research-in- 



^' The effon to gather such infonnation (Le., geologic and geophysical ToMppiaf.) is often carried out for other purposes by USGS and by 
private concerns such as the petroleum and mineral exploralioo industries. The oil and mineral industries are very competitive; compaiues arc 
often understandably besitam to make data gathered ai considenble expente available to competium. 



101 



681 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



FIGURE 2-9: Seismic Hazard Map Development Proces 



Seismic hazard maps 
National and regional 



Design value maps for building codes 



Quantify the rates of occurrence, 
magnitudes and protiable locations 
of future large quakes 



• Analyze historical seismicity 

• In the western United States, determine 
recurrence rales and magnitudes of large 
prehistoric earthquakes on faults. 

■ In the central and eastern United States, 
study pre-historic quakes with paleoliquefaction 

• Evaluate geologic structures associated 
with seismicity. 

■ Estimate maximum magnitudes from 
geologic structures. 



Quantify the ground motions that will be 
produced by these eartfiquakes 



I Determine the ground motions as a function 
of magnitude and distance. 

I Analyze seismograms to assess source, site, 
and path effects. 

' Assess regional variations in ground motions 
(e.g., between western and central or eastern 
United States). 

' Map geology to determine site amplification. 



SOURCE US Geological Survey. 1985. 

tensive efforts, it is difficult to quantitatively as- 
sess the value of different activities; determining 
the balance between applied research directed at 
near-term results and longer term research is a 
political, not merely a scientific, challenge. Even 
within the earth science community, tension exists 
over how to divide resources between expanding 
the fundamental understanding of quake phenom- 
ena and concentrating on mapping hazardous site 
conditions in areas where damaging seismicity 
has already occurred. 

Decisions on how to allocate earth science re- 
search funds should be made in the context of the 
goals of the earthquake program (discussed in 



chapter 1). However, several research areas clear- 
ly deserve attention: 

• Microzonatioii. To better assess the overall 
risk posed to inhabitants and the built environ- 
ment, analysis of the potential for strong shak- 
ing or ground failure is needed on fmer scales. 
This requires not only the application of im- 
proved models of earthquake potential and ex- 
pected shaking, but detailed mapping of 
near-surface geology and site conditions. Such 
microzonation studies have been completed in 
only a few areas of the United States. Thus, we 
have an incomplete picture of the probability of 



102 



Chapter 2 Understanding Seismic Hazards 169 



significant hazards near populated areas or crit- 
ical facilities for all but the most intensely stud- 
ied zones (i.e., the San Francisco Bay area and 
greater Los Angeles region). Additional em- 
phasis should be placed on microzonation in 
urban areas and around critical facilities where 
long-duration, strong shaking is expected. 
Earthquake potential. New technologies and 
practices have enabled significant additions to 
the body of knowledge required to understand 
the potential for earthquakes in different areas. 
Paleoseismology permits more reliable esti- 
mates of the magnitude and dates of prior earth- 
quakes, especially in areas where damaging 
earthquakes have very long recurrence times. 
This information is essential to gauging the 
likelihood of future damaging events within a 
decades-long time frame. 
Satellite-based geodetic techniques have revo- 
lutionized the observation and modeling of 
crustal deformation, which contributes to as- 
sessments of crustal stress and strain. This in- 
formation supports long-term forecasts of 
earthquake potential. In addition, further en- 
hancements to the scope and accuracy of these 
techniques could provide the foundation for 
new imaging methods that, akin to weather 
forecasting, facilitate reliable earthquake pre- 
diction. 

Geographic focus. Because of its frequent 
damaging earthquakes, California is the test 
bed for the development of many current theo- 



ries and techniques. However, some of these 
may not be readily adapted to the Pacific North- 
west or to the central and eastern United States. 
Additional research and data collection specific 
to these latter areas should be considered to de- 
termine what distinguishes the nature of the 
hazards and to sup[>ort the application of exist- 
ing tools. 

Intematioiial focus. Fortunately for those 
who experience damaging earthquakes, the 
events are few and far between. This leaves the 
scientific community at a disadvantage, how- 
ever, with respect to opportunities to incorpo- 
rate data into the seismic record and evaluate 
theoretical models of seismic phenomena. 
Field investigations and analyses of data from 
earthquakes that occur outside our borders are 
crucial to understanding similar U.S. seismic 
hazards (e.g., subduction and intraplate quakes 
that have occurred here rarely). 
Knowledge transfer. It is essential to maintain 
efforts to make new knowledge and tools readi- 
ly available to potential users. In recent years, 
the earth science research community and 
NEHRP research agencies have put increased 
emphasis on knowledge transfer to profession- 
als and the general public. These efforts, al- 
though difficult to evaluate, are crucial to 
ensuring that research results help to accelerate 
the pace of earthquake mitigation throughout 
the country. 



103 



The Built 
Environment 3 



Earthquake hazards exist throughout the United States. The 
primary hazard associated with earthquakes is ground 
shaking, which damages and destroys buildings, bridges, 
and other structures. Ground shaldng also causes lique- 
faction, landslides, and other ground failures that also damage 
and destroy structures. This damage can cause massive immedi- 
ate fmancial losses, casualties, disruptions in essential services 
such as water and electricity, and severe long-term economic and 
social losses. Although the location, timing, and magnitude of fu- 
ture earthquakes are uncertain, there is little doubt that potentially 
damaging earthquakes will strike U.S. metropolitan areas in the 
next few decades. 

Although earthquakes are unavoidable, the losses they cause 
are not. This chapter reviews technologies and practices to reduce 
the societal losses' of earthquakes. The focus is on the built envi- 
ronment — the buildings, bridges, pipelines, and other structures 
that bear the brunt of earthquake damage. The chapter flrst dis- 
cusses deaths and injuries from earthquakes, focusing on what 
causes them and how they can be reduced. This is followed by a 
discussion of buildings — how they are damaged by earthquakes, 
and what technologies and practices are available to increase the 
seismic resistance of both new and existing buUdings. Technolo- 
gies for reducing damage to lifelines, such as bridges, water and 
sewer systems, and energy systems, are then reviewed. Finally, 



' Oama^fiefen to the direct financial costs of eaithqtukes.Lo5»5deiKi4e3 all of the 
societal effects of eanhquakes, iiKluding deaths, injuries, direct fioaiKial costs, indirect 
costs (e.g., those resulting from business inlemjptiofis). and social impacts such as in- 
creased homelessness. Reducing damage by strengthening the built envinnment will le- 
diice losses as well. 




171 



721 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



104 



MagnltiKto Deaths 



1980 


Algeria 


7.7 


3.500 


1980 


Italy 


7.2 


3,000 


1981 


Iran 


6.9 


3,000 


1981 


Iran 


7.3 


1,500 


1982 


Yemen 


6.0 


2,800 


1983 


.lapan 


7.7 


107 


1983 


Turkey 


6.9 


1,342 


1985 


Chile 


7.8 


177 


1985 


Mexico 


7.9 


9,500 


1986 


El Salvador 


5.4 


1,000 


1987 


Colombia, Ecuador 


7.0 


1,000 


1988 


Nepal, India 


6.6 


1,450 


1988 


Burma, China 


7.0 


730 


1988 


Armenia 


7.0 


25,000 


1989 


West Iran 


5.8 


90 


1989 


US —California 


7.0 


63 


1989 


Australia 


5.6 


13 


1990 


Iran 


7.7 


40,000+ 


1990 


Philippines 


7.8 


1.700 


TOTAL 






-«6,000 



SOURCE: Bruce A. Bolt. Earthquakes (New York, NY: W H Freeman 
and Co . 1993), pp 272-273 

the chapter discusses key research needs for ensur- 
ing that the built environment is well protected 
from future earthquake damage. 

CASUALTIES 
I Deaths 

A single earthquake can cause thousands of deaths 
and tens of thousands of injuries. As shown in 



table 3-1, in just 11 years — 1980 to 1990 — earth- 
quakes killed almost 100,000 people worldwide. 
About two-thirds of these deaths occurred in just 
two catastrophic earthquakes — 25,000 in Arme- 
nia in 1988 and 40,000 in Iran in 1990. 

The historical record of U.S. earthquake fatali- 
ties is less unfortunate. About 1 ,200 people have 
died in U.S. earthquakes since 1900 (table 3-2). 
Most of these earthquakes occurred in regions that 
were, at the time, sparsely populated; so the low 
fatality figures for 1900 to 1950 earthquakes are 
not surprising. However, even those earthquakes 
occurring since 1950 in heavily populated areas of 
Calif omia have had relatively low fatalities, large- 
ly because many of its buildings and other struc- 
tures are built to resist seismic collapse.^ 

Casualties from future earthquakes are very un- 
certain. In California, most deaths from future 
earthquakes will likely be caused by the collapse 
of older, seismically vulnerable structures. One 
estimate found that a repeat of the 1 906 San Fran- 
cisco earthquake would cause 2,000 to 6,000 
deaths.' In the Pacific Northwest and the eastern 
United States, the potential for large numbers of 
deaths may be higher than in California. Although 
the probability of a major earthquake is relatively 
low, the building stock is more vulnerable, as even 
new structures often do not use known technolo- 
gies and practices to reduce seismic damage.* One 
study found that a large earthquake striking the 
New Madrid region of the central United States 
would cause 7,000 to 27,000 deaths.^ 

Deaths that occur in earthquakes are due largely 
to the collapse of structures. In Armenia, most of 
the deaths were caused by people being crushed 
under collapsing concrete buildings. All but one 
of the deaths in the Loma Prieta earthquake were 



^ There is an element of luck here as well. The Lonu Prieti earthquake, for exainple, struck during the World Senes baseball game when t^ 
loads wen relatively empty. Fatalities would have been in the hundreds, perhaps higher, if traffic levels were at more typical weekday levels. 

' See "'Repeal' Quakes May Cause Fewer Deaths. More Damage." Civi/£nfiw<nng. November 1994. pp. 19-21. 

* As noted in chapter 1. many states in lower risk areas do ikm have or do not enforce seismic building codes for new coostnictioiL 

^ Suiaaal AcMlemy of Saexices,Tlu Economic Coiuequenca of aCatasm>phic EarthquaJu, ProceedingiotiFtynua. Aug. I and 2. 1990 
(Washingtcn DC: National Academy Press. 1992), p. 68. 



105 



Chapters The Built Environment 173 



Damages 

(million $1994) 



1906 


San Francisco. California 


1925 


Santa Barbara, California 


1933 


Long Beach. California 


1935 


Helena, Montana 


1940 


Imperial Valley, California 


1946 


Aleutian Islands, Alaska 


1949 


Puget Sound, Washington 


1952 


Kern County, California 


1952 


Bakersfield, California 


1959 


Hetjgen Lake, Montana 


1964 


Anchorage, Alaska 


1965 


Puget Sound, Washington 


1971 


San Fernando, California 


1979 


Imperial County, California 


1983 


Coalinga, California 


1987 


Whitlier Narrows, California 


1989 


Loma Prieta, California 


1992 


Petrolia, California 


1992 


Landers, California 


1993 


Scotts Mills, Oregon 


1993 


Klamath Falls, Oregon 


1994 


Northridge, California 


TOTAL 


* 



700 


6,000 


13 


60 


120 


540 


4 


40 


8 


70 


n/a 


200 


8 


220 


12 


350 


2 


60 


28 


n/a 


131 


2,280 


8 


70 


65 


1,700 


n/a 


60 





50 


8 


450 


63 


6,870 





70 


1 


100 


n/a 


30 


2 


10 


57 


20,000 


,225 


39,160 



KEY n/a = no! available 

SOURCE Office of Techndog/ Assessrrwnt, 1995. 

due to structural failure.^ Other earthquakes gen- 
erally show the same pattern: people are killed in 
eartliquakes wiien structures collapse. The sec- 
ond major cause of death in earthquakes is fire. In 
the 1923 Tokyo earthquake, for example, many of 
the 143,000 deaths were caused by the firestorms 
that occurred after the earthquake.^ 

Further reductions in fatality levels will come 
largely from incorporating seismic design prin- 



ciples into new construction (this is not done in 
many areas of the United States), retrofitting* ex- 
isting structures to improve their seismic resis- 
tance, and ensuring adequate fire and emergency 
response. 

I Injuries 

Earthquake-related injuries, in contrast to deaths, 
often result from nonstructural damage. Damages 



' M. Dmkin md C. Thiel, "Improving Measures To Reduce Earthquake Canialiies, " Eanhquake Sptctra, vol. 8, No. I , Fcbiuaiy 1992, 
p. 98. 

'' Biuce A. Boll. Eanluimikts (New York. NY: W. H. Freeman and Co., 1993), pp. 219. 271. 

' This repon uses retrofitting to mean adding seismic resistance features, such as bracing, to an existing building to reduce the damage if an 
eanfaquake occun. Some lepoits use the term rehabilitation instead. 



741 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



106 





Percent of 


Source 


Injuries 


Hit by falling object 


13 


Hit by overturning object 


11 


Thrown into object 


18 


Fall-related injuries 


27 


Strained taking evasive action 


7 


Structural collapse 


5 


Other 


19 



SOURCE M Ourkin and C. Thiel. 'Improving Measures To Reduce 
Eafthguake Casualties." Earthquake Specira , vol 8. No. 1. February 
1992. p 99 

can occur, and p>eople in or near buildings can be 
injured, even when there is no structural failure. In 
Loma F*rieta, for example, 95 percent of the inju- 
ries did not involve structural collapse (table 3-3). 
These injiuies were caused by falls, being struck 
by falling or overturned objects, or being thrown 
into objects. 

Some simple, low-cost measures that can re- 
duce these injuries include anchoiing bookcases 
to walls, using chains to secure books in book- 
cases, securing kitchen appliances to the floor, 
bolting computers to desks, and tying lights to 
ceilings. 

DAMAGE TO BUILDINGS 

When the ground moves in an earthquake, the 
basement and the first floor will move with it. The 
top floor, or in a multistory building the upper 
floors, however, tend to stay put because a build- 
ing is not perfectly rigid. The movement of the 
bottom of the building relative to the top puts great 
stress on the walls. The stress and resulting dam- 
age vary depending on the building itself. A sim- 
ple wood house on a concrete foundation may be 



knocked off its foundation in an earthquake, be- 
cause the foundation moves with the groimd but 
the house is left behind. A three-story brick build- 
ing can be turned into a pile of rubble because the 
bricks are not rigidly attached to each other, the 
walls collapse outward leaving the floor unsup- 
ported. A tall steel-framed building may show 
little or no damage, because steel bends and sways 
to absorb the movement of the lower floors.' 

The most dramatic, widely feared, and best un- 
derstood type of damage is collapse (also called 
structural failure) — destruction of an entire build- 
ing by an earthquake, often killing most of its oc- 
cupants. A second type of damage is structural 
damage — broken or twisted beams, failure of 
structural members, and other damages that leave 
a building standing but often luisafe. In some 
cases costs of repair approach those of replace- 
ment. Nonstructural damage — cracks in walls, 
broken water pipes, broken windows — is rarely 
life-threatening but is often dauntingly expensive 
to repair. A fmal type of damage is contents dam- 
age — computers sliding off desks, pictures 
knocked off the wall, dishes smashed, merchan- 
dise tossed off shelves in stores, and so on. A use- 
ful rule of thumb is that contents are typically 
worth about SO percent of the cost of the building 




Earttiquakes can smeiely damage tMildings. 



' However, die 1994 Notifaiidy einhqiiila lauted m uneitpecltd dtmiff id Med huildinp, wtika g d i t n itirt 1^ 



107 



Chapters The Built Environment 175 



Magnitude 



gBLiiffligaKHHBniiiBiiHa 
Damage (percent of buildings) 



6.0^.5 



7,5-8.0 



DIstanca to fault (miles) Minor only Nonstructural Structural Collapse 



30 


50 


10-40 


1-5 


<1 





5 


40 


35-45 


10-30 


<5 


<1 


1 


30 


25-40 


20-40 


3-10 


<2 


— 


3. 


S-25 


40-70 


10-30 


<5 



NOTE: Tlwse estimates are for new txjildings tfial meet the 1991 Uniform Building Code; they do not appty to existing 
building stock. 

SOURCE: Adapted from Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. "Expected Seismic Pertormance of Buildings," 
Fetxuary 1994, p, 15. 



itself.'" TTierefore, damage to contents, although 
rarely life-threatening, can be a significant ex- 
pense and can cause many injuries as well. 

After an earthquake, one typically finds many 
buildings with nonstructural damage and progres- 
sively fewer buildings with greater damage. The 
degree of damage tends to increase as one moves 
closer to the fault (see table 3-4). 

The type and amount of building damage 
caused by an earthquake depend on several fac- 
tors. Liquefaction, in which the soil loses its abil- 
ity to support weight, can cause a building to sink 
or topple. Ground- shaking damage will vary de- 
pending on the magnitude and frequency of the 
shaking. In general, long, slow ground movement 
is more damaging to taller buildings because the 
ground movement is closer to the building's natu- 
ral frequency. In contrast, short, rapid ground 
movements are generally more damaging to short- 
er buildings. The design and materials used in the 
building are important as well. Buildings with 
carefully designed bracing, reinforcements in 
concrete columns, tightly connected walls and 
floors, and other seismic design features can ride 
out even large earthquakes; but those designed 
without consideration of seismic forces are likely 



to be damaged. Finally, the material used in 
construction (e.g., unreinforced masonry, wood, 
and steel) has a strong influence on a building's re- 
sponse to an earthquake (see box 3-1). 

I New Construction 

Incorporating seismic considerations into the de- 
sign and construction of buildings is much less ex- 
pensive than attempting to retrofit an existing 
structure. Furthermore, if new construction incor- 
porates such features, eventually all buildings will 
have them as older buildings are demolished. This 
section reviews the state of the knowledge of de- 
signing new buildings to resist seismic forces. The 
principal tool that determines the seismic perfor- 
mance of new buildings — building codes — is dis- 
cussed, and several promising new technologies 
are reviewed. 

State of the Knowledge 

Numerous technologies and practices for new 
construction can reduce dramatically the risk of 
structural failure. These range from relatively 
simple design features, such as avoiding the use of 
soft stories (i.e., large open spaces in the first 



'" Riik Engineerint, Inc,, "Rnirlrntiil md Coimnercial Eaithquake I^osscs in the U,S.," report prepared for ihe Nuioiul Coimninee on 
Property losuraoce. Bosion MA. May 3, J993. p, 2. 



108 



761 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



Unreinforced Masonry 

Among the most dangerous buildings in an earthqual<e are those built of unreinforced masonry (URM), 
These buildings are dangerous tor two reasons 1 ) the floors and roof are often not strongly attached to the 
walls and therefore the walls tend to collapse outward in an earthquake, and 2) the walls are often not strong 
enough to absorb the shear forces experienced in an earthquake (masonry is very weak in tension, meaning 
it has little resistance to being pulled apart) A relatively mild earthquake can turn a URM building into a pile of 
rubble quite easily. URf»1 is also one of the least expensive building techniques — leading to the unfortunate 
outcome that lower income groups are often hardest hit by earthquakes URM buildings are dangerous txith 
to occupants and to those nearby, who can t)e hit by falling masonry For example, eight people were killed by 
falling bricks in ttie Loma Pneta earthquake, all were killed outside a URM building,'' 

Concrete and Reinforced Masonry 

A second type of building — made with reinforced masonry (in which steel reinforcing bars are used for 
strengthening), concrete frames, or precast concrete — can be dangerous as well, although less so than 
those built from URM Concrete frame buildings — typically built in the 1950s to 1970s — are often large, 
multistory commercial or office buildings. Even when these buildings have walls to absorb some of the 
stress of an earthquake (called shear walls), the frame itself can fail. Precast concrete is often used for 
single-story warehouse, light industrial, or commercial buildings The concrete panels can simply fall away 
from the building in an earthquake, due to inadequate connections between roof, floors, and walls 

Wood 

Wood is often used as a structural material in single-family residences It is the preferred constnjction 
material for smaller buildings in high earthquake risk areas because, unlike concrete, it is flexible and can 
bend without breaking. In an earthquake, a wood frame building will typically sway and bend, but will not 
fail. It IS rare for a wood frame building to suffer structural collapse in an earthquake. However, wood resi- 
dences can be damaged, sometimes severely, by an earthquake Unanchored wood houses sitting on con- 
crete foundations can be knocked off their foundations Short walls (called cripple walls) that provide sup- 
port t)etween the floor and the ground can tip. moving the house off the foundation and severing gas lines 
and utility wires These dangers can be reduced at reasonable cost by. for example, bolting houses to 
foundations and bracing cnpple walls. 



' California Seismic Safety Commission. The Commercial Propeny Owner's Guide to BO Safety. SSC 93-01 (Sacramenio. CA: 
January 1993). p 8. 



floor) in apartment buildings, to the use of com- 
plex computer models to assist in the design and 
location of subdural members in a large office 
building. Although considerable uncertainties ex- 
ist in building performance under seismic stress, ' ' 
it is generally agreed that the knowledge exists to 



design and construct buildings that are unlilce- 
ly to collapse in an earthquake. Years of re- 
search have yielded a knowledge base that, if 
applied properly, would result in buildings that 
are unlikely to collapse in an earthquake. How- 
ever such knowledge may not always be applied 



' ' Examples include the steel weld issue (see box 3- 1 ), and recent modeling suggesting thai large buildings may tx vulnerable to collapse 
from large ground motions. T. Heaton el al.. "Response of a Higb-Rise and Base-Isolated Buildings to a Hypothetical Mw 7.0 Blind Thrust 
Earthquake. " Science, vol. 267. Jan. 13. 199S. pp. 206-211. 



109 



Chapters The Built Environment 177 



BOX 3-1 (cont'd.): Building Materials and Earthquakes 



Steel 

Steel has long been considered the ideal material for large buildings in high earthquake risk areas. II is 
extremely sirong. durable, flexible, and ductile (i.e.. it will bend slowly, rather than snap, if overstressed), A 
steel-framed building is very unlikely to fail structurally from ground shaking in an earthquake. However, 
faith in steel as a structurally sound material was shaken by the 1994 Northridge earthquake In this quake, 
more than 1 00 steel-framed buildings — including some under construction — exhibited a severe and costly 
vulnerability not seen before the steel beams themselves cracked at or near where they were welded to 
steel columns. Although none of these buildings collapsed, repair will be very expensive. Furthermore. 
these buildings were built to modern design standards Presumably if they are rebuilt to these standards 
they will be susceptible to the same damage if they are subjected to the same shaking forces. This unex- 
pected vulnerability has international implications because large buildings all over the world are similarly 
built, and are presumably just as vulnerable to this type of damage. 

What has become known as the steel-weld problem refers, in most cases, to cracks in steel supporting 
members at or near welds that joined horizontal beams and vertical columns. In tall buildings, these beams 
and columns are the backbone of the building The discovery of cracks in these members usually leads to 
immediate evacuation due to fear of structural collapse This problem was discovered in a few buildings in 
routine post-earthquake inspections, as awareness of the problem spread, cracks were found in more tfian 
100 buildings Since these cracks were in most cases found only by tearing down walls or other covering 
material, many were not discovered until inspectors went looking for them. 

There is as yet little agreement on why these failures occurred Fears of financial liability have made all 
parties sensitive to placing or accepting responsibility Among the possible reasons raised are poor weld- 
ing quality, poor steel quality, improperly designed connections, and inherent limitations of the beam-col- 
umn design 

The first proposed technical fix was to reinforce the welds; however, tests of these reinforced welds 
showed that they too would fail in a major earthquake^ A second reinforcing method appears to perform 
better in preliminary testing, but costs three times as much as a standard connection. ' Efforts to find effec- 
tive and affordable solutions are continuing. 



2 "Weld Test Failures Shock l_A ." Engineering News-Record. June 13. 1994. p. 9. 

3 Test Results Kick Off More Debate or Sieel.'Eng/neemg/Vews-fleco/tJ.SepI 19. 1994, p 8 



properly because of lack of training, costs, and 
other reasons (these issues are discussed in chap- 
ter 4). 

There are numerous examples of the ability to 
build structures that can resist seismic collapse. In 
the 1 989 Loma Prieta earthquake, "well-designed 



and well-constructed buildings performed well."'^ 
In the 1994 Northridge earthquake, damage was 
most severe in older and poorly engineered build- 
ings. '^ The 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan,''* 
also suggests that current designs can yield build- 



'^ Natiaiul Research Council. Practical Lessons from the Loma Priela Earlhquakt (Washington DC: National Academy Press. 1 994). p. 70. 
" J.D. Cioltz (ed.). National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, "The Northridge. Califoinia Earthquake of January 17. 1994: 
GenenI Reconnaissance Report." Technical Report NCEER-94-0(»5. Mar. 11,1 994. p. 3- 1 9 

'^ This earthquake is sometimes called the Hyogo-Ken Nanbu earthquake to denote the three regions involved. 



110 



781 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



ings unlikely to collapse. Although the earthquake 
caused massive losses and more than 5,000 
deaths, new structures reflecting current building 
codes performed quite well." 

Our knowledge and implementation of 
technologies and practices to reduce nonstructur- 
al and contents damage is poor. Very little re- 
search has been done in these areas, and building 
codes are for the most part directed at protecting 
Ufe safety by avoiding structural damage.'* An 
analysis of residential insurance claims from re- 
cent California earthquakes found little correla- 
tion between the age of a building and the claim 
amount: newer buildings, although much less 
likely to collapse, were just as vulnerable to non- 
structural damage.'^ 

Building Codes 

The knowledge of how to construct new buildings 
to avoid structural failure is laid out in building 
codes — detailed documents that summarize con- 
sensus design principles. Building codes are the 
most important policy lever for incorporating 
seismic considerations into new buildings; some 
of their key features and constraints are summa- 
rized here. A detailed discussion of building codes 
may be found in chapter 4. 

In the United States, the local political jurisdic- 
tion typically regulates the design and construc- 
tion of new buildings through the use of building 
codes. These codes are intended to ensive the 
health and safety of occupants. The codes typical- 
ly set requirements for structural soundness, fire 
safety, electrical safety, and in some areas, seismic 



resistance as well. Most local building codes are 
based on model codes. The three national model 
codes are: the Uniform Building Code, which has 
been adopted in part by much of the western 
United States; the Building Officials and Code 
Administrators code, generally used in the north- 
east United States; and the Southern Building 
Code Congress International, adopted in the 
southeastern United States. The seismic provi- 
sions of these three model codes are based in part 
on what is known as the NEHRP (National Earth- 
quake Hazards Reduction Program) Provisions.'* 
These NEHRP Provisions are produced by an in- 
dependent organization (the Building Seismic 
Safety Council) with NEHRP funding. 

Codes have strengths and weaknesses that 
should be recognized. First, building codes are 
consensus documents. They are the results of ne- 
gotiation and discussion among interested parties, 
and they reflect a balance of safety, fust-cost, per- 
formance uncertainly, and other concems. Sec- 
ond, codes are intended to provide a minimum, 
not an optimal, performance level. Although 
codes are unfortunately often taken as prescrip- 
tive, they are intended to define a minimum ac- 
ceptable level of safety. Third, codes are 
technologically conservative. The process for up- 
dating and modifying codes is complex and time 
consuming. The result is that new technologies 
and practices can take years to make it into the 
model codes. From there, many more years are 
often necessary before a new model code is 
adopted by localities. Fourth, codes are intended 
primarily to prevent structural collapse. They 
have few requirements for nonstructural damage 



>S Sec. e.g., National Science FoundatioD. "Modem Buildings Fared Well in Kobe Quake. Accoiding lo Preliminary Rcpon," press release. 
Feb. 23. 1995; and "Kobe High-Rise Rebuilding on Hold."£ngi/iem>ij\e>w-«fcorrf, Feb. 20. 1995. p. 12. This second reference reports on a 
post.eanhquake survey in Kobe that found more than one-third of pre- 1 971 buildings were unsafe, while only 6 pcreeni of buildings meeting 
current codes were unsafe. 

" "The primary intent (of the Uniform Building Code seismic provisions) is to protect the life safety of building occupants and the general 
public." Earthquake Engineering Research Instilule. Eipecitd Seismic Performance of Buildings (Oakland. CA: Febniary 1994). p. 6. 

'^ Confidential insurance industry data. 

" "TWO Model Codes Stiffen Protection," Engineering News-RecortL Jan. 6. 1992, p. 7. 



Ill 



Chapters The Built Environment 179 







Estimated change In 




Number of 


construction costs 


BulMkigtype 


cases 


(percent) 


Low-rise residential 


9 


0.7 


High-rise residential 


12 


3.3 


Office 


21 


1.3 


Industrial 


7 


0.5 


Commercial 


3 


1.7 


Average 


— 


1.6 



SOURCE S Weber, National Institute at Standards and Technology. 'Cost Impact of ttw NEIHRP Recommended Provl- 
stons on the Design and Construction of Buildings.' 1985. p. 1-tt 



or for protecting contents. Finally, they generally 
apply only to new construction." 

Costs of Incoqnratlng Seismic Provisions 
In New Construction 

The cost of incorporating seismically resistant 
features into new buildings is frequently raised as 
a barrier to greater use of these features, especially 
in lower risk areas. These costs are heavily depen- 
dent on the design, location, and features of the 
building, as well as the local costs of labor and ma- 
terials. Several studies have tried to estimate these 
costs through the use of representative case study 
buildings. These studies found that incorporat- 
ing seismic resistance features into new build- 
ings increases construction costs by about 1 to 2 
percent. 

One study by the National Institute of Stan- 
dards and Technology estimated the costs of com- 
plying with the NEHRP Provisions, relative to 



building to the existing code. The study found an 
average increase in construction costs of 1 .6 per- 
cent (see table 3-5).^" A separate study estimated 
these costs for new single-family residential 
buildings. This study found that the costs of com- 
plying with the hJEHRP Provisions, relative to ex- 
isting practice, varied from (some houses did not 
need any changes) to 1 .6 percent of construction 
costs.^' As in the previous study, these costs 
would be higher as a percentage of structural costs 
and lower as a percentage of total costs. 

New Technologies 

The traditional method of designing a building to 
resist seismic damage is by strengthening the 
structure. Although this is often effective at reduc- 
ing the chances of structural collapse, significant 
nonstructural and contents damage can still re- 
sult.^^ Furthermore, it is difficult and expensive to 
retrofit existing buildings to make them suffi- 



" It is possible, however, lo have building codes sfiply when existing buildings m extensively modified or expanded. 

^ S. Weber. Nahon*! Instinite of Standards and Technology, "Cost Impact of the NEHRP Recommended Provisions on tiK Design and 
Coostnjctioa of Buildings," 198S, p. I - 1 1 . The choice of denominator in such an estimate is crucial. Construction costs include structural, mate- 
rial, labor, and all other costs associated with actual construction. They do not include land, site development, and other nonconstruction costs. 
Costs as a pen»itage of structural costs would be three to four times higher, as a percentage of total costs they would be roughly half of those 
shown in aUe }-S. 

^'NAHB Research Center, 'Estimated Cost of Compliance with 1991 Building Code Seismic Requirements," prepared for the Insurance 
Resench Council. Oak Brook II.. August 1992, p. 3. 

^ The coDtents of a buikling are typically worth about half as much as ^building itself. Risk Engineering, Inc.. see footnote 10, p. 2. 



801 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



112 




A base isolator cut in hali to show its construction. 

ciently strong to withstand a major earthquake. 
Two new technologies that may be able to reduce 
damages in both new and existing buildings — 
base isolation and active control systems — are re- 
viewed here, promising information technologies 
are discussed in box 3-2. 

Base Isolation 

Rather than the usual method of stiffening a build- 
ing to resist seismic damage, base isolation in ef- 
fect disconnects the building from the ground. 
This allows the ground to move underneath the 
building while the building stays relatively still. If 
successful, base isolation can protect both the 
building and its contents. There are two principal 
techniques for base isolation: 
1. Installing rubber or rubber and steel pads, 
called elastomeric bearings, between the build- 
ing and the ground: when the ground moves in 
an earthquake, the bushing bends and gives; the 
building, however, stays relatively still. 



2. Using a bearing and a concave surface: the 
building's columns are attached to a bearing or 
other low-friction material, which in turn sits in 
a concave surface. In an earthquake, the con- 
cave surface (which is attached to the ground) 
slides around while the building stays still. 
There are currently at least 30 base-isolated 
buildings in the United States, and more than 65 in 
Japan.^^ Applications of base isolation include 
new buildings such as the Foothill Commimities 
Law and Justice Center in southern California, 
opened in 1986, which uses 98 rubber bearings; 
retrofits to existing buildings such as the U.S. 
Court of Appeals in San Francisco, originally 
built in 1905; and other structures such as a water 
tower in Seattle and art objects in the J.P. Getty 
Museum in Malibu, California. 

Key questions of base isolation are: 
■ How well does it protect buildings and their 

contents? 
• How does its cost compare to conventional 
techniques? 

Computer modeling and laboratory testing of 
base isolation suggest that it works quite well. 
Laboratory tests of a base isolation system built to 
protect a large statue indicate that the system re- 
duces accelerations 35 to 45 percent at the top of 
the statue.^^ Computer modeling of a base isola- 
tion retrofit to a historic brick tower in Seattle pre- 
dicted a 75 percent reduction in base shear.^ A 
much better test of base isolation would be its per- 
formance during a real earthquake. Although no 
base-isolated structures in the United States have 
yet experienced a large earthquake, several have 
been exposed to moderate ground shaking in re- 
cent years. Although data are still sparse, it ap- 



^ D. Tnimmer and S. Sommer, Lawrence Livermore National L.aboratory. "Overview of Seismic Base Isolation Systems. Applications, and 
Perfonnance During Earthquakes." UCRL-IC 1 151 14. August 1993, p. 2. 

2* W. Haak, "Base Isolation System for Large Scale Sculpniral Works of An," in Proceedings of the Fifth U.S. National Conference on 
Earthquake Engineering, July lO-U, 1994, Chicago IL, vol. 1 (Oakland. CA: Earthquake Engineering Research Institute), p. S90. 

^D. Bleiinan el al., "Seismic Retrofit of a Historic Brick Landmark Using Base Isolation," inProc«<fin^5o//Ae/"//rAt/.S.A'anomi/C<>n/er- 
ence on Earthquake Engineering, see ibid., p. 616. 



113 



Chapters The Built Environment i81 



BBUJJIIIIMIHllllliiiBlglliffi^^ 

Additional tools in the mitigation of seismic risks are post-earthquake notification and early warning sys- 
tems (EWS) Notification systems use automated analysis of seismic data to estimate earthquake location, 
magnitude, and the geographic distribution of potentially damaging ground motion within minutes of a 
quake's occurrence Because electronic signals travel faster than seismic waves through the earth, EWS 
can warn of approaching ground motion Initial applications of future EWS include automated shut off of 
valves and opening of firehouse doors, these actions impose low to nxxJerate costs if the warning is a false 
alarm Should 30 to 60 seconds of warning be available, more applications are possible, including turning 
off computers or halting manufacturing processes and initiating personal safety precautions in schools, 
homes, or offices 

Development of Earthquake Notification Systems and EWS In California 

In 1988, the California Division of Mines and Geology (CDMG) studied earthquake warning systems 
and their potential tjenefits and costs in California The agency concluded that, with existing technologies 
and knowledge of earthquake hazards, construction of an EWS in California would not be justifiable on a 
cost-benefit tiasis ' 

Within three years of this report's release, however, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and 
ttie US, Geological Survey (USGS), Pasadena — with the participation of local governments and the private 
sector — began providing automated broadcasts of southern California earthquake magnitude and location 
in nea- real time Today, the Caltech-USGS Broadcast of Earthquakes (CUBE) system disseminates this 
information to the scientific community, public officials, electric utilities, and railroad operators via pagers, 
electronic access to the Southern California Earthquake Data Center at Caltech, and direct phone lines 
Another notification system, the Rapid Earthquake Data Integration (REDI) system, has been operating in 
northern California since 1993 It uses data from University of California at Berkeley and USGS, Menio 
Park, seismographic stations located throughout northern and central California. 

Factors contributing to the change of heart toward implementing EWS included 
■ The National Research Council issued a report that delineated the t>enefits of real-time analysis of seis- 

mological data^ 
• There were rapid advances in seismic data digitizers and sensors and satellite telecommunications ca- 
pabilities 



' See Richard Holden el ai , Technical and Economic Feasibility of an Earthquake Warning System in California. Special Publica- 
tion 101 (Sacramento, CA California Depanment ol Conservation, Division ol Mines and Geology, March 1989) 

^See National Research Council, Committee on Seismology, Real-Time Earthquake Monitoring Earty Warning and Rapid Re- 
sponse (/^astimgion, OC National Academy Press, 1991) 

(conUnued) 



pears that base isolation systems reduced large ac- in an active seismic area. The building with base 
celerations yel had little effect on small accelera- isolators experienced, on average, about 75 per- 
tions.^ In one study in Japan, two identical cent lower acceleration than the conventional 
buildings, one with base isolators and one with building during a series of moderate earth- 
conventional technology, were built side by side quakes. ^^ There is some evidence, however, that 



^ Truimner and Sonuner. see footnote 23, p. 3. 

" T. Kinoda et il., Ai^onnc National Latxnaiory, "Comparison of Seismic Response of Ordinary and Base-Isolated Structures. ' ANL/ 
CP— 75357, 1992. 



114 



82 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



• Increased attention was given to the earthquake threat, facilitated by the 1989 Loma Pneta earthquake 
in the San Francisco Bay area and the 1992 Landers earthquakes in southern California. 

• There was improved perception by the private sector and local governments of the usefulness of 
ground-motion information and early warning. ' 

REDI and CUBE coordinate to provide complete statewide coverage and to automatically notify the 
state Office of Emergency Services, Department of Transportation, CDMG, utilities, telecommunications 
providers, and transportation companies of significant events Second, strong-motion estimates (for earth- 
quakes of magnitude 5 5 or greater) are broadcast via the paging system and maps of strong-motion dis- 
tribution are made available on the Internet After initial source data and strong-motion estimates are re- 
leased, the systems automatically calculate the seismic moment and moment tensor for the earthquake. 
This helps to determine which fault planes are involved, to refine magnitude calculations, and to better 
characterize rupture processes that determine the degree of severe shaking.^ 

Future Directions 

Besides developing EWS capabilities, goals for the existing notification systems include reducing analy- 
sis lime and developing quick damage assessment capabilities to aid in emergency response and after- 
shock preparedness For example, university and government researchers are working to include soil am- 
plification and other site effects, and to integrate building inventories into the systems in order to rapidly 
estimate zones of highest damage and casualties. 

In a similar vein, work is under way to develop an automated rapid damage assessment capability in- 
tended to alleviate much of the uncertainty, delays, and inaccurate information associated with traditional 
post-quake intelligence gathering. * Data on the built environment are tieing collected and vulnerability as- 
sessment software is being developed that will accept CUBE and REDI data and predict both damage 
areas and overall impact. 



3 Egill Hauitsson. Seismologica) l.aboratOfy. CalifOfnra Institute ot Technology, personal communication June 28. 1995 
^ Lind Gee, Seismographic Station, University of Calilornia at Berl<eley, personal communication. June 28, 1995 
^ Ronald T Eguchi el aJ . "Real-Time Earltiquake Hazard Assessment m California The Early Post-Earthquat<e Damage Assess- 
ment Tool and Itie CaitectvUSGS Broadcast ol Earihquaites." paper presented at trie Fiftri u S National Conference on Earthquake 
Engineehng, July 10-14. 1994, Chicago, Ittinois, p 2 



base isolation systems as currently designed may 
be overwhelmed by large earthquakes that pro- 
duce very large ground displacements.^* 

The costs of base isolation are not well known. 
A commonly used estimate is that base isolation 
adds about 5 percent to the construction costs of a 



new building. One cost analysis of a new building 
in southern California found that base isolation 
would be about 6 percent cheaper than conven- 
tional design, with much of the savings coming 
from eliminating the need for measures to protect 
computers and other sensitive equipment.^' 



^* Healon et at., see footnole 1 1 . 

^ S. Sommer and D Tnimmer. "Issues Concerning ItK Application of Seismic Base Isolation in the DOE," in Proceedings ofihe Fifth U.S. 
National Conference on Eanhquake Engineering, see footnole 24. p. 603. 



115 



Chapters The Built Environment 183 



Another study found the life-cycle costs of base 
isolation to be comparable to conventional tech- 
nology.^ 

Although these studies suggest that the costs of 
base isolation are competitive with conventional 
design, costs are still uncertain. Most applications 
to date of base isolation have been in buildings 
where noncost attributes are crucial: experimental 
buildings, historic retrofits where major interior 
renovations were impossible, and buildings 
where continuance of building function after an 
earthquake was critical. 

Active control systems 

Another approach to minimizing earthquake dam- 
age is the use of active control systems, which de- 
tect earthquakes and respond to them. Although 
many ideas for active control are still at the con- 
ceptual stage, some are beginning to be applied in 
buildings. Perhaps the simplest example of active 
control is the use of a large weight on the top of a 
building; the weight is computer-controlled to 
move so as to counteract the earthquake-induced 
sway of a building. This technique, known as "ac- 
tive mass damping," is already used in some tall 
buildings, including the John Hancock Building 
in Boston, to reduce occupant discomfort from 
wind-induced building sway." Such a system has 
been installed in an office building in Japan to re- 
sist seismic damage.-'^ 

A more advanced approach is the use of "active 
tendons" — electronically controlled actuators 
that can be instructed to shake the frame of a build- 
ing so as to minimize earthquake-induced move- 
ment. These systems, although still far from 
commercial application, have the potential to re- 
duce both structural and contents damage by mini- 




Active control systems being tested. 

mizing building movement in an earthquake. 
They could in theory be used in both new and ret- 
rofit applications. An active tendon system has 
been installed in an experimental building in To- 
kyo, Japan. ■'^ 

Issues affecting the development and use of 
these systems include: 

• Cost. Most systems to date have been exper- 
imental and designed with little attention to 
cost. The costs of commercial systems are as 
yet unknown. 



'^S.Pyk el Il.."ljfe-Cycle Cost Study for the Suie of California Justice Building," in Procrrdm;io/5«minara/i5c/i/mr/sa/m/an.PaiiiVr 
Entrgy Dissipation, aitd Aaivt Coiarol. KtC 17-1 (Redwood City. CA: Applied Technology Council. 1993). p. 58. 

'' V. Vmce, Langley Rewarch Caaa, "Active Cootiol of Buildings During Eaitiiquakes," NASA Technical Memorandum. December 
1993. p. 3. 

33 "Sniictira T\aied to the Rhythm of a Quake." Ntw Scieiuisi. Feb. 1 6. 1 99 1 . p. 33. 

^ Vance, lee (booiole 3 1 . p. 5. 



841 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



116 




Bracing paiapets can reduce ca-> rs 

• Reliability. These systems will be inactive most 
of the time, but must work pro[)erly when 
called on. Reliability is critical, and ensuring it 
will increase cost. 

• External energy requirements. Active systems 
require energy, and energy systems can be in- 
terrupted in an earthquake. If energy storage is 
needed, costs will increase. 

■ Potential for future applications. Since a well- 
designed building is likely to avoid structural 
damage in all but the largest earthquakes, the 
value of active control systems will be largely 
in their ability to reduce nonstructural and con- 
tents damage. This value has not been well- 
quantified. 

I Existing Buildings 

Most buildings in existence today were 
constructed before our current understanding of 
how to build them to reduce seismic damage. 
These older structures were built to earlier, less 
stringent building codes. This section reviews 
technologies and practices for reducing earth- 
quake damage in existing buildings. It discusses 



the costs of doing so and some associated policy 
issues. 

St3te of the Knowledge 

Our understanding of how to retrofit existing 
buildings to improve their seismic performance 
has improved in recent years, due in part to 
NEHRP-sponsored programs, yet numerous 
knowledge gaps and uncertainties remain. Retro- 
fitting is a more difficult task than new building 
design for several reasons: the original plans of the 
building may be missing or inaccurate; it may be 
necessary to allow the building to remain occu- 
pied while it is being retrofitted; owners may want 
to preserve the appearance of a building (e.g., ex- 
terior seismic braces may be unacceptable); and, 
as always, costs are a concern. Designing retrofit 
methods that can overcome these obstacles is a 
continuing challenge. 

There are generally agreed-on principles that 
can guide retrofitting. For example, typical steps 
to reduce damage include bracing parapets; im- 
proving connections among walls, floors, and 
roofs; strengthening the walls themselves; adding 
structural framing to support exterior walls; and 
modifying the building design to reduce asymme- 
try (symmetric buildings are generally stronger). 
Work to refine these techniques is ongoing. Its 
goal is to develop a set of comprehensive guide- 
lines on seismic retrofitting of existing build- 
ings.^'' 

Costs of Retrofit 

The costs of retrofitting buildings to improve seis- 
mic resistance are uncertain, but are generally 
much higher than incorporating seismic design 
into new construction. The uncertainty is due to 
several factors: seismic retrofits are often done in 
conjunction with other building improvements, 
such as appearance and fire safety, which makes it 



** The Federal Emeisency Managemenl Agency has published a number of related guidebooks and reports, and plans to complete retrofit 
guidelues ui 1997. 



117 



Chapters The Built Environment 185 



difTicult to separate the cost of seismic actions 
alone;-'^ buildings and retrofit techniques differ 
widely, leading to wide variations in costs: and 
there is little agreement on the appropriate level of 
retrofit (i.e., the level of safety a retrofitted build- 
ing should provide). 

Unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings have 
received the most retrofit attention since they are 
often the buildings at greatest risk for life safety. 
Costs of URM retrofits are typically $7 to $ 1 8 per 
square foot.-*^ To put these costs in perspective, 
typical construction costs for new masonry build- 
ings are $40 to $70 per square foot.-'^ Combining 
these estimates yields a range of 10 to 45 percent, 
with a midpoint of 23 percent: that is, retrofit of 
URM buildings typically costs about 23 per- 
cent as much as new construction (although 
costs will vary considerably). When this is 
compared with the 1 to 2 percent additional cost of 
incorporating seismic design into new construc- 
tion (discussed above), it is clear that retrofitting 
is much more expensive.-'* 

Other Retrofit Issues 

Few buildings in the United States have been re- 
trofitted to improve seismic performance, even 



though they represent a significant risk.-" Why are 
retrofits so difficult to implement? Part of the an- 
swer is their high cost. As noted above, retrofits of 
URM buildings typically cost about 23 percent as 
much as new construction, and costs of retrofits 
for other building types are comparably high. Per- 
haps more important, however, is that these retro- 
fits offer little in the way of near-term market 
benefits (which are typically a function of size, 
location, amenities, and so forth). Not surprising- 
ly, therefore, the retrofits that have occurred have 
been largely in response to regulations requiring 
them (chapter 4 discusses these issues in more de- 
tail). 

A second issue complicating retrofits is deter- 
mining the appropriate level of safety. Increased 
safety comes at an increased cost. For new build- 
ings, the minimum safety level is set by the build- 
ing code. There is however no such generally 
accepted code for existing buildings (although 
guidelines are now available),^ and requiring 
them to meet the same safety levels as new build- 
ings would be extremely expensive. 

A third issue is how well retrofits work. Data on 
retrofit performance in earthquakes are rare; how- 
ever, there is some evidence that retrofitted URMs 



^^ Perfomiing a seismic retrofit may "trigger" other code requirements, such as fire safety upgrades. 

^ Much of the variation can be explained by the level of seismicity to which the building is retrofitted and by the size of the building (larger 
buildings have lower retrofit costs per square fool). Retrofit costs for tKXi- URM buildings are in the same range — for example, retrofitting pre- 
cast coDcrete till-up walls is estimated to cost S5 to $19 per square foot Federal Emergency Management Agency. Typical Costs for SeismJc 
Rehabiliiation of Existing Buildings. 7miEi..FEMA 1 56 (Washington. IXT: December 1994). pp. MS to M 8. 

'^ OTA estimate, based on Federal EmergerKy Management Agency. Typical Costs for Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings, vol. 2. 
FEMA 157 (Washington. XX. September 1988). p. 3-72. 

^ Retrofitting, although more expensive than incorporating seismic considerations into new construction, can still be a worthwhile invest- 
ment if the risk is high (e.g.. in an area with a high probability of a damaging earthquake or in a critical building such as a hospital). 

^ For example, a 1 994 review of California's seismic risk found, "we still have many earthquake-vulnerable buildings. ..." California 
Seismic Safety Commission, "California at Risk." 1 994 Status Report SSC 94-0 1 , p. 1 . In die central United Sutcs, some sutes have just begun 
to identiiy hazardous structures. R. Olshansky, "Earthquake Hazard Mitigation in the Central United States; A Progress Report" in Proceedings 
of the Fifth U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, see footnote 24, p. 992. 

^ These guidelines, known as the Uniform Code for Building Conservation (UCTBC), are intended not to ensure life safety but to decrease 
seianic risk. For example, 1 5 to 25 percent of reirofitied URMs locaud near the epicenter of a major earthquake are expected to collapse in a 
modenie earthquake. Earthquake EogiiKcring Research Instinite. see foompte 1 6, p. 1 6. In addition, as noted above, FEMA is working to de- 
velop comprehensive retrofit guidelines. 



118 



861 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



did not perform as well as hoped.'" Evaluation of 
retrofit methods is clearly needed. 

One major technical issue that makes such ret- 
rofits difficult is the analysis of existing buildings. 
Deciding on a retrofit technique requires an under- 
standing of the s&engths and weaknesses of the 
building as it stands. For many older buildings, 
however, the original plans are not available; the 
building has been modified several times since its 
original construction; and structural details of the 
building are hidden by nonstructural components. 
Some work has been done by the National Insti- 
tute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in ap- 
plying nondestructive testing techniques, such as 
sensors that can delect reinforcing rods in con- 
crete, to seismic retrofit problems. The Federal 
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has 
also sponsored research into "rapid screening 
methods" — methods to quickly estimate a build- 
ing's seismic hazard without, performing a de- 
tailed engineering analysis. These are promising 
research directions. 

DAMAGE TO LIFELINES 

Lifelines (i.e., bridges, mass transit systems, over- 
passes, roads, electric and gas supply systems, 
water and sewer systems, and telecommunication 
networks) are often damaged by earthquakes. 
Much of what has been discussed about buildings 
applies to lifelines as well: 
• most fatalities associated with lifelines are 
caused by structural collapse; 

■ the knowledge of how to build new lifeline fa- 
cilities to minimize structural collapse is avail- 
able, although this knowledge, for economic or 
other reasons, may not be used; 

■ much of the remaining life safety risk lies with 
existing facilities; and 



■ existing facilities can be retrofitted, but the 

costs are high. 

There are, however, some key ways in which 
lifelines differ from buildings. The most impor- 
tant difference is the high cost of outage. If a 
building is damaged, only the functions in that 
building are lost. If a lifeline is interrupted — even 
for a brief time — the costs can be massive. The 
most extreme example would be loss of a water 
supply system after an earthquake, which oc- 
curred in San Francisco in 1906, leading to mas- 
sive fires. In the longer term, interruptions in 
water or sewer service can lead Co public health 
problems, breaks in key transportation links can 
snarl commuting, and the loss of natural gas sys- 
tems can force otherwise undamaged businesses 
to close. Thus "success" in lifeline seismic design 
is often defined as retaining functionality rather 
than simply reducing damage. 

The second major difference is that lifelines 
are usually owned and operated by public 
agencies (exceptions are electricity and natural 
gas supply systems, which in most areas are 
owned and operated by publicly regulated, pri- 
vately owned companies). Therefore, responsibil- 
ity for their continued operation, and decisions 
about their earthquake resistance, often lie entire- 
ly with the government. 

I Bridges 

Bridges, overpasses, and elevated highways are 
often damaged by earthquakes, and the costs of 
damage to these critical lifelines are high. Cata- 
strophic failure can result in many deaths. Of the 
63 deaths in the 1 989 Loma Prieta earthquake, for 
example, 42 were caused by the collapse of one 
elevated highway."*^ Repair of damaged bridges 
can be very expensive: the reconstruction of the 



*' For extmple, many retrofitied masonry smjctures suffered severe damage in the Northridge earthquake. Goliz, see footnote 1 3, p. 3-36. 
*^ M. Durkin. "Improving EaithquaJce Casualty and Loss Estimation," paper presented at the Earthquake Engineeiing Tenth World Confer- 
ence, Balkema. Rotterdam. 1992. p. 359. 



119 



Chapters The Built Environment 187 



Santa Monica Freeway in Los Angeles, which was 
damaged in the Noithridge earthquake, cost $29.4 
million.'*^ Also, interruption of transport services 
can disrupt the local economy; the 1989 Loma 
Prieta earthquake caused the partial collapse of the 
San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which dis- 
rupted the passage of 243,000 vehicles per day.** 
Bridges can be damaged in several ways, in- 
cluding: 

■ They can simply be "unseated." Sections of 
bridges typically sit on horizontal supports, 
called seats; if the support moves far enough in 
an earthquake it can simply drop the bridge sec- 
tion. 

• The columns holding up sections of a bridge 
may collapse under the lateral (side) forces 
caused by an earthquake. 

■ The soil providing support for a bridge may 
settle or shift. 

Known technologies and practices can do much to 
reduce the risk of major damage to or collapse of 
bridges. The primary constraint is the high coat of 
implementing these technologies and practices, 
especially when such long-term investments must 
compete with other public investments for scarce 
capital. 

New Construction 

Like buildings, bridges built to current standards 
of seismic resistance have performed quite well in 
recent earthquakes. In the Loma Prieta earth- 
quake, only one of the 100 bridges damaged was 



designed after 1972, when seismic design require- 
ments were revised significantly.*' Similarly, the 
two major freeway collapses in the 1994 North- 
ridge earthquake — the Santa Monica Freeway and 
the I5-SR14 interchange — were due primarily to 
the failure of supporting columns designed and 
built before 1971.** A total of seven highway 
bridges collapsed in the 1994 Northridge earth- 
quake; none were built to current codes.*^ The ele- 
vated highway that collapsed during the 1995 
quake in Kobe, Japan, did not incorporate current 
knowledge on designing columns to resist seismic 
damage.** 

Some design features in new bridges that resist 
seismic damage include: using continuous spans 
and thereby eliminating joints that can separate 
and collapse, using longer seat widths that allow 
for more horizontal movement without unseating, 
improving soil strength to avoid liquefaction, de- 
signing all bridge components for horizontal 
loads, and confining (wrapping) columns.*' 

Retrofits 

About 345,000 bridges in the United States were 
built before 1970, with little or no consideration of 
seismic resistance.'" Although not all of these are 
located in areas of seismic concern, retrofitting 
these bridges remains a major technical, financial, 
and policy challenge. 

Much of the bridge retrofit activity in the 
United States has been in California. The 1971 
San Fernando earthquake in southern California 



«3 'X^uake-Danuged Freeway Reopening Ahead of Time." Mrw York Timts. Apr. 12. 1994, p. A 1 2. About half the cost was a bonus to the 
conmctof for early completion. 

** U.S. Geolofical Survey. Tie Loma Prieta. CaUfomia, Earthquake of October 17,1 989— Fire, Pohce. Transportation, and Hazardous 
Materials." 1553-C. 1994. p. CIS. 

*^ National Research ComKil. sec footnote 12, p. 169. 

* J. Cooper et al.. "The Noithridge Earthquake." Public Roads, summer 1994. p. 32. 

*^I.G. Buckle. National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, The Nonhridge. California Earthquake ofJanuaiy 17. 1994: Perfor- 
mance of Highway Bridges." Technical Repon NCEER-94-(X)08. Mar. 24. 1994. p. I - 1 . 

" Eanhqtiake Engineering Research Institute. Tht Hyogo-Ken Nanbu Earihqmkt. Preliminary Reconiuussance Repon (Oakland, CA: 
February 1995). p. 44. 

*> Cooper et ai., see footnote 46, p. 34. 

SOfbid. 



120 



881 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



damaged more than 60 bridges, and led both lo re- 
vision of standards for new bridge construction 
and to an ambitious bridge retrofit program. Re- 
trofitted bridges performed very well in the 1989 
Loma Prieta earthquake: 350 bridges retrofitted 
with hinge restrainers were in the area impacted 
by the quake, and none were damaged.^' Similar- 
ly, retrofitted bridges performed very well in the 
1994 Northridge earthquake.^^ Although some 
hinge restrainers failed, no steel-jacketed column 
retrofits showed signs of distress.^-' 

The technical knowledge of how and what to 
retrofit is good, but not faultless. The 1989 Loma 
Prieta earthquake caused the partial collapse of the 
San Francisco Bay Bridge; this bridge had been 
retrofitted in the 1970s, and the section that col- 
lapsed was not considered vulnerable.^'* 

In addition to determining the best technolo- 
gies and practices for bridge retrofits, funding 
these retrofits remains a major challenge. The 
1-880 elevated highway that collapsed in the 
Loma Prieta earthquake, killing 42 people, was 
scheduled for retrofit but had not been because of 
budget limitations.^' A General Accounting Of- 
fice survey of state bridge retrofit activity found 
that very few states had retrofitted their bridges; 
limited funding was identified as a major barri- 



I Water and Sewer Systems 

Ground motion and ground failure due to earth- 
quakes can cause water and sewer pipes to break; 



this can be especially dangerous if fire follows an 
earthquake. Also, since almost all of these pipes 
are underground, repair is expensive and time con- 
suming. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake caused 
748 water supply pipeline breaks; the total cost of 
repairs was in the tens of millions of dollars.^' 
This earthquake also severely damaged San Fran- 
cisco's auxiliary water supply system.'* The 1987 
Whittier Narrows earthquake caused 1 7 major wa- 
ter supply pipeline breaks, with the result that wa- 
ter pressure in the system was at half its usual level 
for two days following the earthquake.'^ The loss 
of water supply contributed to the severity and 
duration of fires in the 1995 Kobe. Japan, earth- 
quake. 

Recent experiences with the performance of 
water systems in earthquakes suggest several de- 
sign principles to reduce future disruptions. The 
Loma Prieta and Northridge experiences point to 
the importance of redundancies in water supply 
systems. In the Loma Prieta earthquake, liquefac- 
tion in the South of Market area of San Francisco 
caused a break in a major pipeline of the city's 
backup water supply system. Fortunately, other 
backup systems, including cisterns and a fire boat, 
were available. Water supply systems should 
build in redundancies (e.g.. multiple pipelines and 
independent power supplies for pumping) to re- 
duce the probability of the system's being dis- 
abled from the loss of any one component. In the 
Northridge earthquake, a number of water leaks 
resulted from the breakage of pipes and valves 



^' National Research Council, see footnote 12, p. 168. 

'2 Cooper et al.. see footnote 46. p. 32. 

"Buckle, see footnote 47. p. II 

'* U.S. Congress. General Accounting Office. Lonui Priela Earihiiuakt: Collapse of the Bay Bridge and the Cypress Viaduct. GAO/ 
RCED-90- 1 T7 (Washington. EXT: June 1990). p. 5 

55 ibid., p. 2. 

5* US Congress. General Accounting Office. The Nations Highway Bridges Remain al Risk from Earthquakes. GAO/RCED -92-59 
(Washington. DC: January 1992). p. 13. 

5''NaIional Research Council, see footnote 12, pp. 138. 146. 

5' -Keeping Lifelines Alive." Civil Engineering. March 1990. p. 59. 

5' A. Schiff. The Whittier Narrows. California Earthquake of October I, 1987— Response of Lifelines ant) Their Effect on Emergency 
Response," Earthquake Spectra, vol. 4, No. 2, 1988, p. 344. 



121 



Chapters The Built Environment 189 



where ihey connect to water tanks. Use of flexible 
connections that would allow differential move- 
ment of pipes and tanks would reduce such leaks. 
A $17-million evaluation and retrofit of Seattle's 
water supply system found that elevated water 
tanks were among the most vulnerable compo- 
nents of the system.^ Ensuring that such tanks 
have sufficient anchors and braces will reduce the 
chances of collapse. 

I Electricity Systems 

In recent earthquakes in the United States, the 
damage to electricity systems has been relatively 
minor. Redundancies in transmission and dis- 
tribution systems, coupled with the inherent flexi- 
bility of wires (i.e., compared to rigid pipes), 
suggests that electricity is not the most vulnerable 
lifeline. In the Loma Prieta earthquake, several 
electrical switchyards were moderately dam- 
aged.*' In the Northridge earthquake, about 2 mil- 
lion customers lost electrical power due mainly to 
substation problems; however, most service was 
restored within a day.*^ 

Fortunately most critical facilities that use elec- 
tricity — such as hospitals, telecommunications 
systems, and computer facilities — have backup 
electricity-generating facilities. However, since 
most backup systems such as batteries and on-site 
generators are designed to supply limited power 
for only a short time (typically hours or tens of 
hours), longer term electricity system damage can 
be a serious problem. 



I Natural Gas Systems 

Natural gas is transported through underground 
pipelines, which are vulnerable to fracture in 
earthquakes. Resulting natural gas leaks are a 
dangerous fire and explosion hazard. In the North- 
ridge earthquake, a broken natural gas transmis- 
sion pipeline caused a fire that destroyed five 
houses.*' Analysis of the performance of natural 
gas transmission pipelines in California earth- 
quakes found that most damage could be traced to 
pre- 1930 welds, which were generally of poor 
quality. Pre-1930 pipes had a damage rate 100 
limes that of post- 1930 pipes.*"* Modem pipes 
with high-quality welds are still vulnerable to 
ground deformation, but are very resilient to dam- 
age from traveling ground waves. 

Although modem natural gas transmission sys- 
tems generally perform quite well in earthquakes, 
leaks and other problems in the distribution sys- 
tem and at or near the service connection are com- 
mon. In the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, 
for example, there was only one leak in the trans- 
mission system (due to a cracked cast iron pipe) 
but there were 1 ,400 leaks on customer property. 
Three-quarters of these resulted from failures at 
appliance connections, primarily water heaters.*^ 
In the Loma Prieta earthquake, the natural gas 
transmission system was undamaged, but the dis- 
tribution system suffered extensive damage. Re- 
pairs in many cases were made by inserting 
flexible plastic piping into damaged cast iron 
pipes.** In the Northridge earthquake, 1 20 mobile 



'O W. Anton ei »1.. "Seanle Plays II Safe." Civil Engineering. August 1992. p. 39. 
" National Research Council, see footnote 12, p. 142. 
" Goto (ed.), see footnote 1 3. p. 4- 1 1 . 
Mlbid.. p. 4-21. 

^ T. O'Romke and M. Palmer. National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, "The Northridge. California Earthquake of January 
7. 1994: Performance ofGas Transmission Pipelines." Technical Report NCEER-94-001 1. May 16, 1994. pp. 2-32. 233. 
^ Schiff. sec footnote 39, p. 348. 
" National Research Council, see footnote 12, p. 140-141. 



122 



90 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



homes were destroyed by fires triggered by natu- 
ral gas valve leaks. ^^ 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND NEEDS OF 
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH 

I Accomplishments 

Considerable progress has been made in under- 
standing how the buih environment is affected by 
earthquakes and how structures can be designed to 
reduce structural failure. NEHRP has done 
much to expand our knowledge of earthquake 
engineering. Although a rigorous evaluation of 
NEHRP has not been undertaken (and would be 
very difficult, since much of NEHRP involves re- 
search, which is inherently difficult to evaluate), 
there are numerous examples in which NEHRP- 
funded programs have had considerable societal 
benefits. 

A 1993 workshop defined some key contribu- 
tions made to earthquake engineering by the Na- 
tional Science Foundation's funding of research 
under NEHRP. These include: 

■ advances in analytical and modeling tech- 
niques, permitting seismic structure design on 
inexpensive computers; 

• improved understanding of how structures be- 
have under earthquake-induced stress, which 
has led to better building codes in such areas as 
bracing systems for steel structures; 

■ advances in new technologies such as base 
isolation and active control; 

■ better reliability and risk assessment tech- 
niques for lifelines and structures; and 

■ improved disaster response planning from so- 
cial science research that sheds light, for exam- 
ple, on cultural differences in perceptions of 
disaster.^^ 



NEHRP-funded work by NIST, although a 
small fraction of total program funding, has also 
addressed some key applied earthquake engineer- 
ing problems. Examples include testing of base 
isolation systems, development of methods to 
evaluate the strength of existing buildings, and 
evaluation of building retrofit techniques.^' Addi- 
tional relevant NIST activities include, for exam- 
ple, development of seismic standards for existing 
federal buildings and management of a United 
States-Japan annual meeting on earthquake engi- 
neering. 

Implementation of this knowledge is a continu- 
ing concern; yet there are successes here as well. 
For example, development of the NEHRP Provi- 
sions, a resource document for model codes, and 
their adoption by model code agencies, is a signif- 
icant accomplishment. Retrofitting of existing 
buildings is still a difficult and expensive task, yet 
FEMA's work in this area has made some progress 
toward consensus on methods and costs. 

These examples of NEHRP successes are not 
the result of a thorough evaluation of that pro- 
gram, nor do past successes ensure future con- 
tributions. However, it is clear that NEHRP has 
made a significant contribution to improving un- 
derstanding of how to build structures that will re- 
sist seismic damage. (A more detailed description 
of the current activities of NEHRP agencies can be 
found in appendix B.) 

I Future Needs 

Knowledge of how to design and build structures 
so as to reduce earthquake-induced damage has 
improved considerably. However, the problem is 
far from solved. The 1994 Northridge earthquake 
occurred in probably the most well-prepared area 
of the United States. Nevertheless, it caused 57 



" Golu (ed.), see fooinoie 1 3, p. 6-5. 

^ National Science Foundation, "Directions for Research in the Next Decade," Report on a Workshop, tune 1993. 

^ Richard N- Wright. Director. Building and Fire Research laboratory. National Institute of Standards and Technology, testimony at hear- 
ings before the Senate Committee on Coimnerce, Science, and Transponalion, Subcommittee on Science. Technology and Space, May 17, 
1994. on NEHRP reauthorization. 



123 



Chapters The Built Environment 191 



deaths and about $20 billion in losses. Scenarios 
of future earthquakes across the United States sug- 
gest that large losses are likely. 

Greater use of existing knowledge, practices, 
and technologies could reduce these losses. For 
example, the 1989 collapse of the 1-880 elevated 
highway in Oakland, which resulted in 42 deaths, 
could have been prevented with the use of known 
technologies. The implementation (or lack there- 
of) of these technologies to date has been deter- 
mined largely by economic, behavioral, 
institutional, and other factors, not by the state of 
the knowledge (these issues are addressed in chap- 
ter 4). 

Nevertheless, improved knowledge could have 
several benefits. First, although current knowl- 
edge of how to build new structures to resist seis- 
mic damage is good, it is far from perfect 
(consider the steel weld failures in new buildings 
in the Northridge earthquake). Second, many of 
the financial losses in recent earthquakes resulted 
from nonstructural and contents damage — areas 
that have received little research attention. Third, 
much of the risk of fatalities lies in existing struc- 
tures, and retrofit methods are still not well devel- 
oped. Research into improving retrofits could 
reduce this risk. Fourth, to the extent that econom- 
ic factors influence implementation, research to 
reduce costs could lead to greater implementation. 

New Buildings 

Buildings constructed to comply with today's 
codes are meeting the goal of providing life safety. 
Building collapses have been limited largely to 
older buildings designed to earlier codes. This is a 
major success, for which NEHRP gets some cred- 
it years of research, and a concerted effort to en- 
sure that the results of this research are 
incorporated into codes, have resulted in effective 
new building codes that, if properly applied, will 



yield a building that is unlikely to suffer structural 
collapse. 

However, several crucial areas of new building 
seismic design are still not well understood. A 
new building meeting today's code, although un- 
likely to suffer structural collapse, will likely suf- 
fer expensive nonstructural and contents damage 
in a major earthquake. This does not indicate inad- 
equate or faulty construction or design. Rather, it 
reflects the fact that codes are intended primarily 
to protect life safety by preventing structural col- 
lapse and typically have few or no requirements to 
limit nonstructural or contents damage."' It is 
time for new building seismic engineering re- 
search to consider the next problem: reducing 
nonstructural and contents damage. Possible 
areas of research include: 

■ data collection and analysis of nonstructural 
and contents damage from recent earthquakes; 

" how to design and build structures to avoid or 
minimize expensive nonstructural failures 
such as cracked walls, broken sprinkler sys- 
tems, and collapsed chimneys; 

• analytical methods to measure or predict such 
damage; 

• guidelines for lighting, electrical, water, and 
other systems design and installation to mini- 
mize seismic damage; 

■ expanding building codes to address nonstruc- 
tural and contents damage; and 

■ considering technologies— notably active and 
passive control — that can reduce these dam- 
ages. 

The major surprise of the 1994 Northridge 
earthquake was the failure of steel welds. These 
failures occurred in new buildings and in build- 
ings under construction. Although none of these 
buildings collapsed, repairing this damage will be 
very expensive. Since it is not yet clear why such 
damage occurred or how to prevent it, repairs may 



"' "The pfinury inlenl (of ihc Unifonn Building Code seismic provisions) is lo proieci the life safety of building occupants and the general 
public." Eanhquake Engineering Research Institute, see footnote 16. p. 6. 



92 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



124 




Testing ot UFIM retrofit mettioos. 

not prevent the recurrence of this problein. Re- 
search is needed to better understand what caused 
this failure and how steel frames should be de- 
signed, assembled, and modified (in existing 
buildings) to prevent it from happening again.^' 

Existing Buildings 

Much of the risk of collapse and resulting fatali- 
ties lies in existing buildings, which do not incor- 
porate current codes and knowledge. Few of these 
buildings have been retrofitted to reduce risk, and 
such retrofits have sometimes been expensive, 
complex, and of uncertain benefit. Additional re- 
search is needed to improve understanding of how 
to best reduce the risk in existing buildings.^^ 

The first area of research for existing buildings 
should be to better understand the vulnerabil- 
ity of existing buildings. It is commonly recog- 
nized that URM buildings are unsafe. However, 
for other types of buildings (e.g., precast concrete 
framed buildings or reinforced masonry build- 
ings), the risk is less well known. Laboratory and 
field experiments, and collection and analysis of 



data on how buildings respond during earth- 
quakes, are needed. Improved tools to determine 
risk in existing buildings — such as nondestructive 
evaluation techniques — are needed as well. A sec- 
ond area is the development of low-cost stan- 
dardized retrofit techniques. Many retrofits to 
date have been expensive and have required exten- 
sive site-specific design and analysis. Standard- 
ized methods, such as those contained in codes for 
new construction, would reduce costs. These 
methods could also allow for multiple levels of 
safety to accommodate different risk preferences. 
A third research area is to extend retrofits from 
structural damage reduction to nonstructural 
and contents damage reduction. The bulk of 
damage to buildings in recent California earth- 
quakes has been nonstructural and contents dam- 
age: retrofit methods to reduce this damage could 
be very beneficial. 

Lifelines 

Lifelines are expensive to repair if damaged in an 
earthquake, and service interruptions are at best 
inconvenient and at times deadly. Like buildings, 
lifeline facilities built to current design knowl- 
edge generally behave quite well in earthquakes. 
However, the lack of an accepted national stan- 
dard for the design and construction of lifelines 
raises costs and reduces performance. The 1990 
NEHRP reauthorization directed FEMA and 
NIST to work together to develop a plan for creat- 
ing and adopting design and construction stan- 
dards for lifelines. The legislation directed the 
agencies to submit this plan to Congress by June 
30, 1 992. Although some work has been done on 
the plan, as of this writing it had not yet been sub- 
mitted to Congress. 

Much of the life safety risk associated with life- 
lines lies in existing facilities. Research is needed 
to develop methods to better determine the risk in 



^ ' FEMA is currcndy using supplemental appropriations funds, passed after die Northridge earthquake, to sponsor research and develop- 
ment related to tlie steel weld problem. 

^2 FEMA has an existing buildings program that is addressing some of the issues noted here. 



125 



Chapters The Built Environment 193 



existing facilities, to develop methods to priori- 
tize retrofits, and to develop standardized retrofit 
methods that can reduce retrofit costs. A goal of 
preserving functionality, rather than simply mini- 
mizing damage, is often appropriate for life- 



lines. The development of low-cost, easy-to-use 
procedures to analyze lifelines for weak links 
would help to ensure their continued function in 
earthquakes. 



21-03-^ - Qfi _ 



126 



Implementation 



4 



From earth science comes knowledge of earthquake haz- 
ards; from engineering, an understanding of how to pre- 
pare structures against them. For this knowledge and 
understanding to actually reduce earthquake losses, how- 
ever, it must be put into effect. This process, the transformation of 
research results into real-world measures that will reduce loss of 
life and property, is referred to as implementation. 

Implementation can take a number of forms. It can mean the 
incorporation of engineering lessons into the building practices of 
a seismically vulnerable region, land-use planning to restrict de- 
velopment of unusually dangerous ground, emergency planning 
to ensure service or business continuity in the aftermath of a ma- 
jor temblor, or informational outreach programs to inform poten- 
tial earthquake victims of risks and preventive measures. It is a 
complex, multifaceted process involving many different players 
working at many different levels, and as such it is inherently chal- 
lenging. 

In many respects, implementation is the chief bottleneck hin- 
dering seismic mitigation efforts in the United States. Research in 
the earth sciences and engineering has already provided much of 
the knowledge base needed to prepare against earthquakes; we 
have a good idea of where earthquakes can occur (at least for the 
mote seismically active areas); we have a sense of their potential 
severity and probable effects; and where we choose to prepare, we 
can significantly reduce the likelihood of massive destruction and 
loss of life. The problem is that we do not always choose to pre- 
pare. Despite mounting evidence that truly devastating earth- 
quakes can occur in heavily populated regions of the central 
United States, Intermountain West, and U.S. East Coast, these re- 
gions remain highly vulnerable to future earthquake losses. 




195 



127 



96 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



Moreover, where we do choose to act (most nota- 
bly in the state of California), we have focused on 
issues of life safety and remain vulnerable to dev- 
astating economic loss. 

These problems — a general lack of earthquake 
mitigation in many seismically hazardous regions 
(particularly outside California), and a surprising 
economic vulnerability in even the best-prepared 
communities — have drawn attention to how the 
implementation of seismic mitigation might best 
be improved. 

The emphasis in the National Earthquake Haz- 
ards Reduction Program (NEHRP) has tradition- 
ally been on the front end of the implementation 
process (i.e., the gathering and dissemination of 
research knowledge and recommendations), with 
the actual execution largely left to state and local 
authorities, private organizations, and private in- 
dividuals. As a result, implementation might be 
improved through better coordination and tailor- 
ing of front end efforts to the needs of nonfederal 
implementers. Alternatively, one might desire to 
complement existing efforts by having the federal 
government play a more active implementation 
role through incentives, insurance, or regulation. 
All such efforts require an understanding of how 
the implementation process works, who the chief 
players are, what their relations are to NEHRP and 
to each other, and what incentives or disincentives 
influence their desire or ability to act. Those seek- 
ing to improve mitigation efforts in the United 
States must therefore consider the following: 

■ How does implementation work in the ideal 
and in practice? 

• What underlying factors reduce implementa- 
tion success? 

■ What activities or measures have the greatest 
impact on implementation success? 

These questions are considered in turn. The 
next section, "The Implementation Process," ex- 
amines the basic workings of implementation and 
identifies difficulties that arise in the execution of 
mitigation measures. Following that, "Factors Af- 
fecting Implementation" sets these difficulties in 



the context of larger motivational problems that 
complicate the widespread and thorough adoption 
of mitigation programs. Finally, the section "How 
Matters Might Be Improved" identifies earth sci- 
ence, engineering, and direct implementation 
measures that might improve mitigation adoption 
and execution. 

THE IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS 

I The Voluntary Nature of 
Earthquake Mitigation 

From the perspective of the federal government, 
the implementation of earthquake mitigation 
measures is an essentially voluntary process. Fed- 
erally supported research gives warning of likely 
earthquake hazards while suggesting possible 
technical countermeasures, and concerned non- 
federal entities decide whether to incorporate 
those suggestions into state, local, or private haz- 
ard reduction schemes. 

The origins of this approach lie partly in the un- 
usual scientific climate surrounding NEHRP's 
conception (a point addressed later) and partly in 
matters of constitutional authority. That is, al- 
though federal funds can guide the course of re- 
search, the application of research results takes 
place primarily through land-use decisions and 
building codes — authority over which is constitu- 
tionally ceded to the states — and through action 
by individuals and nongovernmental organiza- 
tions. 

To explain in more detail, the essential goals of 
mitigation are to ensure that buildings and other 
structures do not collapse, that lifelines and ser- 
vices continue to function, that individuals and or- 
ganizations are aware of risks and appropriate 
responses, and (a more recent concern) that eco- 
nomic losses are minimized. The basic tools to ac- 
complish these goals are: 

1 . building codes for new construction in seismi- 
cally hazardous areas; 

2. retrofit or demolition programs and guidelines 
to reduce or remove the risk of potentially haz- 
ardous older construction; 



128 



Chapter 4 Implementation 197 



3. land-use planning or zoning measures to pre- 
vent development on particularly dangerous 
ground (e.g., fault scarps and landslide zones), 
or to limit such development to nonessential, 
less vulnerable uses; 

4. actions by individuals or nongovernmental 
groups to reduce nonstructural hazards (e.g., 
anchoring office equipment), or to initiate mea- 
sures (land-use, retrofit, seismic-safety stan- 
dards) beyond those recommended by the 
government; 

5. structural, organizational, or emergency re- 
sponse measures to ensure lifeline survivabil- 
ity; and 

6. the collection, processing, and dissemination 
of information on earthquake risk, mitigation 
alternatives, and earthquake response to at-risk 
individuals and organizations. 

Of these tools, the first three (which have the 
greatest impact on reducing catastrophic building 
collapse and major loss of life) are building and 
land-use issues, while the fourth is, by definition, 
private. The federal government has some influ- 
ence on lifeline survivability via authority over 
utilities and transportation (and of course on direct 
federal construction), but its basic role in imple- 
mentation is currently focused on the last mea- 
sure — collecting, processing, and disseminating 
information.' This handling of information serves 
two functions: one is to motivate nonfederal enti- 
ties toward action by making clear both the risks 
and the potential losses; the other is to facilitate 
action by translating research results into readily 
usable forms (e.g., by incorporating engineering 
theories into ready-to-use model building codes). 

I Approaches to Implementation 

With federal agencies currently playing a primari- 
ly informational role, authorities in the state, lo- 
cal, and private sectors are faced with devising 
their own plans for putting hazard reduction into 



effect. Because different parts of the country vary 
in their geology, hazard awareness, economics, 
political climate, and mitigation history, these 
plans show a wide range of approaches: 

■ The overall approach can be regulatory, incen- 
tive- or insurance-based, or built on outreach 
and the media. 

■ Action can be initiated by states, localities, pro- 
fessional and technical associations, or the pri- 
vate sector. 

■ In some instances (e.g., hospitals and schools 
in California), the state takes a direct role in 
mandating preventive measures. Alternatively, 
the state can issue voluntary guidelines for lo- 
cal jurisdictions, or it can set performance stan- 
dards that local authorities must attain. 

• Considerable discretion is commonly left to lo- 
cal governments. Where state activity is weak, 
local authorities sometimes take the lead (in- 
deed, localities in even the most active states 
are free to adopt more stringent measures than 
required). 

■ Finally, important mitigation decisions can be 
made at a nongovernmental level by regional or 
local utilities, private businesses, professional 
societies such as those guiding the training and 
practice of engineers, organizations governing 
particularly sensitive institutions such as mu- 
seums and laboratories, and private individu- 
als. 

Despite the variety of mitigation approaches, 
some common themes recur. In deciding whether 
and how to guard against earthquake hazards, 
communities, organizations, and individuals will 
generally seek to: 

1 . assess the local level of seismic hazard and lo- 
cal vulnerability to that hazard, 

2. decide what changes should be made to the ex- 
isting and future built environment while en- 
suring that the benefits of such changes 
outweigh the costs, and 



' The federal role could be lugei, and options for nuking it so are presented in chapter I . However, this tliscussion reflects the federal role as 
it currently exists. 



129 



981 Reducing Earthquake Losses 




A community's first step in assessing earthquake risk is to consult large-scale seismic tiazard maps; here, the severity of future 
ground shakjng is stiown for tfye continental U.S. 



3. devise regulatory, financial, insurance-based, 
or cooperative tools to put those changes into 
effect. 

Although simple in concept, these steps — par- 
ticularly the first — are not straightforward to 
execute. To illustrate the difficulties that arise, the 
remainder of this section examines how a hypo- 
thetical (and unusually thorough) community 
might approach each of the above steps. For clar- 
ity's sake, each step is presented in sequence, with 
the assumption that conscious, rational thought 
governs every phase of the process. In the real 
world, communities or individuals will likely deal 
with steps simultaneously or in varying se- 
quences, perhaps making decisions on the basis of 
less-than-formal deliberations; however, the basic 
problems that arise are the same whether the deci- 
sionmaking process is explicit or impUcit. 



I Assessing Hazard, Risk, and Vulnerability 

Assessing Overall Hazard— Seismic 
Hazard Maps 

As a fu^t step, this hypothetical community will 
examine U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) seismic 
hazard maps^ to gain a sense of the overall danger. 
Of concern are: 

■ the frequency of seismic activity and the likeli- 
hood of activity within a future time window, 

• the most likely severity of future events, and 

• the severity of the worst-case event. 

All three points are subject to considerable uncer- 
tainty, and all have an impact on the scope and 
character of the desired mitigation action. 

The fu-st point reflects the immediacy of the 
earthquake threat and can determine the choice of 
implementation tools. If a community can reason- 



^ There are many types of seismic hazard maps. See chapter 2 for more details. 



130 



Chapter 4 Implementation 199 



ably expect a damaging quake several hundred 
years from now' — by which time most or all of its 
current building stock will have ab-eady been re- 
placed — then seismic codes for new construction 
might suffice for future protection. However, if a 
major seismic event is expected within the next 
few years or decades (i.e., within the lifetime of 
many existing buildings), prudence may dictate 
more drastic measures such as building retrofit or 
demolition and replacement. The difficulty is that 
situations are rarely so straightforward. Because 
earthquake likelihood is commonly expressed as a 
probabilistic estimate (i.e., there is a percentage 
chance of an event during some future time inter- 
val) and because building lifetimes vary widely, 
communities must judge the impact of an uncer- 
tain future event on an evolving building stock. As 
a result, communities must balance the risk of 
overmitigation (e.g., by tearing down or retrofit- 
ting structures that would never have experienced 
an earthquake) against that of mitigating too slow- 
ly and being caught unprepared. 

Apart from issues of urgency is the question of 
earthquake severity: should one prepare for the 
worst-case' scenario, or for the most-likely? The 
geologic stresses that lead to seismic activity (see 
chapter 2) can be released by earthquakes of many 
different sizes, and those preparing for them must 
choose from a range of predicted calamities. This 
choice creates problems for those trying to justify 
the expense of mitigation, for over- and underpre- 
paration can both waste money: overpreparation 
is expensive for obvious reasons, while an expen- 
sively but inadequately prepared building can still 
be destroyed at a a total loss. 



AssKSlng Risk In Detail 

It is tempting to stop the assessment process at the 
level of the seismic hazard map — knowing the 
predicted zone of devastation surrounding future 
earthquakes, one could in theory simply require 
that all structures within the zone be built to 
seismically resistant standards. 

Real-world costs however make a broad-brush 
approach impracticable on two counts: 

1 . In many regions (particularly east of the Rock- 
ies) scientific uncertainties mean that enor- 
mous portions of the seismic map are marked as 
potentially hazardous. A broad-brush mitiga- 
tion strategy can therefore prepare a wide- 
spread area for a future earthquake that, if and 
when it occurs, might strike but a small fraction 
of the region.'' 

2. Even if predicted earthquake locations are 
tightly constrained, a broad-mitigation strategy 
can still be undesirable. Within the general area 
affected by an earthquake, quirks of local geog- 
raphy and geology will make some localities 
much more dangerous than others (see chapter 
2); these quirks are largely ignored in the prepa- 
ration of seismic maps. Applying an average 
level of mitigation to the entire area will thus 
tend to overprepaie some localities while un- 
derpreparing others. 

For practical and economic reasons, a commu- 
nity will therefore wish to focus its efforts on loca- 
tions where devastation is most likely. Places 
subject to ground failure, seismic energy amplifi- 
cation, and other earthquake-related effects (see 
chapter 2) can experience the bulk of a region's 
earthquake damage and will call for special atten- 
tion (or sole attention, if the commitment to miti- 
gation is weak). Because the typical seismic 



3 Sucfa an expectaiioo can never be ceitain, for there is a cenain probability that an eaithquakc can occur at any time: however, a community 
in a seismicaJly inactive legioa may judge its near-term earthquake risk to be too low to warrant drastic action. 

* This form of ovcfpreparaiion is particularly troublesome where earthquakes are infrequent, in which case many of the region's buiktings 
will never experience an ewthquake during their lifespans. 



100 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



131 




Earthquake-induced ground failure (liquelaction) can 
endanger even the most well-constructed buildings 
(Niigata. Japan, 1964). 

hazard map predicts only the average severity of 
ground shaking that would occur on an average 
piece of land, the community will likely have to 
conduct its own study of local geologic condi- 
tions. This sort of "microzonation" assessment is 
typically far beyond the technical capability of a 
local government, and although some metropoli- 
tan regions have been studied through state efforts 
or because of special interest on the part of earth 
scientists, a community will generally have to hire 
a geotechnical firm to perform the work. 

Assessing Vulnerability: Inventory 
and Damage Estimation 

Although one might expect the damage pattern in 
a community to coincide with the pattern of maxi- 
mum ground shaking (subject to the microzona- 
tion effects noted above), the damage a given 
building experiences in an earthquake will depend 
on its design, the type and quality of its construc- 
tion, and how the building reacts to the particular 
ground motion characteristics of the earthquake 
(see chapter 3). Hence, it is not enough to know 
the local geology and geophysics — one must also 
estimate how the building stock will respond. 
Such an estimate requires an accurate inventory of 



the local building stock and predictive tools relat- 
ing earthquake damage to building type. 

Unfortunately, most communities do not pos- 
sess workable building inventories. Inventories 
may simply not exist, they may be outdated, or 
they may be expressed in terms that are of little use 
for mitigation (e.g., an inventory developed for 
tax or urban planning purposes might classify 
buildings according to function while including 
nothing about their construction). 

A concerned community will therefore prob- 
ably conduct a building survey to learn what 
buildings it has, what condition they are in, and 
where vulnerable sUTictures are located. Again, 
this is not a straightforward task, particularly 
when it comes to the most worrisome older struc- 
tures. That is, it is generally not enough to simply 
walk down a street and note down what buildings 
stand along it: a given "old building" might be 
made of unreinforced masonry; reinforced ma- 
sonry; or some hybrid, much modified arrange- 
ment of wood, stone, metal, or concrete. 
Therefore, a judgment on its construction and vul- 
nerability may require physical inspection by a 
specialist.' 

Finally, having determined its building inven- 
tory, the community must relate that inventory to 
what it knows of the earthquake hazard and come 
up with an estimate for likely future losses. Ideal- 
ly, this estimate will include economic loss and 
casualty figures broken down by building type 
and geography. Again, such an estimate is not 
straightforward, because the relation between 
earthquake damage and building design or 
construction is as yet poorly understood. How- 
ever, if it can be done, such an estimate will allow 
a community to target those areas in which it is 
most vulnerable, and expend less of its resources 
in areas that are more robust. 

Earthquake loss estimates thus function as a 
mitigation tool of singular importance. By reduc- 
ing mitigation costs while increasing the likely 



' The lechnical expenise required for such an inventory sugjesu > possible avenue for fedenl implenienuiion assistance. 



132 



Chapter 4 Implementation 1101 



Millcreek Community 
Liquefaction Potential 




NOTE This 
purposes only I 

SOURCE US Geographical Survey- 
Earthquakes Hazard Reduction Program 
UTAH Stale University 1985 



Detailed nsk assessment requires the preparation of small-scale seismic zonation maps, in which local geologic dangers are 
matched to features of the txjilt environment. Here, tfie potential for liquefaction in a Utah community is overlain on a map of city 
streets 



benefits, a quantitative loss estimate can increase 
the effectiveness of current mitigation efforts 
while making it much more likely for as yet unde- 
cided communities to act. Unfortunately, al- 
though work is progressing on this front, reliable, 
consistent estimates are extremely difficult to ob- 
tain.^ 

The Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) 
notes an exceptional lack of quantitative informa- 
tion on expected earthquake losses in specific ur- 
ban areas of the United States. Loss estimates 



have been made for certain regions (most notably, 
metropolitan areas in California), but variations in 
methodology, scope, assumptions, and even ter- 
minology make interpreting or comparing their 
results difficult. Further lacking are comprehen- 
sive data showing the change in expected losses 
that would result from mitigation — data essential 
to judging the cost-effectiveness of different miti- 
gation measures. Indeed, many at-risk communi- 
ties (particularly smaller urban centers in areas 
outside of California) have little more than a sense 



* The Federal Emergency Management Agency, under NEHRP. is sponsoring the developmeni of a computer-based loss 
could allow communities to estitnate risk and prioritize risk reduction efforts. 



133 



1021 Reducing Earthquake Losses 




Land-use planning measures are best employed where local geologic conditions create unusually severe hazards (e.g.. 
clockwise Irom upper left, fault scarps, landlllls and land reclaimed from the sea. outwash and alluvial tans, unstable slopes). 



that some sort of disaster might happen sometime 
in the future, and that some sort of preventive ac- 
tion should be taken. Missing are hard data on 
what are the expected losses, and in what func- 
tional and geographic areas will they occur. With- 
out such data, communities can only guess how to 
respond. 

I Modifying the Built Environment 

Having assessed the risk as well as it can, a com- 
munity has a choice of mitigation tools with 
which to proceed. Possibilities include: 

■ land-use planning and zoning, 

■ building codes for new construction, 

■ retrofit or demolition of older construction, and 
• systems-related, small-scale, and private activ- 
ity (including emergency planning). 

Although each of these has an impact on both life 
safety and economic loss, the first three tend to af- 
fect life safety issues, while the fourth is more di- 
rected toward economic damage. 



Land-Use Planning and Zoning 

The simplest and most drastic mitigation option is 
to avoid building things where earthquake hazards 
are expected. However, such an option is also the 
least used, and in practice land-use planning gen- 
erally entails not the outright banning of develop- 
ment, but the tailoring of land use to forms less 
susceptible to earthquake damage. 

Abolishing development on hazardous ground 
is most acceptable when the risk is clear, the alter- 
natives are poor, and the geographical extent of 
the expected damage is limited. For earthquakes, 
circumstances meeting these criteria are relatively 
rare. The presence of a historically active surface 
fault rupture offers a possible candidate, in that the 
likelihood of future fault movement is evident, the 
engineering options are nonexistent (few struc- 
tures can resist being torn in two, regardless of 
their construction), and the most damaging geo- 
logic effects occur in a tightly constrained area im- 
mediately adjacent to the fault. 



134 



Chapter 4 Implementation 1103 



However, even where conditions seem right, 
strict land-use measures such as development 
bans rarely appear as a mitigation tool. The history 
of earthquake disasters shows no end of instances 
where major structures have been built along 
known faults, even in seismically aware Califor- 
nia (e.g., the stadium of the University of Califor- 
nia at Berkeley sits atop the Hayward Fault), and 
with relatively rare exceptions (e.g., the "Faultline 
Park" in Salt Lake City), such measures are gener- 
ally unpopular. 

The roots of this unpopularity lie in the geo- 
graphic nature of the earthquake phenomenon. 
Unlike floods, which typically strike clearly de- 
fined parts of floodplains and coasts, the primary 
earthquake hazard — ground shaking — can be dis- 
tributed over an area so broad that general devel- 
opment bans become impractical (clearly one 
cannot halt construction in all of Los Angeles). 
Even local bans in places of obvious fault rupture 
or ground failure are often thwarted by a variety of 
socioeconomic objections (e.g., earthquake faults 
possess a perverse ability to create potentially 
valuable real estate with spectacular views). 
Moreover, typical seismic recurrence intervals of 
a lifetime or longer mean that bans must be main- 
tained through years or decades of seismic inactiv- 
ity. 

The more likely use of land-use planning is 
thus in a milder form in which development on 
dangerous land, though permitted, is restricted to 
its less vulnerable forms. Thus, for example, a 
conununity might identify an undeveloped parcel 
of land that is subject to liquefaction or landslide, 
and limit construction to single-story, low-occu- 
pancy dwellings, or perhaps to noncritical indus- 
trial uses such as warehousing (such is one effect 
of California's Alquist-Priolo Act, see box 4- 1 ). In 
this way, land-use plaiuiing is used not to prevent 
earthquake damage outright, but to reduce its di- 
rect and indirect impacts. Alternatively, a commu- 
nity might designate high-risk areas as sites 




Areas of extreme earthquake hazard— such as this fault scarp 
in Utah — are often attractive locations for development 



requiring special geologic and engineering con 
sideration before building can proceed (as in 
Utah's Salt Lake County Natural Hazards Ordi- 
nance, see box 4-2), thereby ensuring that vulner- 
ably sited structures are more seismically resistant 
than the norm. 

Building Codes for New Construction 

With land-use planning reserved for special cases, 
a concerned community will commonly turn to 
the most broad-based of mitigation tools — the in- 
corporation of seismic provisions in building 
codes. By using codes to effect seismically resis- 
tant construction, a community can replace the 
bulk of its building stock over time with one less 
vulnerable to damage and collapse. Because the 
approach does not restrict or modify land-use pat- 
terns, and because it is relatively inexpensive 
when applied strictly to new construction (see 
chapter 3), it can be more politically palatable than 
a broad-based land-use planning approach.^ For 
all these reasons, building codes are perhaps the 
most popular of implementation options, and are 
often (erroneously) thought of as the sole tool of 
mitigation. 



^ In some sitiudons, land-use planning measures can be more politically acceptable than are broad-based building codes (as is the case in 
Sail LjUie County, Utah.). However, such measures are adopted because they are extremely limited in geographic scope, and thus affect a rela- 
tively small number of buildings and structures. 



135 



1041 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



BOX 4- 1 ; Land-Use Planning in California: The Alquist-Pholo Act 



The classic use of land-use planning to combat seismic hazards is California's Alquisl-Priolo Act of 1972. 
This ordinance, which applies to the local government permit process for new construction, seeks to prevent 
structures from being built atop active earthquake faults Its origins lie in the historical prevalence of active 
fault rupture (see chapter 2) in major California earthquakes, and reflects a belief that buildings and struc- 
tures cannot be engineered to be resistant to fault motion. In concept, the act represents land-use planning in 
its purest form, and practical details of the act therefore illustrate basic problems in implementation. 

The basic form of the Alquist-Priolo is as follows: the State of California, through its Division of tvlines 
and Geology, identifies active faultlines and defines the land on and immediately adjacent to the faultlines 
as "Special Study Zones." These zones are typically 600 feet to a quarter mile wide, with the width reflect- 
ing the degree of uncertainty over fault location and the amount of secondary fracturing of the ground on 
either side of the main fault. Those wishing to build within a study zone must submit a licensed geologist's 
report detailing the existence of active faults near the building site. If an active fault is found, buildings 
must be "set back" from the fault {the amount of setback ranging from 10 to 50 feet, depending on the 
nature of the fault). In this manner, buildings are not sited where they are not expected to survive. 

Though the Alquist-Priolo is straightfonward in concept, practical matters of execution somewhat weak- 
en its impact. The philosophical justification for the act is the government's responsibility to safeguard hu- 
man life, and the legislation is therefore targeted at occupied structures. Structures occupied less than 
2.000 person-hours per year are therefore exempt — an exemption that leaves out most lifeline system com- 
ponents (also exempt are single-family dwellings of wood frame construction, which though not resistant to 
fault motion, are less likely than other building types to fail in a lethal fashion). In addition, local expertise in 
geologic matters is required for successful implementation, as direct review authority over the required 
geologic reports is left to local governments. 

Finally, the Alquist-Priolo contains a purely informational component, whereby a buyer of property that 
lies in a Special Study Zone is supposed to be informed of that fact. This provision of the act has been 
found to be largely ineffective in influencing buyer behavior. 

SOURCE RobertReitherman,'TheEtfectivenessotFaultZoneRegulationsinCalpfornia."£art/iqya'(eSpecrra.voi 8, No 1 (Oakland. 
CA Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, 1992). pp. 57-78 



Seismic codes, however, are not a panacea. In 
practice, their use involves a number of decisions 
and tradeoffs that can collectively reduce their im- 
pact: 

• Seismic building codes do not govern every as- 
pect of a community's building stock, but typi- 
cally focus on specific parts of specific building 
types (thus ignoring certain aspects of building 
damage and economic loss). 

■ Codes cannot serve as a substitute for seismic 
engineering expertise, and indeed require skill 
and judgment on the part of their executors. 

■ Elements of the code adoption process (the 
steps that translate a seismic engineering rec- 
ommendation into a specific code at the local 



level) often reduce code performance from the 
engineering ideal. 

■ Effective local enforcement of the code is cru- 
cial for reducing risk. 

These points are discussed in turn. 

Code coverage and philosophy 

Although in theory codes can be written so that all 
buildings in a community are completely built to 
seismically resistant standards, in practice their 
application is more selective. Because the applica- 
tion of building codes involves a cost in money 
and effort, prioritization is necessary, and not all 
buildings and not all parts of buildings are treated 
equally. 



136 



Chapter 4 implementation 1 105 



M.UJMyLIIIJJMJJJiymiJJJUIJMLIMWLLLIlJJJlJ 

A region subject to infrequent but potentially sizable earttiquakes. the Salt Lake County of norttiern Utah 
(an area containing metropolitan Salt Lake City and some 40 percent of Utah's total population) uses land- 
use planning measures to reduce the impact of future damaging earthquakes The intent of these mea- 
sures is not to safeguard the general population, but to reduce the vulnerability of the built environment in 
unusually hazardous areas. This approach in part reflects the historical lack of seismic activity in the region 
and the consequent low public awareness of earthquakes and earthquake hazards: while broad-tjased mit- 
igation measures such as new-construction building codes have engendered active regional opposition 
(tDecause of feared mitigation costs), geographically limited land-use decisions — which are typically made 
by a small number of governmental and professional individuals — are less visible to the general public and 
hence inspire less controversy 

The centerpiece of the county's mitigation strategy is the Salt Lake County Natural Hazards Ordinance 
of 1989. Significantly, this ordinance does not treat earthquakes in isolation Instead, seismic concerns are 
tied in with other natural hazards such as flood, landslide, and avalanche This tactic allows the less com- 
mon hazards — of which earthquakes are perhaps the rarest — to be handled by the same procedures that 
govern the most common, a move that further reduces opposition to the measure while minimizing addi- 
tional implementation cost 

In outline, the ordinance works as follows geologic and microzonation studies (some funded through 
the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction program (NEHRP) and the US Geological Survey) are used to 
identify particularly dangerous 'hazard zones " Those seeking to develop sites within those zones can be 
required to prepare a special engineering geology study delineating all of the local natural hazards and 
explaining how the hazards will be dealt with (the nature of the hazard zone and the intended use of the 
site dictate whether a study is called for). The study must then be reviewed by the county geologist, the 
Utah Geological Mineral Survey, and the Forest Service (in cases of avalanche threat), following which final 
approval must be obtained by the county's planning commissions 

The hallmark of this ordinance is extreme flexibility — a flexibility cited by county planning staff as crucial 
to the measure's success With one exception (no buildings can be placed astride an active fault), the 
ordinance does not require any specific mitigation action Developers are therefore free to develop their 
own mitigation tactics, be it through land-use measures like fault setbacks or through some engineering 
response This flexibility is another factor favoring public acceptance of the ordinance, and is felt appropri- 
ate to the region's often complicated geology 

In turn, a flexible ordinance requires scientific and technical expertise on the part of county officials 
tasked with reviewing the engineering geology studies (and further demands that reviewers actively use 
their authority to halt unsatisfactory projects) Earlier incarnations of the ordinance were felt to suffer in 
effectiveness because this expertise was lacking In this light, a critical contribution was made to regional 
mitigation efforts through NEHRP funding of a County Geologist Program from 1985 to 1988 This program, 
which placed a geologist on the staff of the Salt Lake County Planning Department to improve the geologic 
review process, was deemed so successful that the county chose to maintain the position following the 
expiration of federal funding 

SOURCES Ptiilip R Berke and Timoltiy Bealiey. Planning for Earthquakes Risks. Polftics. and Policy (Bailimore, MD The Jolins Hop- 
kins Universify Press, 1992). pp 40-62. and Carlyn E Onans and Patricia A Qollon, Earthquake Mitigation Programs in Ca/ifymia, 
Utah, and Washington (Columtxjs, OH Battelle Human Affairs ResearcJi Centers. 1992). pp 59^. 69-70 



137 



106 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 




^Nonstructural damage — wtitch most building codes do not 
address — can be considerable 



First and foremost, the seismic portion of a 
building code typically deals only with the build- 
ing's so-called structural components (i.e., the 
frames, columns, beams, and load-bearing walls 
whose failure can lead to building collapse and 
consequent loss of life). Moreover, the structural 
components are not necessarily intended to sur- 
vive a strong earthquake unscathed; if the compo- 
nent is damaged but does not collapse, the code is 
considered to have done its job. In other words, a 
code-complying building can "survive" an earth- 
quake (i.e., not collapse and kill people) and still 
end up a shambles inside and out. This structural 
emphasis is in part philcsophical, since the origi- 
nal intent of seismic codes is to safeguard human 
life. However, it also reflects a realization that 
greater levels of building protection entail greater 
construction costs. 

Besides making a distinction between structur- 
al and nonstructural components, building codes 
distinguish in terms of building use. In general, 
structures that serve critical functions (e.g., hospi- 
tals) or house large numbers of people (e.g., 
schools) are held to a higher standard than are less 
important, more thinly occupied buildings. These 
distinctions again reflect the life safety focus of 
most codes and the great cost of more broad-based 
mitigation. 

Because current codes are thus directed toward 
life safety, they have only an indirect impact on re- 



ducing economic loss. For one thing, the function 
or occupancy of a damaged building has little di- 
rect bearing on its cost of repair or replacement, 
and a focus on high-occupancy or critical facilities 
can leave vulnerable many less critical but costly 
structures. In addition, nonstructural building 
components such as stairwells, interior walls, 
ceilings, plumbing, and fixtures can be both dan- 
gerous and expensive in their own right (see table 
4-1). 

Concerns over earthquake-induced economic 
losses have led some to propose that the focus of 
seismic building codes be broadened to encom- 
pass more than issues of strict life safety. Overall 
damage reduction could then be pursued through 
the targeting of nonstructural as well as structural 
building components, or through the specification 
of minimum levels of post-earthquake building 
"functionality." In principle, such changes could 
be accomplished — although at some additional 
cost. As noted in chapter 3, however, the knowl- 
edge base for this is not yet well developed, and 
there is the chance that increased code complexity 
will cause its own problems (e.g., by perhaps ag- 
gravating already formidable problems in code 
enforcement). 

Codes: no substitute for knowledge of 
seismic engineering design 

Although a great deal has been learned in recent 
years about the design and construction of earth- 
quake-resistant structures, most buildings are in 
fact designed by local architects and engineers far 
removed from the cutting edge of research. Some 
way must therefore be found to transfer knowl- 
edge and experience from the researcher to the 
practicing designer. 

When resources are abundant, the knowledge 
transfer process can be direct. If the expense is 
warranted, one can require that a proposed struc- 
ture be subjected to rigorous seismic engineering 
analysis by specialists in seismic design — that is, 
knowledgeable individuals with a professional 
obligation to stay abreast of developments in their 
field. Such an approach has the advantage of di- 
rectly exposing the design process to individuals 



138 



Chapter 4 Implementation 1107 



■MJIlllMLJIlllMmi.lJI!!iMBMIBIilM!BMiB«W 



Exterior elements 



Interior elements 



Mechanical, electrical, and 
plumbing elements 



Cladding, veneers, glazing, infill walls, canopies, parapets. 
cornices, appendages, ornamentation, roofing, louvers, 
doors, signs, detached planters 

Partitions, ceilings, stainways. storage racks, shelves, doors, 
glass, furnishings (file cabinets, txxikcases. display cases, 
desks, lockers), artwork 

Healing, ventilation, air conditioning equipment, elevators, 
escalators, piping, ducts, electric panel boards, life-support 
systems, fire protection systems, telephone and communica- 
tion systems, motors, emergency generators, tanks, pumps, 
boilers, light tixtures- 

Electronic equipment, data-processing facilities, medical 
supplies, blood bank inventories, hazardous and toxic materi- 
als, museum and art gallery displays, office equipment. 



SOURCE HJ Lagorto, Architectural a/Id Nonstructural Aspects of Earthquake Engineering (Bef\<e\ey.C/^\Jr\rverstt^ 
of Caltfofnia at Berkeley. Continuing Education m Engineering. Extension Division. July 1967) 



well versed in seismic principles, and is one often 
applied to major structures such as skyscrapers or 
nuclear powerplants. 

The drawback of the engineering analysis ap- 
proach is, of course, cost. Cost considerations are 
such that most buildings in the United States are 
constructed without the direct input of a seismic 
engineering specialist, and many of the smaller, 
more mundane structures (e.g., single-family 
dwellings) are "unengineered" — that is, designed 
without any formal engineering input. For such 
buildings, seismic knowledge transfer can be ac- 
complished through a code. Larger structures are 
governed by code guidelines that lead nonseismic 
engineers and architects through the design proc- 
ess; for smaller buildings, the codes offer specific, 
written requirements for how structures should be 
built. Such codes, which attempt to incorporate 
seismic design principles into buildings too small 
or inexpensive to warrant the involvement of a 
licensed structural engineer, in theory would 
require no specialized seismic engineering knowl- 
edge. That is, a competent builder or architect 
unversed in seismic engineering should, by fol- 
lowing the code, be able to produce a structure that 
will not fall down in an earthquake. 

In practice, however, the application of codes 
by competent but seismically unversed individu- 



als will not always be successful. The reason for 
this failure is the need for flexibility within a 
building code. That is, although it is possible to 
write a "cookbook" code that unambiguously 
spells out exactly how a building should be built, 
such a code would be unworkable because: 

■ Successful results are most likely when the 
overall design of the building is of a type antici- 
pated by the code writer — if the building is in- 
novative or somehow out of the ordinary, the 
code may simply not apply. 

■ More fundamentally, a cookbook code does not 
allow architects and engineers the flexibility to 
overcome the many unique obstacles that arise 
in designing buildings and structures. 

Because of these concerns, building codes are 
written so as to give latitude for interpretation 
while providing some guidance for the inexperi- 
enced. Thus it is possible for the seismically inex- 
perienced to rigorously follow a code, cookbook 
fashion, but still arrive at a vulnerable design. 

In short, real-world variety in building design 
and construction requires that building codes be 
flexible, and this flexibility in tum requires that 
judgment be exercised in code execution. Thus 
building codes can work as intended only when 
working designers and building officials pos- 



139 



108 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



sess an adequate understanding of seismic de- 
sign and engineering. 

Code adoption process 

The preceding discussion presupposes that seis- 
mic building codes are actually used in the design 
and construction of new buildings. How well a 
code works, however, is of little import if the code 
is never used. Local and state jurisdictions have 
considerable discretion over the content of their 
building codes, and many at-risk areas of the 
country have chosen to incorporate seismic codes 
only in part or not at all. TTie politics and econom- 
ics of code adoption can thus have a greater impact 
on seismic safety than do technical issues of code 
performance. 

The process of code adoption is as follows: 

• The fruits of research sponsored by NEHRP 
and other organizations are distilled into a 
collection of reference documents, most nota- 
bly:« 

1 . NEHRP Recommended Provisions for the 
Development of Seismic Regulations for 
New Buildings, Federal Emergency Man- 
agement Agency (informally referred to as 
the NEHRP Recommended Provisions); 

2. Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and 
Other Structures, ASCE-7-93, American 
National Standards Institute; and 

3. Recommended Lateral Force Requirements 
and Tentative Commentary, Blue Book, 
Structural Engineers Association of Califor- 
nia. 

• TTiese documents, which give suggestions for 
the stress or force levels that a building must 
withstand, along with "detailing requirements" 
that specify the design and construction of criti- 
cal joints and structural elements, are not build- 
ing codes. They are instead recommendations 
that may be incorporated by regional code orga- 
nizations into idealized "model codes," the 
most well-known of which is the Uniform 



Building Code (UBC) of the International 
Committee Conference of Building Officials, 
which is used by much of the western United 
States. (Other model codes include the South- 
em Building Code Congress International used 
by southeastern states, and the Building Offi- 
cials and Code Administrators code used in the 
northeast United Stales.) 
• Although a model code such as the UBC is in 
fact a real building code, it does not directly 
govern the construction of any buildings. 
Instead, state or local authorities may choose to 
incorporate it wholly or partly into the codes 
actually used within their jurisdictions. 
There are thus a number of hurdles to be over- 
come between the creation of a seismic code pro- 
vision and its implementation. At the highest 
level, that of the recommended provisions, 
considerable effort is made to maximize the 
provision's cost-effectiveness and political ac- 
ceptability. A successful effort will enhance the 
provision's acceptability and hence its chances for 
eventual adoption, but the necessary changes have 
the effect of making codes minimal, rather than 
optimal, requirements. At the intermediate level, 
model code organizations may pick and choose 
among the recommended provisions in order to 
meet their members' economic and political con- 
cerns. At the end-use level, states and localities 
will apply their own criteria as well in adopting 
the model code. The result can be a wide gap be- 
tween a NEHRP provision and an actual state 
or local code. 

Code enforcement: a continuing problem 

Finally, the existence of a local building code does 
little good if it is ignored when the building is de- 
signed, and code compliance in a building plan is 
similarly irrelevant if the actual construction of 
the building bears little relation to the design. 
These failings do not imply dishonesty or mali- 
cious intent. Simple calculation errors at the de- 



' Houy J. Ljgorio. Earthquakts: An Archiieci's Guide to Nonsinictural Seismic Haunts (New York. NY: John Wiley & Sons. Inc.. 1 990), 
p. 246. 



140 



Chapter 4 Implementation 1 109 



sign stage, for example, can result in a weakened 
building, and construction elements such as ply- 
wood shear walls can be rendered useless by 
sloppy nailing. To guard against these and other 
failings, a community concerned with seismic 
safety must invest resources into code enforce- 
ment 

Building code performance therefore requires 
that plans and the actual construction process be 
checked by competent inspectors. Unfortunately, 
few data exist on the performance of local plan- or 
code-checkers, but anecdotal evidence from 
California's Northridge earthquake and from 
Florida's Hurricane Andrew suggest that prob- 
lems of code execution and compliance result in 
significant economic losses.' The problem is 
poorly documented but broadly recognized, and 
represents an area in which improved perfor- 
mance can have benefits beyond simple seismic 
safety (e.g., improved code enforcement has the 
potential to lessen losses from wind and fire as 
well). 

In summary, building codes for new construc- 
tion, although relatively popular and potentially 
powerful, are no silver bullet: they generally cover 
only structural collapse, they still require some 
level of seismic engineering knowledge in order 
to work well, they might not reflect the latest 
thinking as captured in model codes or NEHRP 
provisions, and they must be enforced. 

Retrofit or Demolition of Existing Structures 

Despite the problems that can beset code imple- 
mentation, building codes for new construction 
remain a powerful tool for improving the safety of 
the built environment. However, when a commu- 
nity has a substantial older urban core and the risk 
of an earthquake is immediate, the codes may 
work too gradually. Since the average new build- 
ing will typically stand for 50 to 100 years before 
replacement, a community can expect about 1 to 2 



percent of its building stock to be replaced each 
year (more, if the community is expanding and 
flourishing; less, if it is economically stagnant). 
Thus if a damaging earthquake strikes within a 
few decades of a code's adoption, large parts of the 
building stock will be caught unprepared. A con- 
cemed community might therefore consider the 
most unpopular and contentious of mitigation 
measures — retrofitting or demolishing vulnerable 
existing structures (i.e., older structures that do 
not comply with the latest version of the code). 

The unpopularity of this option is manifold. 
One problem is cost: unlike the case of new 
construction, in which code compliance adds 
some 1 to 2 percent to the total building cost, a ret- 
rofit/demolition plan can entail enormous ex- 
pense. Retrofitting an unreinforced masonry 
building, for example, will generally cost one- 
quarter the price of a new building (and can in 
some cases cost much more),"^ while demolition 
and replacement will of course cost full building 
value. Such expenditures understandably instill 
resistance on the part of building owners or any- 
one else who must bear the expense. In addition, 
the money spent is not necessarily recouped in the 
event of an earthquake: retrofits are primarily in- 
tended to prevent building collapse, and in some 
instances a retrofitted building can be Just as vul- 
nerable to expensive nonstructural and contents 
damage as an unmodified structure. 

In addition to economic issues, there are con- 
siderable objections based on quality-of-life and 
demographic concerns. Unreinforced masonry 
buildings, potentially the most dangerous existing 
buildings, are s&uctures that form much of the ur- 
ban core of many U.S. cities. They are often prized 
for two very different reasons: 1 ) they can embody 
much of the architectural heritage and character of 
a city, and 2) they tend to provide most of the low- 
cost housing used by lower income groups. De- 
molition is therefore unpopular from both an 



^ Although current life safety-oriented codes cannot eliminate 
ings — have an often significant impact on direct economic losses. 

'® See chapter 3. "Damage to Buildings," for references and assumptions. 



losses, they do — by preserving the structural integrity of build- 



141 



110 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



architectural and a housing point of view, while 
retrofits can lead to rent increases that drive away 
the original residents. For these reasons alone, city 
planners may hesitate to take such action, particu- 
larly where (as in the central United States) there 
is great uncertainty about the timing of future 
earthquakes. 

Private, Small-Scale, and 
Systems Preparation 

The three mitigation tools discussed above — 
land-use planning and zoning, new construction 
building codes, and retrofit and demolition pro- 
grams — primarily affect the structural integrity of 
the built environment. If the primary concern is to 
reduce loss of life, these tools may suffice. How- 
ever, they are not enough to curtail major econom- 
ic losses in the event of a damaging earthquake. 
Recent experience (e.g., the 1989 Loma Prieta 
and the 1994 Northridge quakes) has shown that 
structural collapses, although spectacular and 
newsworthy, are by no means the only source of 
earthquake-related losses. Economic losses also 
stem from business interruptions; loss of records 
and computer databases in the service economy, 
disruption of roadways, utilities, and other life- 
lines; and widespread, noncatastrophic damage to 
residential and commercial structures throughout 
the earthquake region. Although it is difficult to 
quantify the effect of these losses (particularly in 
the case of indirect economic damage), their sig- 
nificance is suggested by one estimate of direct 
residential losses in future earthquakes. This esti- 
mate implies that catasU'ophic building failure, 
which is what codes and retrofits are designed to 
prevent, will be responsible for less than one-tenth 
Df California's future bill for direct earthquake 
losses." Even neglecting the potentially signifi- 
cant issue of indirect losses (i.e., those pertaining 
to the disruption of business and services), we 
thus find that traditional mitigation tools of land- 
use planning, retrofits, and building codes can be 



largely undirected at reducing the economic im- 
pact of a major earthquake. 

To mitigate against economic damage, a com- 
munity must therefore encourage a varied assort- 
ment of measures that are collectively referred to 
in this report as "private, small-scale, and systems 
preparations." These are measures adopted pri- 
marily by individuals, corporations, and utilities 
to reduce the economic losses caused by various 
nonstructural failures. The distinction between 
these measures and structural tools is somewhat 
arbitrary (e.g., structural building codes can help 
reduce nonstructural damage, and lifeline-related 
losses ultimately stem from the failure of bridges, 
dams, and other structures). However, as a group 
the measures are ones requiring motivation, care- 
ful thought, and tailoring of strategy by individual 
end users, and as such are not well suited to broad- 
brush, mandated approaches. 

Examples of such measures are: 
• Encouraging individual developers and build- 
ing owners to adopt design and construction 
techniques that exceed code requirements. As 
noted earlier, codes serve as a minimum stan- 
dard, and future structural and nonstructural 
damage might be averted if a structure is built 
to a higher level of performance. 

■ Developing, before a damaging earthquake, 
contingency plans for rerouting traffic, dis- 
patching emergency crews, establishing alter- 
native water, power, and supply sources, and 
otherwise taking action to reduce post-earth- 
quake indirect losses. Such activity, which re- 
quires considerable time, expertise, and 
coordination, can be taken by both governmen- 
tal and private entities. 

■ Motivating individuals, businesses, and orga- 
nizations to systematically identify their own 
earthquake vulnerabilities and to take ap- 
propriate action. These actions can range from 
securing bookshelves and waterheaters by 
homeowners, to elaborate efforts on the part of 



" Risk Engineering, Inc., "Residential and Commercial Earthquake Losses in the U.S.," report prepared for the National Committee on 
Property Insurance . May 1993, p. 17. 



142 



Chapter 4 Implementation Mil 



businesses, hospitals, schools, museums, and 
utilities to establish redundancies of power, 
services, computer databases, and the like. 
Success in these efforts can work greatly to re- 
duce the damage, injuries, and general chaos that 
may accompany earthquakes. The difficulty is 
that such efforts require diligent action on differ- 
ent fronts by different players, many of whom 
may care little about mitigation. Complicating 
matters is that most of these efforts require for 
their success that other measures be successful as 
well. For example, computer backups do little 
good if the computer resides in a building that col- 
lapses, and a single unsecured water heater can set 
an otherwise diligent neighborhood ablaze. Suc- 
cess thus depends on the community possessing a 
broad, active, and sustained level of public inter- 
est in mitigation. 

I Devising and Fostering Action 

Once a community has decided on its choice of 
mitigation measures, it must put those measures 
into effect. The simplest action is to require 
(through regulation or mandate) that certain steps 
be taken. Such an approach, however, risks alien- 
ating the affected constituency (particularly in 
cases such as building retrofit or demolition, 
where high mitigation costs might be borne by a 
small group of individuals). Thus, in practice, 
many communities have chosen to develop alter- 
native implementation strategies using financial 
or zoning incentives for mitigation, or (more 
weakly) through notices and disclosure laws 
warning potential renters or buyers of a building's 
noncompliance. Experience has generally shown 
that for success to be achieved, implementation 
schemes must be tailored to the particular politi- 
cal, socioeconomic, and geological conditions of 
a specific at-risk community, and that great pains 
must be taken to involve (as much as is possible) a 
broad-based constituency. Some possible ap- 
proaches are illustrated in tx)xes 4- 1 through 4-4. 
One potentially powerful implementation tool — 
the use of insurance to encourage the adoption of 




Many earthquake losses cannot be eliminated through codes 
or other governmental measures, but require that individuals 
take steps to prepare 



seismic mitigation — is not discussed because of a 
lack of historical experience. 

FACTORS AFFECTING IMPLEMENTATION 

In the preceding section, some of the practical dif- 
ficulties that arise in putting mitigation tools into 
effect are discussed. This section focuses on sev- 
eral underlying issues that more fundamentally in- 
fluence implementation success. 

I Basic Problems 

Communities interested in mitigation can en- 
counter many frustrations in determining their 
level of seismic risk, in estimating their vulner- 
ability to that risk, in assessing the short- and 
long-term economic consequences of mitigation, 
and in putting mitigation tools into effective ac- 
tion. Such difficulties arise even in the relatively 
straightforward process of improving life safety 



143 



1121 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



BOX 4-3: Seismic Retrofit in Los Anqeles. Calilorma 



After Californias San Fernando earthquake of 1971 , In which buildings of unreinforced masonry (URM) 
construction experienced substantial damage, the nearby city of Los Angeles began considering ways of 
safeguarding its own URU^ building stock. Action was initialed in February 1973, via a city council motion to 
study the feasibility of seismic 'building rehabilitation." but eight years would pass before the landmark 
Los Angeles Seismic Ordinance finally t5ecame law The twists and turns on the road to this ordinance — 
and the at times surprising impact it has had on local land-use patterns — illustrate some of the issues that 
can arise in the implementation of seismic retrofit programs 

Initial Action 

Seismic retrofit action in Los Angeles was prompted by the San Fernando experience, by the 1971 pas- 
sage of an earthquake hazards reduction ordinance in nearby Long Beach, and by the recognition that the 
city possessed many thousands of old. potentially vulnerable UBM structures, many of which were ex- 
tremely densely occupied Concerns centered on life safety issues, with little priority given to minimizing 
earthquake-induced economic losses, and early attention focused on high-density, public-assembly txiild- 
ings such as churches and movie theaters, Ttiis philosophy of targeting a select group of high-vulnerability 
structures quickly ran afoul of such community groups as architectural historians, who feared the demoli- 
tion or visual modification of many of the city's historical landmarks, and groups such as the Association of 
Motion Picture and Television Producers, which felt that seismic ordinances would force the bankruptcy 
and closure of many marginal theaters (particularly since the proposed ordinances were combined with 
compliance requirements for structural, electrical, and fire safety codes from which the buildings had hith- 
erto been exempt). 

Vigorous community opposition to the proposed ordinances therefore led to the holding of public and 
city council meetings from 1974 through 1976, Following these meetings, it was decided to target only the 
nriost potentially catastrophic buildings pre-1934 URN/I assembly buildings that could contain over 100 oc- 
cupants in the assembly areas Because of continued concern over the financial implications of seismic 
retrofit (contemporary estimates placed retrofit costs at amounts comparable to the cost of an entirely new 
building), recommendations were also made that the retrofits be in part publicly funded by federal and 
slate grants (for which lobbying efforts were initiated), low-interest loans, or tax incentives. 

Work on establishing forms of financial assistance proceeded through 1976, but progress was impeded 
by a combination of legal and engineering difficulties One problem was that governmental assistance to 
churches or other sectarian-use buildings was deemed unconstitutional; another was a growing realization 
that very little was known at50ut the true costs of seismic retrofit 

After three years without progress, an interim proposal in Octotjer 1976 suggested that the 14.000-odd 
buildings to be targeted by the eventual ordinance be prominently signposted as seismically hazardous 
By posting such information, the city hoped to invoke market forces for mitigation (by reducing market 
demand for vulnerable structures) tjefore the start of seismic retrofit This information-based proposal was 
strongly attacked by a host of citizen groups, among them the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, apart- 
ment house owners, owners of commercial properties, and private attorneys All expressed outrage and 
concern over possible effects on rents, property taxes, insurance rates, real estate sales, bank financing 
for renovations, lost jobs, and local economic development Faced with this overwhelming opposition, the 
city tabled the proposal and redirected its efforts to the core components of the ordinance. 



144 



Chapter 4 Implementation 1 113 



l;UlMIJ.I.lll.imjy..llJ:IJIJ.IIlll.ll.lJil.!.IJIJBi 



At this point in the controversy, studies were commissioned to determine the economic and social im- 
pacts of different proposals. Key issues included the breadth of the eventual ordinance (eg, it was de- 
cided early on to cover a wide range of commercial and private building types, but to exempt single-family 
residences), the amount of time a building owner would be given to comply: the rapidity with which the 
program would be phased in and the prioritization given to different buildings and building types, and the 
type, availability, and impact of different financial assistance schemes. By 1978. these studies had identi- 
fied specific concerns for the city council to address, among them: a continued lack of accurate retrofit 
cost estimates, a real possibility of substantial insurance premium hikes in the region, a significant likeli- 
hood of rent increases that would displace low-income residents, an insufficient municipal tax base for fi- 
nancial assistance (Proposition 13 had recently been passed): and an expectation that some businesses 
displaced during retrofitting would leave the city entirely 

Final Passage 

With most of the concerns identified in the studies of 1977 to 1979 revolving around the economics of seis- 
mic rehabilitation, a breakthrough eventually occurred when three old URMs were found to stand in the 
path of a street-widening program The city was persuaded to donate the three buildings for tests on the 
true costs of seismic retrofits. These tests, which were completed by 1980. showed retrofit costs to repre- 
sent only about 20 percent of replacement costs — far less than had previously tieen suggested— and in so 
doing significantly weakened the economic objections to the proposed ordinance. 

At last, after more lengthy debate, a seismic safety ordinance was formally adopted by the city on Janu- 
ary 7. 1981 — almost a decade after the initial impetus of the 1971 San Fernando earthquake In its final 
form, the ordinance targeted all commercial URM structures and all residential URM buildings housing five 
or more dwelling units. After being notified by the city, owners of targeted buildings would have three years 
in which to bring their structures up to standard (this standard represents some 50 to 70 percent of the 
1980 Los Angeles requirements for new construction) Buildings not brought up to standard would be de- 
molished. To ease the impact on building owners and to facilitate bureaucratic execution, the ordinance 
allowed a one-year compliance extension should wall anchors (see chapter 3) be installed within the first 
year, and used a staggered notification schedule based on building type Essential and high-risk facilities 
were to be targeted first, with lower risk structures to be dealt with later, as a result, some owners of low- 
risk buildings were not to receive official notification until 1988. 

Impact of the Ordinance 

From a seismic mitigation viewpoint, the Los Angeles Seismic Ordinance can be viewed as a success. 
Though the process has been more protracted than proponents might wish, a seismically vulnerable urban 
core is being prepared against the near-certainty of future earthquakes in the region Should a damaging 
earthquake strike Los Angeles in the near future, it is extremely probable that many lives will have been 
saved by this measure. However, the ordinance has also generated side effects. Most notable has been 
the loss of low-cost housing, arising from owners raising rents in an attempt to recover out-of-pocket retrofit 
expenses, in addition, architectural and historic preservation has suffered — not because of building de- 
molition (generally forbidden by historic building codes), but tjecause of partial demolition, the removal of 
architectural ornamentation, and the filling in of windovira 

(continued) 



145 



1141 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



t'd.): Seismic Retrofit in Los Angeles. California 



Pertiaps the most surprising development 
tias been a change in the overall appearance 
of some URM-lined streets, a change stem- 
ming from an unexpected interaction between 
seismic and tire safety regulations noncom- 
pliance with existing fire safety codes has led 
many URN^ owners to close the upper floors 
(thus avoiding the cost of code compliance), 
and bnng to compliance only the higher rent 
street level for use by commercial establish- 
ments (this partial vacancy is possible be- 
cause fire safety codes need apply only to the 
occupied parts of a building) Because seis- 
mic retrofit must be applied to entire build- 
ings — which means that vacant, nonproduc- 
tive floors must be strengthened along with 
floors that are actually occupied — many of 
these URM owners have chosen to remove 
the upper floors entirely, leaving behind only 
single-story structures Aside from aesthetic 
considerations, such removal further reduces 
the potential low-cost housing slock within the 
city's urban core 

SOURCES DanielJ Alesch and William J Pelak, ThePol- 
itics and Economics of Earthquake Hazani Mitigation 
(Boulder, CO Univefsity of Colorado Behavioral Science, 
1986), pp 57-82, and Martha B Tyler and Penelope 
Gregory, Strengthening Unreintorced Masonry Buildings 
inLosA/igeles Land Use and Occupancy Impacts of the 
L-A Setsnvc Ordinance (Portola Valley, CA. William Spangle and Associates, Inc , 1990) 




An unexpected side-effect of the Los Angeles seismic retrofit 
program was the partial demolition and conversion of 
multistory buildings into low. single-slory strvctures. 



through building codes. When the goal is to re- 
duce economic losses — which requires a much 
more comprehensive effort by both governmental 
and nongovernmental entities — the uncertainties 
are even greater. 

Given these uncertainties, it is perhaps not sur- 
prising that many communities have encountered 
difficulties in implementation. The problems are 
not insuperable in California — where earthquakes 
are frequent and severe enough to foster a desire 
for action — but even there one fmds substantial 
variations in preparedness among different com- 
munities, and substantial difficulties persist in 
areas of retrofit and private or organizational ac- 



tivity. Outside California, matters are generally 
worse: in many hazardous regions, a relative lack 
of historical seismic activity produces a conse- 
quent lack of concern, so that even basic mitiga- 
tion efforts languish. 

I Administrative Difficulties 

In response to this inactivity, NEHRP has spon- 
sored social science research on how and why 
communities act or fail to act. This research has 
shown that a number of forces conspire to weaken 
community will. Some of the difficulties stem 
from poor experience with existing mitigation ef- 



146 



Chapter 4 Implementation 1115 



While several communities in southern California have attempted mandatory retrofit and demolition pro- 
grams to reduce the seismic vulnerability of urban centers (see box 4-3), the northern California city of 
Palo Alto has recently introduced a wholly voluntary, information- and incentive-based seismic retrofit pro- 
gram that is showing some early signs of success- 

The origins of Palo Alto's voluntary program lie in two failed attempts at introducing mandatory, Los An- 
geles-style requirements. The first, a 1982 proposal targeting 250 unreinforced masonry, tilt-up (see chapter 
3), and other vulnerable structures, succumbed to strong opposition from affected building owners and ten- 
ants. Following the defeat of this ordinance, the Palo Alto city council formed a broad-based citizen's Seismic 
Hazard Committee representing a range of public and private interests This committee was intended to de- 
vise a second hazard mitigation plan that would reflect the concerns of the general community However, the 
creation of the committee had the effect of greatly heightening community awareness of local seismic risk and 
hazard, with the consequence that the second proposal (in 1983) was far stronger than the first. This, too, 
went down in defeat — in part because of an inflexible retrofit timetable, and in part because proponents of the 
measure were hampered by extreme uncertainties regarding building vulnerability and the potential econom- 
ic impacts of the ordinance. In light of these uncertainties, it was suggested that a voluntary program be 
instituted, one that would allow building owners to judge whether retrofit was economically justified, and one 
that would permit flexibility of approach and timing. 

In 1986, a seismic ordinance was therefore passed in which no buildings were mandated for retrofit or 
demolition. The provisions of this ordinance are as follows at-risk structures (particularly those with high oc- 
cupancy) are identified and their owners given official notification. Following notification, building owners are 
required to contract with a structural engineer to evaluate building vulnerability and to suggest appropnate 
engineering fixes. Owners do not have to carry out the suggestions, however, they are required to inform 
building occupants in writing that an engineering study has been performed and that the results have been 
publicly filed with the city. In concert with the city's relatively high level of seismic awareness (fostered by the 
high education level of the citizenry, the work of the Seismic Hazard Committee, the presence of well-placed 
mitigation advocates within the local government, and extensive media coverage of earthquake disasters 
elsewhere), this notification is intended to affect rental and real estate prices in the city's highly competitive 
market. A March 1988 review of the program suggested that this market incentive is working as planned. To 
further increase the incentive, the city has also offered a zoning bonus, in which seismically upgraded build- 
ings are allowed greater floor areas than is otherwise the norm. This bonus (again in concert with the city's 
strong economic health) also appears to be effective, to the extent that building owners who are unaffected by 
the program have sought (unsuccessfully) to obtain the bonus by having their ovi/n buildings included. 

SOURCE: Ptiiiip R BerKe and Timottiy Beatley. Planning for Earthquakes: Risks. Politics, and Policy (Baitimofe, MD The Johns Hop- 
kins University Press, 1992). pp. 63-81 . 



forts, which can suffer at the state and local level 
from: 

■ a lack of scientific and technical information in 
a form that local governments and private in- 
dustry can easily use; 



• overly stringent reporting, oversight, and ap- 
proval requirements; and 

■ tasks that require more staff resources than are 
available (typically, implementation duties are 
assigned to but one or two persons in a state of- 
fice). '^ 



'^ VSP Associates, inc.. "State and Local EfTons To Reduce Earthquake lx>sses: Snapshots of Folic 
piepand for die Office of Technology Assessment. Dec. 21.1 994. 



. Programs, and Funding." repon 



147 



1161 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



More fundamentally, existing state and local 
efforts can suffer from a lack of hard information 
on earthquake risks and potential impacts. A re- 
cent survey of state activities has shown that 
across the risk spectrum, studies of historical 
earthquake activity and assessments of current 
vulnerability are the two types of information 
essential to raising awareness, understanding, 
and commitment to seismic safety.'^ 

I The Role of Advocates 

Despite the difficulties that beset state and local 
mitigation efforts, considerable progress has been 
made by a number of concerned communities.'* 
In many instances, this progress arises from the 
presence of well-placed mitigation "advo- 
cates" — energetic, often exceptional individuals 
in state or local government who adopt and push 
the cause of mitigation. Such advocates do not 
work in isolation. Rather, they can act as catalysts 
for action in communities where local political 
and socioeconomic conditions are conducive. Al- 
though their presence is not essential for action to 
occur, advocates can have an impact completely 
out of proportion to their numbers. Indeed, a num- 
ber of cities owe the bulk of their mitigation prog- 
ress to a handful of such individuals.'^ 

I Political Will 

The importance of individual advocates, however; 
points out a larger problem besetting NEHRP: 
earthquake mitigation advocates (successful or 
not) are generally in the position of encouraging 
activity for which there is little initial enthusiasm. 



This reality has stem implications for efforts to re- 
duce earthquake-related economic losses. While a 
few well-placed advocates can help convince gov- 
ernments to adopt building codes or land-use 
planning, they are less likely to create the ground- 
swell of public action needed to substantially cur- 
tail future economic losses. 

OTA's review of the implementation process 
has shown that effective mitigation depends on 
competent, committed action by a host of different 
individuals. This need is especially apparent in the 
case of private, small-scale, or systems-related ef- 
forts, which require that people design and imple- 
ment their own mitigation schemes. Yet it is also 
true for the relatively straightforward use of build- 
ing codes (i.e., an effective building code, adopted 
in full by the state or local authority, interpreted by 
engineers trained in seismic design principles, and 
enforced by experienced plan and code checkers 
working with the support of the local community) 
(see figure 4- 1 ). To some extent, the many players 
in the chain can be persuaded or forced into action 
(at least for a while), but as a whole, implementa- 
tion is greatly enhanced if there is an evident and 
sustained political will to support mitigation. 
Such is often not the case in the United States.'^ 



I Perceived and True Danger 
of Earthquakes 

Nonfederal support for seismic mitigation suffers 
in part from the relation between earthquake risk 
and geography. At the federal level, interest in 
earthquake mitigation is sustained by a high prob- 



'Mbid. 

' * The report prepared for OTA indicates thai California. Kentucky. Missouri, Utah, Arkansas, Washington, and Oregon devote particular 
attention to the formulation, adoption, and implementation of major policies. Ibid. 

' 5 Joanne M. Nigg," Frameworks for Understanding Knowledge Dissemination and Utilization: Applications for the National Earthqiiake 
Hazards Reduction Program," A Review of Earthquake Research Applications in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program: 
19771987. Walter W. Hays (ed.) (Reston, VA: U.S. Geological Survey, 1988). pp. 1 3-33; Philip R. Berke and Timothy Beatley, Planning fijr 
Earthquakes: Risk. Politics, and Policy (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), pp. 32-34; and U.S. Geological Survey. 
Applications of Knowledge Produced in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program: 1977 -I9g7. Open File Report 88-13-B (Re- 
ston. VA: 1988). pp. 20-22. 

' ' Peter H . Rossi et al .. A/afura/ Hazards and Public Choice: The Stale and Local Politics of Hazard Mitigation (New Yoik, NY: Acadnnic 
Press. 1982). pp. 40, 71. 



148 



Chapter 4 Implementation 1117 



■IG'URE 4-1: Implementation Steps, and Key 



■ ttie Application ol Seismic Codes 




Earth 
science 




Engineering 


Expertise 


Architects, 


research 




engineers, 
builders 


s 


1 


A 


CO 


'5 
















^ 












E 
E 


i 




1 




g 


?n 




3 


81 


oc 


2 




^ 


■o 


> 


^- 


Code adoption 




J 


Model 


State and 


codes 


> 


local 
governments 




Built 
environment 




NOTE: Steps and players will difler tor ottier types ol mitigation measures 
SOURCE Otiice ol Technology Assessment. 1995 

ability of damaging seismic activity occurring 
within federal jurisdictional borders. To the extent 
that California bears the largest share of the coun- 
try's earthquake hazard, California state interest in 
earthquakes is also reasonably strong (it is not 
coincidental that California's mitigation efforts 
frequently surpass those of the federal govern- 
ment). For the rest of the country, however, the 
risk" of earthquake activity in any one state is 
considerably less than the nationwide risk borne 
by the federal government, and everywhere the lo- 
cal risk declines further when one considers the 
smaller governmental or organizational units. At 
the extreme is the plight of the individual building 
owner in a region such as the Northeast. This indi- 
vidual owns a structure that might never experi- 
ence a damaging earthquake. If an earthquake 
occurs, the building may or may not collapse. If it 



does collapse, it is not certain that retrofitting 
would have saved it. 

In short, while the federal government may 
have a legitimate interest in encouraging all build- 
ing owners in the country to consider retrofits (on 
the assumption that at least some of those retrofits 
will do some good), an individual owner may see 
very little reason to embark on a costly action 
whose benefits are long term and uncertain. The 
owner 's lack of interest may be based on a very ra- 
tional analysis of costs and benefits, but can also 
be influenced by the short time horizon frequently 
observed in analyses of consumer decisionmak- 
ing (sometimes expressed as a high consumer dis- 
count rate), an influence that has been well 
documented in issues of energy efficiency,'^ and 
which has relevance to hazard mitigation." 



' ' Risk is used here as total exposure or potential for damage in an earthquake. 

' ^ See. e.g.. U.S. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment, Building Energy Efficiency, OTA-E-5 1 8 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government 
Printing Office. May 1992). chapter 3. 

'^ H. Kunreuther, "The Role of Insurance and Regulations in Reducing L.osses from Hurricanes and Other Natural Disasters," Journal of 
Risk and Unceriainry, forthcoming. 



149 



1181 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



With perceived risk at the individual level often 
very low, one can attempt to increase it through 
skillful use of the media and educational outreach. 
That the media can have significant impact on 
earthquake awareness is unquestioned, and histo- 
ry has shown that extensive media coverage in the 
aftermath of a damaging earthquake creates a tem- 
porary "window of opportunity" for rapid mitiga- 
tion progress.^" The importance of these 
windows — and the unpleasant reality that mitiga- 
tion progress can easily stall after the window 
closes^ ' — has prompted research on how one may 
best create a permanent perception of risk. Results 
have thus far been mixed — for example, some 
studies show that people already overestimate the 
risk of rare events such as earthquakes,^^ while 
others suggest that low probability risks tend to be 
ignored.^-' 

I RoleofNEHRP 

Given the general lack of sustained public support 
for mitigation, why does NEHRP depend so 
heavily on the imforced adoption of mitigation 
measures by nonfederal entities? In large part this 
dependence stems from the scientific circum- 
stances that surrounded the program's birth. In 
broad terms, NEHRP was created during a period 
of optimism over the practicability of accurate 
earthquake prediction, and its original program 
mission (which specifically cites prediction as a 
goal) reflects that optimism. At the time of 
NEHRP's founding, the earth sciences had just 
emerged from a sweeping and profound revolu- 
tion, one comparable to Darwin's theory of evolu- 
tion in its scope, impact, and ramifications. This 
revolution was the advent of modem plate tecton- 
ic theory — a conceptual picture of the world that, 
through the 1960s and early 1970s, succeeded in 



tying together a host of previously unexplained 
and seemingly unrelated phenomena from across 
the earth sciences. Seismology — the study of 
earthquakes and earthquake-related phenome- 
na — played an integral role in the development of 
plate tectonic theory; in turn, plate tectonics of- 
fered a simple unifying framework for under- 
standing why, when, and where earthquakes 
should occur. The decade of the 1970s was thus 
one of extraordinary excitement in the earth 
sciences, and in this climate it was felt that short- 
term earthquake prediction, if not just around the 
comer, was at least conceivable, and that steady 
improvements in long-range earthquake forecast- 
ing would come with research. 

The significance of this optimism from a policy 
standpoint is that it favors a mitigation strategy in 
which federal incentives for action are perceived 
as unnecessary. As we have seen, uncertainties in 
the timing, location, and severity of future earth- 
quakes hinder both the acceptance and the execu- 
tion of mitigation programs by nonfederal 
entities. Successful earthquake prediction, in re- 
moving this uncertainty, improves matters by pro- 
viding a clear motivation for action and by 
delineating the intensity and geographic scope of 
the necessary mitigation, thereby constraining the 
cost. 

In effect, a vastly refined foreknowledge of 
how, when, and where earthquakes occur can 
arguably be used to create both the desire and the 
expertise for the implementation of mitigation 
measures. In keeping with this philosophy, 
NEHRP was given neither regulatory teeth nor the 
authority to provide substantial incentives for mit- 
igation. Instead, the program was intended to 
create a font of knowledge from which nonfederal 



*> U.S. Geological Survey, see footnole 15. pp. 27-28. 

2' Berlce and Beatley. see footnote IS, p. 178. 

^ Andrew Cobum and Robin Spence, Earthquake Proleclion (Chichester. England: John Wiley & Sons, 1 992). p. 3 1 5. 

^' Daniel J. Alesch and William J. Petak. The Polilics and Economics of Earthquake Hazard Miligalion (CO: University of Colorado. Insti- 
tute of Behavioral Science. 1986). p. 142; and Dennis S. Mileti et al.. "Fostering Public Preparations for Natural Hazards: Lessons from the 
Parkfield Earthquake Prediction." Environment, vol. 34. No. 3, April 1992, p. 36. 



150 



Chapter 4 Implementation 1119 



authorities and the private sector would eageriy 
draw. 

Although it is debatable whether NEHRP 
would have attained its societal goals even with 
widespread success in earthquake prediction (giv- 
en the implementation difficulties discussed 
above), the fact is that prediction is not likely in 
the near future. TTiis development is not the fault 
of the program. In fact, it is NEHRP-sponsored re- 
search that has begun to reveal just how complex, 
unpredictable, and variable earthquakes and their 
effects really are. Because of NEHRP we now 
know far more about earthquakes and far more 
about the structures and techniques that can with- 
stand them. However, with this understanding 
comes a better appreciation of how deep and stub- 
bom are the remaining uncertainties — uncertain- 
ties that work against the nonfederal adoption of 
mitigation measures. 

HOW MAHERS MIGHT BE IMPROVED 

The preceding sections have shown that imple- 
mentation difficulties hinder both the adoption 
and the execution of seismic mitigation programs; 
these difficulties largely reflect the economic and 
political cost of mitigation as seen against a back- 
drop of uncertain seismic hazard and vulnerabil- 
ity. In the current NEHRP structure, federal 
activities to promote mitigation consist largely of 
outreach, media, and educational programs; such 
efforts may be expanded, or they may be supple- 
mented by more aggressive implementation tac- 
tics (see chapter 1 ). Here, OTA suggests a range of 
directions that can improve mitigation efforts. 

The implementation needs of California are 
largely different from those of the rest of the coun- 
try. Within California, continual seismic activity 
in a heavily urbanized state has led to significant 
public and governmental awareness of earthquake 
risks and hazards. This awareness has resulted in 
California leading the country in mitigation and 
preparedness efforts. Because California already 
has in place a basic mitigation framework of new 
building codes, selective policies of land-use 
planning, and active public outreach programs 
through schools and the media, the main imple- 



mentation issue is execution, rather than adoption. 
That is, although some adoption problems remain 
(notably, the retrofit of "pre-code" buildings that 
do not comply with the latest building standards), 
for the most part one can concentrate on expand- 
ing and optimizing the mitigation efforts that are 
already in play. 

In contrast, regions outside California display a 
broad spectrum of mitigation activity, ranging 
from encouraging progress in some communities 
of the Pacific Northwest, to low or nonexistent ac- 
tivity in many parts of the East Coast, central 
United States, and Intermountain West. For some 
of these areas, earthquake severity and timing are 
such that seismic concems are reasonably seen as 
low priority (e.g., Boston). In others, potentially 
high risks are masked by relatively short histories 
of urban settlement and a relative absence of fre- 
quent, moderate-level seismic activity (e.g., the 
Intermountain West). In concert with the extreme 
levels of scientific uncertainty that seem to sur- 
round non-California earthquakes, these factors 
have greatly inhibited the adoption of many miti- 
gation measures. 

Thus, in basic terms, one would hope to im- 
prove program execution in California while en- 
couraging program adoption elsewhere. Efforts to 
achieve these aims can be made in each of the three 
NEHRP components: earth science, engineering, 
and implementation. 

I Earth Science Research Measures 
Earth Science: Reducing Loss of Life 

Earth science research efforts that can improve life 
safety in future earthquakes fall into two broad 
categories: basic research that will reduce the like- 
lihood of "surprises" in the future size, location, 
and timing of severely damaging earthquakes 
(and in so doing, increase the likelihood that miti- 
gation measures are adopted); and more directed, 
microzonation-style studies to identify localized 
troublespots. Both categories are of use through- 
out the country, although their roles vary subtly 
according to geography. 

In areas where implementation is currently 
weak (i.e., much of the country outside of Califor- 



151 



1201 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



nia), reductions in loss of life (and economic 
losses) require that seismic building codes and 
other mitigation measures be adopted by at-risk 
communities. Because great uncertainties over 
earthquake location, severity, and timing act as 
a disincentive to action, the earth science prior- 
ity here is for basic research that can better 
zero in on when, where, and how strongly an 
earthquake will strike. This research must not 
only delineate where earthquakes are likely to oc- 
cur (information that increases the perceived 
benefit of mitigation), but also identify areas of 
relative safety (which reduces the geographic ex- 
tent — and thus cost — of mitigation). 

Where there exists some degree of interest in 
seismic mitigation, the potential importance of 
microzonation-style research grows. In localities 
where the earthquake danger is recognized, such 
research allows communities to sidestep opposi- 
tion to broad-based mitigation by narrowly target- 
ing exceptionally hazardous sites (this is the 
approach taken by Utah's Salt Lake County Natu- 
ral Hazards Ordinance, discussed in box 4-2). 
More mitigation-friendly locales will likely use 
such research to help prioritize efforts in seismic 
retrofit and demolition; to identify situations in 
which land-use planning is the most effective im- 
plementation option (i.e., places where no reason- 
able amount of engineering can overcome the 
effects of catastrophic liquefaction, landslides, or 
tsunamis); and to optimize building code provi- 
sions for the characteristics of future ground mo- 
tions.^* 

Earth Science: Reducing Economic Losses 

Although the importance of earth science research 
for life safety is clear, its role in minimizing eco- 
nomic loss is somewhat less so. This uncertainly 
stems from our lack of understanding of the true 
sources of earthquake economic loss. 



On the one hand, successful earth science re- 
search can reduce future economic losses in those 
regions where mitigation activity is relatively 
weak. Where mitigation measures are hampered 
by uncertainty over risk and hazard, refined earth- 
quake forecasts can encourage their adoption. In 
addition, microzonation research can allow other- 
wise reluctant communities to direct their efforts 
to geographically limited locales, thus fostering 
adoption where there would otherwise be none. In 
both cases, research can lead to loss reduction 
through the encouragement of basic mitigation ac- 
tivity. 

In regions where mitigation measures are al- 
ready in place, however, continued earth science 
research plays a more uncertain role. Because 
such regions typically experience high seismic ac- 
tivity (e.g., southern California), sheer prudence 
dictates that basic seismic research and ground- 
motion studies be continued so as to reduce the 
likelihood of major surprises in earthquake loca- 
tion and severity (surprises that can leave even a 
diligent community unprepared for a future ca- 
lamity). However, in the absence of such sur- 
prises, there is the possibility that continued 
research will beget diminishing returns. At issue 
is the true source of earthquake economic losses: 
if the bulk of such losses stem from episodes of 
major damage, then refined earthquake and mi- 
crozonation forecasts can reduce losses by permit- 
ting better targeting of vulnerable structures 
(particularly if the research is directed toward life- 
line survivability). However, if the majority of 
earthquake losses stem ultimately from moderate- 
to-minor ground-shaking damage distributed over 
a wide area, then efforts to pinpoint local trouble 
spots (as well as to refine estimates of earthquake 
timing and location) will not address the major 
source of economic loss. Uncertainty over the 
true origins of earthquake-induced economic 



^* t>aina^ in the 1994 Nonhridgc quake indicates that even moderate earthquakes can subject buildings to stresses far greater than have 
been expected, and one must assume that larger quakes possess a similar potential. Credible ground-motion eslimales. denved from microzona- 
tioo-style modeling and from data collected in actual events, are therefore essential to writing effective building codes However, such estimates 
will be of use only if actively transmitted to the engineering community in a maruier that recognizes the need for codes to be stable over time. 



152 



Chapter 4 Implementation 1121 



losses therefore impede discussions of earth- 
quake Joss reduction, and remain an important 
avenue for social science research. 

I Engineering Research Measures 
Engineering Measures: Reducing Loss of Life 

From an implementation perspective, improved 
life safely can arise from engineering research if 
retrofit costs are brought down, and if better tools 
are devised to assess building vulnerability. 

Particularly in California, where new construc- 
tion is reasonably well handled by codes,^ mea- 
sures to save lives will center on older structures, 
particularly buildings of unreinforced masonry. 
Although many factors inhibit the systematic re- 
trofitting of URMs and other noncomplying struc- 
tures, a major obstacle to retrofit action is simply 
cost. Successful research into more cost-effective 
retrofit techniques— particularly if the techniques 
can be shown to reduce post-earthquake repair 
bills dramatically— can therefore make retrofit 
programs more palatable both to local policymak- 
ers and to building owners. 

Opposition to retrofit programs can be further 
reduced if it can reliably be determined what 
buildings do not need to be retrofitted. For exam- 
ple, not all URM structures display the same vul- 
nerability to earthquake damage, and a means of 
distinguishing the most vulnerable from the least 
can permit a more selective targeting of structures. 
Ongoing efforts to develop an analytic means of 
making such distinctions can therefore enhance 
program effectiveness while reducing the number 
of affected building owners and occupants. 

Engineering Measures: Reducing 
Economic Losses 

As noted above, current building codes focus on 
structural issues while giving little attention to 
nonstructural and contents damage. Because the 
latter kind of damage can generate most of the eco- 
nomic losses that accompany damaging earth- 



quakes, research into effective, low-cost methods 
of reducing such damage might yield substantial 
rewards. 

It is unclear, however, how to best incorporate 
nonstructural and contents damage concerns into 
current building codes. One difficulty is that such 
damage is often hard to proscribe in the language 
of a prescriptive code (e.g., a code cannot easily 
specify what steps a computer software company 
must take to safeguard its data and records, nor can 
it order individuals how to arrange furniture, 
bookshelves, or cooking equipment). Because of 
this limitation, one approach could be to replace 
prescriptive building codes with performance- 
based standards (i.e., codes that provide great 
flexibility of execution while requiring minimum 
standards of seismic performance). Such an ap- 
proach has been adopted with some success in the 
construction of California hospitals, which are re- 
quired to maintain functionality in the aftermath 
of a damaging earthquake (however, these codes 
are somewhat controversial in their need for 
painstaking execution). By defining design op- 
tions appropriate to different levels of safety or 
performance, engineering research may increase 
the odds that performance-based codes attain a 
wider use. 

A second approach to reducing economic 
losses would be to concentrate on the indirect ef- 
fects of earthquake damage. In particular, because 
the federal government maintains some authority 
over lifeline systems (e.g.. transportation and en- 
ergy), a potentially significant avenue for eco- 
nomic loss reduction lies in the "hardening" (i.e., 
strengthening and introducing redundancy) of 
lifelines and vital response systems to reduce indi- 
rect losses and improve post-earthquake recovery. 
Such a move would be assisted by research into 
measures such as the preservation of potable and 
firefighting water systems, or the use of automatic 
shutoff devices on natural gas lines. 



» Subjec. .0 Ihe lim,lal.ons noled in Ihis chap.er. includmg problems of enforcement and limited coverage of economic damage. 



153 



1221 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



I Direct Measures To 
Improve Implementation 

More direct efforts to improve implementation 
will primarily involve education and ouu^ach, 
technical assistance to nonfederal govemments 
and organizations, and social science research into 
the nature of implementation bottlenecks. These 
efforts can be applied to the current implementa- 
tion framework, or as preparation for a more vig- 
orous federal mitigation role. 

Actions that may assist implementation within 
the current framework include the following: 

• Because individual local advocates and con- 
cerned professional organizations can play a 
powerful role in fostering and maintaining 
community interest in mitigation, efforts to 
create or assist advocates are of great potential 
impact. The federal government can assist ad- 
vocates in this area by: ensuring that advocates 
have access to the latest information and educa- 
tional materials on earthquake risks, support- 
ing community activities as funding permits, or 
supplying direct technical and educational as- 
sistance to local or state govemments. 

■ The more publicity there is concerning earth- 
quakes, the more likely it is for individuals to 
become advocates. Thus media and public out- 
reach activities can have a powerful indirect ef- 
fect, both in fostering the appearance of 
advocates and in creating a supportive environ- 
ment in which they may act. Public interest in 
earthquakes generally depends on how recently 
a major quake has occurred, but preparing out- 
reach materials to take advantage of disaster 
windows is a prudent measure. Such outreach 
is relatively inexpensive and potentially pro- 
ductive, although in places where destructive 
seismic activity is extremely infrequent (e.g., 
the U.S. east coast), it is unlikely to create a 
surge of local activity. 

• Research into the political and social science of 
mitigation success and failure can assist imple- 



mentation by identifying stumbling points 
(e.g., factors hindering code enforcement) in 
the implementation process. Such research will 
not likely be undertaken without federal sup- 
port. 

■ Perhaps the most promising implementation 
activity is to assist communities in their efforts 
at understanding risk, vulnerability, costs, 
benefits, and mitigation options. Workshops, 
conferences, and forums have been and will 
continue to be useful in disseminating such in- 
formation, but strong efforts should be made to 
assign hard numbers to the predictions. In par- 
ticular, communities must be given analytic 
tools for estimating likely losses in the evont of 
a future earthquake, and credible means must 
be developed to predict the likely benefits of 
mitigation. At present, it is difficult to quantify 
these basic parameters, and it is this absence 
that perhaps most inhibits vigorous action at all 
mitigation levels.^* 

• In addition to supplying such informational as- 
sistance to at-risk communities, the federal 
government might wish to offer more direct 
technical aid. This aid can take the form of sup- 
plied expertise (e.g., mitigation efforts in the 
Salt Lake County of Utah were greatly en- 
hanced by a three-year federal grant for hiring 
an in-house county geologist — see box 4-2), or 
through programs to assist in the education and 
training of engineers and design professionals 
in the principles of seismically resistant 
construction. 

■ To complement activities on the seismic front, 
efforts can be made to incorporate seismic im- 
plementation into a larger "all-hazards" frame- 
work. Much of the nonstructural preparation 
required for seismic mitigation (e.g., predisas- 
ter emergency planning) is useful in the event 
of fire, flood, wind storm, or other natural dis- 
asters, and can thus gain in political and eco- 



^ The Federal Emeijency Muugemeni Agency U cuirenily supporting developmcni of a computer-based tool lo assist communities in 
los estiinatioa, a promisiiig eukavor dial may considerably aid future implementation effoits. 



154 



Chapter 4 Implementation 1123 





UTCHES 

For nuny retidcnts of the North Coatl, ■ Urge 
finaneW IoIm wNI come H the door* of Utchen 
ciblnett are theken open, throwing contenti to 
the fkxw. A few dollen tpent now can prevent 
mott ol that lota. 

In chooaing a latch, conaider looks and ease of 
use. The ttindard hook and eye (A) it an inexpen- 
tive ind tecurc latch, but you may not cioae It 
every time you enter the cabinet becaute it taket 
eitra effort to do ao. A child-prool catch (E) 
prevtntt a door from opening more than an Inch or 
two. Thetc catchea cloac automaticatly, ImK they 
require an evtra ection every time you open the 
door. 

Some ttandard typea of aecure latchet mount 
on (he turlace o( the door (B. C). Latchet are 
available that mount Inalde the door (D). hold the 
door firmly ahut, and open by being puthed gently 
Inward. Thaae are marketed under namet auch aa 
puih latch, touch latch, or pretture catch It you 
canrtotfirKltheM latchet. aak your hardware dealer 
to order Ittem for yoa 



Protect Your Belongings 



Foiling objects and toppling furniture can be danger- 
ous end expensive to replace or repair. 

• Move heavy rtems, such as pictures, mirrors or tall 
dressers, ov^^ay from your bed. 

• Secure toll furniture and bookcases with lag bolts to won 
studs. Add lips to sheh/es to prevent costly rtems from 
sliding off, Be sure adjustable shelves cannot slide off their 
supports. 

• Put latches on cabinet doors, especlolly at home in your 
kitchen ond at work or school laboratories 

• Fasten heavy or precious rtems to shelves or tables. 
Secure file cabinets, computers, televisions and mochirv 
ery that may overturn during an earthquake. 

• Store potentially hazardous materials such as cleaners, 
fertilizers, chemicals, arxl petroleum products in appropri- 
ate containers arid In sturdy cabinets fastened to the wall 
or floor 

• In your Office, be sure heavy objects ore fastened to 
the buildir>g structure ond rvot Just to a movable wall. Ask 
a carpenter or an electrician to determine whether light 
fixtures arid modular celling systems are securely fost- 
ened- 

• Be sure your water tieoter is fastened to the wall studs 
and that all gas rioters and appliances are connected 
to the gas pipe through flexible tubing. If you use pro- 
pone gas, be sure the storage tank is secured against 
overturning and sliding, 

• Secure your wood stove to wall or floor studs Make 
sure you have o fire extir^guisher close at hand. 

• Check with your school offickals to be sure they t>ave 
token similor precoutions. 



Outreach and education materials, such as this pamphlet on safeguarding household effects, can both foster and guide 
mitigation efforts. 



155 



1241 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



nomic attractiveness when viewed in a larger 
context. 
• Lastly, consideration can be given to making 
^4EHRP less of a purely voluntary, informa- 
tion-driven program by attaching strong incen- 
tives for action and regulatory or economic 
penalties to inaction (e.g., through changes in 
federal disaster relief or insurance). These op- 
tions, which are discussed in chapter 1 , can also 
act as a tool for enforcement (e.g., by using pre- 
mortgage inspections to ensive building code 
compliance). 

All of the above efforts require insight into the 
many political, economic, social, and practical 
forces that shape the implementation process. It 
should be reemphasized that the current under- 
standing of these forces is by no means complete. 
Social science research into the behavior of com- 
munities and individujtls is thus of considerable 
importance — all the more so if substantial 
changes to current policy are being considered 
(e.g., the possible use of mandatory earthquake in- 
surance to foster seismic mitigation). Ongoing 
NEHRP-funded social science research has al- 
ready illuminated many of the factors affecting 
implementation within the current NEHRP 



framework; this effort might profitably be 
strengthened or extended. In particular, substan- 
tial social science knowledge gaps remain that 
hinder efforts to improve NEHRP. Chief among 
these are the following: 

■ How might individuals respond to fmancial in- 
centives (such as insurance) for implementa- 
tion? 

■ Does the current de facto insurance framework 
(federal disaster assistance) inhibit state, local, 
and private implementation efforts, and if so, to 
what extent? 

• Where do the true bottlenecks occur in the en- 
forcement process for seismic building codes 
(e.g., to what extent does the trouble lie in on- 
site building inspection, in plan checking at the 
design stage, or in unexpected variability in 
construction practices and standards)? 

■ Will different parts of the country respond dif- 
ferently to proposed implementation strate- 
gies, and if so, what regional variations are to 
be expected? 

Successful research into these matters will greatly 
improve action within the current implementation 
framework, and will be critical to any efforts at ex- 
tending program scope. 



156 



Appendix A: 

The National 

Earthquake Hazards 

Reduction Program 



The 1964 Alaska and 1971 San Fernando, 
California, earthquakes increased public 
awareness of U.S earthquake risks and led 
to numerous task forces, reports, and pro- 
posals for establishing a federal earthquake pro- 
gram. Then, in the mid- 1 970s, a number of events 
led to the growing momentum for federal legisla- 
tion: 

• China successfully predicted a major earth- 
quake before it occurred, saving at least tens of 
thousands of lives. 

■ China and Guatemala suffered large and dam- 
aging earthquakes. 

■ The "Palmdale" bulge, a section of the San An- 
dreas fault showing uplift, was identified. 

• Various expert panels and committees released 
reports on earthquakes, some of which stated or 
implied that the United States was behind Chi- 
na, Japan, and Russia in its commitment to and 
understanding of earthquake prediction. 

■ There was considerable optimism in the scien- 
tific community that earthquake prediction was 
feasible. For example, a National Academy of 



Sciences report recommended that the United 
States make a national commitment to a long- 
term earthquake prediction program.' 
• The President's Commission on Science and 
Technology put together a panel that produced 
a report (commonly known as the Newmark- 
Stever report) laying out a preliminary plan and 
budget for a federal earthquake program. 

EARTHQUAKE HAZARDS 
REDUCTION ACT 

Various bills to establish a federal earthquake pro- 
gram were introduced in Congress in the early and 
mid-1970s. However, none were enacted until 
1977, when the Earthquake Hazards Reduction 
Act^ was passed. Several aspects of the original 
legislation are worthy of note. First, it was devel- 
oped and enacted in an era of great optimism about 
the potential for earthquake prediction — that is, 
accurate short-term forecasts of the location, mag- 
nitude, and timing of earthquakes. The legislation 
reflects this, for example, stating; 



1 National Researeh Council. Pridicling Earihquakts: A Scientific and Technical Evjiualion—wilh Implications for Society (Washington, 
IX: National Academy of Sciences, 1976). p. 3. 

2 Public Uw 95-124, OcL 7. 1977. 



1125 



157 



126 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



A well-funded seismological research pro- 
gram in earthquake prediction could provide 
data adequate for the design of an operational 
system that could predict accurately the time, 
place, magnitude, and physical effects of 
earthquakes.' 
Second, although the bill listed a number of 
nonresearch objectives, including public educa- 
tion and code development, much of the original 
legislation was directed toward research. For ex- 
ample, the bill authorized agency appropriations 
only for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and 
the National Science Foundation (NSF), to con- 
duct or fund earthquake-related research. Third, 
the legislation did not make clear how the nonre- 
search objectives were to be implemented. 
Instead, responsibility for implementation was 
given to the President, who was charged with de- 
veloping an implementation plan. Thus, the pro- 
gram began with immediate activity by two 
relatively strong research organizations, USGS 
and NSF, but without a clearly defined imple- 
mentation component and without a lead agency. 
The President's implementation plan,'* sent to 
Congress in 1978, gave much of the responsibility 
for implementation to a "lead agency," although 
just which agency was not specified. Other federal 
agencies were given specific tasks, including par- 
ticipation in a multiagency task force that was to 
develop design standards for federal projects. 
Executive Order 1 2148, dated July 20, 1979, des- 
ignated the then newly created Federal Emergen- 
cy Management Agency (FEMA) as the lead 
agency.^ 



REAUTHORIZATION HISTORY 

The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Pro- 
gram (NEHRP) has been reauthorized eight times 
since its inception (see table A- 1 ): however, only 
two of these reauthorizations made significant 
changes to the program. The 1980 reauthoriza- 
tion* established FEMA as the lead agency, and 
extended NEHRP authorizations to FEMA and to 
the National Bureau of Standards (now the Na- 
tional Institute of Standards and Technology, 
NIST). 

The 1990 reauthorization (Public Law 
101-614) made several substantial changes. The 
Senate report accompanying the final bill noted 
several congressional concerns with NEHRP, in- 
cluding, 

... the slow and, in the view of many experts, 
inadequate application of research findings to 
earthquake preparedness; ... the need to im- 
prove coordination of the agencies in the pro- 
gram and define better their roles; ... the need 
to update and broaden the scope of the 
[NEHRP].' 

In response to these and other concerns, the fol- 
lowing major changes were made: 
■ references to earthquake prediction and control 
were downplayed; 

• program objectives were clarified and expand- 
ed, for example, education, lifeline research, 
earthquake insurance, and land-use policy; 

• the role of frEMA as lead agency was clarified 
and defined, for example, program budgets, 
written program plans, reports to Congress, a 



' Ibid., sec. 2(4). 

* Executive Office of U>e FVesident, Tlie National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program," June 22. 1 978. 

' US. Congress, General Accounting Office. "Slronger Direction Needed for the National Earthquake Program," GAO/RCED-83-103, 
July 26. 1983. p. 2. 

' Public Law 96-472. Oct 19, 1980. 

' U.S. Congress. Senate Committee on Commerce. Science, and Transportation. NEHRP Reauihorizaiion Act. Report 101-446 (Washing- 
ton. DC: Aug. 30, 1990), p. 3. 



9i_m-3 _ ckc 



158 



Appendix A The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program 1127 



ujJiJMiiymjiimiiyii 







Provided 


Public Law 


Date of 


reauthorization 


numlMr 


passage 


for fiscal years 



Significant changes or additions 



Oct 19. 1980 1981 



97-80 


Nov 20. 1981 


1982 




97-464 


Jan 12. 1983 


1983 




98-241 


Feb 22. 1984 


1984. 


1985 


99-105 


Sept 30. 1985 


1986, 


1987 


100-252 


Feb 29. 1988 


1988. 


1989, 


101-614 


Nov 16. 1990 


1991. 


1992, 



1978. 1979, 1980 Defined and initiated program. 

Auttiorized funds for US. Geological Survey and National Sci- 
ence Foundation only. 

Directed President to select lead agency for implementation 

Defined Federal Emergency fi^anagement Agency (FEI^^A) as 

lead agency 

Authorized funds for FEMA and National Bureau of Standards 

{new National Institute of Standards and Tecfinology) 

None. 

None. 

None. 

None. 

None 
1991 . 1992, 1993 Eliminated some references to prediction consequences and 

to earthquake control 

Clarified objectives of National Earthquake Hazards Reduction 

Program, emphasizing implementation. 

Required seismic regulations tor new federal buildings, and 

the adoption of seismic regulations for existing federal buikj- 

ings. 

Clarified agency roles. 
1994, 1995, 1996 None. 



SOURCE Ollk» ot Technology Assessment. 1995 



comprehensive education program, and grants 
to states; 

• the roles of USGS. NSF, and NIST were clari- 
fied (but not altered significantly); and 

■ the President was required to ensure that federal 
agencies issue seismic safety regulations for 
new buildings, and adopt seismic standards for 
existing federal buildings lacking adequate 
seismic resistance. 

The 1994 reauthorization made no substantive 
changes in NEHRP, however the hearings and lan- 
guage in the report accompanying HR 3485 out of 
the House Committee on Science, Space, and 



Technology (now the Committee on Science) pro- 
vide some insight into congressional views of and 
concerns with NEHRP. The report stated: 

The [House Science, Space, and Technolo- 
gy) Committee is concerned about the effective- 
ness of the NEHRP. Recent hearings have raised 
long-standing concerns about NEHRP — lack of 
an overall strategic plan; insufTicienl coordina- 
tion among the agencies to shape a unified, co- 
herent program; insufficient application of 
results of NEHRP research to limit losses; and 
inadequate emphasis on research to mitigate 
earthquake damage.^ 



' VS. Coogiess. House Committee on Science. Space, and Technology. "Eaitbquake Hazank Reduction Act Reauthorization." Report 
103-360. Nov. 15. 1993. p. 6. 



128 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



159 



"IGURE A-1 : NEHRP Authorizations and 

Actual Spending, FY 1978-94 




Authorizations 

Actual spending 



1978 80 82 84 66 88 
Fiscal year 



90 92 94 



SOURCE Otiiceol Technology Assessment, 1995 

The Committee took two steps to address these 
concems: first, members of the House of Repre- 
sentatives sent a letter to the President requesting 
an executive branch review of NEHRP. The 
executive branch review was given to the White 
House Office of Science and Technology Pohcy, 
which as of August 1995 had not yet issued their 
findings. Second, the Committee sent a letter to 
the director of the congressional Office of 
Technology Assessment (OTA) requesting that 
OTA "review Federal efforts to reduce earthquake 
damage." This report is OTA's response to that 
request. 

BUDGET 

As for all federal programs, the budget process for 
NEHRP involves two separate congressional 
processes, authorizations, and appropriations. 
NEHRP's authorizations give permission to the 
agencies to spend up to the amount authorized for 
the activities discussed in the legislation. The ap- 



propriations process, however, provides the actual 
funding to do the work. For NEHRP, as for almost 
all government programs, authorizations and ap- 
propriations are under separate committees of 
Congress. As NEHRP is a relatively small compo- 
nent of the agency budget, the congressional ap- 
propriations committees generally do not directly 
specify the amount of money to be spent on 
NEHRP activities. Instead, each agency deter- 
mines its own budget priorities in conjunction 
with the Office of Management and Budget, and 
submits this budget (which specifies NEHRP 
spending levels) in the President's annual budget 
request. The appropriations committee , in turn, ei- 
ther accepts this overall budget level or sets it at a 
different level. 

In the past, NEHRP authorizations have usual- 
ly exceeded the actual spending (see figure A- 1 ). 
Actual spending has increased in current dollars, 
but has decreased overall in constant dollars (see 
figure A-2). 



FIGURE A-2: NEHRP Spending, FY 1978-94 
(in current and constant dollars) 




Constant (1978) dollars 



1978 8082848688909294 
Fiscal year 



SOURCE Otiice o( Technology Assessment, 1995 



160 



Appendix B: 

Agency Efforts 

in the Current 

NEHRP 



B 



Four agencies — the National Science 
Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Geological 
Survey (USGS), the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency (FEMA), and the 
National Institute of Standards and Technology 
(NIST) — have specific responsibilities within the 
National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program 
(NEHRP). Figure B-1 shows the division of 
NEHRP funding among the principal agencies. 
This appendix describes each agency's current 
NEHRP efforts and outlines earthquake-related 
activities by other federal agencies that are outside 
the formal NEHRP framework. 

U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 

USGS receives the largest share of NEHRP 
funds — ^about $50 million in FY 1 994, accounting 
for more than half of all NEHRP spending. In re- 
cent years, USGS has used its NEHRP funds to 
pursue four goals: 
■ understanding what happens at the earthquake 



• determining the potential for future earth- 
quakes, 

■ predicting the effects of earthquakes, and 

• developing applications for research results.' 
Supporting efforts span a wide range of activi- 
ties, from research into basic earthquake proc- 
esses to mapping expected ground motions for use 
in building design codes. More than two-thirds of 
NEHRP funding is used internally — to support 
USGS scientists in regional programs, laboratory 
and field activities, national hazards assessment 
projects, and seismic network operation. The re- 
mainder is spent as grants to outside researchers 
for specific projects. In general, the intemal work 
focuses on applying knowledge to describe haz- 
ards, while the external program emphasizes ex- 
panding and strengthening the base of scientific 
knowledge. 

Three specific aspects of U.S. Geological Sur- 
vey's NEHRP-related work are discussed below; 
the geographic focus of the work, efforts made at 



' Roben A. Pigeet >!., Goals, Opportunities, and Priorities for the USGS Eanhquake Hazards Reduction Program, U.S. Geological Sur- 
vey CiiuiUr 1079 (Wubingtoo, DC: US Govenuneni Printing Office. 1992), pp. I -2. 

1129 



1301 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



161 




KEY FEMA = Federal Emergency Management Agency; NIST = Nation- 
al Institute of Standa/ds and Technology; NSF = r4atHxial Science 
Foundation. USGS = U S Geological Survey 
SOURCE Office of Technology Assessment. 1995, based on NEHRP 
budget data. 

improving technology transfer, and the post- 
eaithquake investigation program. 

I Geographic Focus 

Concentrated for years primarily in California. 
USGS research and hazard assessment activities 
expanded in the mid-1980s to include a multiyear 
effort to fully characterize seismic hazards along 
the Wasatch fault zone in Utah. Beginning in 
1 99 1 , USGS divided a substantial portion of its re- 
sources among four regions where the earthquake 
hazard is most severe: southern California, north- 
em California, the Pacific Northwest, and the cen- 
tral United States^ (see table B-1). A regional 



coordinator is responsible for coordinating all as- 
pects of the program with state and local agencies, 
engineering groups, county emergency managers, 
and planners.' Although California still receives 
the bulk of the funding set aside for regional stud- 
ies, USGS has shifted toward a more national pro- 
gram. The most noticeable remaining gap in 
coverage is metropolitan areas in the Northeast 
that have significant seismic risk (e.g., Boston and 
New York City). 

I Technology Transfer 

USGS has several programs intended to promote 
the use of agency-produced knowledge and tools. 
Examples include the following: 

■ USGS works with the California Division of 
Mines and Geology (a state agency) to develop 
geographical information systems for use in 
studying high seismic risk regions of the slate. 

• USGS supports the Southern California Earth- 
quake Center (SCEC). SCEC is a multidiscipli- 
nary effort to catalog and quantify regional 
earthquake hazards and to transfer this in- 
formation to the mitigation community. It is de- 
scribed further under NSF activities. 

■ With FEMA, USGS has assisted in esUbUsh- 
ing the Coordinating Organization for North- 
em California Earthquake Research and 
Technology (CONCERT). With members from 
government agencies and private sector orga- 
nizations, CONCERT provides a framework 
for members to exchange ideas and hold public 
workshops. Their objective is more effective 
transfer of new technologies and research re- 
sults to the region's engineering community. 

• USGS encourages the exchange of ideas and 
expertise between "sister cities" with similar 
seismic risks. One of the fu-st such exchanges 



^ The Pacific Northwest refers to northemmost California. Oregon, Washington, and Alaska; the central United Slates include Indiana. 
lUinois, Missouri. Kennicky. Tennessee. Arkansas, and Mississippi. Craig Weaver. Acting USGS NEHRP Cooidinaior. personal communica- 
tion. May 9. 1995. 

^ Along with three discipline coordiiutors (who oversee geogiaphically based studies outside the four primary regions, laboratory and 
theoretical studies, and the national seismic network system), the four regional coordinators oversee peer review panels dial advise USOS on 
fimding priorities. Ibid. 



162 



Appendix B Agency Efforts In the Current NEHRP 1131 



LWaijmjtfltMBIBMBBM 



Program elenwnt 



FY 1995 spending (million dollars) 





Internal 


External 


Total 


Northern California 


7,096.7 


1,830.0 


8,926.7 


Southern California 


5.385.2 


1,900.0 


7,285.2 


Pacific Northwest 


2.434.2 


1,316.1 


3,750.3 


Central United States 


1,853 6 


1,000 5 


2.854 1 


National and international 


2,772 1 


1,067.2 


3.839.3 


Seismic netvrarks 


5,0400 


2.620.0 


7.660.0 


Earthquake process and theory 


2,491 3 


919.8 


3.411.1 


Southern California Earthquake Center 


— 


1,200 


1.200 


Other 


7,8700 


2,118 4 


9.988.4 


Tow 


34,943.1 


13,972.0 


48,915.1 



NOTE: Oltier includes mtscellaneous administration and program assessments 

SOURCE. Office of Tecfinok>gy Assessment. 1995. based on detailed U S Geological Survey txidgel data. 



involved hazard planners and engineers from 
Watsonville, California, and their counterparts 
in Anchorage, Alaska. Other sister-city meet- 
ings are planned. 

uses operates the National Earthquake In- 
formation Center (NEIC) in Golden, Colorado. 
NEIC has three main missions: 1 ) to determine, 
as accurately and rapidly as possible, the loca- 
tion and magnitude of damaging earthquakes; 
2) to collect and distribute seismic data for use 
in research; and 3) to pursue research into locat- 
ing and understanding earthquakes. In support 
of these missions, NEIC distributes a number 
of products (see table B-2). 
USGS makes earth science data and maps 
available over the Internet. For example, data 
centers in northern and southern California pro- 
vide maps of recent regional earthquakes, the 
location of and data from geodetic and seismic 
monitoring stations, and links to other Internet 
sites with related data or topics. Other informa- 
tion is becoming increasingly available for use 
by researchers, educators, and the public. 



Future Directions 

NEHRP achievements in recent years include in- 
creased awareness on the part of state and local of- 
ficials, engineering associations, and other private 
sector organizations of earthquake hazards and 
risks. According to USGS. these groups have be- 
come more sophisticated as to what they need next 
from NEHRP. To better serve their needs, USGS 
has redesigned the major elements of its FY 1996 
NEHRP effort as follows: 

■ assessing national and regional earthquake haz- 
ard and risk, 

■ assessing major urban area earthquake hazard 
and risk, 

■ understanding earthquake processes, 

■ providing national real-time earthquake hazard 
and risk assessment, and 

■ providing national geologic hazards informa- 
tion services.* 



163 



1321 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



Title 



miMmiumjmmmmmmii 

Description 



Quick Epicenter Determinations Very preliminary list of significant quakes, compiled daily and available for 

computer access by telephone line 

Preliminary Determination of Epicenters Initial locations prepared and distributed weekly to those contributing data 
to the NEIC; also published in a monthly listing available via the Superin- 
tendent of Documents in Washington, DC, 

Earthquake Data Report (Monthly publication that provides additional, more detailed information for 

seismologists on a data exchange basis 

Other products CD-ROIv1s, maps, and an annual book of US. earthquakes 

SOURCE U S Geological Survey, National Earttx)uake Intormation Cenier. 1994 Guide (o Products and Services (Golden. CO 1994) 



I Post-Earthquake Investigations 

The 1990 NEHRP reauthorization' directed 
USGS to establish a post-earthquake investiga- 
tion program, to study and learn lessons from ma- 
jor earthquakes. USGS has supported post-quake 
work for both U.S. and non-U.S., major earth- 
quakes. This work has allowed USGS to collect 
perishable data on aftershocks and earthquake-in- 
duced damage. 

After the Northridge earthquake in 1994, Con- 
gress passed a supplemental appropriations bill 
that, in part, funded USGS to install a seismic 
monitoring system that can better measure strong 
ground motions. This system will improve the 
ability to provide real-lime information on earth- 
quake size, location, and likely effects. 

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION 

NSF receives about one-quarter of the NEHRP 
funding. Its NEHRP sftending is in two distinct 
areas: fundamental earth science, and engineering 
and social science research. The earth science re- 
search, overseen by the Earth Sciences Division in 
the Directorate for Geosciences, accounts for 1 1 .4 
percent of NEHRP funds in FY 1994. The engi- 
neering and social science research in the Earth- 



quake Hazard Mitigation Program within the 
Directorate for Engineering accounts for 1 5.6 per- 
cent of NEHRP funds. Figure B-2 provides fund- 
ing trends in current dollars for both areas. 

I Earth Science Research 

NSF uses NEHRP resources to support earth- 
quake-related earth science research through two 
main channels: direct grants to researchers and 
support for various university consortia, includ- 
ing the Incorporated Research Institutions for 
Seismology (IRIS) and the Southern California 
Earthquake Center (see table B-3). In addition, us- 
ing non-NEHRP funds, NSF supports the Univer- 
sity Navstar Consortium (UNAVCO) that 
provides technical assistance and equipment to in- 
vestigators for geodetic studies and other earth 
science research. 

DInct Grants 

NSF awards research grants directly to investiga- 
tors for the study of earthquake sources, active tec- 
tonics, earthquake dating and paleoseismology, 
and shallow crustal seismicity.' For FY 1990 to 
1994, instrument-based seismology, geodesy, and 
other tectonics received the bulk of the awards (on 



) PUMk Lm 101-614. Nov. 16. 1990. 

* Janes WbiKamb.I)inclar.Gcoftiy<toPrafram.MikiailScMnce|V>aodiiMii.pcfioiiilca^^ 1994. 



164 



Appendix B Agency Efforts in the Current NEHRP 1133 




1978 1979 1980 1961 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1968 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 
Fiscal year 



SOURCE: Office of Tecfinology Assessment, 1995, based on National Science Foundation budget data. 



the order of 90 percent); paleoseismology and mi- 
crozonation efforts, in contrast, comprised about 5 
percent of the overall budget for direct grants (see 
Uble B-4). 

Incorporated Research Institutions 
for Seismology 

IRIS is a university-based consortium that sup- 
ports research in seismology by providing facili- 
ties for instrumentation and for data collection, 
archiving, and distribution. IRIS is supported by 
NSF (in part with NEHRP funds) and by the Air 
Force Office of Scientific Research. 

IRIS, in partnership with USGS, is building a 
multiuse global network of modem, digital seis- 
mograph stations. According to IRIS, the Global 
Seismographic Network supports NEHRP by en- 
abling detailed assessments of the frequency of 
earthquakes around the world and of their antici- 



pated ground motions. In 1994, 20 new stations 
were added to the network, bringing the total to 

Through PASSCAL (Program for Array Seis- 
mic Studies of the Continental Lithosphere), IRIS 
provides portable instrumentation and support fa- 
cilities for the study of seismic sources and earth 
structure. Under development is the Rapid Array 
Mobilization Program, intended to support rapid 
deployment of instruments in the field immediate- 
ly after a large earthquake or volcanic event.^ 

Another significant function of IRIS is the Data 
Management System, which tracks the operation 
of the stations and archives the data. In addition, 
the IRIS Data Management Center (in Seattle, 
Washington) makes available via the Internet 
these data, customized data products, and a num- 
ber of other historical data sets. 



^ locorponued Resoich Institiitioiis for Semnology, 1994 Animal Report (Arling«n, VA: 1994), p. S. 
' locanwmed Rescaicb Institulions for Seismology, 1992 Aimul Report (AitinfUo, VA: 1992), p. 18. 



165 

1341 Reducing Earthquake Losses 

^^^■iSEIIgBI8Bmi.J.mU.IJ.H.U.IJI.IJli|B 

Spending 
Element (million dollars) 

Direct grants $4 3 

Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology 3 6 

Southern California Earthquake Center 3.3 

Total $112 

SOURCE Office of Technology Assessment. 1995. tMsed on detailed National Science Foundation budget data. 

I J IBIi lWMklJ BBI I iW i i BiWJ IIIi lilJU. I JJmy.lM 

Award totals Percentage o( 

Research area (thousand dollars) oveiall awards 



17 4 
229 
3.3 
1.8 
1.4 
5.0 
100.0 

NOTES: Ottief includes support for worKstX)ps. travel, and conferences The total does not Include staff salary and ex- 
penses 
SOURCE Office of Technology Assessment, tiased on 1 994 National Science Foundation geosciences award data 

Southern Csllfomla Earthquake Center probabilities for major faults, maps of seismotec- 

SCEC serves as the focal point for regional studies ton'c source zones and regional probabilistic seis- 

of earthquake hazards and risk mitigation mea- "I'c hazards, assessments of the implications of 

sures. The principal institutions involved are: recent patterns of seismicity in the greater Los An- 

University of Southern California; University of ge'es area, and up-to-date earthquake source dau- 

Califomia — ^Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa bases. 

Barbara; California Institute of Technology; and SCEC also supports the operation of a seismic 

Columbia University. network and several data centers. In addition, the 

The center has a multidisciplinary outlook that center has facilitated installation of a comprehen- 

promotes earthquake hazard reduction by defm- s've crustal strain monitoring network using the 

ing when and where damaging earthquakes will Global Positioning System (GPS). This is in- 

occur in southern California, calculating expected tended to provide improved hazard estimation 

ground motions, and communicating this in- froni regional strain rates and increased under- 

formation to the practicing engineering communi- standing of post-quake deformation patterns, 
ty and the public. Products include conditional 



Seismology 


$10,450 


Tectonics 




Geodesy 


3.763 


Nongeodetic 


4,966 


Paleoseismology 


711 


Microzonation 


383 


Tsunami 


305 


Other 


1.077 


Total NSF grmts 


$21,655 



166 



Appendix B Agency Efforts in the Current NEHRP 1135 



iMiiuiMJJiiMiMJiiJmJxujiiiimjjijjjimiiBi 







Budget 


Area 




(ttiousand dollars) 


Geotechnical 




$2,621 


Structural 




2,722 


Architectural and mechanical systems 




2,719 


Earthquake systems integration 




2,567 




Total 


$10,629 



Research examples 



Liquefaction, tsunamis. 
Active controls, repair and rehabilitation 
Active controls, hazard evaluation 
Planning, social science. 



NOTE Including trw $4 millton awarcted (o the National EarttKiuake Engineertng Research Center (NCEER). the total FY 1994 National Science 

Foundation engineering txxjget was $1 4 629 million. 

SOURCE Office of Technology Assessment, 199S. tiased on National Science Foundation detailed txjdget data 



Principal support comes iroin NSF (SCEC is 
an NSF Science and Teclinology Center) and 
USGS; SCEC is also supported by FEMA, the 
California Department of Transportation, and the 
City and County of Los Angeles. 

University Navstar Consortium 

UNAVCO maintains a standardized GPS equip- 
ment pool and data archiving center. One of the 
primary applications of geodetic measurements to 
earthquake research is the comparison of contem- 
porary plate velocities and the rates of intraplate 
and plate boundary zone deformation with geo- 
logical and geophysical observations and mod- 
els.^ Space-based techniques have revolutionized 
geodetic studies; they offer significant improve- 
ments over surface techniques in several applica- 
tions. 



I Earthquake Engineering 

The NSF earthquake engineering budget for FY 
1 994 was $ 1 4.6 million. It includes $4 million for 
the National Center for Earthquake Engineering 
Research (NCEER); the remainder is divided 
among four major research areas (see table B-5). 

National Center for Earthquake 
Engineering Research 

NCEER, located in Buffalo, New York, was estab- 
Ushed in 1986 with a five-year, $25-million grant 
from NSF. '"This grant was renewed in May 1991 
for five more years and $21 million. Additional 
funds for the center are provided by the State of 
New York and by various institutions." The cen- 
ter's mission is to "advance engineering, planning 
and preparedness to minimize the damaging ef- 
fects that earthquakes have."'^ As summarized in 



'Univenity Navstar C:onsonium.fr95-99Pn>fxua((BoiikleT. CO n.<l.).p. 7. Besides caithquakc-rclaied research. UNAVCO staff collab- 
orate with the National Aeionatics and Space Adminisnalian, Hk National Center for Atmospheiic Research, the National Oceanic and Amws- 
ptiehc Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, and imivei^ity investigators in projects related to solid eanh dynamics, climate, 
and tneleorology. 

'" TV decision to award this grant to the Stale University of New YoriL at Buffalo, instead of to a competing bid from Califoniia researcho^ 
was a controversial one. The story of this battle is told in VSP Associates. IiK., "Tb Save Lives and Protect Propeny." filial repon piep ai ed for the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency. Nov. 1 . 1988. appendix C. 

> ' For example, the total NCEER budget in 1 993-94 was $ 1 1 .3 million: S4.0 million from NSF. S3.0 millian from die Federal Highway 
Administralion for research into the seismic vubierability of the national highway system. $2.0 million from the state of New Yoik, and S2J 
million from other sources. National Center for Eaithquake Engineering Research. Program Overview 1992-94 (Buffalo, NY: 1994), p. 30. 

'2 Ibid.. p. I. 



167 



136 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



TABLE B-6: Research Funded by NCEER, 1993-94 





Funding 


Area 


(thousand dollars) 


Seismic hazard and ground motion 


$384 


Geotechnical engineering 


375 


Structures and systems 


1.025 


Risk and reliability 


344 


Intelligent and protective systems 


826 


Socioeconomic Issues 


600 



Examples 



Implementation activities 



Ground motion and site response, seismic zonation. 

Liquefaction and lifelines. 

Retrofit methods, lifeline system analysis. 

Development of risk-based design criteria. 

Base isolation, hybrid control systems 

Insurance and mitigation relationships, estimating 
damage vulh geographical information systems, 
hazard perception. 

Workshops, education and training. 



SOURCE Office of Tecfinoiogy Assessment, t995. teased on unpublished National Center (or Earthquake Engineering Research (NCEER) tKjdget 
data 



table B-6, the research portfoho supported by 
NCEER ranges from geotechnical engineering to 
socioeconomic issues.'^ 



gory is in the area of "structural control" — the use 
of active or hybrid intelligent control systems to 
reduce seismic damage in structures. 



Geotechnical 

NSF-sponsored work on geotechnical engineer- 
ing includes studies of liquefaction, tsunamis, the 
response of soils to earthquakes, and the response 
of structures to ground motion. This research is, 
for the most part, applicable to all structures, in- 
cluding new and existing buildings and lifelines. 



Architectural and Mechanical Systems 

Much of the work in architectural and mechanical 
systems looks at specific building components 
such as composite walls and reinforced concrete 
frames. As in the structural category, active or hy- 
brid controls are a significant topic, accounting for 
almost one-third of the funding in this category.'^ 



Structural 

NSF-funded efforts in strictures and earthquakes 
include support of research in active and hybrid 
control systems, design methodologies, seismic 
behavior of components such as reinforced con- 
crete frames or precast panels, and lifeline design. 
A significant fraction of the research in this cate- 



Earthquake Systems Integration 

Behavioral, social science, planning, and similar 
research is funded in earthquake systems integra- 
tion. Issues addressed include code enforcement, 
decisions to demolish or repair a building, in- 
formation transfer, and international comparisons 
of mitigation. 



" For fulhet inrormation, see National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research. Research Accomplishment 1 986- 1 994 (BufTalo, tfi: 
ScfXemlier 1994). 

'* Research into struclural control, active control, hybrid control, or similar phrases accounts for 32 percent of funding in the archilectunl 
and mechanical areas. Source is NSF detailed budget data. 



168 



Appendix B Agency Efforts In the Current NEHRP 1137 



FEDERAL EMERGENCY 
MANAGEMENT AGENCY 

reMA has two distinct roles in NEHRP: 1 ) as lead 
agency, FEMA is charged with overall coordina- 
tion of the program; and 2) it also has responsibil- 
ity for implementation of earthquake mitigation 
measures. 

I History 

FEMA's role in NEHRP can best be understood by 
looking at how its role has evolved over time. 
When NEHRP was founded in 1977, the legisla- 
tion called for a lead agency but did not specify 
what agency was to take that role. FEMA was giv- 
en lead agency status by executive order in 1979. 
This was confirmed by Congress in the NEHRP 
reauthorization for 1981,'^ which also provided 
an explicit authorization for FEMA spending on 
earthquakes. 

In the early years of its NEHRP activities, 
FEMA functioned primarily as a coordinator rath- 
er than as a strong leader or director. A 1983 U.S. 
General Accounting Office (GAO) report criti- 
cized FEMA's leadership, noting that FEMA had 
not carried out several responsibilities assigned to 
it in the legislation. GAO found that "FEMA 
could better prepare the United States for a major 
earthquake by more aggressively implementing 
the [NEHRP] act's requirements and providing 
stronger guidance and direction to Federal agen- 
cies."'* In 1987, an expert review committee, as- 



sembled to assist in NEHRP planning and review, 
noted that "serious questions were raised regard- 
ing FEMA's performance in its assigned role."'^ 
The committee reconunended the creation of an 
oversight commission, with some budget author- 
ity for NEHRP activities. 

The 1990 NEHRP reauthorization contained 
extensive reference to FEMA's role in NEHRP. 
Although there was not a clear change in FEMA's 
role, the legislation specifically directed FEMA 
to: 

■ prepare an annual NEHRP budget for review by 
the Office of Management and Budget, 

• prepare a written NEHRP plan for Congress ev- 
ery three years, 

■ operate a program of state grants and technical 
assistance, and 

■ ensure appropriate implementation of mitiga- 
tion measures. 

According to the Senate report accompanying the 
legislation, the intent of this language was in part 
to separate FEMA's leadership function from its 
operational (implementation) role.'* 

The 1993-94 reauthorization hearings suggest 
that concerns over coordination and implementa- 
tion continue. In the Senate hearings, a senator 
asked of the witnesses, "Has coordination among 
the four NEHRP agencies improved?"" In the 
House hearings, a representative asked, "Is the 
program doing enough to ensure application of its 
findings?"^" 



" PuWk Uw 96-472. Oct. 19. 1980. 

" U.S. Genenl Accounting Ofnce, •Stronger Direction Needed for the National Earthquake Program," GA(VRCED-83-i03. July 26. 
1983. pp. i.ii. 

'^ Federal EmergeiKy Management Agency, "Commeniary and Recommendations of the Expert Review Committee 1987," p. xiii. 

' ^ U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Commerce, ScieiKe. and Transportation, National EarthquaU Hawrds Reduction Program Reait- 
ihoruaiion Aci.tttfon 101-446 (Washington, IX: Aug. 30, 1990). p. 12. 

" U.S. Congress, Senate Comminee on ConmierGe, Science, and TVansportaiioii. Subcommittee on Science, Space, and Technology, hear- 
ing. May 17, 1994. p. 4. 

^ U.S. Congresss. House Committee on Science. Space, and technology. Subcommittee on ScietKe, hearing, ScpL 14, 1993, p. 2. 



169 



1381 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



Approximate budget 

(million dollars) 



Examplea 



Leadership 



$1.3 



Design and construction 




standards 


5.0 


State and local hazards 




reduction 


6.1 


Education 


1.1 


Multiple hazards 


1.7 


Federal response planning 


0.9 



User needs assessment 
Small-business outreach program. 
NEHRP plans, reports, and coordination. 

Manual lor single-family building construction. 
Preparation of seismic design values. 
Preparation of NEHRP Provisions. 

Grants to states and cities for mitigation programs. 
Grants to multistate consortia. 
Training in use of NEHRP Provisions. 
Dissemination of information on retrofit techniques. 
Loss estimation software development. 
Wind-resistant design techniques 
Urban search and rescue. 
National federal response. 



SOURCE: Federal Emergency Manageoient Agency. Office of Earthquakes and Natural Hazards. 'Funds Traclting Report.' Nov. 9. 1993. 



■ Current Activities 

FEMA currently conducts a broad range of activi- 
ties under its NEHRP mandate.^' Table B-7 lists 
the FY 1993 budget and examples of activities for 
each of six core areas of effort. 

Leadership 

According to the 1994 NEHRP report to Con- 
gress,^^ recent activities under FEMA's leader- 
ship function include: 

• preparation of NEHRP plans and reports to 
Congress, 

• assessment of user needs. 



■ support of earthquake professional organiza- 
tions, 

■ arranging interagency meetings, 

• support of problem-focused studies — specific 
issues of concern to the earthquake community, 
and 

■ outreach programs for small businesses. 

Design and Construction Standards 

FEMA contributes to the development of prac- 
tices and standards to reduce seismic risk in both 
new and existing structures. Examples include 
sponsoring the development of the NEHRP Provi- 



2' This section draws on Federal Emergency Management Agency, Building for the Future, NEHRP FY 1 99 1 - 1 992 Report to Congress 
(Wasliington, OC. Decemlxr 1 992); Federal Emergency Management Agency, Preserving Resources through Earthquake Mitigation. NEHRP 
FY 1993-1994 Report to Congress (Wastiington, DC: December 1 994); and Federal Emergency Management Agency, Office of Earttiquakes 
and Nannai Hazards. "Funds Tracking Repon, FY 1993," 1993. 

^ Fedeial Eroeigency Management AgeiKy, Preserving Resources through Earthquake Mitigation, see footnote 21. 



170 



Appendix B Agency Efforts in the Current NEHRP 1139 



sions (a synthesis of design luiowledge for adop- 
tion by model codes),^-' development of 
handbooks for retrofitting existing buildings, and 
support of an earthqualce testing and research fa- 
cility at the University of Nevada. 

State and Local Hazards Reduction Program 

States and local governments bear primary re- 
sponsibility for implementing plans and technolo- 
gies to increase the resilience of communities 
toward seismic hazards and thus minimize the 
long-term effects of earthquakes. Through its 
State and Local Hazards Reduction Program, 
FEMA provides grants to slates, local govern- 
ments, and multistate consortia to support their 
earthquake mitigation activities. Of the 43 states 
and territories^^ with low to very high degrees of 
seismic hazard, 28 participate in one manner or 
another in the FEMA program. Seventeen of these 
states joined NEHRP at its inception in 1977. 

Activities funded by FEMA grants vary, but 
typically involve education, outreach, code adop- 
tion, training, and similar implementation activi- 
ties. Indiana, for example, used FEMA funding to 
develop a brochure on techniques to measure risk 
in existing buildings. North Carolina used FEMA 
funding to update its building code to include seis- 
mic provisions, and Arizona conducted public 
awareness and education workshops.^' 

Financial Requirements 
Current cost-sharing regulations are that FEMA 
provides 100 percent of the first year's funding; 
25- and .3S-percent in-kind matches are required 
for years two and three; and a SO-percent cash 
match from stales is necessary for the following 



years.^* The effects of the matching requirement 
vary greatly among states. Participation by some 
states appears to decline after reaching the 50-per- 
cent cash threshold; others have declined to partic- 
ipate at all because of the cash requirement. 

For example, of the six states in the highest risk 
category, only Wyoming does not formally partic- 
ipate in NEHRP. Wyoming indicated that fourth- 
year financial requirements (i.e., 50-percent cash 
match) precluded such involvement. However, it 
does participate in NEHRP-related activities and 
belongs to the Western States Seismic Policy 
Council. 

Program Elements 

The five primary matching fund program ele- 
ments are: Leadership and Program Management; 
Fundamental Research and Studies; Hazard Map- 
ping, Risk Studies, and Loss Estimation; Hazard 
Mitigation; Preparedness and Response/Recov- 
ery Planning; and Information and Education. In 
addition, there is a "Special Projects and Other 
Programs" category. Under the latter, for example. 
New York State established in 1990 an Earth- 
quake Lifelines Project to assess earthquake haz- 
ards, analyze lifeline vulnerability to support 
mitigation efforts, inform and educate the public, 
and provide training. 

Typically, state efforts in the mitigation catego- 
ry relate to bridge safety analysis and reinforce- 
ment. New Jersey's activities under this program, 
however, also include a Prudent Business Prac- 
tices program that encourages businesses to edu- 
cate their employees and customers about seismic 
risks. At least nine slates have activities in all 
NEHRP matching fund program areas.^^ 



^' Building and Seismic Safely Council, NEHRP Rrcommrnded Prtfvisions for the Development of Seiimic Regulations for New Builtiings, 
1991 Ed., prepurd for Federal Emergency Management Agency (Washington, DC: January 1992). 

^* Including Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

^ Examples from Federal EmeigeiKy Management Agency, Building for the Future, see footnote 21. 

^^ VSP Associates, Iik., "Slate and Local FfTorls Tb Reduce Earthquake Losses: Snapshots of FV>licies, Programs, and Funding," report 
prepared for the Office of tbchnology Assessment, Dec 21,1 994 

^^ Arkansas, California, Kentticky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Tennessee. 



171 



140 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



Regional Efforts 

Three regional organizations play important roles 
in supporting individual states' seismic safety ef- 
forts: the Western States Seismic Policy Council, 
founded in 1977; the Central United States Earth- 
quake Consortium (CUSEC), established in 
1985; and, most recently, the Northeastern States 
Earthquake Consortium. CUSEC is the only one 
of the three groups that receives federal funds. 
These groups typically facilitate the exchange of 
information among slates; provide a convenient 
mechanism for holding meetings and training ses- 
sions; act as an "issue network" by helping to 
forge state views on NEHRP priorities and pro- 
grams; and, because of their administrative flexi- 
bility, can often do more things for their member 
states than individual state procedures allow.^*^ 

Education 

FEMA supports a number of educational activi- 
ties, including a course on post-earthquake recon- 
struction, a natural hazards information center, 
and dissemination of information on existing 
building retrofits. 

With funding from USGS and NSF as well as 
FEMA, the Natural Hazards Research and Ap- 
plications Information Center in Boulder, Colora- 
do, serves as a national clearinghouse for 
information on the economic loss, human suffer- 
ing, and social disruption caused by earthquakes, 
floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural 
disasters. 

Multi-Hazard Assessment and Mitigation 

Some FEMA activities in NEHRP address multi- 
ple hazards. For example, FEMA recently sup- 
ported work on wind-resistant designs for 
buildings. Also under this heading is FEMA's 
support of the development of a loss estimation 



computer tool for use by cities and stales in earth- 
quake planning. 

Federal Response Planning 
FEMA has primary responsibility for preparing 
the federal government for national emergencies. 
FEMA activities include carrying out exercises, 
getting agencies to agree on emergency response 
plans, and supporting regional operating centers. 
FEMA has also supported urban search and rescue 
teams. 

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF 
STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY 

NIST's role in NEHRP has been largely in applied 
engineering research and code development. The 
agency's funding under NEHRP has been low — 
less than $500,000 annually until the 1990s— so 
its NEHRP-relaied activities have been modest in 
size and scope. Current NEHRP funding is 
approximately $1 .9 million. 

I Funding History 

The initial NEHRP legislation did not provide ex- 
plicit authorization for NIST (then the National 
Bureau of Standards), but NIST did receive some 
funding in the early years of NEHRP The 1980 
NEHRP reauthorization bill specifically autho- 
rized NIST as one of the four key NEHRP agen- 
cies, and these authorizations have continued in 
subsequent bills. In recent years, NIST's budget 
for earthquake-related activities has expanded due 
to contributions from other federal agencies, as 
well as a small contribution from the private sec- 
tor. In FY 1994, for example, NIST received an 
additional $1.5 million from the Northridge sup- 
plemental appropriations for a total NIST earth- 
quake-related budget of nearly $3.6 million.^ 



^ Exnnptet include securing oul^ot-suic consulting usisuncc and paying honoraria and inviuiional travel so that speakers can panici- 
pale in training conferences. 

" Richard N. Wrifhl. Oireclor, Buitding and Fire Research Laboiaiory. National Imtituie of Standaidi and Tcchnoloiy. icMimony at hear- 
JBgi btfaw the Somt Coromii m on Connn trct . Science, and Ttansponation. May 17. 1994. tabic I. 



172 



Appendix B Agency Efforts in the Current NEHRP 1141 



I Activities 

NEHRP's initial legislation and subsequent 
amendments did not define a specific role for 
NIST. In the 1 980s, NIST's activities were "exclu- 
sively focused on the studies of performance of 
buildings through in-house experimental and ana- 
lytical research."30 The 1990 NEHRP reautho- 
rization defmed NIST's role as follows: "The 
National Institute of Standards and Technology 
shall be responsible for carrying out research and 
development to improve building codes and stan- 
dards and practices for structures and lifelines."^ ' 

Increased funding since 1990 has allowed 
NIST to expand into new areas. Its current 
NEHRP-related work includes: ^^ 
1 . Applied engineering research: 

■ preparation of guidelines for testing and 
evaluation of seismic isolation systems, 

• development of design provisions for precast 
concrete connections and for seismic 
strengthening of concrete frame buildings, 

• testing of masonry walls to determine shear 
capacity, and 

• development of improved methods to pre- 
dict the effects of ground motion on life- 
lines. 



2. Code development and distribution, including 
technical support for model code adoption of 
the NEHRP Provisions. 

3. Technology transfer (e.g., support of confer- 
ences and meetings for engineering research). 

4. International cooperation, including technical 
and financial support for various meetings and 
exchange programs with other countries. 

OTHER RELATED FEDERAL 
AGENCY ACTIVITIES 

Several federal agencies in addition to the four pri- 
mary NEHRP agencies spend many millions of 
dollars in earthquake mitigation. These efforts in- 
clude evaluating the seismic safety of facilities 
and improving their seismic resistance, conduct- 
ing earthquake-related research and development, 
and other efforts.-'-' Although detailed agency 
spending data are not available, this non-NEHRP 
federal spending on earthquake-related research 
and development on upgrading the seismic resis- 
tance of facilities probably exceeds the $100 mil- 
lion spent annually by the four primary NEHRP 
agencies.-'* The contributions of many non- 
NEHRP agencies are summarized in table B-8. 



^ Riley Chung, National Institute of Staixlards and Technology, personal communication, June 30, 1994. 

51 Public Uw 101.614, sec. 5b5, Nov. 15. 1990. 

5^ Federal Eitiergency Management Agency, Preserving Resources through Earthquake Mitigation, see footnote 2 1 . 

33 David W. Cheney. Congressional Research Service, "The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program," g9-473SPR, Aug. 9, 1989. 

^ The last budget dau were for the period ending 1987. Ibid., p. 20. 



173 



142 1 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



TABLE B-8: Summary of Federal Earthquake-Related Activities 



Agency/department 



Examples 



National Aeronalics and 
Space Administration 
(NASA) 

National Oceanic and 
Almosptienc Administration 
(NOAA) 



Department ot Energy 
(DOE) 



Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC) 



[department of Defense 
(CX)D) 



Department of Trans- 
portation (DOT) 



Bureau of Reclamation, 
Department of the Interior 



IDepartmenI of Veterans 
Affairs (VA) 

Department of Housing and 
Urt)an Development (HUD) 



Centers for Disease Control 
and Prevention (CDC), 
Department of Healtti and 
Human Services 



l*JASA conducts researcti and development (R&D) in basic earth processes. Its 
space-based geodesy program has enabled important advances in monitoring and 
characterizing crustal deformation and strain before, during, and after seismic events 

NOAA provides real-time tsunami warnings for the United States and its possessions 
and territories, the warnings are issued from two centers, located in Alasl<a and Ha- 
waii In addition, NOAA's seafloor mapping and monitoring of marine earthquakes 
support improved understanding ot offshore earthquake hazards and the reduction of 
tsunami risk. NOAA also disseminates earthquake and tsunami data through the Na- 
tional Geophysical Data Center. 

DOE has conducted earthquake hazard research related to nuclear powerplants and 
waste disposal. DOE has upgraded the seismic resistance of many of its facilities, 
including its national laboratories and nuclear weapons production facilities. As part 
of Its nuclear energy research programs, DOE has also studied ways to improve the 
seismic safety of new reactor designs 

In the past, NRC has sponsored seismographic networks m the eastern United States 
to aid in analyzing seismic risks to nuclear powerplants The commission has also 
conducted engineering research related to improving the seismic resistance of nu- 
clear powerplants and waste disposal facilities 

DOD has a seismic safety program to ensure appropriate seismic safety of its facili- 
ties, and conducts seismic R&D with applications to other government and privately 
owned infrastructure The Army Corps of Engineers, for example, addresses the seis- 
mic safety of dams DOD also Ofserates seismic stations for nuclear test monitoring 
and supports seafloor research (by the Office of Naval Research) 

DOT conducts seismic research in advanced earthquake-resistant design, construc- 
tion, and retrofit of highway bridges through the American Association of State High- 
way and Transportation Officials specifications and guides of recommended practice; 
assesses DOT facilities to prevent interruption of vital functions: and provides im- 
mediate response after major earthquakes 

The bureau is the lead technical agency for Interior's Safety of Dams Program In 
addition to dam modifications, it conducts seismotectonic studies, operates three 
seismic networks in Colorado and Wyoming, and operates strong-motion instruments 
at dams and other critical facilities 

Since 1971 , the VA has undertaken the seismic strengthening of its hospitals m areas 
of moderate and high seismic hazard 

HUD funds earthquake studies related to disaster response, damage assessment, 
and mitigation, conducts seismic risk assessments for HUD-assisted properties; de- 
velops seismic safety standards for such properties, as well as for manufactured 
housing; and provides major rebuilding and emergency housing assistance to earth- 
quake-stricken communities 

CDC conducts research on the health impact of natural and technological disasters in 
order to develop strategies to prevent or reduce future disaster-related health prob- 
lems 



SOURCES- Office of Technology Assessment, based on David W Crieney, Congressional Research Service, "The National Earthquake Hazards Re- 
duction Program," 89^73SPR, Aug. 9. 1989, and unpublished Office of Science and Technology Policy material For a lurther description of earth- 
quake programs in ttiese ar>d otfier contributing tederai agencies, see Federal Emergency Management Agency. Preserving Resources Through 
Eart/iquakaMrr/galion, FY 1993-94 NEHRPFteportlo Congress (Washington, DC December 1994), pp 131-170 



174 



Appendix C: 

International 

Earthquake 

Programs 



Devastating earthquakes have been experi- 
enced all around the globe, at times with 
astounding loss of life (see table C-1). 
Figure C-1 illustrates recent world seis- 
micity. Future occurrences of potentially damag- 
ing quakes are inevitable. As a result, many 
countries have mounted extensive research and 
development, hazard assessment, and disaster re- 
sponse programs related to earthquake hazards 
and seismic risk. 

A comprehensive discussion of the many in- 
ternational mitigation programs and their 
achievements is beyond the scope of this report. 
Instead, this appendix briefly describes efforts un- 
der way in a few countries whose seismicity and 
mitigation practices may shed light on related 
U.S. efforts. It also outlines the framework that 
exists for cooperation and coordination among na- 
tions in understanding earthquake hazards and 
mitigating seismic risk. 

To summarize, both Japan and China have siz- 
able earthquake research and mitigation pro- 
grams. Unlike the United States, however, the 



predominant focus of Japan's efforts is seismic 
monitoring and research applied toward predict- 
ing great earthquakes. 

New Zealand also has a collection of efforts 
similar in scope, if not scale, to the U.S. national 
effort One major difference is the inclusion of a 
government-sponsored earthquake insurance pro- 
gram and a move toward mitigating economic dis- 
ruption along with threats to life safety. Several 
other countries have significant research pro- 
grams or relevant data. For seismological or 
paleoseismological data from intraplate earth- 
quakes, China and Australia are sources. ' Russia, 
China, and Japan have data on potential earth- 
quake precursors; Japan also has strong-motion 
data from subduction zone earthquakes and re- 
sults from tsunami studies. In addition, Canada 
and the United States exchange data and analyses 
regarding seismic hazards in the west and east 
(e.g., subduction zone quakes in the Pacific 
Northwest and intraplate quakes in the northeast- 
em United States). 



'FewcanliqualusdiMocormfelativelyital>fere(k)iisofcaatiiiaitslttvesiM&oecxpressioii.Oflhe II historic intrapUleeajtbquikcs thai 
have produced surteceiuptiDts, five occuntd in Austnlia since l968.MkiiaelMacheaeindAnlhoayCrooe,**GeologiclnvestifStionsofAus- 
mUan Eanhquakes: Psieoaeismicity nd die ReoMTcncc of Saritct FadtiBf in die Stable Re|iam of Coniiiieiils," Eanhqmlus A Volauiots, 
VOL 24, No. ^ 1993. p. 74. 

1143 



175 



1441 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



Location 


Year Magnitude Impact 


Northern China 


1556 


_ 


800,000 killed 


Lisbon. Portugal 


1755 


— 


60.000 killed, fire 


San Francisco. California 


1906 


8.3 


700 killed, fire 


Messina, Sicily 


1908 


75 


160,000 killed 


Tokyo. Japan 


1923 


83 


140,000+ killed, fire 


Assam, India 


1950 


84 


30.000 killed 


Chile 


1960 


Mw9.5 


5.700 killed, 58,000 homes destroyed, tsunami 


Alaska 


1964 


Mw9 2 


131 killed, tsunami 


Northern Peru 


1970 


7.7 


67,000 reported killed 


Guaternala 


1976 


7.5 


23,000 killed 


Tangshan, China 


1976 


79 


240,000-650,000 t<illed 


Northern Iran 


1978 


77 


25,000 killed 


Mexico City 


1985 


8.1 


10,000+ killed 


Armenia 


1988 


68 


55,000 killed 


Loma Prieta. California 


1989 


7.1 


63 killed. $5 billion to $10 billion damage 


Northern Iran 


1990 


7.7 


40.000 killed 


Flores. Indonesia 


1992 


7.5 


2,500 killed 


Latur. India 


1993 


Mw6 2 


9,750 deaths 


Northridge, California 


1994 


68 


57 killed, more than $20 billion damage 


Kobe, Japan 


1995 


68 


5,500+ killed, more than $200 billion losses 


Sakhalin Island. Russia 


1995 


IVlw7.0 


Approximately 2,000 killed 



NOTt A sigmdcanl earthquake is one ttial registefs a magntlude of 6 5 Of mofe. or one thai causes considerable damage of loss of life On avefage. 
60 significant earthquakes take place afound the world each yeaf Mw fepresenis mofneni magnitude, a measure of the total seismic enefgy released 
SOURCE OffK»of Technology Assessment. basedonBefna/d Pipkin. Geo/ogya/TdrheEnvTOnfTienr (St Paul. MN:West Publishing Co . 1994). and 
retefences cited therein, and William Ellsworth. U S Geological Survey. Menio Park, persfxial cfxnmunication. June 14. 1995 



The United States is actively involved in sever- 
al cooperative programs established to share ex- 
pertise and data. Joint research and technology 
transfer projects have been especially useful to the 
spread of seismic zonation practices around the 
world.^ (In a similar vein, technology transfer 
from Japan to Chile has been integral to the latter 



nation's advances in earthquake mitigation, for 
example, in tsunami studies.-') 

AUSTRALIA 

Australia, a relatively stable continent far re- 
moved from the earth's plate boundaries, received 



^ Seismic znution is the division of a geographic ngioa into smaller areas or zones that are expected to experience the same relative severi- 
ty of an earthquake hazard (e.g., ground shaking or failure, surface faulting, tsunami wave runup). Based on an integrated assessment of the 
hazard, built, and policy environments, resulting zonation maps provide communities with a range of options for ensuring resilience to earth- 
quakes and sustainable development U.S. Geological Survey. Proceedings of the Fourth International f'orum on Seismic Zonation, July 1 4. 
1994. Chicago, IL. and Aug. 30. 1994. Vienna, Austria, Open File Report 94-424 (Rcston. VA: n.d.). appendix B. p. I . 

^ See Maria Ofelia Moroni, 'Technology Transfer on Earthquake Disaster Reduction Between Japan and Chile." Bulletin of the Internation- 
al Instiiuie of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering, vol. 27, 1 993. pp. 1 99-2 1 1 . In 1 960. a tsunami that originated off the coast of Chile 
cawed nearty I.OOO deaths in thai country and much destniction in Japan as well. 



176 



Appendix C International Earthquake Programs 1145 



FIGURE C-1 : Epicenters of 30.000 Earthquakes, 1 961-67 




SOURCE Office of Technology Assessment. 1995. adapted from F Press and R. Siever, £aftfi. Second Edition (San Francisco. CA WH Freeman 
and Company. 1978). p 412 



a wake-up call with respect to urban earthquake 
hazards when a magnitude 5.6 (M5.6) earthquake 
struck Newcastle in December 1989. It resulted in 
about $2.86 billion (U.S.) in losses and 13 
deaths.'' The disaster led to increased studies of 
the region's intraplate quakes and a national pro- 
gram in seismic zonation. 

The Australian Geological Survey Organiza- 
tion, in coordination with various state geological 
surveys and universities, conducts the national 
program in earthquake monitoring. With funding 



from the federal agency Emergency Management 
Australia and state governments, the Center for 
Earthquake Research in Australia (CERA) has 
completed seismic zonation maps for four of the 
largest cities (Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, and 
Brisbane and its environs). Maps for other urban 
areas are in progress.' 

According to CERA, the outcomes of this map- 
ping program have practical applications in many 
areas, including seismic code formulation, emer- 
gency management, and community education.* 



^ John M.W. Rynn, 'The Potential To Reduce loesses from Earthquakes in Australia," D.i. Smith and JW Handmer (cd.), Australia's Role in 
ttu International Decadt for Natural Disaster Reduclion, Resource and Environmental Studies No. 4. Journal of the Australian National Uni- 
versity Center for Resource and Environmental Studies. 1991 . p. 9. 

^ For a description of initial efforts, see John M. W. Rynn. "Mitigation of the Earthquake Hazard Through Earthquake Zonation Mapping: 
The Program for tJtban Areas in Australia," Proceedings of the Workshop Towards Natural Disaster Reduction. June 27- July 3, 1993, Okiruwa, 
Japan. S. Heraih and T. Kauyama (eds.) (Tokyo, Japan: International Center for Disaster-Mitigation Engineering, July 1994), pp. 113-136. 

^ John Rynn, Center for Earthquake Research in Australia, personal conununication, Jutk 7, 1995. 



1461 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



177 



Organization Description 



Acthritlas 



Geological Survey of Canada Agency of tfie Ministry of Natural 

(GSC) Resources Canada 

National Research Council Establisfied within the Ministry of 

(NRC) Industry, Science and Technology 



Canadian National Commit- 
tee on Earthquake Engineer- 
ing 



Emergency Preparedness 
Canada 



Committee with representation from 
GSC. NRC, and the private sector 



Agency within the Ministry of Defence 



Seismic and strong-motion monitoring, 
hazard estimation, international cooperation. 

The agency's Canadian Commission on 
Building and Fire Codes promulgates the 
National Building Code 

Develops seismic provisions for the National 
Building Code, advises the Canadian Com- 
mission on Building and Fire Codes, and 
provides advice to private industry on mat- 
ters related to seismic hazard assessment 
for specific projects 

Earthquake preparedness and respo: ise 
planning. 



SOURCE: Office of Technokjgy Assessment, based on Peler Basham. Geolagical Survey of Canada, personal communicaton. htov 24. 1994 



Collaboration between Australia and other coun- 
tries (e.g., neighboring developing nations in the 
South Pacific, countries in Southeast Asia, and 
South America, as well as the United States) is 
rapidly increasing. 

CANADA 

Canada has experienced several large, damaging 
earthquakes during its recorded history. Seismic- 
ity along its west coast is relatively well under- 
stood in terms of plate boundary convergence 
offshore. The sources of intraplate earthquakes in 
eastern Canada are less well known, but may be 
related to compressional stresses acting on local- 
ized zones of weakness in the crust.^ Table C-2 
shows the primary agencies and organizations 
participating in Canada's earthquake mitigation 



effort. According to the Geological Survey of 
Canada (GSC), it is the only federal agency con- 
cerned with seismological aspects of earthquake 
loss reduction, and the only Canadian agency with 
expertise in seismic hazard assessment.^ 

Canada's primary earthquake-related research 
goals are to: 1 ) understand the causes and effects 
of earthquakes well enough to be able to assess 
seismic hazards accurately throughout the coun- 
try, and 2) improve knowledge of earthquake-re- 
sistant design and construction in order to provide 
an adequate level of protection against future 
earthquakes. Currently, a major research program 
is under way to produce new zoning maps for trial 
use, modification, and formal adoption in the year 
2000 National Building Code of Canada. The ex- 
isting code was adopted in 1983 and is based on 



' Diaer Weichen el al.. "Seismic Hazard in Canada." The Praciice of Eanhquakt Htuard Asussmeni, buemadoaal Association of 
Seismology and Pliysics of tlie Earth Interior (Denver. CO: U.S. Geological Survey. 1993). p. 46. 

' Unless noted otherwise, the material in this section is drawn from Peter Basham, Acting Director, Geophysics Division. Geological Sur- 
vey of Canada, personal communicatioa, Nov. 24. 1994. 



178 



Appendix C International Earthquake Programs 1147 



probabilistic analyses of peak acceleration and 
peak velocity.' According to GSC, relatively little 
effort is devoted to microzonation, although some 
efforts have been undertaken as university re- 
search projects. 

CHINA 

Strong intraplate earthquakes frequently occur 
throughout China, which lies in the southeast part 
of the Eurasian plate. The seismicity is thought to 
be related to forces from the Pacific Plate to the 
east and the Indian Ocean Plate to the southwest. 
China's historic earthquake record extends back 
thousands of years; from 1831 B.C.toA.D. 1989, 
17 great earthquakes, 126 major quakes, and al- 
most 600 large earthquakes took place. '" Because 
of their typically shallow depth and since relative- 
ly little building stock has been designed to resist 
shaking, severe damage and casualties are likely 
in the country's densely populated areas from 
large earthquakes (i.e., having magnitudes of 6 
and higher)." 

The Chinese government has a three-pronged 
effort to address seismic risks. Earthquake predic- 
tion, resistance, and emergency relief responsibil- 
ities are accorded to the State Seismological 
Bureau, the Ministry of Construction, and the 
Ministry of Civil Affairs, respectively.'^ A uni- 
fied program is being assembled by the Chinese 



Ten- Year Committee, in cooperation with United 
Nations International Decade for Natural Disaster 
Reduction'-' (see table C-3.) 

I Prediction 

The large-scale development of an earthquake 
prediction capability began after the 1966 Xingtai 
earthquake (M7.2), which resulted in 8,000 
deaths.'* Over the last couple of decades, a num- 
ber of earthquake-monitoring systems have been 
set up in China's major seismic areas. The national 
network consists of six regional telemetry net- 
works, 12 local radio telemetry networks, and 10 
digital seismographic stations." Data from these 
monitoring systems, and from other observations, 
support research in detecting precursors and cor- 
relating them with large earthquakes. 

In 1 975, hours before a M7.4 quake struck Hai- 
cheng, a series of foreshocks prompted residents 
to construct earthquake huts (temporary shelters 
adjacent to their homes) and local authorities to is- 
sue a warning of a major quake. '* Even with these 
precautions, more than 1 ,000 people were killed. 
Without these measures, a much larger percentage 
of the 3 million people living in Haicheng might 
have died inside collapsed buildings." However 
the Chinese prediction system has predicted earth- 
quakes that did not occur and has failed to predict 
some that did. Several months after the Haicheng 



^ With seven zones, Ihe I98S edition maps have a finer subdivision of zoning in moderate-risk areas and additional zones in the high-risk 
areas relative to the previous edition (1970). P.W. Basham et al.. "New Probabilistic Strong Seismic Ground Motion Maps of Canada," Bulleiin 
of the Seismological Socitly of America, vol. 75. No. 2. April 1985. p. 563. 

'° Xiu Jigang. "A Review of Seismic Monitoring and Earthquake Prediction in China." Tecionophysics. vol. 209. 1 992, p. 325. See chapter 
2 for description of earthquake severity scales. 

' ' Ma Zongjin and Zhao Axing, "A Survey of Earthquake Hazards in China and Some Suggested Countermeasures for Disaster Reduc- 
tion." Earthqyake Research in China, vol. 6. No. 2. 1 992, p. 24 1 . 

'^ Wang Guozhi, "The Function of the Chinese Govemmenl in Ihe Mitigation of Earthquake Disasters," Eanhquake Research in China, 
vol. 6, No. 2. 1992. p. 254. 

"Ibid. 

'^ Zongjin aixl Ajiing, see footnote 1 1 , p. 243. 

'^ The six regions covered are Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenyang, Kunming, and Lanzhou. Ibid: and William Bakun, U.S. Geological 
Survey, Menio Park, personal communication, June 15. 1995. 

" Cinna Loonitz, Fiuidamemals of Earthquake Prediction (New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. 1994), pp. 24-26. 

" Bnice A. Boll. Earthquakes (New Yolk, NY: WJ1. Freeman and Co., 1993), p. 194. 



179 



1481 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



TABLE C-3; Earthquake Efforts by tfie People's Republic of Ctiina 



Organization 



Description 



Activities 



Ministry of Construction 
(MOC), Office of Earth- 
quake Resistance 



Established in 1967, MOC is concerned 

with emergency response, technical 

codes and standards, development of 

international cooperation, and education 

and training in earthqual<e engineering. 

State Seismological Bureau Established in 1971 , the bureau is re- 
sponsible for central management of 
earthquake monitoring, prediction, and 
scientific and engineering research. 



National Natural Science 
Foundation of China, De- 
partment of Architectural 
Environment and Structural 
Engineering 

Ministry of Energy, Science 
and Technique Develop- 
ment Foundation of Power 
Industry 



Supports research in basic theory, tech- 
nical advances, and earthquake hazard 
mitigation. 



Established m 1989 by the China 
Association of Power Enterprises in affil- 
iation with the Ministry of Energy. 



Funds proposals in earthquake resistance 
research for buildings and engineering 
structures; seismic response research for 
special works, structures, and equipment: 
strong-motion observation 

Plans and administers national seismologi- 
cal programs, conducts international coop>- 
eration and exchange programs in earth- 
quake studies, performs field studies of 
societal responses to earthquake hazards 
and events. 

The bureau's Institute of Engineering Me- 
chanics plays a key role in earthquake engi- 
neering research at the government level. 

Funds projects in hazard assessment, soil- 
structure interaction, structural dynamic re- 
sponse, seismic resistance of lifelines; t>ase 
isolation and structural control, and earth- 
quake site investigation and aseismic ex- 
perimental technology 

Awards grants to researchers and techno- 
logical workers for studies related to hydro- 
electric, thermoelectric, and electric 
systems 



SCXJRCEU S Panel on the Evaluation o( the U S -PR C Earthquake Engineering Program, National Research Council Commission on Engineering 
afxl Technical Systems, Wtorf(S/Top on P/ospecfs /or US. -Pfl.C, CocperarrononEa/tfiQua/ce£ngineenng^sea/c/} (Washington, (X^: National Acad- 
emy Press. 1993), pp 8-10 



quake, a M7.8 quake struck Tangshan, apparently 
without warning. Hundreds of thousands were 
killed.'^ 

I Seismic Zonation and Building Codes 

In 1957, China adopted its first earthquake inten- 
sity scale, a 1 2-level scale similar to die Modified 
Mercalli Intensity scale, and initially focused its 
mitigation efforts on buildings in the highest 
hazard areas. In 1992, using data from recent 



earthquakes and geophysical studies, China pro- 
mulgated a new edition of its seismic intensity 
zoning map. The Chinese zoning map reflects 
both subjective measures of intensity and proba- 
bilistic analyses of ground motion expected from 
future earthquakes. Grade 9 on the Chinese inten- 
sity scale is roughly equivalent to Zone 4 of the 
1988 Uniform Building Code.'' 

The first seismic code was promulgated in Chi- 
na in 1974.^" The Tangshan earthquake prompted 



"^ The official estiniale is approxinuuely 250,000 deaths; however, unofficial estimales suggest that over 800.000 may have been killed 
'^ The Unifonn Building Code is one of three U.S. model codes on whk:h stale and local seismic codes are based. See chapter 3. 
^ Hu Shiping. "Seismic I>sign of Buildings in China." Earthquake Spectra, vol. 9. No. 4, 1993, p. 704. The first dnfk, in 1 9S7. was based 
oo the Soviet code. -< 



180 



Appendix C International Earthquake Programs 1149 



BOX C-i: Japan's Earthquake Prediction Program 



Six agencies participate in Japan's earthquake prediction program The Japan Meteorological Agency 
(JMA) collects seismological data and oversees Japan's prediction efforts Ttie Earttiquake Assessment 
Connmitlee, consisting of six eminent seismologists, is responsible lor analyzing potentially anomalous 
data and reporting to Itie director ol JMA a verdict of 1) imminent danger, or 2) no danger ' 

Ttie Geodetic Council of Japan acts as an advisory body to the Ministry of Education. Science and 
Culture with respect to earthquake prediction, and oversees development of frve-year program plans Oth- 
er agencies involved in the prediction effort include the Maritime Safety Agency, the Geographical Survey 
Institute, the Geological Survey of Japan, and the National Research institute for the Earth Sciences and 
Disaster Prevention (part of the Science and Technology Agency) ^ 

Now in Its sixth five-year plan, the program has both harsh critics, wihich include an irx;reasing number 
of Japanese scientists, and staunch defender? Limited access to data, opportunity costs for other areas of 
earthquake research, and the program's narrow focus on the Tokyo region are among the motivations for 
criticism. 



^RotiefiJ Geiier. 'Casri Falling Through the Cracks." rheOa//y>tvnyun. May 12. 1994. p 6 The two opiKxis are designated Wacfc 
and white verdicts, respectively A gray verdict, or statement ol intermediate probability, is not permitted 

^ Robert J Gellef. "Shake-up tor Earthquake Prediclion." Nature, vol 352, No 8333. July 25. 1991 , pp 275-276 
SOURCE OfficeolTechnology Assessment. 1995 



revision of this code; the effort was completed in 
1978. The present code, promulgated in January 
1990, was revised from the 1978 version by the 
China Academy of Building Research, along with 
other professionals.^' 



Japan has a multipronged government program 
to address its many seismic risks. Unlike the 
United States, however, earthquake prediction is a 
primary focus of Japan's efforts to reduce losses 
from earthquakes. 



JAPAN 

The Eurasian, Philippine Sea, Pacific, and North 
American Plates all converge in the vicinity of Ja- 
pan. The relative movement of these plates causes 
Japan to experience strong to great earthquakes 
frequently, as well as face the threat of volcanic ac- 
tivity and tsunamis. The largest earthquakes have 
originated in the subducted Philippine Sea and Pa- 
cific Plates, although the havoc wreaked on Kobe 
by the 1995 Hyogoken-Nanbu earthquake reveals 
the hazard posed by shallow crustal quakes to 
densely populated cities. 



I Prediction 

With spending on the order of $100 million per 
year — a figure that does not include salaries — ^Ja- 
pan's prediction program receives funding com- 
parable to the entire U.S. National Earthquake 
Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). Initiated 
in 1963, it is one of Japan's largest and oldest re- 
search projects^^ (see box C-1). 

Pursuant to the 1 978 Large-Scale Earthquake 
Countermeasures Act, 10 regions have been des- 
ignated for special monitoring. The Kanto-Tokai 
Observation Network, for example, continuously 



21 Ibid, p. 705. 

^ Y. Ishilun. Office of Disasler Prevention Research, Japanese Science and Technology Agency, personal conununication, June 1 6, 1 99S. 



181 



1501 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



monitors cnistal movements using more than 250 
seismometers, strainmeters, and tiltmeters. In 
addition, 167 Global Positioning System stations 
operate in this area.^-' 

The most recent five-year plan for the predic- 
tion program, adopted in 1993, continues inten- 
sive observation of the Tokai region, which is 
expected to experience the effects of a great earth- 
quake on the nearby Suruga Trough.^'' Scientists 
hope to detect the onset of the quake by monitor- 
ing seismicity, strain, and crustal deformation. 
Previous major quakes on the Suruga and Nankai 
Troughs were preceded by rapid crustal uplift. 

I Building Codes and Engineering 

Early in this century, Japan established one of the 
first seismic design codes based on the perfor- 
mance of certain buildings in Tokyo during the 
1923 Great Kanto earthquake.^^ The years since 
then have seen many advances in earthquake engi- 
neering research, seismic codes, and construction 
practices, because of investment on the part of 
both the government and the private sector. 

The most recent code went into effect in 
1981 .^^ The Japanese seismic design code differs 
from the current U.S. guidance document for 
building codes (i.e., the NEHRP Provisions'^) in 
that it calls for a two-stage design process. The 



first phase follows an analysis approach similar to 
that used in the NEHRP F^rovisions; it is intended 
to preclude structural damage from frequent, 
moderate quakes. The second phase is an explicit 
assessment of the building's ability to withstand 
severe ground motions.'^ Design forces used in 
Japan also are typically significantly larger than in 
the United States. As a result, Japanese buildings 
tend to be stronger and stiffer than their U.S. coun- 
terparts, and will likely suffer less damage during 
moderate or severe shaking.^' 

Japanese construction companies annually 
spend a considerable amount on research and de- 
velopment, including testing of scaled building 
models in large in-house laboratories and research 
into passive and active control technologies. One 
result is that new technologies for seismic protec- 
tion have been incorporated into new buildings at 
a faster rate than in the United States.'" 

The government's engineering research facili- 
ties include a large-scale earthquake simulator op- 
erated by the National Research Institute for the 
Earth Sciences and Disaster Prevention and used 
by other agencies. Future evaluation of the seis- 
mic performance of the built environment will 
likely be aided by the large set of strong-motion 
data obtained from the Hyogoken-Nanbu quake in 
January 1995; the data set includes near-fault re- 



23 Ibid. 



^DenimNonnile. "Japui Holds Finn to Shaky Science." Srirw-f, vol. 264. June 17. 1994, p. 1656. 

^ The United States adopted its Tirst code shonly thereafter, in 1927. 

^The Building Standard Law. proposed in 1 977 For a description of Japan's seismic design methods, see Andrew Whittakcret al. "Evolu- 
tion of Seismic [Icsign Practice in Japan and the United Slates." 77i* Great Harahin.garthiiiuike Disaster: What Worked and What Didn't? 
SEAONC Spring Seminar Series, Engineering Implications of Jan. 17. 1995, Hyogoken-Nanbu Earthquake, May 25. 1995 (San Francisco. CA: 
Structural Engineers Associabon of Northern California. 1995). pp. 5. 10. 

27 Building Seismic Safety Council. NEHRP Recommended Provisions for the Development of Seismic Regulations for New Buildings 
(Washington. EiC: 1991). 

2* Whittaker el al. see footnoie 26. Exemptions to this second phase of design are pemutied only for buildings less than 3 1 meters in height 
•od having the requisite malerials and configuratioa Andrew S. Whittaker, Earthquake Engineering Research Center. University of California 
ai Berkeley, personal coimnunicalioa. May 29, 1995. 

» Whiioka. ibid. 

30 1}ivid W. Oieney, Coogreaaiaiial ReiaitA Service, -niK Naliontl Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program," 89-473 S^ 
p. 35. 



182 



Appendix C International Earthquake Programs 1151 



cords that reflect rupture directivity and other ef- 
fects encountered in the immediate vicinity of the 
faulL^i 

I Response and Recovery 

Within the National Land Agency, the Disaster 
Prevention Bureau was established in 1984 to de- 
velop disaster countermeasures through coordina- 
tion with various ministries and agencies. The 
countermeasure framework has three primary 
parts: 1) making cities more disaster resistant, 2) 
strengthening disaster prevention systems (e.g., 
tsunami warning systems) and raising awareness, 
and 3) promoting earthquake prediction. One re- 
lated effort has been to set up the Disaster Preven- 
tion Radio Communications Network to link 
agencies at the federal, prefectural, and municipal 
levels.-'^ 

The primary responsibility for disaster re- 
sponse rests with local-level governments that 
must ensure adequate water, food, and medical 
supplies. As witnessed in the 1995 disaster, how- 
ever, Kobe's capabiUties were overstretched, and 
some argue that mechanisms for federal interven- 
tion were inadequate. Whether or to what degree 
Japan's earthquake research, mitigation, and re- 
sponse programs will change as a result of the 
Kobe disaster is not yet clear. It must be noted that 
the intensive monitcHing programs intended to 
support Japan's prediction capability cover but a 
small portion of the nation. 

MEXICO 

Off the western coast of Mexico, the North Ameri- 
can Plate overrides the Cocos Plate. Histcffically, 



the Cocos Plate is the most active in the Western 
Hemisphere. This subduction zone has generated 
almost SO earthquakes greater than magnitude 7 in 
this century, including the M8. 1 quake that caused 
extensive damage and loss of Ufe in Mexico City 
in 1985." 

Mexico currently has a national network of 
nine broadband seismic instruments linked by sat- 
ellite, plus a number of regional networks.-'^ Six 
additional broadband stations will be installed in 
1995, one of them through a cooperative project 
with the U.S. Geological Survey.^^ Since late 
1987, the National University's Geophysics Insti- 
tute has operated a nine-station, short-period seis- 
mic network in the earthquake-prone state of 
Guerrero. 

To record and assess severe shaking, strong- 
motion instruments are located throughout the 
Mexico City area. In cooperation with some U.S. 
universities and the Japan International Coopera- 
tion Agency, arrays of digital strong-motion net- 
works are also operated in Guerrero. 

Seismic zonation m^s (e.g., maps of maxi- 
mum Modified Mercalli Intensity, and peak accel- 
eration and velocity) have been incorporated into 
the Mexican Building Code since the 1 960$. In the 
1 985 quake, many high-rise buildings in an area of 
the city underlain by a former lake bed collapsed 
or were severely damaged. These buildings could 
not withstand the resonance effects induced by the 
long-period, long-duration shaking that occurred 
on soft soils. Microzonation has since been com- 
pleted in the portions of Mexico City most suscep- 
tible to seismic wave amplification and 
liquefaction.^ Other cities (e.g., Acapulco and 



31 Ewhqaike Enfinenim Rt3e»tfa limilule. The Hyogo-Ken Nmbm Eanhfaoke: January 17. I99S, preUminiiy ny«»iiiiin«rt itpow 
(OriJaod, CA: Mnary 1995). p. 6. 

3^ [>a«satr tVevtuiao Bwcau, Eanfaqiake [>isiittr CoiBatnncaaMC* I}msioii, Edrt^aob 
Jqan: National LJDd A|ency, 1993). pp. 17-18. 

° Bcnad W. FipUn. CcofafX omf i*r EJiWioaiM (St Plol. MN: Wes l^lblb^ 
Ocoflqriks hatinae. Nationl IJnhwniiy of Mexko, coMim 48 major qiakes. 

>* U.S.Geolaiical Survey, MC focdiole 2, p. 3 1 . 

l>|lagataZ«ifa,Ocapiiysksliiidiiiie.Nalioiiall)aivcnilyrf Mexico, pcfionalcaaaaiikaii^ 12.199}. 

« U5. Oeologkal Swvey. ice faoame Z 



183 



1521 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



Guadalajara) have recently been included in the 
microzonation efforts. Based on recently col- 
lected data, new zonation maps are being prepared 
for Mexico as an extension of the Canadian- 
funded Seismic Hazard in Latin America and the 
Caribbean Project.'' 

NEW ZEALAND 

New Zealand is located astride the boundary be- 
tween the Australian and Pacific Plates; it is cut 
and deformed by many active faults and folds.-'* 
Not surprisingly. New Zealand has both an active 
research program in earthquakes and a longstand- 
ing effort to improve the seismic resistance of its 
built environment. In 1991 , the nation adopted an 
integrated approach to natural hazards manage- 
ment, of which earthquake mitigation is a major 
part. Subject to certain constraints in the Resource 
Management Act of 1991 and Building Act of 
1991 , regional and local authorities are responsi- 
ble for controlling land use and construction for 
the purpose of avoidance or mitigation of specific 
hazards.^' 

I Research 

The primary institutions conducting earthquake- 
related research include the Institute of Geological 



and Nuclear Sciences (IGNS), the Engineering 
Schools of Auckland and Canterbury Universi- 
ties, and the Institute of Geophysics at Victoria 
University in Wellington. The latter has teaching 
and research programs in seismology, including 
seismic microzonation. Additional research is 
conducted by earth science departments in other 
universities and by some private civil engineering 
consultants.''*' 

IGNS has six programs, funded at $27 million 
(U.S.) per year, which span the fields of geology, 
seismology, and engineering seismology.*' For 
example, IGNS is currently pursuing a research 
program titled "Improvements to Earthquake Re- 
sistant Design" whose primary objectives are: im- 
proved modeling of strong ground motions; 
enhanced models of the effects of large earth- 
quakes on buildings, other structures, and the nat- 
ural enviroivnent; and improved antiseismic 
practices and technologies.*^ 

The Earthquake Commission (EQC), which 
provides earthquake insurance for domestic prop- 
erty and contents, also funds approximately 
$340,000 (U.S.) of research per year. EQC, which 
administers the Natural Disaster Fund on behalf of 
the government, is the primary provider of natural 
disaster insivance to residential property owners. 



^'^ ZuAiga. see footnote 35. The Canadian IntenialionaJ Developtnetu Research Agency funds the Seismic Hazard Project, now in its final 
phase. The project has two major components: 1 ) esublish a unifonn catalog of earthquakes for Mexico, Central and South America, and the 
Caribbean; and 2) develop probabilistic seismic hazard maps for this region. The Panamerican Institute of Geography and History, Organiza- 
tion of American Stales, oversees t^'e multinational effort James Taimer, Seismic Hazard in Latin America and the Caribbean Project, personal 
communication, June 16, 1995. 

^ Russ Van Disscn and Graeme McVcrry, "Earthquake Hazard and Risk in New Zealand," Proceedings of the Natural Hazjards Manage- 
mem Workshop, Wellingum. NZ. Nov. 8-9, 1994 (Lower Hun, New Zealand Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited. 1 994). p. 7 1 . 

" See Christine Foster, "Developing Effective Policies and Plans for Natural Hazards Under the Resource Management Act." in Proceed- 
ings of the Natural Hazards Management Workshop, see footnote 38. pp. 34-35. One result of the recent legislation is increased demand on the 
part of regional and local authorities for seismic hazard and risk analyses. 

*^ Unless noted otherwise, this section is tJrawn from personal communications with Warwick D. Smith, Chief Seismologist, New Zealand 
Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, and John T^ber, Institute of Geophysics. Victoria University of Wellington, Dec I, 1994. 

^' The Ministry of Research, Science and Technology provides the New Zealand govenunent with policy advice, iiKluding recommended 
funding levels for different areas of research. Earthquake-related research is funded under the Earth Science and Construction categories, or 
outputs. The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology allocates monies for research programs within each output. 

*^ A quarter of the program's funding comes from industrial sources. Description of the IGNS Program, "Improvements to Earthquake 
Resistant Design," provided by EXm McGregor, Chief Scientist, New Zealand Ministry of Research. Science and Technology, personal commu- 
nication, Jan. 17, 199S. 



184 



Appendix C International Earthquake Programs 1153 



As of 1996, however, owners of nonresidential 
property will have to seek private coverage for 
buildings and their contents. 

Roughly 25 percent of New Zealand's earth- 
quake research is currently directed at microzona- 
tion. This work is included in both the Foundation 
for Research, Science, and Technology and EQC 
programs, and is also sponsored by regional and 
local governments. 

I Implementation 

Under New Zealand's Resource Management 
Act, regional, district, and city councils are re- 
sponsible for identifying and mitigating the ef- 
fects of natural hazards. The councils exercise 
their duties with respect to earthquake hazards 
through zoning and microzoning, and by enforc- 
ing the New Zealand Building Code. This code is 
written in performance terms and was published 
in 1 992, after preparation under the supervision of 
the Building Industry Authority. There were pre- 
vious seismic loading requirements in building 
standards and other control documents dating 
back to 1935. The code requires building owners 
to maintain their buildings so that they continue to 
meet the earthquake resistance requirements that 
existed at the time the building was erected. In 
some of the more earthquake-prone areas, territo- 
rial authorities have required upgrading of older 
buildings to address possible seismic weaknesses 
that can be recognized.'*^ 

The New Zealand National Society for Earth- 
quake Engineering is a nongovernmental orga- 



nization with approximately 600 members, 
mostly civil engineers. The society plays a leading 
role in communication among parties interested in 
earthquake research, hazard and risk assessment, 
and mitigation via engineering solutions. Like- 
wise, the Building Research Association main- 
tains close ties with building control officials and 
manufacturers, who together expedite the intro- 
duction of research results into practice.** 

Until recently, the main thrust of earthquake 
mitigation efforts in New Zealand was preventing 
building collapse and minimizing the hazard for 
occupants. However, this risk was considered to 
be less severe than for many other countries,*' and 
today the reduction of economic disruption is re- 
ceiving greater emphasis. Increasing the efficien- 
cy of restoration of infrastructure and lifelines is a 
primary consideration.** 

For example, local councils in Wellington and 
later Christchurch established engineering exer- 
cises to coordinate efforts to sustain lifelines. 
They focused on the interdependence of these life- 
lines in urban areas to assess ways in which weak- 
ness might be identified and mitigated.*^ 

RUSSIA 

Microzonation of the largest cities in Russia and 
the former Soviet Union began in the 1950s, and 
seismic zonation maps were incorporated into the 
State Engineering Codes as early as 1957.** 

Today, the primary institutions and organiza- 
tions involved in Russia's earthquake efforts are: 



^ Gerald Rys, Assisunt Chief Scientist. New Zml^m^ Ministry of Research. Science and Technology, personal conununication, July 4. 
1995. 

'^JohnDuncan, Research Director, Building Research Association of New Zealand, personal conuininication. Jan. 17, I99S. 

^ Reasons include: I ) ongoing implementation of simple antiseismic measures based on early colonial experiences in severe earthquakes, 
and 2) the fact that the majority of New Zealanders live in single-dwelling, typically wood-framed structures. 

" SmiUi and Tliber. see foofflote 40. 

" Intenlependence relates to the effect of the outage of one utility service (e.g.. power) on the time required by another service to recover. 
The lifeline effort also designated critical areas — that is, where a number of lifelines are vulnerable in one location (e.g.. a bridge carrying water, 
gas, and power in addition to traffic). David Brundson, "Reducing C^ommunity VulnerabiUty to Earthquakes; The Value of Lifeline Studies," in 
Proceedings of the Natural Hazards Manageintni Workshop, see footnote 38, p. 10. 

^ U.S. Geological Survey, see footnote Z 



185 



1541 Reducing Earthquake Losses 



the Ministry of Russian Federation for Civil 
Defense, Emergencies and Elimination of Con- 
sequences of Natural Hazards; the Interdepart- 
mental Commission for Seismic Monitoring: and 
the Russian Academy of Sciences. Russia oper- 
ates several seismic and strong-motion monitor- 
ing stations. However, nearly all are still equipped 
with analog instruments and transmission meth- 
ods that limit the quantity and quality of data. The 
number of stations in operation has decreased in 
recent years due to lack of funding.^' 

In 1 994, the Russian government approved the 
establishment of a new program to develop a fed- 
eral system of seismological networks and earth- 
quake prediction, with several objectives: 

■ seismic hazard assessment, 

" prediction of strong earthquakes based on com- 
prehensive analysis of geophysical and geodet- 
ic precursors, 

■ epicentral seismological observations, 

■ strong-motion data for improvement of seismic 
resistant design and construction, 

■ implementation of mitigation measures in 
areas where strong earthquakes are expected in 
order to evaluate their effectiveness, and 

• development of methods for predicting human- 
triggered seismicity and for minimizing seis- 
micity induced by mining or reservoirs. 
The means to these ends include modernization of 
observation stations, data transfer and storage 
techniques, and improved coordination of the ef- 
forts of many ministries and agencies. As of late 



1994, however, the govemment had not allocated 
any flnancial resources to implement the pro- 
gram. -''° 

VEHICLES FOR COOPERATION 
AND COORDINATION 

A number of organizations and other mechanisms 
foster the international exchange of ideas and 
practices in the area of earthquake research, miti- 
gation, and response. For example, the U.S. Geo- 
logical Survey (USGS) and the National Science 
Foundation (NSF) maintain close working rela- 
tionships with Japan in earthquake seismology.^' 
In addition, for many years, the United Stales and 
Japan have held joint workshops under the aus- 
pices of the United States-Japan Panel on Wind 
and Seismic Effects (see box C-2). The United 
States has established and renewed scientific pro- 
tocols with the People's Republic of China, and 
with Russia and other members of the Common- 
wealth of Independent States. Cooperation be- 
tween the United States and Taiwan, and between 
Latin American states, is ongoing, and there are 
many such efforts with other countries. 

Japan also has established cooperative ex- 
changes with many countries, as have some other 
nations (e.g., Canada and France). There are mul- 
tilateral forums as well — notably the United Na- 
tions International Decade for Natural Disaster 
Reduction (IDNDR), established in 1 990 to pro- 
mote mitigation and cooperation worldwide.^^ 
Over the years, several regional programs have 



* According lo one reviewer, ihc disastrous Sakhalin Island earthquake of May 1995 illuslrales ihe decline of Russia's earthquake pro- 
gram: tfie seismic monitoring network had been shut off. there was apparently no plan to retrofit the apartment buildings that collapsed, and the 
emergency response effort sufTerrd from a shortage of resources. William L. Ellswoith. U.S. Geological Survey. Menlo Park, personal commu- 
nication, June 14. 199S. 

^ Yu S. Osipov, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, letter to V.F. Shuineiko. Chairman of the Federation Council of Ihe Federal 
Assembly of the Russian Federation. Nov. 1 . 1 994. in 'The Shikotan Earthquake of October 4<5). 1 994, " Russia's Fedrral System o/Seismolog- 
ical Nentorks and Earthquake Prtdiclicm, Information and Analytical Bulletin. Special Issue No. I , November 1 994. 

" Federal Emergency Management Agency et al., 'National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program: Five-Year Plan for 19921996," 
September 1991. p. 91. 

5^ The IDNDR sought, in part, to promote: Ihe integration of hazard reduction policies and practices into the mainstream of community 
activities; funding of additional research into the physical and social mechanisms of natural hazartls and Ihe disasters they precipitate; and elimi- 
nation of constrainu on the use of scientiTic and technical knowledge. National Research Council, The US National Report lo the IDNDR 
World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction. Yokohama. Japan, May 23-27, 1 994 (Washington, IXT: National Academy Press, 1994). p. I. 



186 



Appendix C International Earthquake Programs 1155 



^m 



The panel consists of 16 U.S. agencies, led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and 
six Japanese agencies. Over the years, the panel has 

• held 25 annual technical meetings for prompt exchange of research findings. 

• conducted more than 40 workshops and conferences on such topics as the repair and retrofit of struc- 
tures. 

• conducted cooperative post-earthquake investigations in Japan and in the United States. 

■ hosted visiting Japanese researchers and provided access for U.S. researchers to unique Japanese 
facilities, and 

• organized cooperative research programs on steel, concrete, masonry, and precast concrete struc- 
tures 

SOURCE: Rictiard Wright. Direclor. Building and Fire Research Laboratory National Institute ol Standards and Technology, testimony 
at hearings before the Senate Committee on Commerce. Science, and Transportation. Subcomminee on Scence, Technology, and 
Space. May 17. 1994. p3t 



been established, including projects in the Bal- 
kans, countries adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea, 
and central and South America.^^ 

In general, there is extensive cooperation with 
respect to the collection and sharing of earthquake 
data. With the Global Seismographic Network 
(GSN), earthquake source data are collected from 
and distributed to Europe, Latin America, Asia, 
and Australia.^^ The Global Geodetic Network 
uses high-resolution, space-based geodetic tech- 
niques to monitor crustal motion and deformation 
around the world. It is supported by NSF, the Na- 
tional Aeronautics and Space Administration, and 
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminis- 
tration, and by agreements with some 45 countries 
to exchange data and coordinate activities.'^ 

Post-earthquake investigations are another im- 
portant means of collectively assessmg the physi- 



cal and societal impacts of damaging earthquakes 
and spurring further progress in mitigating against 
seismic risks. The Post Earthquake Evaluation 
Program, initiated in 1992 by USGS, the United 
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Or- 
ganization, and the Open Partial Agreement on 
Major Hazards of the Council of Europe, has the 
following objectives; 
" create a mechanism for sharing information, 

■ strengthen interdisciplinary and interorganiza- 
tional interfaces, 

■ increase the worldwide capacity for post-earth- 
quake investigations, and 

• foster the adoption of prevention, mitigation, 
and preparedness measures.'^ 



'^ Paiticipaiing and sponsoring organizations include USGS, the U.S. Agency for Inieinational [Developnieni, the United Nations Educa- 
tional. Scientiric and CulturaJ Organization, and national governments. U.S. Geological Survey, see foouiote 2. p. II. 

^ Established by the Incoiporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) and jointly operated with the USGS Albuquerque Seismo- 
logical Laboratory, the University of California at San Diego's International IDeployment of Accelerometers group, and other memtieT universi- 
ties, the GSN is a rapidly expanding network of high-quality seismographs installed around the world for the purposes of earthquake and nu- 
clear test monitoring and related research. In addition to data from the GSN, the IRIS Data Maiugement Center has recently begun collecting 
data from international seismic networks operated by the Federation of Digital Seismic Networks. 

'' Office of ScieiKe and Techology Policy unpublished material. 

^ U.S. Geological Survey, see foomote 2. p. 42. 



187 



D 



Appendix D: 
Acronyms 



Caltech 


California Institute of Technology 


NEHRP 


National Earthquake Hazards Re- 


CDMG 


California Division of Mines and 




duction Program 




Geology 


NEIC 


National Earthquake Information 


CONCERT 


Coordinating Organization for 




Center 




Northern California Earthquake 


NIST 


National Institute of Standards and 




Research and Technology 




Technology 


CUBE 


Caltech-USGS Broadcast of Earth- 


NSF 


National Science Foundation 




quakes 


NSN 


National Seismograph Network 


CUSEC 


Central United States Earthquake 


PASSCAL 


Program for Array Seismic Studies 




Consortium 




of the Continental Lithosphere 


EWS 


Early Warning Systems 


R&D 


research and development 


FEMA 


Federal Emergency Management 


REDI 


Rapid Earthquake Data Integration 




Agency 


SAR 


synthetic aperture radar 


CIS 


Geographical Information System 


SCEC 


Southern California Earthquake 


GPS 


Global Positioning System 




Center 


IRIS 


Incorporated Research Institutions 


UBC 


Uniform Building Code 




for Seismology 


UNAVCO 


University Navstar Consortium 


M 


magnitude 


URM 


unreinforced masonry 


MMI 


Modified Mercalli Intensity 


uses 


U.S. Geological Survey 


Mw 


moment magnitude 


VLBI 


Very Long Baseline Interferometry 


NCEER 


National Center for Earthquake 
Engineering Research 







1561 



188 



Cnngreaa of the Sniteii States 

Office of Technology Assessment 

Washinoton. DC 20510-8025 



RCX3ER C. HEROMAN. DiREcron 

Embargoed for Release Contact: Jean McDonald 

jmcdonald@ota. gov 
Tuesday, September 26, f 995 (202) 228-6204 



U.S. REMAINS AT RISK FOR MAJOR EARTHQUAKE LOSSES 

Damaging earthquakes will strike the United States in the next few decades, causing at 
the minimum dozens of deaths and tens of billions of dollars in losses. However, although 
earthquakes are unavoidable, the deaths and financial and social losses they cause are not. 
Wider use of known technologies and practices to reduce losses could save lives and money, 
says the congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) in the report Reducing 
Earthquake Losses. 

The report, released today, finds that although recent damaging earthquakes in the 
United States have occurred on the West Coast, much of the Nation -including the East Coast - 
has experienced damaging earthquakes in the past, and is likely to do so in the future. And most 
areas are largely unprepared. 

Although the federal government has had a research-oriented earthquake program since 
1977, much of the United States remains at risk for significant earthquake losses. OTA reports 
that the federal earthquake program has improved our understanding of earthquakes and 
strategies to reduce their impact, but this understanding is often not applied. This 
"implementation gap' is in part the result of the federal program's strategy of supplying 
information, rather than using incentives or other methods to promote earthquake risk reduction. 

OTA points out several steps that could improve the federal program. The first is to 
target efforts at areas likely to yield large benefits-for example research on improving ways to 
strengthen existing buildings and reduce building damage (rather than focusing exclusively on 
preventing collapse), and evaluation of implementation efforts. The second is to set tangible and 
explicit goals for the overall program, and to regularty measure progress toward these goals. 
The third Is to consider changes in federal disaster assistance and related programs, to ensure 
that these programs promote implementation of known technologies and practices. 

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190 

Mr. Baker. Dr. Abrams, thank you for being here today. 

STATEMENT OF DR. DANIEL P. ABRAMS, PROFESSOR OF CIVIL 
ENGINEERING, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAM- 
PAIGN, REPRESENTING THE EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING 
RESEARCH INSTITUTE, OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Abrams. Thank you. I represent the Earthquake Engineer- 
ing Research Institute, known with the acronym, EERI, which was 
funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Insti- 
tute of Standards and Technology to conduct an assessment of 
earthquake engineering experimental capabilities in the United 
States. 

This was in response to the Public Law 103-74, which was the 
NEHRP Reauthorization Bill. And, Section 2 of that bill reads that, 
"The President shall conduct an assessment of earthquake engi- 
neering research and testing capabilities in the United States," and 
that the assessment should include the need for shake tables and 
other earthquake engineering research and testing facilities; two, 
options to cooperate internationally; three, projected costs for con- 
struction and maintenance of new facilities; and, four, options and 
recommendations to provide funding. 

The assessment procedure consisted of bringing together approxi- 
mately 65 of the nation's top earthquake engineering research ex- 
perts, which was conducted in San Francisco at a workshop last 
July. And, I would like to present the seven recommendations that 
were boiled down from the two days of discussions at that meeting. 

The first recommendation is that, "A comprehensive plan must 
be developed for experimental earthquake engineering research to 
effectively utilize existing laboratories and personnel, to upgrade 
facilities and equipment as needed, and to integrate new, innova- 
tive testing approaches into the research infrastructure in a sys- 
tematic manner." And, this was a result of several discussions on 
the importance of research and testing in reducing earthquake 
losses that are itemized in my written testimony. 

The second recommendation was in response to the needs for ex- 
perimental research. And, that reads, "Experimental research pro- 
grams must be pursued at an accelerated rate to advance the state 
of the £trt in seismic engineering and construction practices and, as 
a result, enhance public safety and reduce economic losses in fu- 
ture earthquakes." 

And, it was found that seismic behavior of our buildings and life- 
lines is a very complex, scientific issue and that experiments were 
needed on large or fuU-scale systems to understand their behavior. 
Unlike airplanes or automobiles that can be tested fuUy under dy- 
namic rates of loading before they are issued to the pubhc, the ma- 
jority of our buildings and bridges and lifelines have to wait for the 
first earthquake after they are built to be tested. 

And, of course, this goes at a huge expense to the nation. The 
combined losses, both indirect and du-ect, for both the Loma Prieta 
and the Northridge earthqusikes were approximately 5,000 times 
the annual budget for esirthquake experimental research. 

So, we don't want to have to wait for the earthqu£ike to happen. 
We would like to solve our problems beforehand. 



191 

Recommendation 3, the highest priority of all the experi;s was 
that existing labs, laboratories, must be upgraded and modernized 
with new testing equipment. And, this was stated to utilize what 
we have to the fullest extent. 

Because research funds are somewhat limited for earthquake en- 
gineering research, our laboratories are not fully utilized. Our 
present shake tables, of which there are five major ones in the U.S. 
and they are all of the small to medium caliber, are approximately 
25 percent. That's the utilization. 

Along with the upgrade — and the upgrade was estimated at 
about $60 million over a 5 to 10 year period — ^would be increased 
funds for experimental research to more fully utilize those facili- 
ties. And, that was estimated at approximately $50 million per 
year, which is approximately five times the present budget. 

Recommendation 4 and 5 dealt with the need for new facilities. 
Recommendation 4 reads, "As a second highest priority, a series of 
new, moderately-sized regional centers must be created with 
unique and complementary capabilities." 

And, this was to mean perhaps three to five centers of unique ca- 
pability, such as large shaking tables or medium to large shaking 
tables, static test facilities, structural engineering research labs, in 
general. This was estimated at $180 million to $300 million per 
year but requires a more extensive feasibility study to narrow that 
down and with operating costs of approximately $100 million per 
year. 

Costs to develop a single national test facility with a very large 
shaking table, one central place, was estimated in excess of $400 
million, based on the Japanese experience with the large shaking 
table at Tadotsu, Japan, which cost them approximately $300 mil- 
lion dollars just for the shaking table, not the laboratory itself. This 
type of funding was thought to be on the high end of the scale. 

And, before going further with that option, it was decided per- 
haps to have a detailed feasibility study to study the cost benefit 
ratios of having such a large investment in research. 

Recommendation 6 dealt with funding options for new facilities. 
This was a change in the bill for the President. 

And, the recommendation reads, "Future fimding of earthquake 
engineering research must be sought through alternate, innovative 
sources." Present funding levels for earthquake engineering re- 
search were found to be insufficient to utilize present facilities at 
their full potential, to upgrade existing facilities or to develop new 
facilities. 

Because of the impact of seismic damage on the national econ- 
omy £uid on defense, continued and increased federal support of 
earthquake engineering research programs was found to be critical. 
However, alternate sources of funding would be needed as well. 

And, there was some discussion at the workshop on exactly how 
to get these fiinds. Such approaches might include fees on construc- 
tion, a value-added tax on constructed works, enhanced insurance 
incentives and government-mandated research on new forms of 
construction. 

In general, the building industry has to support the research at 
an accelerated rate. 



192 

The last recommendation, Number 7, reads, "Existing coopera- 
tive resesirch programs with other countries should be continued 
and new programs should be estabhshed where the sharing of test- 
ing facilities and the exchange of data and research results is mu- 
tually advantageous." 

There are a number of existing cooperative programs underway 
with foreign countries on eeirthquake engineering research studies. 
There have been a number of international conferences and a num- 
ber of cooperative programs with Japan, in particular, with large 
scale testing. 

These should be continued. However, it should be noted that 
international programs by themselves should not be misconstrued 
as a replacement for upgrading of faciUties in this country. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Dr. Abrams follows:] 



193 



Hearing on the 
National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program 

Tuesday, October 24, 1995, 1:00pm 
Room 2318 Raybum HOB 



Testimony of: 
Dr. Daniel P. Abrams 

Professor of Civil Engineering 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

representing the 

Earthquake Engineering Research Institute 

Oakland, California 



Subcommittee on Basic Research 

Committee on Science 

U.S. House of Representatives 

Washington DC 20515 



194 



BACKGROUND 

On August 22, 1994, the United States Senate passed an act to authorize appropriations for carrying out 
the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 for fiscal years 1994, 1995 and 1996 (Public Law 103- 
74). Section 2. of the Senate bill as reproduced below describes the need for a national assessment of 
earthquake engineering research and test facilities. 

SEC. 2. EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING ASSESSMENT. 

(a) ASSESSMENT ■ The President shall conduct an assessment of earthquake engineering 
research and testing capabilities in the United States. This assessment shall include: 

(1) the need for shake tables and other earthquake engineering research arui testing 
facilities in the United States; 

(2) options to cooperate with other countries that have developed complementary 
earthquake engineering and testing programs and facilities: 

(3) projected costs for construction, rruiintenance, and operation of new earthquake 
engineering research and testing facilities in the United States; and 

(4) options arui recommeruiations to provide funding for the construction arui operation of 
new earthquake engineering and testing facilities, including the feasibility and 
advisability of developing a comprehensive earthqualce engineering research and testing 
program within the scope of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977. 

(b) DEADLINE - The assessment required by subsection (a) shall be transmitted to Congress 
within nine months after the date of enactment of this Act. 

The Senate bill was approved in the House of Representatives on October 4, 1994 and was signed by 
President Clinton on October 20, 1994. 

In response to this directive, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and 
Technology awarded a grant to the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute to conduct this 
assessment. This report summarizes results of this assessment and provides recommendations for future 
development of earthquake engineering research and test facilities in the United States of America. The 
expectation of preparing this report is that the President may use this information in preparing a response 
to the issues addressed in the Senate bill. 

The assessment procedure consisted of bringing together sixty five of the nation's leading experts in 
earthquake engineering research to discuss the state of existing experimental capabilities and needs for 
the future relative to the four issues listed above. Twelve commissioned papers were presented to 
stimulate discussions in break-out groups on various topics related to existing and future research and 
testing capabiUties, and needs for experimental earthquake research. 

This executive summary provides condensed statements that reflect the general findings and key 
recommendations of the workshop participants. Additional recorrunendations and supporting discussions 
are given in the main body of this report. 



195 



ASSESSMENT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 

The Importance of Research and Testing in Reducing Losses from Earthquakes 

A significant reduction in economic and other losses from future earthquakes in the United States can be 
realized through an accelerated and coordinated national program of earthquake engineenng research and 
testing. The direct benefits of such a program would include: 

• improved knowledge of the complex phenomena controlling seismic performance of structures and 
Ufelines; 

• rapid development of reliable and cost effective design guidelines and standards, verified through 
research and testing, for the design and construction of new structures and for the evaluation and 
rehabilitation of seismically vulnerable and h<izardous existing structures and lifelines; 

• increased competitiveness and productivity of the U.S. construction industry through the introduction 
of new and high performance materials, structural systems, and construction procedures as well as of 
innovative engmeering concepts for reduction of seismic risk; 

• development of a technically sound basis for actions and policy decisions by government leaders, 
insurance brokers, owners and others; and 

• an expanded base of trained design professionals, educators and researchers capable of addressing 
the serious technical challenges of reducing the risks posed by earthquakes. 

To implement this earthquake engineering research requires the formulation of a comprehensive national 
program as well as systematic upgrading and augmentation of existing research and testing facilities. The 
cost of improved facilities and expanded support of experimental research will be a small percentage of 
the benefits accruing from this program for a single, moderate-intensity earthquake occurring in or near a 
highly developed urban region. 

Several examples can be shown of how limited amounts of research have already improved seismic 
performance and reduced earthquake losses associated with buildings, bridges and lifelines. The 
dramatically improved responses of new versus older reinforced concrete bridges and buildings during 
the Notthridge earthquake are but two statements of the efficacy of past NEHRP-fiinded research efforts. 
However, the poor performance of many older buildings and infrastructure systems, as well as of modem 
steel structures, and the tremendous economic losses and social disruption caused by earthquake damages 
to the built environment, vividly demonstrate the potential and need of a much more aggressive program 
of experimental research for minimizing losses associated with fiitiue earthquakes. 

Development of a comprehensive earthquake engineering research and testing program within the scope 
of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 is feasible and essential, and is strongly advised if the 
nation is to benefit fully from its research investment. Present human resources and the existing research 
infrastructure offer a foundation on which to base such as program. The existing NEHRP agencies can 
provide the impetus for development of a comprehensive program. Planning should be consistent with 
the objectives of the new National Earthquake Loss Reduction Program (NEP), and should include and 
encourage research conducted by coalitions and consortia of organizations from research, professional 
engineering and industrial sectors of our society. 

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196 



The Need for Experimental Research 

Seismic behavior of structures is complex, not only because of the erratic nature of the movements of the 
ground, but because the dynamic oscillations produced by these movements strain a structure well 
beyond the elastic range of behavior encountered under more common gravity and wind loadings. 
Everyday experiences of structural engineers cannot be relied upon to counter the extreme responses 
produced by earthquakes. Some response and damage patterns have yet to be discovered because of the 
short history of constructed works and the rapid evolution of building st^tndards relative to the timing of 
major earthquakes. Thousands of buildings can be constructed before one leams of a deficiency that is 
common to them all, like the steel buildings affected by the Northridge earthquake. 

Mathematical models for analyses of structural systems are generally much more simpler than the actual 
mechanisms they represent. Substantial difficulty exists in predicting repeated, cyclic deformations of a 
structure during a major earthquake. As a result, earthquake reconnaissance has been a primary means of 
validating and improving design methods. Unfortunately, this has proven to be a slow process, and lacks 
the quantitative aspects needed to improve engineering tools and judgment. Unlike laboratory 
experiments where the loading can be systematically controlled to examine various stages of behavior, 
actual earthquakes are events of uncontrollable intensity, frequency content, duration and location. 

Laboratory and field studies investigating seismic response of structures are a fundamental part of 
earthquake engineering research, and must be pursued. Laboratory and field testing along with 
coordinated analytical and design research can allow us to systematically improve design methods and 
validate the performance of new structural systems and construction methods prior to a catastrophic 
earthquake. 

Recommendation 2 

Experimental research programs must be pursued at an accelerated rate to advance the state of the art in 
seismic engineering and construction practices, and as a result, enhance put)lic safety and reduce 
economic losses in future earthquakes. 



197 



The State of Present Facilities 

The state of expenmental facilities for earthquake engineering research has not developed at a pace 
consistent with the needs for an improved understanding and awareness of earthquake hazards. In lieu of 
having more reliable and cost effective systems developed through advanced experimental studies, 
avoidable losses continue to reoccur after every damaging eanhquake. 

Past experimental research studies have led to remarkable improvements in seismic performance of 
structures. The excellent performance of new construction in recent earthquakes demonstrates the 
effectiveness of the research approach, and provides an indication of the potential of a much more 
aggressive experimental program for reducing losses m future events. However, earthquake engineenng 
research and test facilities in the US are outdated. Minimum capabilities necessary for testing 
components of major buildings, bridges and lifelines with confidence are lacking. Our laboratories are 
not equipped at levels available in countries with whom we must compete in a global market. For 
instance, the largest shaking table in the U.S. has a platform size of 20 feet by 20 feet which cannot be 
used to test full-size models of even the smallest structures, nor can it be used to subject them to ground 
deformations even approximating those representative of recent earthquakes. Moreover, many major 
U.S. laboratories are in poor condition and technically obsolete. 

If experimental capabilities are not improved, the present rate of earthquake engineering research cannot 
possibly satisfy the demand to construct and rehabilitate structures and hfelines, to ensure public safety 
during earthquakes, and to mitigate losses from future catastrophic earthquakes. Strategic upgrading of 
existing core laboratories in the United States using state of the art equipment, innovative testing 
technologies, and minor capital improvements will significantly increase earthquake engineering research 
and testing capabilities. An implementation study is needed immediately to formulate a comprehensive 
plan balancing needs, relative contributions and upgrade costs of individual laboratories across the 
country. 

Along with upgrading facilities, the volume of experimental research needs to be increased to exploit the 
potential of available personnel and laboratories, and to enhance the utilization of present facilities. A 
gradual and systematic investment in capital improvements should be matched with a steady increase in 
support for experimental research. 

The capital costs for upgrade of facilities in existing U.S. laboratories are estimated at $60 million spread 
over a five to ten year period. The costs of research, operation and maintenance of these facilities are 
estimated at $40 to $50 million per year. 

Recommendation 3 

As the highest priority, existing iatxratories must l>e upgraded and modernized with new testing equipment 



198 



The Need for New Facilities and Projected Costs 

New facilities and procedures are needed to test representative specimens of large-scale buildings, 
bridges and lifelines. The minimum credible portion of an actual structural system and the minimum 
acceptable scale of specimen set the minimum dimensions of earthquake simulation facilities at a size 
much larger than presently exists in the United States. 

Innovative earthquake simulation techniques should be considered such as the use of a series of small, 
multiple shakers in lieu of a single large shaking table. Improved methods and equipment for field and 
on-site testing should also be developed. 

A series of moderately-sized new laboratories with unique and complementary testing capabilities are 
required. Such facilities need not be centralized, but could be constructed cost effectively at regional 
centers close to existing laboratories where personnel and ancillary equipment already exist. Capital 
expenditures for all regional centers are expected in the range of $180 to $300 million with total 
operating budgets in excess of $100 million per year. Estimating costs for constructing compatible, 
special purpose large-scale testing facilities requires detailed feasibility studies based on development of 
a future comprehensive national plan for experimental research. 

Recommendation 4 

As a second highest priority, a series of new, moderately-sized regional centers must be created with 

unique, and complementary capabilities. 

Costs to develop a single national testing facility with a large shaking table and/or large reaction wall are 
estimated in excess of $400 million. Annual operating costs for a national facility are estimated in excess 
of $100 million. 

These figures are based on development costs for a large-scale earthquake simulation facility in Tadotsu, 
Japan where a single 49-foot square shaking table cost the Japanese approximately $300 million in 
present dollars. Annual operational costs for this large-scale test facility are approximately one third of 
the development cost. Cost estimates are adjusted for development in the less expensive U.S. 
construction market. 

A single national facility with a large shaking table and/or a large reaction wall may not have as 
significant an impact on earthquake hazard reduction as a series of regional centers of moderate size, 
each with special capabilities. The large capital expenditure and operating cost, and lengthy 
development time associated with construction of a large facility, may not be commensurate with benefits 
obtained by doing such large-scale experiments. For a fraction of the operating costs associated with a 
single large facility, a number of research and testing programs could take place at regional centers and 
smaller institutions that could possibly yield a larger amount of research information than at a single, 
large facility. 

Recommendation 5 

A detailed feasibility study should be undertaken to estimate benefit-to-cost ratios associated with 

development, maintenance and operation of a single, national test facility. 



199 



Funding Options for New Facilities 

Present funding levels for earthquake engineering research are insufficient to utilize present facilities at 
their full potential, to upgrade existing facilities, or to develop new facilities. Because of the impact of 
seismic damage on the national economy and on defense, continued and increased federal support of 
earthquake engineering research programs is critical. However, alternate sources of funding will be 
needed as well. 

The U.S. construction industry is extremely competitive, and does not commit to funding of research 
unless problems arise that pose a threat to proprietary markets, such as the concern over steel weld 
failures following the Northridge earthquake. Even under these circumstances, the contribution of the 
U.S. construction industry is small. 

If industry is to participate in, and provide support for research, incentives and requirements will need to 
be changed or developed. Creative approaches for developing research funds are needed if seismic 
mitigation is to proceed at acceptable levels. Such approaches might include fees on construction, a 
value added tax on constructed works, enhanced insurance incentives, and government mandated 
research on new forms of construction. In general, building owners and construction companies need to 
develop an improved awareness of earthquake hazards to appreciate the worth of enhanced research 
programs on performance of their structures. 

Recommendation 6 

Future funding of eartftqualce engineering research must be sought through alternate, innovative sources. 



200 



The Role of International Cooperation 

Existing cooperative programs between the United States and other countries have proven to be 
beneficial in the past, and should be continued. Multinational cooperation between the U.S. and other 
countries should be pursued for funding projects of mutual interest, for exchange of personnel, and for 
effective utilization and sharing of specialized equipment and facilities. The model set forth by the 
European Community for multinational coordination of research should be considered. 

Cooperative initiatives should be strengthened following destructive earthquakes in foreign countries to 
broaden the educational component associated with reconnaissance studies and international exchange of 
data and research results. 

Because of differences in construction methods and the need to conduct academic research near home 
institutions, international programs should not be misconstrued as a replacement for upgrading of 
facilities and development of research programs in the U.S. 

Recommendation 7 

Existing cooperative research programs with other countries should be continued, and new programs 
should be established where ttie sharing of testing facilities, and the exchange of data and research results 
is mutually advantageous. 



201 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Executive Summary i 

Preface xi 

Assessment of Earthquake Engineenng Research and Test Facilities 1 

1. Background and Purpose 1 

2. Past Assessment Efforts 3 

3. Assessmentl^ocedure 5 

4. Evaluation of Existing Capabilities 7 

5. The Need for New Earthquake Engineering Test Facilities 9 

6. Development of a Comprehensive National Research Program 11 

7. Projections of Future Research Capabilities and Results 13 

8. Options for International Cooperation 15 

9. Operation and Maintenance of New National Facilities 19 

10. Concluding Remarks 25 

References 27 

Appendix A: Commissioned Papers 29 

Appendix B; Workshop Information 31 

B.l Workshop Program 33 

B.2 Discussion Group Attendance 35 

B.3 Workshop Participant List 39 



202 



PREFACE 

An assessment of national research and test facilities for earthquake engineering research was done in 
response to a need expressed in the NEHRP reauthorization act of October, 1994 (Public Law 103-374). 
With sponsorship of the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and 
Technology, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) conducted the assessment during a 
five-month period starting in May of 1995. This report summarizes this assessment. 

The study was assigned to the EERI Expenmental Research Committee whose chair served as chair of 
the assessment Steenng Committee. The Steering Committee included six individuals in addition to the 
chair who represented experimental earthquake engineering researchers as well as engineers who rely on 
experimental data. A Project Manager was appointed by the Steering Committee to assist with 
coordination of a workshop and preparation of this report. 

The primary element of the assessment -as a workshop which was held on July 31 and August 1, 1995 in 
San Francisco. Sixty-five invited participants representing the earthquake engineenng research and 
professional community attended. Authors of twelve commissioned papers presented their conclusions 
and recommendations on various topics related to earthquake engineering research and test facilities. 
This was followed by focused discussions on six specific topics in break-out sessions (three per day) of 
nominally twenty experts each. Summaries of discussion groups were presented at plenary sessions 
where further discussion took place. 

The assessment was done with the expectation that the F»resident may use this information in preparing a 
response to the issues addressed in Public Law 103-374. Specific statements are made with respect to the 
need for upgrading and modernizing existing testing facilities in the U.S., the need for new national 
research and test facilities in the U.S., options for multinational cooperation, projected costs for 
construction, operation and maintenance of new research facilities, options for funding of future 
experimental earthquake engineering research, and the feasibility of developing a comprehensive national 
research program. Recommendations have been gleaned from statements made in the workshop 
discussions as well as from the invited papers. Though no formal consensus process was followed, the 
recommendations and priorities stated herein represent the general sentiments of the workshop 
participants. 

The recommendations identify future actions, if acted upon, that will significantly reduce earthquake 
losses by improving the earthquake engineering research and testing capability in the United States as it 
enters the twenty-first century. 



Daniel P. Abrams 

Chair, Steering Committee 



James E. Beavers 
Project Director 



203 



ASSESSMENT OF EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING 
RESEARCH AND TEST FACILITIES 



1 . Background and Purpose 

Damage to buildings, bndges and lifelines during the October 17. 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and the 
January 17, 1994 Northndge earthquake resulted in substantial economic loss. Estimates of over $50 
billion in damage and business losses were reported for these two urban earthquakes. In addition over a 
100 deaths were attributable to the pair of events. Future earthquakes of larger magnitude than either of 
these two events are predicted to occur in the United States in the next thirty years, and economic losses 
are expected to well exceed those incurred in 1989 and 1994. 

With the proper application of engineering principles, fatalities and economic losses resulting from 
moderate and strong earthquake motions can be reduced. This requires improved knowledge of how 
structures and lifelines behave when excited by ground motions during earthquakes. Unlike automobiles 
or aircraft that are proof tested repeatedly at full scale before being issued to the public, the seismic 
safety and performance of buildings, bridges and lifelines cannot be verified with full-scale prototype 
tests because of their large size and complexity relative to available testing facilities. Similarly, the large 
number of different types of structural systems, configurations and materials makes it economically 
infeasible to proof test all structures. Instead, relatively simple methods based on theoretical 
considerations, and tests of materials and small scale members are generally used in design. 

Advanced computer simulations for estimating dynamic response of complex buildings, bridges or 
lifeline systems cannot be relied on with confidence because programmed algorithms cannot be 
confumed without tests. Because of limitations in available testing hardware, and the unduly 
extrapolations that must be made between idealizations and dynamic response of actual structures, our 
knowledge and confidence in seismic response of structures is limited. Because of this uncertainty, the 
degree of seismic safety for most of the existing structures and lifelines in the United States cannot be 
precisely estimated. We only learn, generally too late, when we suffer a major earthquake. 

In an effort to bring this issue to a national forefront, the NEHRP Reauthorization Bill of 1994 (Public 
Law 103-374) requires that the President shall conduct an assessment of earthquake engineering research 
and testing capabilities in the United States. As stated in the act: This assessment shall include--- (I) the 
need for shake tables and other earthquake engineering research and testing facilities in the United 
States: (2) options to cooperate with other countries that have developed complementary earthquake 
engineering research and testing programs and facilities; (3) projected costs for construction, 
mairaeruince, and operation of new earthquake engineering research and testing facilities in the United 
States: and (4) options and recommeruUuions to provide funding for the construction and operation of 
new earthquake engineering and testing facilities, including the feasibility and advisability of developing 
a comprehensive earthquake engineering research and testing program within the scope of the 
Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977. 

According to Rep. George Brown, Jr. (D-Califomia), then Chairman of the House Science Comntittee, 
which has jurisdiction over earthquake research: This assessmeru will address the growing concern that 
U.S. testing of building designs and construction methods cannot keep pace with the demand to construct 
such structures and ensure public safety during earthquakes. 

Since the NEHRP Reauthorization Bill was signed into law, the Hyogo-Ken Nanbu earthquake occumed 
near Kobe Japan on the first anniversary of the Northndge event. Observations of severe damage in a 
country known for its stringent seismic standlards underscored the need for further earthquake 



204 



engineering research. Casualties in Kobe exceeded 5000, and economic losses from tliis single event are 
estimated to exceed $200 billion, or one percent of Japan's gross national product. The extent of damage 
to the national infrastructure of Japan was severe with the collapse or damage of structures and lifelines 
needed for housing, business, industry, transportation and trade. Much of this loss could have been 
prevented if experiences with strong shaking of these structures could have been developed in a 
controlled scientific manner before the disaster. In such case, a systematic plan of rehabilitation could 
have been implemented to mitigate the earthquake hazard posed by existing structures and lifelines, and 
to avoid compounding this problem by constructing new buildings with undetected vulnerabilities 

In response to Public Law 103-374, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of 
Standards and Technology (two of the NEHRP federal agencies) awarded a grant to the Earthquake 
Engineering Research Institute to perform an assessment of national earthquake engineering research and 
test facilities. To give structure to the assessment study, the same issues were addressed as given m the 
public law. This report is a summary of this effort, and has been prepared in anticipation of being used 
as reference material for the President's assessment. 



205 



2. Past Assessment Efforts 

As noted below, previous assessment effons on earthquake engineenng research and test facilities date 
back to 1973. References for each effort are given in Section 4. 

1 . NRC/NAE/NSF Workshop on Simulation of Earthquake Effects on Structures, San Francisco CA 
September 1973. 

2. EERl Workshop on Experimental Research Needs, Los Altos, CA, November 1982. 

3. NRC Study on Earthquake Engineering Facilities and Instrumentation, San Francisco CA March 
1984. 

4. NBS National Earthquake Engineering Experimental Facility Study. Phase I - Large Scale Testing 
Needs, Gaithersburg, MD, November 1986. 

5. NRC Review of NBS Phase I Survey on Large-Scale Testing Needs, NRC Committee on Earthquake 
Engineering's Advisory Panel, Spnng 1986. 

6. US-PRC Workshop on Experimental Methods, Tongji University, Shanghai, November 1992. 

7. US-Japan Seminar on Structural Testing Techniques: Development and Future Dimensions of 
Structural Testing Techniques, Honolulu, HI, June 1993. 

One common thread in all of these prior assessments was an expressed need for improvements in 
experimental methods and facilities. Each study emphasized the need for large-scale testing to provide 
information regarding structural behavior of actual structures during earthquakes. 

One recommendation from the 1973 NRC/NAE/NSF study was that a few (two to four) medium size ( 20 
to 40 ft.) shaking tables should be built and stationed around the country. The participants thought that 
each table should be considered a national facility, designed with different characteristics of motion (one 
to SIX components), frequency range, level of acceleration, and geometric configuration. As stated in 
1973, these tables should be operational in the next five to ten years. No immediate need was evident for 
the construction of a large-size table, say the 100 foot by 100 foot size, however, the possibly of a need 
for a large shaking table was perceived in perhaps the next seven or eight years. 

The 1982 EERI workshop emphasized the need for a shaking table that is approximately 50 feet by 25 
feet, and the establishment of regional centers with medium-sized facilities that are available to 
university researchers. In addition, smaller satellite laboratories would feed into the regional centers. 
The two bilateral woricshops on experimental methods in earthquake engineering held with the Chinese 
in 1992 and with the Japanese in 1993 provided specific resolutions regarding testing technology, and 
continued to emphasize that improvements in experimental methods were needed. 



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3. Assessment Procedure 

The procedure for conducting the assessment was to bring together over sixty of the nation's leading 
experts in earthquake engineering research and practice for a two-day workshop. Through detailed 
discussions on an assortment of technical issues, specific recommendations were made. A set of twelve 
conunissioned papers were presented at the workshop to stimulate discussions among participants, and 
are summarized in Appendix A. Details of the workshop such as the program, list of invited participants 
and discussion group assignments are given in Appendix B. 

The following sections present summaries of responses to various questions in six subject areas (see 
Table 1) that were expressed by groups of nominally twenty participants (see Appendix B.2 for listmg of 
participants by discussion group). Following each discussion group meeting, summaries were presented 
to a plenary session of nominally sixty experts for their response and further discussion. The statements 
that follow represent a general agreement from these plenary discussions, and constitute the basis for the 
recommendations. 



Table 1 
Discussion Group Topics 

Discussion Group Topic 

A Evaluation of Existing Facilities 

B The Need for New Earthquake Test Facilities 

C Development of a Comprehensive National Research Program 

D Projections of Future Research Capabilities and Results 

E Options for Multinational Cooperation 

F Operation and Maintenance of New National Facilities 



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4. Evaluation of Existing Capabilities 



4.1 Identify existing research and testing facilities in the United States, and categorize them with 
regard to function, versatility, capacity, useful life, etc. 

The capability of earthquake engineering research and testing facilities has improved significantly since 
the 1973 NRC/NAE/NSF Workshop. For example, the two shaking tables in operation m 1973 (at the 
Universities of California and Illinois) have been augmented with an additional fifteen shaking tables of 
various sizes at iaboratones across the nation. Today, over thirty institutions have some sort of testing 
facilities that are used for earthquake engineering research. 

In terms of major facilities, there are presently in the U.S. five shake tables, three reaction walls, four 
geotechnical centnfuges, and sixteen floor reaction systems. In the rest of the world, there are fourteen 
shake tables (twelve in Japan), seven reaction walls (six in Japan), eleven geotechnical centrifuges, and 
twenty floor reaction systems of the same size or larger. Following the 1995 Kobe earthquake, the 
Japanese government and construction industry are examining the need for an increase in large-scale 
shaking tables, reaction walls and loading devices. 

The largest shaking tables in the U.S. are at the University of California at Berkeley (20 ft x 20 ft ) the 
State University of New York at Buffalo (12 ft. x 12 ft.), the University of Ilhnois at Urbana-Champaign 
(12 ft X 12 ft), the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (12 ft. x 12 ft.) and the 
University of California at San Diego (10 ft. x 16 ft), however, they are considered as small to medium 
sized tables. The payload capacity of these tables range from 15,000 to 120,000 lbs. Recent upgrades to 
the tables at Berkeley and USA CERL provide capability to excite test stmctures with three-dimensional 
earthquake motions. 

Smaller shaking tables are in operation at ANCO, Cornell University, the California Instimte of 
Technology, ETEC, Georgia Institute of Technology, Rice University, Stanford University, the 
University of California at Berkeley, the University of Southern California, Westinghouse Electric 
Company, and Wyle Laboratories. New tables are being acquired at the University of Nevada at Reno 
and the University of California at Irvine. 

Static test facilities with reaction walls higher than 30 feet exist at the Budd Company, Uhigh 
University, National Institute of Standards and Technology, the University of CaJifomia at Berkeley, the 
University of California at San Diego, and the University of Minnesota. Lower reaction walls with three- 
dimensional loading capability exist at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Michigan and 
the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In contrast, at the Building Research Institute in 
Tsukuba Japan, a reaction wall with a height of 82 feet has been used to test full-scale seven story 
buildings. In addition, there are numerous structural engineering laboratories in Japan with reaction walls 
comparable to the largest available in the U.S. 

Geotechnical centrifiiges with earthquake simulators presently exist at the California Institute of 
Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University of California at Davis, and the University of 
Colorado at Boulder. New centrifiiges are being acquired at the Waterways Experiment Station and at 
Princeton University. Because centrifuges were installed much later than structural engineering test 
facilities, upgrade of them is not as high of a priority at present. 

In general, most facilities have been utilized far less than they could if sufficient research funds were 
available. The current utilization of many U.S. shaking tables is approximately 25%. This under 
utilization is not because of a lack of technical problems to be solved, but because of limited funds. 



208 



4.2 What are the limitations of using reduced-scale models of structures, or testing at static rates? 

Reduced-scale models can be used to verify and develop analytical models for determining global 
response, and to help understand local mechanisms observed in much more costly large-scale tests. 

Reduced-scale models cannot reproduce many modes of nonlinear behavior of a prototype structure. 
Large-scale test specimens are needed to observe phenomena such as weld fracture in steel structures or 
bond-slip of reinforcing bars in a concrete or masonry structure. Moreover, reduced-scale models may 
not be able to physically represent prototype construction. Properties of materials may be drastically 
different at a reduced scale (e.g. notch toughness in steel specimens and confinement effects in 
reinforced concrete specimens). 

The interaction of structural, architectural and mechanical systems must be best tested in a full-scale 
specimen because the details of construction defy modeling at a reduced scale. 

Full-scale testing is required for ultimate validation of new design provisions. 

Strengths and stiffnesses are laiown to increase with strain rate making results of static tests conservative. 
However, some types of structural elements tend to become more brittle as they are loaded dynamically 
reversing this trend. 

The distribution of lateral forces changes continually during dynamic loading. This effect can be 
modeled using the pseudodynamic method, however, loading rates need to be sufficiently fast so that 
stiffnesses will not reduce artificially during the load duration. 

4.3 How have earthquake hazards been reduced with past experimental research? 

Past research has provided a major contribution to the development of new structural systems and design 
codes. The impact of code improvements have been demonstrated with the superior performance of 
modem buildings and bridges in the recent Loma Prieta, Northridge and Kobe earthquakes. 

The practice of earthquake engineering has improved significantly as a result of research. The 
development of new structural systems such as ductile moment-resisting frames, coupled shear walls, and 
eccentrically braced frames, and the advent of new concepts for reducing seismic demands on structures 
(e.g. base isolation and passive damping) is very much a result of experimental research. 

Most of the new knowledge on structural performance has been derived fix>m experimental studies in 
addition to field observations and analytical models. 

4.4 Project how the state-of-the-art in earthquake engineering will be advanced if experimental 
capabilities in the United States remain the same. 

If capabilities remain the same, the present pace of experimental research will decUne steadily because 
more efforts must be directed at maintenance of aging equipment. Studies will continue to rely primarily 
on static tests of components, and assumptions will continue to be made regarding relations between 
loading rates and scales. Confidence levels will remain low with respect to dynamic characteristics of 
structural systems until data is provided by a future earthquake of damaging intensity. 



209 



5. The Need for New Earthquake Engineering Test Facilities 

5.1 What types and quantity of experimental research needs to be done to keep pace with the demand 
to construct engineering structures and ensure public safety during earthquakes? 

The Loma Prieta, Northridge, and Kobe earthquakes caused extraordinary damage in urban areas where 
the performance of many engineered structures was poor. These recent earthquakes caused unacceptable 
infrastructure performance which could have been prevented by an understanding resulting from 
expenmental research, full and large-scale experimentation, and proof or performance testing of 
structural systems and components. An impediment to rehabilitation of potentially deficient structures is 
that evaluation and retrofit procedures have not been verified with regard to their reliability and cost 
effectiveness. 

Large structures, such as bridges and buildings, require large-scale experimental studies to understand 
their behavior during seismic excitation. Emerging aseismic systems such as active and passive energy 
dissipation systems also demand proof testing using large-scale experiments. Structures, components and 
their interactions for large industrial facilities such as chemical plants, power generation facilities and 
lifeline faciUties require large-scale experimentation to fully understand their seismic behavior. 

Large-scale research and testing facilities can address the types of experiments as listed below. The 
listing is not exhaustive. Ex2miples are given to demonstrate the types of problems that can be explored if 
large-scale test equipment were available. 

• Tests on building and bridge components and systems to define behavioral characteristics that need 
to be known for development of new engineering procedures for newly constructed structures, 
rehabilitation of undamaged structures prior to future earthquakes, and repair of damaged structures 
following earthquakes. 

• Tests on building structures to define performance limit states for improved economical design, and 
loss estimation. 

• Static and dynamic testing of three-dimensional structural systems to define interactions between 
components. 

• Full-scale static tests of building structures and half-scale tests of bridge structures to verify scaling 
relations with smaller scale models. 

5.2 What are the needs for small, medium and large, and muUaxis shake tables in the United States? 

A high priority should be assigned to upgrading and maintaining the small and medium-sized shaking 
tables cturently in operation. Most of these tables had their origins in the 1960's and 1970's, and need to 
be upgraded with more modem operating systems, and then maintained in a state of high readiness and 
availability. 

Earthquake simulation testing facilities with the capability to test large structures are necessary to fiirther 
explore earthquake mitigation strategies and prevent undesired economic consequences of future 
earthquakes. One large facility is needed to test structures with plan dimensions on the order of 50 feet. 
In addition, two regional shaking table facilities ate needed where structures of approximately one half 
this size can be tested. The most recent technologies should be incorporated into the design of these 
tables and operating systems. Alternate approaches should be used in the development of these 
earthquake simulators to reduce cost. For example, multiple small-sized tables may be linked together in 
synchronization to excite a large-scale specimen with identical motions at its base. The same tables 



210 



could be used in a different configuration to subject long-span bndge structures or piping systems to 
multiple excitations. 

5.3 What are the needs for other earthquake engineering research and testing facilities in the United 
States, and how might they be used to reduce earthquake hazards? 

Not all tests need to be done using a shaking table. Research and testing facilities other than shaking 
tables are essential elements of a complete national research and test program, and may include strong 
walls and reaction frames, and portable servohydraulic actuators for static loading of test specimens in 
the laboratory or in the field. These types of equipment can be used in harmony with shaking tables to 
develop a comprehensive understanding of the seismic behavior of structural systems and components. 

A high prionty should be assigned to preserving existing capabilities through equipment upgrades and 
regular maintenance so that availability and reliability remain high. 

A second high priority should be to supplement existing research and test facilities with the following 
equipment. 

• Two new strong walls for static testing of full-scale buildings up to eight stories in height. 

• Several small strong walls for static testing of full-scale buildings up to two stories in height. 

• Field testing equipment for loading to failure of actual buildings and bridges that are scheduled for 
demolition. 

• Facilities for testing large-scale buried pipes and foundation piles that can be used in conjunction 
with a large shaking table. 

5.4 What is an ideal combination of shaking tables (large, medium and small), large-scale reaction 
walls, field test equipment, instrumented actual structures, etc. ? 

Damage in recent earthquakes has demonstrated the need for a comprehensive set of experimental 
facilities nationwide. Not only are new shaking table facilities needed as noted in Section 5.2 but also 
the test equipment as noted in Section 5.3 are required. Development of new dynamic facilities should 
occur in concert with development of new static facilities as well to obtain an optimal blend of 
capabilities for the expenditure. 

The ideal combination of static and dynamic test facilities should be determined through development of 
a comprehensive national plan for earthquake engineering research. 



211 



6. Development of a Comprehensive National Research Program 

A quick assessment of the needs to allow the existing institutions and research teams to function 
effectively indicated that there was a critical need for modernizing and maintaining the physical facilities 
that are now available. 

The national research budget should be based on the needed research in each particular technical area. 
An estimate of $40 to $50 million per year was made for earthquake experimental research in all areas 
including structures, geotechnical and lifeline research In order to carry out this work in existing 
laboratories, an initial upgrade of facilities was estimated at $60 million. 

• Progress toward solving earthquake engineenng problems was not being hindered necessarily by lack 
of testing facilities, but rather by insufficient funding of research projects. Any funds available 
should be used with a gradual and systematic investment of capital improvements and a steady 
increase in the number and value of research projects in the laboratories selected for improvement. 
Such funding would allow the full capacity of the nation's experimental facilities to be developed, 
provide training for the next generation of researchers and laboratory staff, and represent a 
sustainable research effort. 

6.1 If a regional network of earthquake engineering laboratories were to be developed, what division 
of capabilities between laboratories would be the most advantageous? 

The need for a large-shaking table cannot be assessed until the capabilities of present U.S. shaking tables 
currently being upgraded or installed are fully understood. For example, the new modular shaking table 
concept soon to be developed at the University of Nevada needs to be implemented before judgments can 
be made regarding the feasibility of having a large-scale shake table such as the one at Tadotsu Japan. 

A number of reaction wall facilities presently exist in the U.S. but may lack either the lateral-load 
capacity, height or multiaxis capability to be used for some large-scale testing needs. A high priority 
should be assigned to evaluating the need for additional reaction wall facilities relative to the earthquake 
problems to be solved. 

A high priority should be assigned to establishing procedures, equipment and instrumentation and 
personnel for field testing. Such studies may include tests of structures scheduled for demolition, 
nondestructive evaluation of response, and performance of actual structural systems and components. 
The problems of scale and boundary conditions make laboratory studies of soil-structure interaction, 
lifelines, nonstructural elements and rehabilitation problematic, and require field studies of actual 
structures. 

6.2 If funds were available for new testing facilities, what should be the relative allocation of 
resources for small, medium and large earthquake engineering test facilities nationwide? 

There is an immediate need to upgrade and network existing laboratories and personnel, and to achieve 
full utilization of capabilities through sustainable research funding. Once this is done, then resources for 
new facilities should be considered based on an in-depth needs and allocation study. 

6.3 How should a comprehensive national research program be administered or coordinated? 

An administrative concept proposed at the 1984 EERI workshop is recommended. The concept consists 
of having one national center that is supported by regional laboratories and a larger number of "feeder" 
laboratories. The center may or may not have a laboratory, but would serve to coordinate and administer 



212 



experimental research. The center would network the nation's research facilities and mobilize regional 
and feeder laboratories as needed to solve problems. 

A high pnonty should be assigned to the development of a process for identification of problems and for 
the establishment of research agendas, priorities and facilities for earthquake engineering research in 
general, and experimental research in particular. 



213 



7. Projections of Future Research Capabilities and Results 

Advancements in computer and servo-hydraulic technology have occurred faster than funding sources 
have increased over the last three decades. Innovative technological advancements in the coming years 
may nnake needed capabilities attainable in the future without a proportionate increase in cost. 

7. / What types of testing equipment for earthquake engineering research might exist in the next 
twenty, forty or sixty years? 

The following is a list of equipment needs that are critical to advancing the state-of-the-art in earthquake 
engineering research. 

• Large capacity, high performance servo-valves exceeding 20,000 gpm to permit appUcation of large 
loads at realistic rates. 

• High capacity special loading devices for protective systems (e.g. isolators and energy dissipators). 

• Geotechnical centrifuges with high performance in-flight shakers. 

• Inexpensive, wireless remote sensors for measurement of force, deformation and acceleration. 

• Continuous structure monitoring (i.e. a "black box" similar to what is used today in aircraft). 

• Field testing capabilities that permit the application of realistic loads and/or deformations both 
statically and dynamically to mid-rise buildings and multiple-span bridges. 

• High performance control systems and actuators for effective force and pseudodynamic testing. 

• Stronger and taller reaction walls. 

The recent development of a 20,000 gpm servo valve will eliminate the demand for multiple valves. This 
will result in increasing performance and lower cost for fiiture servo-hydraulic testing equipment. In the 
decades to come, the introduction of super conductivity should have a major impact on shaking table 
technology. 

Future geotechnical centrifuges will be able to excite specimens in two directions, although further 
development of more refined and powerful single degree-of-freedom systems will continued to be 
pursued. 

7.2 What new types of information on the seismic response of structures could be obtained with 
futuristic testing equipment? 

Shaking tables of the future will be capable of exciting full-scale test structures with three-dimensional 
motions. These faciUties will enable studies of much more reahstic dynamic response than obtained with 
present equipment. For example, mechanisms of how shear walls in multistory buildings resist lateral 
forces can be observed as the wall simultaneously flexes under transverse inertial loads. Response of 
floors and roofs, and their connections to the shear walls can also be observed as the shejtf walls respond 
to multiaxial base accelerations. Because of the larger platform sizes, test structures can be constructed 
at a large scale which will permit full-scale specimens of low-rise buildings and taller specimens at 
moderately reduced scales. 

With larger shaking tables, foundation effects can be studied by modeling a portion of the soil beneath a 
test structure. Dynamic response of pipelines encased in a container of soil could also be examined. 
Tests of larger size specimens will be possible in the fijtute with larger centrifuges. 



214 



Larger structural engineering laboratories with a number of small shaking tables will be able to excite 
long bridge spans or pipeline assemblages with differential seismic input. 

In addition to more accurate and moie complete data for on site and material characterizations, 
measurement of real-time load path distributions will be possible as well as histories of deformation and 
pore pressure. 

7.3 yfhat differences will be required in the present laboratory infrastructure to accommodate testing 
equipment of the future? 

Larger testing equipment will require larger laboratories. Laboratories should be as modular as possible 
to permit a wide variety of uses and accommodate a range of experiments from small to large scale. A set 
of independent, multiple shaking tables are one example of this modularity providing flexibility of use 
and increased efficiency. 

Testing equipment should be mobile as much as possible so that it may also be used for field studies. 

Coordination of research between laboratories will be enhanced with the increased sharing of facilities, 
data transfer via the Internet, remote testing capabilities, coordinated and standardized test protocols and 
exchange of technical staff. 



215 



8. Options for International Cooperation 

Multinational cooperation has been intrinsic to the earthquake engineering research enterprise and to 
improved design practice for decades. Such cooperation has been a foundation of earthquake 
engineenng research since the United States hosted the First World Conference on Earthquake 
Engineering in 1956. International coordination of research must not only continue, but be further 
strengthened and expanded. 

8.1 What are the merits and limitations of having a multinational effort for earthquake engineering 
research? 

The ments of a multinational effort for earthquake engineering research include: 

• The exchange of personnel, data, perspectives, experience and knowledge. 

• The access to large-scale or unique testing facilities unavailable in the U.S. 

• The acceleration of the knowledge-creation process through global dissemination of research 
findings serving as feed stock for subsequent research. 

• The understanding of differing seismic design practices among countnes and working towards 
common codes in order to break down barriers to implementation and promote effective use. 

• Learning lessons directly from destructive earthquakes in other countries and their implications to 
U.S. practice. 

• The venfication of research methodologies and test results. 

• The building of long-term personal relationships between students, researchers, educators and 
specialists. The exchange and growth of intellectual resources cannot be over emphasized. 

Although seismic design philosophies may differ between countries, experience has shown that all 
stakeholders benefit from multinational cooperation. Certain of the Japanese private sector construction 
research institutes are investing in the U.S. and other foreign earthquake engineering research centers and 
laboratories m order to maintain their edge in technology advances. 

There are some limitations to realizing the fiill benefits of cooperation with other countries. These 
barriers include: 

• Differing research agendas and emphases reflecting differences in building practices, professional 
expertise, societal ideologies, or pressing scientific needs. 

• Coordination, commiinication and manage.nent challenges. 

• Exchange of fiinding. 

• Absence of a national model that effectively integrates and coordinates disparate research activities 
within the U.S. 

• Weak domestic cooperation mechanisms. 

• Cultural differences. 

• A lack of a U.S. organization to set goals and priorities and stimulate actions. 

The National Earthquake Loss Reduction Program (NEP) currently under study by the Clinton 
administration holds promise of fulfilling these goal-setting and coordination needs. 



216 



A major limitation to full cooperation with other countries is the inherent reluctance of the U.S. 
researchers to serve extended tenures at foreign research centers. Generally, there is a lack of incentive 
to do so, fostered by the widely held beliefs in this country that such as assignment would be a nn<tncial 
hardship, an interruption of professional development and detrimental to career growth. Foreign 
researchers coming to the U.S. usually do not hold such beliefs; assignments in the U.S. are highly sought 
after and prized. 

8.2 What are the options to cooperate with other countries that have developed complementary 
earthquake engineering and testing programs and facilities? 

A number of options for multinational cooperation suggest themselves based upon expenence gained 
with existing models. Options include: 

• Continue with the series of international workshops, world conferences, meetings, and individual 
contacts. International forums should be held on topics of narrow focus to increase their 
effectiveness. 

• Expand the exchange of young researchers to and from the U.S. 

• Reinforce existing cooperative programs and also use them as models to establish similar cooperative 
programs with other countries. These existing programs include as examples: the US-Japan Natural 
Resources Panel on Wind and Seismic Effects, the US-PRC program on Seismic Hazards and 
Earthquake Studies, the US-Russia program on Earthquake Disaster Reduction, the US-Japan 
Science and Technology Working Group and its subcommittee on Satellite Applications, and the 
International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. 

• Consider programs in countries with frequent seismic activity as enhanced opportunities for field 
testing sites. 

• Use the European Laboratory for Structural Assessment (under the Joint Research Center for the 
European Commission) as a model to mobilize cooperation within the U.S. as well as with other 
countries. 

• Strengthen cooperative initiatives following destructive earthquakes wherever they occur. 

Cooperation with other countries must be tailored to, and include two levels of cooperation: (1) basic 
research in the respective countries, and (2) proof testing at the bilateral level. Further, international 
forums are more efficient and cost effective when held to a narrow focus such as the U.S.-PRC-New 
Zealand- Japan workshop on building code issues. 

History has shown that successful cooperation with other countries must include development of human 
resources along with other objectives. The exchange and growth of intellectual resources cannot be over 
emphasized. 

8.3 How might a multinational effort for earthquake engineering research be mobilized? 

Multinational cooperation has been at the foundation of earthquake engineering research for over forty 
years. Enhanced international initiatives can be mobilized through the creation of a national organization 
mechanism for strategic planning, coordinating, priority setting, and facilitating actions towards common 
national goals. The EERI, or the Clinton administration's pending National Earthquake Loss Reduction 
Program (NEP) have potential for serving this need. 

Other suggested actions for mobilizing a revitalized multinational program include: 

• Establish multiple levels of cooperation. 

16 



217 



• Conduct national forums by a supporting organization to enable domestic cooperation and 
information exchange as a building block to enhanced cooperation with other countries. 

• Establish a mechanism, and funding to support the use of the world's largest testing facilities such as 
the shake uble in Tadotsu, Japan, or the reaction wall at the Building Research Institute in Tsukuba 
Japan. 

The ultimate success of these initiatives hinges on three factors. Firstly, under-utilized research facilities 
m the U.S. must be better used to carry out the thoughtful research leading to understanding of concepts 
and subsequent proof testing. Secondly, existing cooperative research activities must he continuously 
assessed, improved, and expanded where appropriate; and not abandoned for the sake of pursuing new 
initiatives. Thirdly, the earthquake engineenng research community, in concert with practicing design 
professionals, contractors and equipment suppliers, have critical roles to play in speaking out with a 
strong, unified voice on these issues and in enabling needed public and govemment policy reform to take 
place. Engineers and scientists, both as individuals and as a profession, must contribute actively to public 
debate and become more involved in providing leadership if the suggested multinational cooperative 
efforts for earthquake engineenng research are to be achieved. 



218 



9. Operation and Maintenance of New National Facilities 

9.1 Whatare the projected costs for construction, maintenance and operation of new earthquake 
engineering research and testing facilities in the United States? 

The costs of operation and maintenance of experimental facilities is substantial. Many facilities are 
susceptible to reduced efficiency, rapid obsolescence or even mterruption of service if adequate regular 
funding is not provided for maintenance and periodic upgrading. Experimental equipment is subject to 
heavy loading and susceptible to damage during tests; regular maintenance and replacement is required. 
Certain research equipment, such as instrumentation, electronic components and computers typically 
have very short service lives and suffer from rapid technical obsolesce. Budgeting for new research and 
testing facilities should therefore include realistic cost estimates for the maintenance and replacement of 
equipment. Failure to provide for these funds may results in reduced efficiency, the inability to conduct 
certain important types of tests, or even closure of facilities. As facilities become older, maintenance 
costs can become a major contributor to total operating expense, and host organizations may not be able 
to cover them. 

Long-term sustained funding is needed at core facilities to train and retain staff capable of conducting 
state-of-the-ait research and testing. A variety of highly trained engineers and skilled technicians are 
required in a number of specialties to formulate effective experimental test programs, to operate, adapt 
and maintain sophisticated test equipment and instrumentation, and to analyze test results. Analytically 
based research also requires skilled personnel to maintain computer equipment, networks and software. 
Currently research and testing activities are funded through relatively short term grants or contracts 
covering narrowly focused projects. By having a number of such projects, a research facility or 
laboratory can generate sufficient funds to operate, spreading the costs for these personnel out through 
the various projects at a reasonable rate. However, funding can vary greatly from year to year. If fewer 
projects are available, personnel with skills essential for continued operation may not be retained, or the 
operating cost assigned to each project increases, possibly to the point where the research is 
economically infeasible to conduct. 

Funding should be provided at a level such that a minimum number of projects can be carried out at core 
institutions. This would enable facilities to budget for proper maintenance, training of personnel, and 
operation. When planning a new fijture facility, these operating and maintenance costs need to be 
anticipated when formulating budget estimates. These reoccurring costs are estimated as much as 10% of 
the initial capital cost of a new facility per year of operation. 

Upgrading Existing Facilities. A high priority should be assigned to upgrading and expanding existing 
research and experimental facilities to provide them with new capabilities. The productivity in research 
and testing can be expanded greatly by building upon the capital investment and skilled personnel 
already associated with existing facilities. 

Several new laboratories have been constructed in the U.S. during the past decade with government and 
private funds. These laboratories include several small to moderate scale reaction walls, and three small 
to medium size shaking table facilities. Furthermore, two of the largest shaking tables in the U.S. are 
currently undergoing extensive upgrades that greatly increase their capabilities. Several large 
geotechnical centrifuges have been built during the same time period. In spite of these increased 
resources, additional hydraulic power supplies, instrumentation and data acquisition systems, servo- 
hydraulic actuators, improved control systems, and shaking tables are needed to fully realize the 
capabilities of these and other similar existing facilities. 



219 

\ 

Technology has developed in the past decade to enable conventional equipment to more realistically 
subject specimens to seismic effects. Pseudodynamic tests allow for static reaction wall or field tests that 
stimulate, in slow motion, the dynamic response of the test specimen to earthquake ground motions, and 
even permit portions of specimens to be tested concurrently in different laboratories via a computer link. 
Digital and adaptive test control technology allow for highly complex and real time seismic loading on 
structures and subassemblies using hydraulic jacks rather than shaking tables. Systematic development 
and deployment of these capabilities at existing laboratories will significantly expand seismic test 
capabilities at relatively low cost 

New testing capabilities can be added using special purpose equipment installed with the infrastructure 
provided by existing laboratories. Such equipment may include high capacity or fast loading rate 
universal testing machines for evaluation of high performance materials, special fixtures for dynamic 
testing of full-scale energy dissipation or isolation devices, dynamic actuators for tests of active control 
and other systems, special purpose shaking tables for examination of nonstructural systems and contents, 
and so on. Addition of new reaction walls to existing reaction floors can allow for testing of moderate 
sized structures. Addition of increased hydraulic pumping capacity and distribution systems along with 
dynamic actuators can add dynamic testing capabilities to laboratories set up originally to conduct static 
experiments. Tremendous advances have been made in the past decade in instrumentation, sensors, 
control systems, computers and data acquisitions systems and their selective addition to the resources 
available at existing laboratories would substantially increase productivity and accuracy. 

Field testing of actual structures is a particularly effective means of investigating inelastic behavior of 
fiill-scale structures and foundation systems. These tests have been hampered by data acquisition 
problems and limitations in loading capabilities. Such tests can be facilitated by more portable and robust 
data acquisition systems, remote sensing technologies and high capacity field loading systems now 
available. 

Major New Testing Facilities. Major future facilities may include large, high-payload earthquake 
simulators or tall multi-directional reaction walls. These large-scale facilities would permit investigation 
of large structural components of building and bridge structures, complete structural systems, and 
foundation-structural systems. Such facilities need not be centralized, but could be cost-effectively 
constructed at or near other existing facilities where an infrastructure of personnel and ancillary 
equipment already exists. 

Planning for these and alternative facilities should be based on experience with advanced testing 
facilities, and consider their economic benefits versus their cost relative to alternative methods of 
obtaining the same information. The construction cost of a new 100 ft by 100 ft shaking table is 
estimated to be on the order of $600 million. The feasibility of using available large-scale facilities in 
Japan and Europe should be carefully considered prior to constructing similar facilities in the US. 
Technology improvements and innovations may make lower cost facilities possible. Frequently cited 
examples were the use of multiple smaller tables in lieu of one large table, the use of pseudodynamic 
tests rather than dynamic tests, or field tests rather thcui laboratory tests. 

None the less, large-scale experiments are still needed. These tests are a logical extension of the efforts to 
enhance the capabilities of existing facilities. They are needed to examine more complex systems, 
including interaction of frames, walls, floors, nonstructural partitions and cladding in buildings, 
infrastructure systems constructed of large elements, and foundation-structure systems to name a few 
application examples. Experience with the first round of upgrades may also indicate the need for special 
purpose facilities or equipment such as large, but low payload shaking tables for residential housing, or 
very high capacity apparatus for testing very large energy dissipation and isolation devices. 

Projected Costs and Priorities. The highest priority should be assigned to modemizing and upgrading 
existing core research and testing facilities that contribute to a comprehensive national research program 



220 



in earthquake engineering. Cost of this effort is estimated at $60 miHion spread over five to ten years. 
This level of funding is necessary to support an optimal short range research program , and is consistent 
with earlier recommendations by the National Research Council and EERI. 

Along with this priority, funding should be assigned to implementing an earthquake engineering research 
program that will make full use of the upgraded and modernized facilities described above. Funding 
needs for operation and maintenance of these facilities, including the research and test program, are 
estimated to range between $40 and $50 million per year. These funds would permit research and 
integrated analyses and experimental laboratory or field testing in a variety of vital areas related to 
earthquake engineering. 

As a second highest priority, large-scale testing facilities are needed for testing actual sized assemblages 
and devices, and structural and foundation systems with realistic seismic loading. The economic and 
technical feasibility of such facilities should be evaluated, considering the benefits of the test results and 
the costs of constructing and maintaining such facilities, and the practicality of using large-scale testing 
facilities in other countries. Special purpose facilities may be desirable and continued long-term 
upgrading of core experimental laboratories should be anticipated. The estimated costs of constructing 
these large-scale facilities is difficult to predict without a detailed feasibihty study, however, a range of 
$180 to $300 million is considered reasonable. These expenditures should be phased to build upon the 
knowledge and experience gained from previous efforts. Such large-scale facilities would require 
operating budgets of approximately $100 million per year. 

Development of a large-scale shaking table, similar in size to the one at Tadotsu Japan (49 feet by 49 
feet), in the United States would require capital expenditures of slightly less than the $300 million cost 
paid by the Japanese. The annual maintenance cost of the Tadotsu facility is $10 million per year plus an 
additional $5 million per year for support of the technical staff. A total of twenty three tests have been 
run to date on the table with costs ranging from $4 to $40 million per test. Because of the large costs of 
operation and maintenance, the Japanese are contemplating termination of the facility in the next five 
years. 

Capital costs for a very large shaking table (100 feet by 100 feet) are estimated at $500 million with 
operating and maintenance costs equal to approximately one third of this amount per year. 

9.2 What are the options and recommendations for funding of construction and operation of new 
earthquake engineering and testing facilities. 

Requirements for funding of large-scale facilities as addressed in the previous question are substantial, 
but small in proportion to the costs of earthquake-induced damage that occurs in the absence of research 
and testing made possible by these facilities. Similarly, the reduction in damage costs made possible 
through large-scale experimentation are two to three orders of magnitude larger than the cost of research. 
The improved seismic sjifety and restored confidence in the performance of the built environment will 
also contribute to the overall welfare of society. 

Those that benefit directly from enhanced experimental research should contribute to its funding. The 
potential beneficiaries of earthquake research are numerous. A partial listing is included in Table 2. In 
some cases, the benefits (e.g. having a product certified as satisfying building code requirements) are 
direct, and easy to measure and assign to a group. In other cases (e.g. developing minimum design 
provisions for life safety protection), the benefits are more intangible and difficult to assign to a 
particular group. 

Innovative concepts for collecting funds for earthquake engineering research and testing include the 
following. 



221 



• Construction companies could be mandated to contribute to a research fund in order to be eligible for 
federal and state construction contracts. This has been done in Japan with most construction 
companies electing to carry out their own research programs. In the U.S., construction companies are 
much smaller on average, a significant portion of these companies do not engage in government 
contracts, and company-based research programs would not be as effective as in Japan. 

• A portion of the building permit fees could be designated to a research fund. Such a strategy is used 
to fund the California Strong Motion Instrumentation Program. Issues need to be resolved related to 
the collection of funds from local jurisdictions that collect building permits, and determination of 
appropriate fees depending on the type of structure and the seismic hazard. Collection of fees for 
non-building structures such as bridges and dams, and public buildings, would have to be done using 
alternative methods since building permits are not issued for their construction. 

• Research requirements could be mandated to support changes in, or variances to building code 
provisions. This is done in Europe and Japan when new design details are proposed. However, the 
mandate would not provide an incentive to improve existing provisions of a building code, and 
generic type research for basic code improvement would not be supported. 

• Suppliers of construction materials could be taxed. Establishing equitable rates could be 
problematic. 

• Matching funds from research institutions be made required for all federally funded research grants. 

• Charge a fee on earthquake insurance premiums to be applied towards research. This would help in 
assessing risk and providing a benefit (lower premiums or lower deductibles) for increasing seismic 
performance of buildings. However, earthquake insurance is not mandatory and many types of 
structures are not insured. 

• States could collect funds through their local emergency management agencies. This could be a 
requirement for states to receive federal funds for emergency assistance. 

• Research funds could be obtained from private individuals, foundations, foreign agencies and foreign 
companies. These sources are not likely to provide the magnitude and continuity of funding needed 
for an effective national program. 

• The federal government needs to play a central role in funding research because it is a substantial 
beneficiary of the research results. The government can provide the focus and leadership for a 
comprehensive national earthquake loss reduction program. 

Clearly, the question of funding options is a complex one, and one that extends well beyond the expertise 
of the earthquake engineering research community. Another group should be convened by the NEHRP 
federal agencies to consider possible options more in detail. Such a meeting should involve groups 
benefiting from or using research results along with public policy experts and government officials. 
Effective methods for aggregating funds collected from diverse groups and utilizing them effectively 
need to be examined further. 



?l_n^'^ _ Q<; _ o 



222 



Table 2 
Partial Listing of Groups Benefiting from Earthquake Engineering Research 



Type 



Example 



federal, state and local government 

design standards enforcement officials or 
agencies 

public utilities 

design professionals 

construction industry 

material suppliers 

owners, insurance and financial entities 



FEMA, NIST, DOT, DOD, DOE, HUD, 
GSA, VA, USGS 

building officials, public utilities. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission 

gas, power, water, sewer, liquid fuel, 
telecommunications 

structural, geotechnical and other engineers, 
architects 

contractors, construction managers, 
fabricators, craftspersons, trade unions 

suppliers of steel, concrete, wood, masonry, 
fasteners, architectural elements 

individuals, insurance companies, banks 



9.3 What is the feasibility and advisability of developing a comprehensive earthquake engineering 
research and testing program within the scope of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 
1977? 

Development of a comprehensive earthquake engineering research and testing program within the scope 
of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 (and as amended in subsequent years) is advisable. 
The reasons for this are manifold, including: 

• More reliable and cost-effective codes for new construction, resulting in lower costs of earthquake 
damage, reduced time necessary for repair, increased construction productivity and greater public 
safety. 

• More cost-effective and reliable methods for evaluating the seismic risk posed by existing buildings 
and for remediating their seismic vulnerabilities which could reduce the risk of injury and economic 
loss as a result of earthquakes. 

• Improved methods for addressing policy issues related to insurance, risk mitigation, public assistance 
following earthquakes, and financing of public and private sector construction. 

• Improved civil and military infrastructure systems capable of sustaining the economic and social 
welfare of the citizens of a region following an earthquake. 

• Reduced risk associated with hazardous materials and facilities. 

• Improved performance of critical or important facilities in the public and private sectors. 

• Faster and more reliable introduction of innovative construction techniques and structural systems 
into design codes and practice. 



223 



• Improved synthesis and dissemination of knowledge and its application to practice. 

• Improved education of students through university-based research and teaching through continuing 
education supported by research and testing results. 

• Development of an expanded base of professionals, policy makers, building officials, researchers and 
others knowledgeable of seismic performance of the built environment, and of effective earthquake 
engineering techniques. 

A comprehensive earthquake engineering research and testing program is feasible to implement. The 
U.S. has a small, but highly capable, base group of researchers, educators, design professionals, and 
regulators actively involved m the tasks for earthquake loss reduction. A comprehensive national 
program of research and testing could effectively and economically be built on these human resources as 
well as upon the foundation provided by the existing research infrastructure. 

Expenmental research is the cornerstone of any coordinated program for earthquake loss reduction. This 
view has repeatedly been expressed by previous groups, such as those convened by the National 
Research Council, EERI, and others. 

A comprehensive research and testing program can be formulated consistent with the goals and scope of 
the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977. 

A comprehensive research program should be developed as part of an open process that includes input 
from researchers, owners, design professionals, construction industry, and policy makers. By its very 
nature, the scope of the program should be broad involving numerous technical disciplines. Thus, issues 
related to soils and foundations supporting a structure, the structure itself, the contents of a structure 
should be considered as should the economic and social impacts of earthquake damage. Infrastructure 
systems consisting of several strucmres and of connecting elements (roads, electrical lines, pipelines, 
etc.) need to be considered. A comprehensive program for research and testing should also provide the 
balance between experiment and analysis, between laboratory and field testing, and between applied 
research and research for innovation. 

Research and testing needs should be periodically updated. A careful analysis of the benefits of the 
research results should be made in comparison to the cost of obtaining these results. Research and testing 
is economical and can result in a procedure that can significantly reduce the impact and costs of future 
earthquakes. 

A comprehensive research and testing program can be carried out through the existing NEHRP federal 
agencies. Operation of part of the program should be done through a coalition or consortium of research 
organizations. Precedent for this type of operation exists in other fields and is being utilized by the 
European Conununity. 

Specific methods for formulating, organizing, funding and operating this program should be promptly 
explored. 



224 



10. Concluding Remarks 

This assessment has stressed the importance of experimental research in reducing earthquake losses, and 
the need for a more aggressive national research plan. The state of present research and testing 
capabilities has not developed at a pace consistent with the needs for an improved understanding and 
awareness of earthquake hazards. Upgrading of existing facilities and development of new regional 
centers is needed along with increased funding for experimental research. Alternate sources of funding 
must be sought to meet the needs, and multinational cooperation must be relied on for the sharing of data, 
research results, equipment and personnel. 

The following seven specific recommendations are given. 

1 A comprehensive plan must be developed for experimental earthquake engineering research to 

effectively utilize existing laboratories and personnel, to upgrade facilities and equipment as needed, 
and to integrate new, innovative testing approaches into the research infrastructure in a systematic 
manner. 

2. Experimental research programs must be pursued at an accelerated rate to advance the state of the art 
in seismic engineering and construction practices, and as a result, enhance public safety and reduce 
economic losses in future earthquakes. 

3. As the highest priority, existing laboratories must be upgraded and modernized with new testing 
equipment. 

4. As a second high priority, a series of new, moderately-sized regional centers must be created with 
unique, and complementary capabilities. 

5. A detailed feasibility study should be undertaken to estimate benefit-to-cost ratios associated with 
development, maintenance and operation of a single, national test facility. 

6. Future funding of earthquake engineering research must be sought through alternate, innovative 
sources. 

7. Existing cooperative research programs with other countries should be continued, and new programs 
should be established where the sharing of testing facilities, and the exchange of data and research 
results is mutually advantageous. 

Commentaries on each of these recommendations can be found in the Executive Sununary. 

This assessment was exploratory in nature. Detailed feasibility studies should follow to make more 
accurate estimates of needed research facilities, costs of upgrading existing laboratories, and costs of 
developing and operating new laboratories. The assessment findings represent the opinions of the 
participants at a two-day workshop, and do not necessarily reflect those of the sponsors. 



25 



225 



REFERENCES 



1. Strategy for a National Earthquake Loss Reduction Program, National Earthquake Strategy 
Working Group, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Draft of December 1994. 

2. Earthquake Environment Simulation. Proceedings of a Workshop on Simulation of Earthquake 
Effects on Structures, San Francisco, September 7-9, 1993, National Academy of Engineering, 
Washington DC. 1974. 276 pp. 

3. Experimental Research Needs for Improving Earthquake-Resistant Design of Buildings, Report No. 
84-01, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, January 1984. 164 pp. and Overview and 
Recommendations, Report No. 84-02, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, January 1984, 43 
PP- 

4. G. W. Housner, Chair, Earthquake Engineering Research - 1982, National Academy Press, 
Washington D.C., 1982, 78 pp. 

5. Earthquake Engineering Facilities and Instrumentation, Commission on Engineering and Technical 
Systems, National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington D.C., 1984, 33pp. 

6. C. Scribner and E.V. Leyendecker, Plan for a Design Study for a National Earthquake Engineering 
Experimental Facility, NBSIR Report 86-3453, October 1986, 17 pp. 

7. C. Scribner and C.G. Culver, National Earthquake Engineering Experimental Facility Study. Phase 
One - Large-Scale Testing Needs, NBS Special Publication 729, April 1987, 66 pp. 

8. Review of Phase I of the National Earthquake Engineering Experimental Facility Study, National 
Academy Press, 1987, 28pp. 

9. H. Krawinkler and B. Zhu, Proceedings of U.S./P.R.C. Workshop on Experimental Methods in 
Earthquake Engineering, John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center Report No. 106, Stanford 
University, July 1993, 241pp. 

10. T. Okada, and S. Mahin, Proceedings of US-Japan Workshop on Development arui Future 
Dimensions of Structural Testing Techniques, Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University 
of California at Berkeley, 1995. 



226 



APPENDIX A: COMMISSIONED PAPERS 



1. A Historical Perspective on Previous Assessments of Experimental Facilities 
Robert D. Hanson, University of Michigan and ITMA, Pasadena, CA 

2. Worldwide Survey of Earthquake Engineering Testing Facilities 
Freider Seible, University of California at San Diego 

and Benson Shing, University of Colorado at Boulder 

3. A Practitioner's View on Research for Seismic Design of Buildings 
Eric Elsesser, Forell/Elsesser Engineers, Inc., San Francisco, CA 

4. A Practitioner's Point View on Research for Seismic Design of Bridges 
James E. Roberts, California Department of Transportation, Sacramento, CA 

5. Experimental Research Toward Abatement of the Seismic Risk: Why. What and How? 
Mete A. Sozen, Purdue University 

6. Problems in Geotechnical Engineering that Demand Experimental Research 
William F. Marcuson m, R.H. Ledbetter, R.A. Green, R.S. Steedman, AG. Franklin 
and M.E. Hynes, Waterways Experiment Station. Vicksburg, MS 

7. Problems in Lifeline Earthquake Engineering that Demand Experimental Test Facilities 
Douglas G. Honegger and Ronald T. Eguchi, EQE International. Irvine, CA 

8. Large-Scale Testing Facilities for Earthquake Engineering in Japan 
Makoto Watabe, Shimizu Construction, Tokyo, Japan 

9. A Futuristic View of Structural Experimental Facilities 
Allen J. Clark, MTS Corporation, Minneapolis. MN. 

10. A Futuristic View of Geotechnical Experimental Facilities 
Jacques Perdriat, Acutronic Corporation, France 

and Andrew Schofield, University of Cambridge, England 

1 1 . Lessons Learned from Mobilizing European Cooperation in the Construction and 
Operation of the ELSA Laboratory 

G. Michele CiJvi, University of Pavia; Jean Donea, Paoio Negro, and 
Guido Verzaletti, ELSA Laboratory for European Community, Ispra, Italy 

12. Options for Structure, Operation and Funding to Improve National 
Experimental Testing Capability 

William J. Hall, University of Illinois at Utbana-Champaign 



227 



APPENDIX B: WORKSHOP INFORMATION 



B . 1 Workshop Program 

B.2 Discussion Group Attendance 

B.3 Workshop Participant List 



228 



Appendix B.1 Workshop Program 

EERI Workshop on 
Assessment of Earthquake Engineering Research and Test Facilities 

July 31 -August 1, 1995 
Pare 55 Hotel 
San Francisco, CA 
Sunday, July 30 

6:30-8:00pm Reception: Atrium, 4th Floor 

Monday, July 31 

8:00am Registration: outside of Pare III Room, 4th Floor; coffee and rolls will be served 

General Session: Pare III Room 

8:30am Welcome and Introductions: Daniel Abrams, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
Purpose of Workshop: James Beavers, MS Technology, Inc., Oak Ridge, TN 

9:00am A Historical Perspective on Previous Assessments of Experimental Facilities 
Robert D. Hanson, University of Michigan and FEMA, Pasadena, CA 

9:25am Worldwide Survey of Earttiquake Engineering Testing Facilities 
Freider Seible, University of California at San Diego 
and Benson Shing, University of Colorado at Boulder 

9:45am A Practitioner's View on Research for Seismic Design of Buildings 
Eric Elsesser, Forell/Elsesser Engineers, Inc., San Francisco. CA 

A Practitioner's Point View on Research for Seismic Design of Bridges 
James E. Roberts, Califomia Department of Transportation, Sacramento, CA 

Break 

Experimental Research Toward Abatement of the Seismic Risk: Why, What and How? 
Mete A. Sozen, Purdue University 

1 1 :30am Problems in Geotechnical Engineering that Demand Experimental Research 

William F. Marcuson III, R.H. Ledbetter, R.A. Green, R.S. Steedman, A.G. Franklin 
and M.E. Hynes,Waterways Expenment Station, Vicksburg, MS 

1 2:00am Problems in Lifeline Earthquake Engineering that Demand Experimental Test Facilities 
Douglas G. Honegger and Ronald T. Eguchi, EQE International. Irvine, CA 

12:30pm Lunch: Pare II Room 

2:00pm Discussion Group A: Raphael Room 
Evaluation of Existing Capabilities 

Discussion Group B: Rubens Room 

The Need for New Earthquake Engineering Test Facilities 

Discussion Group C: Dante Room 

Development of a Comprehensive National Research Program 

4:30pm General Session: Pare III Room 

Summarize Discussion Groups A, B and C 

5:30pm Close for Day 

5:30-7:00pm Reception: Atrium, 4th Floor 



10:15am 

10:45am 
1 1 :00am 



229 



Tuesday, August 1 



General Session: Pare III Room, 4th Floor 

8:30am Large-Scale Testing Facilities for Earthquake Engineering in Japan 
Makoto Watabe, Shimizu Construction, Tokyo, Japan 

9:00am A Futuristic View of Structural Experimental Facilities 
Allen J. Clark, MTS Corporation, Minneapolis, MN. 

9:1 Sam A Futuristic View of Geotectinical Experimental Facilities 
Jacques Perdriat, Acutronic Corporation, France 
and Andrew Schofield, University of Cambridge, England 

9:30am Lessons Learned from Mobilizing European Cooperation in the Construction and 
Operation of the ELSA Laboratory 

G. Michele Calvi, University of Pavia; Jean Donea, Paolo Negro, and 
Guido Verzaletti, ELSA Laboratory for European Community, Ispra, Italy 

1 0:00am Options for Structure, Operation and Funding to Improve National 
Experimental Testing Capability 
William J. Hall, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

10:30am Break 

10:45am Discussion Group D: Raphael Room 

Projections of Future Research Capabilities and Results 

Discussion Group E: Rubens Room 
Options for Intemational Cooperation 

Discussion Group F: Dante Room 

Operation and Maintenance of New National Facilities 

1:00pm Lunch: Pare II Room 

2:00pm General Session: Pare III Room 

Summarize Discussion Groups D, E and F 
Formulate Workshop Resolutions 

4:00pm Adjourn 



230 



Appendix B.2 Discussion Group Anendance 



Discussion Group A: 

Evaluation of Existing Facilities 



Discussion Group B: 

Need for Earthquake Engineering 
Research and Test Facilities 



Tom Anderson 
Greg Brandow, moderator 
Riley Chung 
Allen Clark 
Gene Corley 
Greg Deirlein 
Bruce Douglas 
Ahmad Durrani 
Ahmed Elgamal 
Michael Englehardt 
Barry Goodno 
Suzzette Jackson 
Bruce Kutter 
LeWuLu 
Paolo Negro 
Jacques Perdriat 
James Radziminski 
Frieder Seible 
Benson Shing, recorder 
Drexel Smith 
Chris Thewalt 



William Anderson 

Ian Buckle 

Paul Clark 

A.J. Eggenberger, moderator 

Phil Gould 

John Hall 

James Harris 

Doug Honegger 

Roberto Leon 

H.S. Lew 

James Malley 

Jack Moehle 

Armand Onesto 

Clarkson Pinkham 

James Roberts 

Enrico Spacone 

John Stanton, recorder 

Richard Stroud 

Robert Tauscher 

Makoto Watabe 



231 



Discussion Group C: 

Development of a Comprehensive 
National Research Program 



Discussion Group D: 

Projections of Future Research 
Capabilities and Results 



Mihran Agbabian 

James Anderson, recorder 

Vitelmo Bertero 

Michele Caivi 

Sigmund Freeman 

William Hall 

Robert Hanson 

Jack Hayes 

James Jirsa, moderator 

Helmut Krawinkler 

S.C. Liu 

Stephen Mahin 

William Marcuson 

Frank McClure 

Gerald Pardoen 

Joseph Penzien 

Chris Rojahn 

Erdal Safak 

Mete Sozen 

Richard Wright 

Art Zeizel 



Greg Brandow 

Ian Buckle, moderator 

Riley Chung 

Greg Deirlein 

Bruce Douglas 

Michael Englehardt, recorder 

Sigmund Freeman 

Barry Goodno 

John Hall 

Helmut Krawinkler 

Bruce Kutter 

James Malley 

Armand Onesto 

Clarkson Pinkham 

Drexel Smith 

Mete Sozen 

John Stanton 

Richard Stroud 

Robert Tauscher 

Chris Thewalt 



36 



232 



Discussion Group E: 

Options for International Cooperation 



Discussion Group F: 

Operation and Maintenance of 
New National Facilities 



William Anderson 

Tom Anderson, moderator 

Vitelmo Bertero 

Michele Calvi 

Ahmad Durrani, recorder 

Doug Honegger 

Ahmed Elgamal 

Enrico Spacone 

Phil Gould 

James Jirsa 

Roberto Leon 

H.S. Uw 

LeWuLu 

Paolo Negro 

Jacques Perdriat 

Igor Popov 

James Radziminslci 

Erdal Safak 

Frieder Seible 

Benson Shing 

Makoto Watabe 



Mihran Agbabian 
James Anderson 
Klaus Cappel 
Allen Clark 
Gene Corley 
A.J. Eggenberger 
William Hall 
Robert Hanson 
James Harris, recorder 
Jack Hayes 
Suzzene Jackson 

S.C. Liu 

Stephen Mahin, moderator 

William Marcuson 

Frank McClure 

Jack Moehle 

Gerald Pardoen 

Joseph Penzien 

James Roberts 

Chris Rojahn 

Richard Wright 

ArtZeizel 



233 



Appendix B.3 Workshop Participant Listing 

EERI Workshop on Assessment of Earthquake Engineering Research and Test Facilities 

July 31 - August 1. 1995 

San Francisco, CA 



Daniel P Abrams 

University of Illinois 

1245 Newmark Civil Engr Lab MC 250 

205 N Mathews Avenue 

Urbana. IL 61801-2397 

Phone (217) 333-0565 

Fax (2171 333-9464 

Mihran S Agbabian 

University of Southern California 

Civil Engineering Oepi 

KAP210 

Los Angeles. CA 90089-2531 

Phone (213) 740-0610 

Fax (213) 744-1426 

James C Anderson 

University of Southern California 

Civil Engineering Oepi 

Los Angeles. CA 90089-2531 

Phone 1213) 740-8660 

Fax (213) 744-1426 

Thomas L Anderson 
Rartd Critical Technical Inst 
2100M St NW, Suite 603 
Washington, DC 20037-1270 
Phone (2021 296-5000 ext 5254 
Fax (202) 452-8377 

William A. Arxlerson 
National Science Foundation 
4201 Wilson Blvd. Room 545 
Arlingtor 7A 22230 
Phone (" 1306-1361 
Fax (703) 306-0291 

James E. Beavers 
MS Technology 
Natural Hazards Services 
1 1 8 Ridgeway Center 
Oak Ridge, TN 37830 
Phone (615)483-0895 
Fax (616)482-6396 

Vrtelmo V. Bertero 

University of California 

EERC 

1 1 301 South 46th St 

Richmond. CA 94804-4698 

Phone (510)231-9954 

Fax (510) 231-9471 

Gregg E Brandow 

Brandow & Johnston Associates 

1 660 W Third St 

Los Angeles, CA 90017 

Phone (213)484-8950 

Fax (213)483-5550 



Ian G Buckle 
SUNY At Buffalo 
NCEER 

104 Red Jacket Quad 
Box 610025 
Buffalo, NY 14261 
Phone (716) 645-3391 
Fax (716)645-3399 

G Michele Calvi 

Universita di Pavia 

Dip di Meccanica Strutturale 

Via Abbiategrasso 21 1 

Pavia, Italy 

Phone (39-382) 391450 

Fax (39-3821 528422 

Riley M. Chung 

NIST 

Earthquake Equipment Group 

Building 226, Room 8158 

Gaithersburg, MD 20899 

Phone (301) 975-6062 

Fax (301) 869-6275 

Allen J. Clark 

Advanced Tech Development 

14000 Technology Dr 

Eden Praine, MN 55344-2290 

Phone (612) 937-4039 

Fax (612)937-4515 

W. Gene Corley 
Corvtruction Technology Labs 
5420 Old Orchard Rd 
Skokie, IL 60077-1030 
Phone (708) 965-7500 
Fax (708) 965-6541 

Gregory G. Deierlem 
Cornell University 
School of Civil Engineering 
363 Hollister Hall 
Ithaca, NY 14853 
Phone (607) 255-3921 
Fax (607) 255-4828 

Bruce M. Douglas 

University of Nevada 

Center for Engineering EQ Research 

Reno, NV 89557 

Phone (702) 784-1519 

Ahmad J Durrani 

Rice University 

Civil Engineering Oept 

6100 S Main St, MS 318 

Houston. TX 77005-1892 

Phone (713) 527-8101 x 2383 

Fax 1713) 285-5268 



Andrew J Eggenberger 

Defense Nuclear Facility Safety Board 

1425 South Eads St #902 

Arlington, VA 22202 

Phone (703) 685-1530 

Ahmed- W M. Elgamal 
Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst 
Civil Engineering Dept 
Troy, NY 12180 
Phone (518) 276-2836 
Fax (518) 276-4833 

Eric Elsesser 

Forell/Elsesser Engineers Inc 

160 Pine St 

San Francisco, CA 941 1 1 USA 

Phone (4151 837-0700 

Fax (4151 837-0800 

Michael D. Engelhardt 
University of Texas 
Civil Engineering Dept 
Austin, TX 78712-1076 
Phone (512) 471-4592 
Fax (512) 471-1944 

Sigmund A. Freeman 

Wiss Janney Elstner Associates Inc 

2200 Powell St Suite 925 

Emen/ville, CA 94608-1836 

Phone (510) 428-2907 

Fax (510)428-0456 

Barry J Goodno 

Georgia Inst of Technology 

School of Civil & Environ Engineering 

Atlanta, GA 30332-0355 

Phone (404) 894-2227 -2204 

Fax (404) 894-2278 

Phillip L. Gould 

Washir>gton University 

Campus Box 1 1 30 

1 Brookings Or 

St Louis, MO 631304899 

Phone (314) 935-6303 

Fax (314) 935-4338 

Russell A. Green 

US Army Corps of Engineers 

Waterways Experiment Station 

3909 Halls Ferry Rd 

Vicksburg, MS 39180-2118 

Phone (601) 634-2118 

Fax (601) 634-3139 



234 



Workshop Panicipani Listing 

EER] Workshop on Assessment of Earthquake Engineering Research ani Test Facihues 

July 31 -August 1. 1995 

San Francisco, CA 



John F. Hall 

California Inst of Technology 

MC 104-44 

Pasadena, CA 91125 

Phono (8181 395-4160 

Fax (8181 568-2719 

William J. Hall 

University of Illinois 

2106 Newmark Civil Engineering Lab 

205 N Mathevtfs Avenue 

Urbana, IL 61801-2397 

Phone (217) 333-3927 

Fax (217) 333-9464 

Robert O. Haruon 
Univ of Michigan/FEN/IA 
2256 Middlecoff Drive 
Mesa, AZ 85215-1909 
Phone (602) 641-8886 

James R Harris 

J R Harris & Co 

1580 Lincoln St, Suite 550 

Denver, CO 80203-1509 

Phone (303) 860-9021 

Fax (303) 860-9537 

John R. Hayes, Jr 

US Army Construction Engineering 

Research Lab 

PC Box 9005, CECER-FLE 

Champaign, IL 61826-9005 

Phone (217) 373-7248 

Fax (217) 373-6734 

Douglas G Hor>egger 
EQE International 
1728 Date Ave 
Torrance, CA 90503-7142 
Phone (3101 320-9283 
Fax (310) 320-9203 

Suzene Jackson 

Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies 

PO Box 1625, MS 2107 

Idaho Falls, ID 83415 

Phone (208) 526-4293 

Fax (208) 526-0875 

James 0. Jirsa 

University of Texas 

Ferguson Structural Engineering Lab 

10100 Burnet Rd 

PRO Building 177 

Austin, TX 78758-4497 

Phone (5121 471-4582 

Fax (512) 471-1944 



Helmut Krawinkler 
Stanford University 
Civil Engineering Dept 
Stanford, CA 94305-4020 
Phone (415) 725-0360 723-4129 
Fax (415) 725-8662 

Bruce L Kutter 

University of California 

Civil & Environ Engineering Dept 

Davis, CA 95615 

Phone (9161 752-8099 

Fax (9161 752-8924 

Roberto T Leon 

Georgia Institute of Technology 

School of Civil & Environ Engineering 

790 Atlantic Ave 

Atlanta, GA 30332 

Phone (4041 894-2220 

Fax (404) 894-2278 

H. S. Lew 

NIST 

Building and Fire Research Lab 

Building 226. Room B1 68 

Gaithersburg, MD 20899 

Phone (3011 975-6060 

Fax (3011 869-6275 

S. C. Liu 

National Science Foundation 
4201 Wilson Blvd, Room 545 
Arlington, VA 22230 
Phone (7031 306-1362 
Fax (7031 306-1361 

Le-Wu Lu 
Lehigh University 
Civil Engineering Dept 
rritz Lab 

1 3 E Packer Avenue 
Bethlehem, PA 18015-3176 
Phone (2151 758-4936 
Fax (215) 758-4522 

Stephen A Mahin 
University of California 
Civil Engineering Dept 
777 Davis Hall 
Berkeley, CA 94720 , 

Phone (510) 642-4021 
Fax (510) 231-5664 

James Malley 
Degenkolb Engineers 
350 Sansome St, Suite 900 
San Francisco, C A 94104 
Phone (415) 392-6952 
Fax (415)981-3157 



William F. Marcuson III 

US Army Corps of Engineers 

Waterways Experiment Station 

3909 Halls Ferry Rd 

Vicksburg, MS 39180-6199 

Phone (601) 634-2234 

Fax (6011 634-3139 

Frank E McClure 
Cor\sulting Structural Engineer 
54 Sleepy Hollow Lane 
Orinda, CA 94563-1321 
Phone (5101 254-8231 
Fax (5101 254-4602 

Jack P Moehle 

University of California 

EERC 

1301 S 46th St 

Richmond, CA 94804-4698 

Phone (5101 231-9554 

Fax (5101 231-9471 

Paolo Negro 

Joint Research Centre 

Safety Technology Unit 

Applied Mechanics Unn 

Ispra, Italy 

Phone (39-332) 785452 

Fax (39-3321 789049 

Armarvl Onesto 
US Dept of Energy 
Energy Tech Engineering Ctr 
6633 Canoga Ave 
Canoga Park, CA 91303 
Phone (8181 586-5524 
Fax (8181 586-5118 

Gerard C. Pardoen 
University of California 
Civil & Environ Engr Dept 
Mail Code 2175 
Irvine, CA 92717-2175 
Phone (7141 824-7094 
Fax (7141 824-2117 

Joseph Peniien 

International Civil Engr Cor^sfts 

1995 University Ave, Suite 119 

Berkeley, CA 94704 

Phone (510) 841-7328 

Fax (510) 841-7438 

Jacques Perdriat 

Accutronic France S.A. 

PO Box 64-8 

Rue Des Dames 

Les Clayes-Sous-Bois, F-78340 France 



235 



Workshop Participant Listing 

EER] Workshop on Assessment of Earthquake Engineering Research ani Test Facilities 

July 31 -August 1. 1995 

San Francisco, CA 



Clarkson W Pinkham 

S B Barnes Associates 

2236 Beverly Blvd 

Los Angeles, CA 90057-2292 

Phone (213) 382-2385 

Fax (213) 382-6885 

Ego' Paul Popov 
University of California 
Civil Engineering Dept 
Davis Hall 

Berkeley, CA 94720 
Phone (5101 642-2468 
Fax (5101 643-8928 

James B Radziminski 

University of South Carolina 

3A01 Sweanngen Engineering Building 

Columbia, SC 29208 

Phone (803) 777-7505 

Fax (803) 777-9597 

James E. Roberts 
Caltraru 

Engineenng Services 
1 960 Tudor Court 
Sacramento, CA 95608 
Phone (916)481-7342 

Christopher Rojahn 
Applied Technology Council 
555 Twin Dolphin Dr, Suite 550 
Redwood City. CA 94065 
Phone (415) 595-1542 
Fax (415) 593-2320 

Erdal Safak 
US Geological Survey 
Box 25046, MS 966 
Denver Federal Center 
Denver, CO 80225 
Phone (303) 273-8593 
Fax (303) 273-8600 

Friedar Seibia 

UniversitY of C:aSifornia 

Stnjctural Systems 

t^ail Code 0085 

San Diego, CA 92093-0085 

Phone (619) 534-4640 

Fax (619) 634-6373 

Benson Shirtg 
University of Colorado 
Civil Envir Arch Engr Dept 
Campus Box 428 
Boulder, CO 80309-0428 
Phone (303) 492-8026 
Fax (303) 492-7317 



Drexel L. Smith 
Wyle Laboratories, Inc 
1841 Hillside Ave 
Norco, CA 91760-0160 
Phone (9091 737-0871 
Fax (909) 735-4030 

Mete Sozen 

Purdue University 

School of Civil Engineering 

1284 Civil Engineering Building 

West Lafayette, IN 47907-1284 

Phone (3171 494-2186 

Fax (317)496-2378 

Enrico Spacone 
University of Colorado 
Campus Box 428 
Boulder, CO 80309-0428 
Phone (3031 492-7607 
Fax (303)492-7317 

John F. Stanton 
University of Washir>gton 
214 More Hall, FX-10 
Seattle, WA 98195 
Phone (2061 543-6057 
Fax (206) 543-1543 

Richard C. Svoud 
Synergistic Technology, Inc 
3350 Scon Blvd, Building 30 
Santa Clara, CA 95054 
Phone (408) 982-0600 
Fax (408) 982-9303 

Robert C. Tauschar 
Team Corporation 
1 1 59 Water Tank Rd 
Burlington, WA 98273 
Phone (360) 757-8601 
Fax (360) 757-4401 

Christopt>er Thawalt 
University of California 
Civil Engineering Dept 
Berkeley, CA 94720 
Phone (5101 643-5514 
Fax (510) 643-8928 

Susan K. Tubbasing 

EERi 

499 14th St. Suite 320 

Oakland, CA 94612 

Phone (510) 451-0905 

Fax (510)451-6411 



Makoto Watabe 

Shimizu Corp Seavarxs South 

2-3 Shibaura 1-Chome 

Minato-Ku 

Tokyo, Japan 

Phone (81-3) 5441-1111 

Richard N. Wright 

NIST 

Building & Fire Research Lab 

Building 226, Room B216 

Gaithersburg, MD 20899 

Phone (3011 975-5900 

Fax (301)975-4032 

Loring A Wyllie, Jr 
Degenkolb Engineers 
350 Sansome St, Suite 900 
San Francisco, CA 94104 
Phone (415) 392-6952 
Fax (415)981-3157 

Art Zeizel 

FEMA 

500 C Street SW 

Washington, DC 20472 

Phone (202) 646-2805 

Fax (202) 646-2577 



236 

Mr. Baker. Thank you, Dr. Abrams. Dr. Komor, you mentioned 
that some of your recommendations might be controversial. 

Could you explain that a little? 

Mr. KOMOR. Yes. All the options that relate to insurance and dis- 
aster systems are quite controversial because of the huge amounts 
of money involved and the potential for financial impacts on the in- 
surance industry. 

There's also a secondary issue that is controversial in a different 
sense, which relates to looking at the appropriate Federal role in 
mitigation. Is it the Federal Government's role or responsibility to 
influence individual behavior or to regulate individual behavior? 
That is, also, of course, quite controversial as well. 

Mr. Baker. And, the third is the building standards in this era 
of unfunded mandates. Can we really tell local governments and 
state governments they ought to be doing all this, huh? 

Mr. Komor. Yes. 

Mr. Baker. You also said that the program lacks focus. Is that 
because our congressional mandate is unclear; or, is it because 
there are four agencies all going the wrong way? 

Mr. KOMOR. I think both factors. Certainly, the legislation, 
NEHRP, itself does lay out some broad goals — interactions, but 
they are not — I certainly wouldn't characterize them as very spe- 
cific direction. 

And, one option for the Congress is to take the initiative to set 
very specific goals. I think what would be preferable, in my mind, 
is to ask the lead agency, FEMA, to set some very specific goals, 
goals that could be measured. 

For example, one goal we offer, not because this is a good goal 
but to provide an example, would be to define some percent of the 
building stock in some future year to incorporate known tech- 
nologies as captured in current codes. It would be an example of 
a very specific goal. 

This would not only give the program more direction but would 
provide a better way to measure the success of the program. 

Mr. Baker. Well, I want to compliment you on your report. It's 
excellent. 

Mr. Komor. Thank you. 

Mr. Baker. It's well done. And, it has brought together a lot of 
resources that are good for Congress to look at. 

Dr. Abrams, you mentioned spending $180 million to $300 mil- 
lion on testing facilities. In the laboratories, we are now simulating 
automobile crashes and impacts of bombs by using computers. 

Do you feel that there is anyway we could attempt to simulate 
the effect of an earthquake or a shake without actually building a 
laboratory large enough to shake buildings? 

Mr. Abrams. Well, we do have computer models that have been 
developed for doing that. But, we need to have tests to confirm 
those results. 

Also, by doing tests, you can see observations in the test results 
that stimulate to create pew computer models. So, it just c£in't be 
guessed at. It needs to be observed with a test specimen. 

Mr. Baker. Since we don't know where the next one is going to 
be, how would we observe it even if we had the equipment? 



237 

Mr. Abrams. Well, you would do it after the fact by looking at 
the damage. 

Mr. Baker. At the building? 

Mr. Abrams. And, the buildings cannot be instrumented. All 
buildings can't be instrumented. Whereas, in the laboratory envi- 
ronment, they can. 

Mr. Baker. If I were to ask you to focus your spending, what 
would you do first? 

Mr. Abrams. As I mentioned in the report, to upgrade the exist- 
ing facilities in the country. 

Mr. Baker. Just upgrade the existing facilities? 

Mr. Abrams. Yes. That's our highest priority. 

Mr. Baker. And, what was your ball park figure for that? 

Mr. Abrams. $60 miUion over 5 to 10 years. 

Mr. Baker. Okay. Mr. Geren. 

Mr. Geren. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank the witnesses for 
their testimony. 

That $60 million— just to follow up on your last answer — that's 
in addition to the annual $40 million a year? 

Mr. Abrams. That's the capital investment cost. The operating 
cost was estimated at $40 million to $50 million once those facili- 
ties would be operational. 

Mr. Geren. In comparing the information you get fi-om the com- 
puter modeling with the actual testing, would it be analogous to 
the aerospace industry where you've got computer modeling on 
wings but that has not done away with the need for air tunnels 
that actually — 

Mr. Abrams. Exactly 

Mr. Geren. — show how that would behave and all? 

Mr. Abrams. Right. 

Mr. Geren. You talked about international cooperation and the 
drawbacks or limits to that. It would seem to me that if there is 
any area that would be right for extensive international participa- 
tion, it would be this sort of testing. 

What would be some drawbacks to international collaboration 
and then push that much harder than we have currently pushed 

Mr. Abrams. Well, we do have cooperative programs with other 
countries where we do mutual testing. But, the construction meth- 
ods in the various coiuitries differ. 

For example, I conducted a cooperative program with Italy on 
masonry structures. And, their masonry practices are different. 
Their materials or craftsmanship are different. 

It's good to see what's going on abroad, but you can't rely on that 
exclusively. 

Mr. Geren. Are there other countries where we do have suffi- 
ciently common practices where there would be a good deal of over- 
lap? 

I mean, does Japan fall in that category with all of their new 
construction? 

Mr. Abrams. Well, we've had a number of cooperative programs 
with Japan on concrete buildings and steel buildings and masonry 
buildings and precast concrete buildings and now composite steel 



238 

concrete buildings. And, there has been quite a bit to learn from 
that. 

But, their building codes are different in each country. We can't 
rely exclusively on the international part. It's something we can 
learn quite a bit from but not exclusively. 

Also, much of the research done in the United States is done at 
universities. And, it's difficult to export our graduate students 
abroad and expect them to get degrees in the U.S. 

It's the nature of the beast. We must keep them at home. 

Mr. Geren. It just seems, when you consider your recommenda- 
tion of $60 miUion and you consider the tens £ind hundreds of bil- 
lions that are lost internationally, you are talking about a drop in 
the bucket there. 

Mr. Abrams. Oh, it's a fraction of a percent. 

Mr. Geren. If you could bring together all the interested parties, 
even if you had to, you know, triple it or quadruple it, it just 
seems — 

Mr. Abrams. Oh, 5,000 times. The losses due to Loma Prieta and 
Northridge were the upper end of — it was about $50 billion. We £tre 
talking about $60 million. So, there is a factor of a thousand right 
there. 

Mr. Geren. I just wonder if we have done everything we can to 
maximize the opportunities for international collaboration. 

Mr. Abrams. Well, we list a few in our report on where we can 
go from here. We can perhaps improve on what we have. But, it's 
just not the only way to go. 

Mr. Geren. Have you seen in other countries — I guess, could you 
review the state of the private sector participation? You made some 
very interesting suggestions for fees or taxes to go to the private 
sector to help fund this kind of research. 

Are there certain states that have already done anything along 
these lines or other countries that have looked to the private sector 
and come up with a mechanism to fund this sort of research? 

Mr. Abrams. Not that I know of. California, I believe, has had 
some with insurance industries. 

But, that's a httle bit beyond my realm. I'm sorry. Certainly not 
in Illinois. 

Mr. Geren. Well, in your testimony, I thought that was the 
states, in many ways, have the best of both worlds now. They can 
resist the unfunded mandates, as the chairman was referring to, 
but then the Federal Government is going to be there and pay the 
bill. 

You know, it seems to me they shouldn't be able to have it both 
ways. And, yet, the pohtics are such that when a disaster happens, 
regardless of what the behavior was that preceded it, the Federal 
Government is going to pay the bill. 

And, it seems to me this is a case for, at least, some limitations 
on the unfunded mandate issue, knowing full well that if the disas- 
ter comes we axe not going to be able to say no. 

Mr. Abrams. That's right. 

Mr. Geren. That's the current problem. I can't think of— I will 
tell you, I've only been here — this is my fourth term, but how many 
bills I've voted for to send money to California. It's almost an an- 
nual occurrence. 



239 

Mr. Baker. And, we appreciate each one of those votes. 

[Laughter.] 

Mr. Geren. It's like the fall harvest. 

Mr. Baker. We tried to give it all back in the super duper super 
collider, but we failed. 

Mr. Geren. That's right. And, failed miserably, I might say. 

[Laughter.] 

Mr. Geren. I have a couple of questions for Dr. Komor, but let 
me hold off on those until my colleagues have an opportunity to 
ask some questions. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Baker. Thank you, Mr. Geren. And, Mr. Bartlett. And, we 
are very happy to be joined by Dr. Ehlers also, our second scientist. 

Mr. Bartlett. Thank you very much. In building for earth- 
quakes, it's fairly obvious that there are some things that one can 
do that will not increase costs. It's simply a selection of appropriate 
materials and techniques. 

For instance, frame is obviously more resistant to earthquakes 
than typical unreinforced masonry construction. But, when you go 
beyond that, when you are now requiring building techniques that 
do increase costs, have we done any cost benefit analysis to see 
when we reach the point of diminishing returns, when it would just 
be cheaper to buy the insurance, since not every building in the 
country is going to be subject to earthquakes and some of them 
may never be and requiring exorbitant increases in costs to protect 
buildings against earthquakes? 

At some point, it would be rational to just pay the insurance and 
share the risk rather than design every building in the country so 
that it would ride out a Richter scale 8.0 earthquake. Has that 
kind of analysis been done? 

And, if not — obviously, you must make some assumptions. But, 
I think from history we can make those kinds of assumptions. 

Has that kind of analysis been done so that we c£in rationally ap- 
proach these building codes and the increased costs that are im- 
posed on businesses and fsunilies? 

Mr. Komor. I will take a cut at that question. I think the short 
answer is no. 

The current codes do have different standards or levels. For ex- 
ample, you have to do more in California than in Texas, because 
the risk is higher. 

However, due in part to the uncertainty over future earthquake 
occurrence, it's hard to do that cost benefits, because we don't know 
what's going to hit us and when it's going to hit us. So, it's difficult 
to determine the optimum level. 

The codes try to do that through a consensus process, basically 
a lot of smart people getting together and deciding what is an ap- 
propriate level of safety. But, I wouldn't call it an optimizing proc- 
ess. 

Mr. Bartlett. But, unless you've done a systematic analysis, you 
are very likely, in terms of a cost benefit sinalysis — since we don't 
have all the money in the world, although this Congress has in the 
past behaved as if it might — since you don't have all the money in 
the world you really need, it seems to me, a cost benefit analysis 
to know when you are reaching the point of diminishing returns so 



240 

that it now no longer becomes productive to build in more earth- 
quake proofiiess in buildings; but it now becomes productive simply 
to share the risk by paying for insurance to protect you in the 
event of an earthquake. 

It seems to me that a rational society would need to decide. Obvi- 
ously, you've got to make some judgments — earthquakes are going 
to hit more often in California than they do in Nebraska, for in- 
stance. And, you will obviously want to have more protection in 
California, more building code requirements and/or more insurance. 

But, it seems to me that this is something that — this is a role 
that the Federal Government could play in providing the research 
capability for this kind of angdysis, because this now can be shared 
by all of the states. 

Mr. KOMOR. I agree. I will just point out that we do know the 
costs reasonably well, but the benefits are very uncertain because 
the timing of the future earthquakes and the incremental reduction 
in damage that would occur from the strengthening is somewhat 
uncertain as well. 

Mr. Bartlett. Okay. I thank you very much. Thank you for your 
testimony. 

Mr. Baker. Dr. Ehlers. 

Mr. Ehlers. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First, Dr. Komor, I sim- 
ply want to comment that I appreciate your report. I appreciate the 
service that you and others at OTA have provided. 

I was heavily involved in the fight to preserve it in some fashion 
or other. And, I deeply regret that it no longer exists. 

And, please pass my appreciation on to your former colleagues as 
well. 

Mr. KoMOR. I will do that. Thank you for the kind words. 

Mr. Ehlers. Yes. We certainly appreciate eveiythmg youVe 
done. And, this report is an example of the fine work you do. 

Dr. Abrams, just a question. We had someone testify last year 
that in the Northridge earthquake an item of great concern in ex- 
amining the damage said that apparently all the standards that 
have been established in laboratories for weld strength on steel 
structures are probably wrong, because those are welds made in 
the laboratory under ideal conditions and when you have a worker 
hanging upside down on the eighteenth floor making welds you 
don't get quite the same quality of weld. 

I would just like your comments on that. Is that, in fact, in your 
opinion, a valid concern? 

Should the codes be revised to take accoimt of that and to re- 
quire a greater weld strength, assimiing on the average that the 
typical weld is not going to meet the ide^ specifications? 

Mr. Abrams. Yes. There is a major program underway, a re- 
search program, which is called the — I guess there is a book on it 
here, fiinded by FEMA — called the "SAC Activity." It's a consor- 
tium of the Structural Engineers Association of CaUfomia, the Ap- 
plied Technology Council and the California Universities for Earth- 
quake Engineering Research. 

They have gotten some support from FEMA. And, I guess the in- 
terim guidelines have been pubUshed. 



241 

There is a significant amount of money provided for the research 
to improve building codes for steel structures. And, there have been 
weld failures in the laboratory, too. 

As a matter of fact, there were weld failures observed at the Uni- 
versity of Texas before Northridge of a similar sort indicating this 
problem. But, that was the only source of that information. 

There wasn't enough supporting information to change the codes 
before the earthquake. Had perhaps the funding levels for research 
been higher we could have identified that problem beforehand, 
which is again an underscoring of my previous comments on being 
able to test large scede replicas of our buildings to identify these 
problems beforehand. 

Mr. Ehlers. All right. Perhaps if Governor Weld of Massachu- 
setts becomes President Weld at some time in the future we would 
have concern for good welds at the very highest level of this nation. 

[Laughter.] 

Mr. Ehlers. One other question. At yet smother hearing on this 
topic, a dispute emerged. 

There appesired to be a dispute between the State of California 
representatives, or at least those fi*om Southern California, and the 
USGS, I believe, about the maps that are used as a basis for zoning 
requirements on building codes. 

Are you familiar with this at all or not? 

Mr. Abrams. I do know that the mapping issue has been under 
study with the Building Seismic Ssifety Council and their new pro- 
visions update processes incorporating new maps for the next — 

Mr. Ehlers. But, you are not aware of the dispute? 

Mr. Abrams. But, that's seismology and geophysics. 

Mr. Ehlers. All right, fine. I just wanted to see if you had heard 
of that. 

I tried to cut through that. And, the staff of the Committee was 
kind enough to do some research on this. 

And, it seems to me the USGS was probably doing the right 
thing. 

Mr. Abrams. It's a very political process of assigning seismic 
zones to various counties. 

Mr. Ehlers. Right, probably particularly in California. 

Mr. Abrams. Right. 

Mr. Ehlers. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I yield back 
the remainder of my time. 

Mr. Baker. You are very welcome. And, Panel 2 has a represent- 
ative fi*om the USGS. So, you will be able to ask that again. 

Peter, back to you. Have you got a thought? 

Mr. Geren. Go ahead. 

Mr. Baker. Mr. Luther, we are very happy you are here. 

Mr. Luther. Thank you. 

Mr. Baker. Do you have questions of this panel? 

Mr. Luther. Just a question. I think it would be helpful — th£ink 
you, incidentally, for the hearing. And, I certainly want to thank 
the panelists. 

I would be interested in any comments that you might have on 
the bill known as the Natural Disaster Protection and Insurance 
Act of 1995. It's a bill that surfaced and obviously the intention is 



242 

to inject mitigation and insurance considerations into this entire 
debate and discussion. 

And, I would just be — as long as you are here on this subject, I 
would be interested in your thoughts on that. 

Mr. KOMOR. I'm somewhat famiUar with the bill. The only com- 
ment that I would be comfortable making is that the mitigation 
component is a very important component. 

And, I agree with the decision to make sure that mitigation is 
included in the legislation and that there are sufficient incentives 
or other ways to ensure that mitigation money is spent up front to 
avoid the problem of moral hazard. 

That's a term that comes from the insurance field. That means 
basically if you don't think you are going to have to pay for the 
damage, you tend not to be as careful as you would otherwise be. 

So, I'm extremely pleased to see that the bill does have a strong 
mitigation component. 

Mr. Abrams. All I know about it is what I saw on the Internet 
the other night, something that is including the other hazards in 
with earthquakes as well, in which case it would be a broader fo- 
cused bill than the NEHRP. I really can't comment. 

Mr. Luther. I appreciate that. I'm hearing increasing discussion 
of it. 

And, I know there is considerable interest on the part of many, 
many people. And, certainly I've been contacted by constituents as 
well. 

And, I just thought that I would raise the issue and see if you 
had any particular input that you could share with us. Thank you. 

Mr. Baker. That measure allows for a pooling of insurance re- 
sources so that you are not left naked, so to speak, when it hits 
in your community alone. And, it does, I think, include other disas- 
ters. 

But, that and raising the standards will help insurance compa- 
nies stay in business, because we lost several insurance companies 
in the Southern California quake who were stable until that time. 
But, when you lost 4,000 insureds in one day, you are not — ^there 
is no way you can build an actuarial table that will mitigate that. 

So, by allowing all the companies nationwide to avoid the anti- 
trust legislation and to pool their resources, then we can keep these 
companies in business. The net result, by the way, Mr. Luther, was 
nobody will write in California right now. 

So, you csui't get insurance. Nobody wants the additional risk. So, 
this will be a very important piece of legislation when it comes. 

Peter has a further question. Mr. Geren. 

Mr. Geren. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Dr. Komor, I would like 
you to talk a httle about FEMA. 

- Your report says that FEMA is the best candidate to be the lead 
agency in NEHRP. And, can you explain how you reached that con- 
clusion and also highlight FEMA's efforts so far to manage the pro- 
gram and the changes that they have brought about in recent 
years? 

Mr. Komor. Yes. That is a controversial issue. That is the issue 
of who should be the lead agency. 

In o\ir view, of the four NEHRP agencies, FEMA is the most ap- 
propriate lead agency because what is emerging as the key chal- 



243 

lenge for NEHRP is implementation. It's getting these technologies 
and practices in place. 

And, FEMA has a management rather than a research mission 
and is, therefore, the best of the four agencies to manage it. In my 
view, if lead agency status is given to a research oriented agency, 
such as the National Science Foundation, NEHRP will become in- 
creasingly a research program. And, in my view, that doesn't meet 
well with the current challenge it faces to actually implement. 

It is — also, in our view, FEMA has certainly been criticized since 
NEHRFs inception for failure to lead in an aggressive way. As I 
noted in my testimony, one possible solution to that is for Congress 
to direct FEMA to come up with very explicit targeted and measur- 
able goals for NEHRP and to provide oversight and for the other 
agencies to make sure they all cooperate to see that these goals are 
defined and met. 

Mr. Geren. Well, FEMA only comes to the public's attention at 
the time of a disaster. And, of course, nobody who is at the disaster 
is ever satisfied with the handling of the disaster. 

They are just confi-onted with almost impossible logistical tasks. 
I only say that, because I don't want to stand here and try to offer 
my own personal judgment of FEMA. But, I will say that we often 
hear criticism of FEMA's management of disasters in their after- 
math. 

When you choose FEMA as the best candidate for the lead agen- 
cy, are you only choosing among the four? 

Are you satisfied that FEMA has the capabilities within that or- 
ganization to handle this program effectively; or, are you only 
choosing them because you only have four choices? 

Do you think that it's something we should consider looking out- 
side the capabilities of the four? 

Mr. KOMOR. In my view, of the — 

Mr. Geren. We know how you feel of the four. 

Mr. KoMOR. Yeah, okay. I've made it clear of the four. 

I think FEMA, under its new director, has certainly publicly stat- 
ed a much stronger interest in orientation towards mitigation. In 
my personal view, FEMA, with appropriate and perhaps fi-equent 
oversight fi-om this Committee, if given a clear mission of establish- 
ing clear and measurable goals, could do the job. 

Mr. Geren. Do you thin^ that FEMA is strong in being proactive 
rather than reactive? 

Again, we only see FEMA in action — I'm speaking fi"om the gen- 
eral pubhc's point of view — in reacting to disasters. Do you think 
they nave experience that would demonstrate that they are good at 
being proactive and in coming up with mitigation plans and actu- 
ally working with communities, having the political skills, the 
skills that would have to be brought to bear in order to pull off 
something like this? 

I mean, coming up with a good mitigation plan, there's a whole 
lot more to that than just knowing how to do it. It would be a very 
complicated political task. 

It would involve probably reaching out to get the private sector 
to participate. It's quite a chore for sdl the reasons we've discussed. 

And, I just would like your opinion on whether or not you think 
that those skills currently reside in FEMA or if what you see in 



244 

FE^MA is largely an agency that is best at just reacting and trying 
to mitigate a disaster that has occurred. 

Mr. KOMOR. I think, in the past, FEMA has been almost entirely 
a reactive agency. That has been their job, to react to disasters. 

However, in the last few years, they have tried to build a 
proactive capability. I don't think they have demonstrated the abil- 
ity to do that in the past, but again of the four agencies they seem 
the most likely to be able to get that done in the fiiture. 

Mr. Geren. Okay. It's hard to do these proactive initiatives, 
whether it's tr3dng to get people not to build in flood prone areas 
or tr3dng to get communities to do these sort of mitigation meas- 
ures. 

And, I just wonder if we don't need to focus on — instead of giving 
them a task that's an impossible task for them, if we are truly in- 
terested in bringing about these mitigation efforts, if we don't need 
to give them additional tools or perhaps even look outside of an or- 
ganization whose job really is to try to help people deal with an 
awful situation after it's there. 

Thanks, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Baker. Thank you, Mr. Geren. One last question. In 25 
words or less, are California building standards adequate? 

Mr. Abrams. They are improving. 

Mr. Baker. They are improving? Are they in all areas where a 
quake might occur? 

Mr. Abrams. I'm sorry, are the standards in — 

Mr. Baker. Yes, standards implemented by building codes. Are 
the building codes sufficient to do the job in California? 

Mr. Abrams. For new construction? 

Mr. Baker. Yes. 

Mr. Abrams. I would say they are fairly good. For existing build- 
ings, we are working on it. 

There are new standards being created, as we speak, through the 
Building Seismic Safety Council for rehabilitation of existing build- 
ings. 

Mr. KOMOR. I would just add the caveat that they are likely suf- 
ficient if enforced and applied correctly, which is not always the 
case. 

Mr. Baker. Okay. Thank you very much, both of you, for being 
here today. 

We would like to introduce Panel 2 without any hesitation so 
that we don't lose our audience up here. Congress has been accused 
of having a very short attention span, so we want to make sure 
that we don't lose any of the great witnesses we have here today. 

Mr. Richard Moore is Associate Director for Mitigation, the Fed- 
eral Emergency Management Agency. And, he will be able to di- 
rectly answer Mr. Geren's last three questions. 

Dr. Richard Wright, Director, Building and Fire Research Lab- 
oratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology; Dr. Jo- 
seph Bordogna, Assistant Director for Engineering, National 
Science Foundation; and, Dr. Robert Hamilton, Coordinator for 
Geologic Hazards Program Office, United States Geological Survey. 

Welcome. And, if for no other reason, we will just start with Mr. 
Moore and work across. And, thank you for being here. 



245 

STATEMENT OF RICHARD T. MOORE, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR 
FOR MITIGATION, FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT 
AGENCY 

Mr. Moore. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the Sub- 
committee. I am pleased to appear and discuss the role of the Fed- 
eral Emergency Management Agency in your program. 

In the last several years, we have been beset with an unprece- 
dented series of natural catastrophes, the costs of which would be 
unthinkable only a decade ago. The litany of these events is well 
known to all of us from Hurricanes Hugo, Andrew, Iniki and, most 
recently, Marilyn and Opal, to the midwest floods and the Loma 
Prieta and Northridge earthquakes. 

Of the natural hazards just listed, earthquakes, in spite of the 
advances made by the NEHRP agencies, present us with perhaps 
the greatest challenges for several reasons. First, we are still learn- 
ing when it comes to understanding completely the forces that gen- 
erate earthquakes and the possible location and timing of their oc- 
currence. 

Second, because of their comparative infrequency, it's difficult to 
raise and sustain a level of public concern necessary to carry haz- 
ard reduction programs forward. And, third, we are still in a devel- 
opmental stage when it comes to designing and building earth- 
quake resistant structures and to rehabilitating older buildings and 
infrastructure. 

This is not to deny the impressive gains that have been made 
since the passage of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 
1977 but to acknowledge the magnitude and complexity of the 
problems with which we continue to grapple. 

FEMA has a dual set of responsibilities, as has already been 
mentioned, under NEHRP. The first set is related to the role of 
lead agency for the program. In this regard, we are responsible for 
presenting a consolidated budget to the Office of Management and 
Budget, for overall program planning, for biennial reports to the 
Congress and for promoting the implementation of the earthquake 
hazards reduction measures by all levels of government, the stand- 
ards and codes organizations and the construction sectors. 

The second set of responsibilities involves implementing hazard 
reduction activities, including providing grants £ind technical as- 
sistance to states and local governments, earthquake education and 
pubUc awareness, development and dissemination of information 
on seismic resistant building standards and practices, earthquake 
disaster response planning and integrating earthquake hazards re- 
duction with other natural and technological hazards reduction 
techniques. 

As I am sure you are aware, Mr. Chairman, the Administration 
received a letter in November of 1993 from several members, rais- 
ing a number of concerns about NEHRP, at least two of which were 
related to the lead agency functions, the lack of an overall strategic 
plan and insufficient coordination among the agencies to shape a 
unified and coherent program. The Administration has just com- 
pleted a study of the program and is instituting changes to include 
more agencies and to designate a program officer in FEMA to be 
responsible for overall program msmagement. 



246 

FEMA continues to share the vision of the Congress for NEHRP, 
a program that is more closely coordinated in the context of a clear- 
ly defined set of objectives, and pledges to exert every effort in the 
context of the Administration's decisions to make that vision a re- 
ality. 

With respect to leadership, I am particularly pleased by the ex- 
tent to which the Federal Government, at the urging of this Com- 
mittee, is setting the example for the states and local governments 
in adopting seismic safety standards for both new and existing con- 
struction. Executive Order 12699, of January 5th, 1990, directed 
Federal agencies to issue regulations or procedures incorporating 
cost effective seismic safety measures for all new Federal buildings 
that are built, leased, assisted or regulated by the Federal Govern- 
ment. 

In December of last year, we were able to report that all the af- 
fected Federal agencies have issued the required procedures or reg- 
ulations, and that all have adopted one or more recommended min- 
imum standards for seismic safety. 

Further, by Executive Order 12941, issued December 1st, 1994 
by the President, the President adopted minimum standards to be 
appUed to the seismic safety of all existing federally-owned or 
leased buildings. It also directs agencies to survey their existing in- 
ventory against those standards for seismic risks and to report on 
their findings and on the estimated cost of mitigating unacceptable 
seismic risks in those buildings. 

The idea behind the Executive Order is to systematically identify 
opportunities to upgrade and retro-fit. This process sets the exam- 
ple for upgrading critical facilities at risk in other building sectors 
as well. 

Touching briefly on FEMA's program delivery responsibilities, we 
administer an annual grant program of $5.8 million to 35 states in 
Fiscal 1995 to support their earthquake hazards reduction activi- 
ties, including training for architects and engineers, efforts sup- 
porting hsizards identification and loss estimation techniques and 
the adoption £ind enforcement of seismic codes, response and recov- 
ery planning and education and pubHc awareness. The fiinds are 
provided on a 50/50 matching basis and are distributed on a for- 
mula that takes into account the level of seismic hazard and popu- 
lation at risk. 

We administer a national earthquake technical assistance con- 
tract that provides access to expertise in seismic matters on a short 
term basis to state and local governments. We also provide funding 
support to three major state earthquake consortia serving the 
northeast, central and western areas of the nation. 

FEMA's education and pubhc awareness activities imder NEHRP 
include workshops conducted by the three building code organiza- 
tions and the American Institute of Architects to acquaint builders, 
code officials and design professionals with the seismic aspects of 
the codes they use and enforce. We sponsor an annual workshop 
at which professionals in the field meet with state emergency man- 
agement and hazard mitigation staff to exchange information and 
ideas. 

We support courses presented at our Emergency Management In- 
stitute and in the field that promote knowledge of seismic hazards 



247 

for state emergency managers, educators and facilities and lifelines 
managers. We have collaborated with the National Science Teach- 
er's Association, the American Geophysical Union and others to de- 
velop and offer in-school courses for Grades K through 12, as well 
as a home study course in seismic safety. 

Additionally, FEMA provides funding support to nationally recog- 
nized information and dissemination centers, including the Na- 
tional Center for Earthquake Engineering Research at the State 
University of New York at Buffalo, the Southern California Earth- 
quake Center, the Earthquake Research Institute £ind the Natural 
Hazards Information Center at the University of Colorado. 

Over the years, the agency has developed and published a series 
of documents, acknowledged as being authoritative in the field, 
that serve the purposes of heightening pubHc awareness of the seis- 
mic hazard and measures that may be taken to mitigate it, dis- 
seminating the most current information on building practices and 
transferring technology into the built environment. Two major ex- 
amples in this regard are the "NEHRP Recommended Provisions 
for Seismic Regulations for New Buildings," developed under con- 
tract by the Building Seismic Safety Council, which now forms the 
basis for the seismic portions of all three of the nation's model 
building codes, and the "Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Build- 
ings" with accompanying "Commentary," scheduled for completion 
in late 1997. 

The latter documents will contain nationally-applicable consen- 
sus-backed criteria and allow practitioners to choose approaches 
consistent with different levels of seismic safety, as required by 
such considerations as geographic location, type of building and oc- 
cupancy and building performance objectives. 

Additionally, FEMA has contracted with the National Institute of 
Building Sciences to develop a nationally-applicable standardized 
methodology for estimating potential earthquake losses on a re- 
gional basis. This methodology will be offered to the states as a 
basis for the risk analyses that are incorporated in our new Per- 
formance Partnership Agreements that FEMA is negotiating with 
each of the states. 

The research and studies performed by the other NEHRP agen- 
cies are the critical first step of a cycle that leads to the develop- 
ment of a resource document or a standard, such as the "NEHRP 
Recommended Provisions." However, the cycle often develops gaps 
when eeirthquakes present us with previously unforeseen problems. 

To address them, FEMA is initiating what we caHl "problem-fo- 
cused studies." A major example of this type of activity currently 
underway is the steel moment fi*ame buildings study, which is ex- 
amining the causes and cures relating to the unacceptable perform- 
ance of steel moment fi*ame connections in the Northridge earth- 
quake. Other studies will examine the development of seismic 
building performance criteria and an improved set of seismic de- 
sign maps. 

In this very brief description of FEMA's responsibilities and ac- 
tivities under NEHRP, I hope I have conveyed the thought that the 
issues surrounding earthquake hazards reduction are large and 
pervasive. However, many of these issues are not unique to earth- 
quake hazards, particularly those that involve developing and sus- 



248 



taining an awareness of the hazard and a commitment to take ap- 
propriate mitigating actions. This fact has been underscored during 
our development over the last year and a half of a National Mitiga- 
tion Strategy in which we seek to provide a framework for a con- 
certed effort to tackle some of these issues head-on. 

A stronger mitigation emphasis is the best way to deal with the 
economic and social consequences of earthquakes. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Moore follows:] 



249 



TESTIMONY OF 

RICHARD T. MOORE 

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR MITIGATION 
FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON BASIC RESEARCH 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE 

UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

October 24, 1995 



250 



Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, I am pleased to appear 
before this distinguished panel today to discuss the role of the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency in the National Earthquake 
Hazards Reduction Program, or NEHRP. I am Richard T. Moore, 
Associate Director for Mitigation at FEMA. 

I applaud you for calling hearings at this time - a time when the 
Nation stands at a crossroads concerning our policy towards dealing 
with the impacts of natural hazards on our people, their property 
and our economy. In the last several years we have been beset with 
an unprecedented series of natural catastrophes, the costs of which 
were unthinkable only a decade ago. The litany of these events is 
well known to all of us: Hurricanes Hugo, Andrew, Iniki, Marilyn, 
and Opal; the Mid-West floods of 1993; and the Loma Prieta and 
Northridge earthquakes. 

Of the natural hazards just listed, earthquakes, in spite of the 
advances made by the NEHRP agencies, present us with perhaps the 
greatest challenges, for several reasons. First, we are still 
learning when it comes to iinderstanding completely the forces that 
generate earthquakes and the possible location and timing of their 
occurrence. Second, because of their comparative infrequency, it is 
difficult to raise and sustain a level of public concern necessary 
to carry hazard reduction programs forward. And third, we are still 
in a developmental stage when it comes to designing and building 



251 



-2- 

earthquake-resistant structures, and to rehabilitating the older 
buildings and infrastructure. 

This is not to deny the impressive gains that have been made since 
the passage of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977; but to 
acknowledge the magnitude and complexity of the problems with which 
we continue to grapple. 

The 1977 Act established a program involving four agencies; FEKA, 
the United States Geological Survey, the National Science 
Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. 
Each of these agencies will describe its roles in, and 
contributions to, the NEHRP. 

FEMA has a dual set of responsibilities under NEHRP. The first set 
is related to the role of lead agency for the program. In this 
regard, we are responsible for presenting a consolidated budget to 
the Office of Management and Budget, for overall program planning, 
for biennial reports to Congress, and for promoting the 
implementation of earthquake hazards reduction measures by all 
levels of government, standards and code organizations, and the 
construction sectors. The second set of responsibilities involves 
implementing hazard reduction activities, including providing 
grants and technical assistance to States and local governments, 
earthquake education and public awareness, development and 
dissemination of information on seismic-resistant building 



252 



-3- 
practices, earthquake disaster response planning, and integrating 
earthquake hazards reduction with other natural and technological 
hazards reduction techniques. 

As I am sure you are aware, Mr. Chairman, the Administration 
received a letter in November of 1993 from several Members, raising 
a number of concerns about NEHRP, at least two of which related to 
lead agency functions - the lack of an overall strategic plan, and 
insufficient coordination among the agencies to shape a unified, 
coherent program. As you are aware, the Administration has 
completed a study of the program and is instituting changes to 
include more Agencies and to designate a Program Officer in FEMA to 
be responsible for overall program management. FEMA continues to 
share the vision of the Congress for NEHRP - a program that is more 
closely coordinated in the context of a clearly defined set of 
objectives - and pledges to exert every effort in the context of 
the Administration's decisions to make that vision a reality. 

With respect to leadership, I am particularly pleased by the extent 
to which the Federal government, at the urging of this Committee, 
is setting the example for States and local governments in adopting 
seismic safety standards for both new and existing construction. 
Executive Order 12699 of January 5, 1990 directed Federal agencies 
to issue regulations or procedures incorporating cost-effective 
seismic safety measures for all new Federal buildings that are 
built, leased, assisted or regulated by the Federal Government. In 



253 



-4- 
December of last year we were able to report that all of the 
affected Federal agencies have issued the required procedures or 
regulations and that all have adopted one or more of the 
reconunended minimuni standards for seismic safety. Further, by 
Executive Order 12941 of December 1, 1994, the President adopted 
minimum standards to be applied to the seismic safety of all 
existing Federally owned or leased buildings. It also directs 
agencies to survey their existing inventory against those standards 
for seismic risks and to report on their findings and on the 
estimated cost of mitigating unacceptable seismic risks in those 
buildings. The idea behind the Executive Order is to 
systematically identify opportunities for upgrade and retrofit. 
This process sets the example for upgrading existing critical 
facilities at risk in other building sectors as well. 

Touching briefly on FEMA's program delivery responsibilities, we 
administer an annual grant program that provided $5.8 million to 35 
States in FY 1995 to support their earthquake hazards reduction 
activities, including training for architects and engineers, 
efforts supporting hazards identification and loss estimation 
techniques and the adoption and enforcement of seismic codes, 
response and recovery planning, and education and public awareness. 
The funds are provided on a 50-50 matching basis, and are 
distributed on a formula that takes into account the level of 
seismic hazard and the population at risk. We administer a national 
earthquake technical assistance contract that provides access to 



21-033 - 96 - q 



254 



-5- 
expertise in seismic matters on a short-term basis to State and 
local governments. We also provide funding support to three major 
State earthquake consortia serving the northeast, central and 
western areas of the Nation. 

FEMA's education and public awareness activities under NEHRF 
include workshops conducted by the three building code 
organizations and the American Institute of Architects to acquaint 
builders, code officials and design professionals with the seismic 
aspects of the codes they use and enforce. We sponsor an annual 
workshop at which professionals in the field meet with State 
emergency management and hazard mitigation staff to exchange 
information and ideas. We support courses presented at our 
Emergency Management Institute and in the field that promote 
knowledge of seismic hazards for State emergency managers, 
educators, and facilities and lifelines managers. We have 
collaborated with the National Science Teacher's Association, the 
American Geophysical Union and others to develop and offer in- 
school courses for grades K-12, as well as a home-study course in 
seismic safety. Additionally, FEMA provides funding support to 
nationally-recognized information dissemination centers, including 
the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research at the 
State University of New York at Buffalo, the Southern California 
Earthquake Center, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, 
and the Natural Hazards Information Center at the University of 
Colorado . 



255 



-6- 
Over the years, the Agency has developed and published a series of 
documents, acknowledged as being authoritative in the field, that 
serve the purposes of heightening public awareness of the seismic 
hazard and measures that may be taken to mitigate it, disseminating 
the most current information on building practices, and 
transferring technology into the built environment. Two major 
examples in this regard are the "NEHRP Recommended Provisions for 
Seismic Regulations for New Buildings," developed under contract 
by the Building Seismic Safety Council, which now forms the basis 
for the seismic portions of all three of the Nation's model 
building codes, and the "Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing 
Buildings" with accompanying "Commentary," scheduled for completion 
in late 1997. The latter documents will contain nationally- 
applicable consensus-backed criteria, and allow practitioners to 
choose approaches consistent with different levels of seismic 
safety as required by such considerations as geographic location, 
type of building and occupancy, and building performance 
objectives. Additionally, FEMA has contracted with the National 
Institute of Building Sciences to develop a nationally-applicable 
standardized methodology for estimating potential earthquake losses 
on a regional basis. This methodology will be offered to the States 
as a basis for the risk analyses that are incorporated in the 
Performance Partnership Agreements that FEMA is negotiating with 
the States. 

The research and studies performed by the other NEHRP agencies are 



256 



-7- 
the critical first step of a cycle that leads to the development of 
a resource document or a standard - such as the "NEHRP Recommended 
Provisions." However, the cycle often develops gaps when 
earthquakes present us with previously unforeseen problems. To 
address them, FEMA is initiating what we call problem-focused 
studies. A major example of this type of activity currently under 
way is the Steel Moment Frame Buildings study, which is examining 
the causes and cures relating to the unacceptable performance of 
steel moment fretme connections in the Northridge earthquake. Other 
studies will examine the development of seismic building 
performance criteria and an improved set of seismic design maps. 

In this very brief description of FEMA's responsibilities and 
activities under NEHRP, I hope I have conveyed the thought that the 
issues surrounding earthquake hazards reduction are large and 
pervasive. They call for the best efforts on the part of Federal 
agencies, State and local governments, academia, and the 
engineering, design and construction professionals - all of whom 
are involved in one or more of the activities I have described. 
However, many of these issues are not unique to the earthquake 
hazard - particularly those that involve developing and sustaining 
an awareness of the hazard and a commitment to take appropriate 
mitigating actions. This fact has been underscored during our 
development of a National Mitigation Strategy, in which we seek to 
provide a freunework for a concerted effort to tackle some of these 
issues head-on. A stronger mitigation emphasis is the best way to 



257 



deal with the economic and social consequences of earthquakes. 

At this time, we cannot predict when and where earthquakes will 
occur; however, we do know how to reduce their effects, based in 
large measure on the work done under the framework provided by 
NEHRP. In closing Mr. Chairman, I want to acknowledge and express 
appreciation for the leadership this Subcommittee has provided in 
this vital area. We look forward to your continued counsel and 
support . 



258 

Mr. Baker. Thank you, Mr. Moore. Dr. Hamilton. 

STATEMENT OF DR. ROBERT M. HAMILTON, PROGRAM COOR- 
DINATOR FOR GEOLOGIC HAZARDS, UNITED STATES GEO- 
LOGICAL SURVEY 

Mr. Hamilton. Mr. Chairman, and members of the Subcommit- 
tee, I welcome this opportunity to appear before you on the reau- 
thorization of NEHRP and specifically to discuss the role that the 
Geological Survey plays in that program. 

I believe that, on the whole, NEHRP is one of the most effective 
programs conducted by the Federal Grovemment and that it con- 
stitutes an example of successftd collaboration with state and local 
governments, academia and the private sector. In less than 20 
years, the program has developed new earthquake knowledge that 
is steadily being implemented through improved building stand- 
ards and land use and better preparedness. 

It is remarkable to recall that when NEHRP began, we did not 
understand the cause of the three magnitude 8 earthquEikes that 
struck at New Madrid, Missouri in 1811 and 1812. And, now we 
do. 

We misperceived the earthquake threat to the Seattle-Tacoma re- 
gion. And, now we have a sound basis for action. 

We had few recordings of strong ground motion for engineering 
design. And, now we have a wealth of records. 

Nevertheless, much remains to be done. As one example of our 
challenges, we are only now learning about the threat of blind 
thrust faults — that is, faults that are buried and cannot be seen at 
the surface — in the Los Angeles area. One of these faults caused 
the Northridge earthquake. 

The USGS role in NEHRP— and I do beheve that the roles are 
fairly well specified — is to assess earthquake hazards, including 
understanding the cause of earthquakes and the nature of their ef- 
fects. Such information provides the basis for all strategies to miti- 
gate earthquake losses. 

Our role complements that of our NEHRP partners and is car- 
ried out by both government and non-government experts who are 
coordinated by means of a common program plan. 

We recognize that although NEHRP has made great progress 
much remains to be done. In particular, there is dissatisfaction at 
the pace of implementing our findings. 

Now, this situation is referred to in the OTA report, as you 
heard, as an implementation gap. In addressing this problem, it is 
essential to recognize that the authority for most implementation 
actions rests at local levels of government or in the private sector; 
therefore, closing the gap involves political issues concerning man- 
dates and incentives as well as federal/state roles. 

The most significant domestic earthquake since the last NEHRP 
reauthorization hearings was at Northridge, California on January 
17th, 1994. It was the most costly earthquake in U.S. history, caus- 
ing estimated losses of about $20 billion. 

But, it could have been much worse. Scientific and engineering 
information fi*om NEHRP helped to Umit the loss of life and prop- 
erty. 



259 

In other parts of the world where programs such as NEHRP do 
not exist, similar sized earthquakes have caused thousands of 
deaths and enormous damage. Just nine months ago, the heavily 
industrialized center of Kobe, Japan was struck by a tragic earth- 
quake. 

The extensive damage initially raised many questions about the 
ability of the engineering community to mitigate against such 
losses. But, extensive surveys of the damage revealed that the 
more recently constructed buildings fared much better than the 
older ones, demonstrating the effectiveness of modem building 
codes. 

Returning to the United States, in contrast to our state of knowl- 
edge in California, we are only just now beginning to understand 
the details of seismic source zones in other parts of the country. 
For example, in the central U.S., in the New Madrid zone, as I 
mentioned before, three magnitude 8 earthquakes occurred there 
between 1811 and 1812. How often such earthquakes could occur 
has been completely unknown. 

Using geologic techniques, we now know that such large earth- 
quakes are recurrent events with at least four in the past 2,000 
years. Further, in the Wabash Valley in Indiana, there is now evi- 
dence of seven large earthquakes in the past 20,000 years based on 
geologic studies. 

In the Pacific Northwest, during the last three years, we have 
found that, first, a major earthquake of about magnitude 7 oc- 
curred on the Seattle fault 1,100 years ago in what is now the 
heart of the city's industrial district. Another fault on South 
Widbey Island has been identified as a potential site for similar 
large magnitude earthquakes. 

And, studies in the Portland, Oregon area have confirmed that 
the Portland Hills fault is a major fault zone capable of producing 
a magnitude 7 event. 

On a national scale, the USGS is producing probabilistic seismic 
hazard maps as part of the 1997 building code revisions. The 
project involves extensive consultation with researchers, practicing 
design engineers, and state, regional and local governments for 
each region in the nation in order to obtain consensus on the meth- 
odology used in constructing the maps. 

With respect to public information, over the last five years the 
USGS and its partners have published newspaper inserts for the 
San Francisco Bay area, the northern coast of California and Alas- 
ka. The northern coast insert was so popular that it has already 
been revised and reprinted. 

In each insert, we explain the earthquake hazard and risk, show 
a homeowner simple cost-effective mitigation steps and list other 
information sources. 

In Southern California, in cooperation with the National Science 
Foundation through its Southern California Earthquake Center 
and FEMA, we are in the process of distributing 2 million copies 
of "Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country." It outlines a clear 
strategy for families to greatly improve their chances of surviving 
the next Southern California earthquake and significantly reducing 
losses to their property. 



260 

Looking ahead, the USGS beUeves that FEMA's National Mitiga- 
tion Strategy provides a coherent framework for coordination 
among all organizations concerned with the earthquake threat, 
particularly because earthquake issues can best be addressed in a 
multihazard context. 

Let me close by noting that projects were begun this year by the 
state geological surveys of California and Oregon with FEMA and 
state funding to map the Northridge earthquake area and Port- 
land, Oregon, respectively, to carry out state-mandated efforts to 
reduce future earthquake losses. TTiis shows that research results 
from NEHRP are being brought to bear on local decisions. 

Similar efforts are underway elsewhere. This work would not 
have been possible without the results from NEHRP. And, it indi- 
cates the accelerating pace of implementation. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

[The prepared statement of Dr. Hamilton follows:] 



261 



TESTIMONY OF DR. ROBERT M. HAMILTON 

PROGRAM COORDINATOR FOR GEOLOGIC HAZARDS 

U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 

REAUTHORIZATION HEARING 

BEFORE THE 

SCIENCE SUBCOMMITTEE ON BASIC RESEARCH 

OF THE 

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

October 24, 1995 



Introduction 

Mr. Chairman, and members of the Subcommittee, I welcome the opportunity to appear before 
you on the reauthorization of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) and 
the role that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) serves in the program. I believe NEHRP is one 
of the most successfiil programs conducted by the Federal Government, and it constitutes an 
example of successful collaboration with State and local governments, academia, and the private 
sector. In less than 20 years, the program has developed new knowledge for countering the 
impacts of earthquakes; knowledge that is rapidly being implemented through improved building 
standards, land use, and better preparedness. 

It is remarkable to recaU that when NEHRP began: 

o We did not understand the cause of the three magnitude 8 earthquakes that struck the 

center of our country at New Madrid, Missouri, in 1811-1812, iuid now we do, 

o We mispercerved the earthquake threat to the Seattle-Tacoma region, and now we have a 
sound basis for action, aiKl 

o We had few recordings of strong ground motions for engineering design, and now we 
have a wealth of records. 

These are just a few examples of the nuiny NEHRP successes; however, much remains to be 
done. As one example of our challenges, we are only now learning about the threat of blind thrust 
&ults (fiuilts that are buried and therefore cannot be seen at the sur&ce) in the Los Angeles area. 

The USGS role in NEHRP is to assess earthquake hazards, including understanding the cause of 
earthquakes and the nature of their effects. This information provides the basis for all strategies 
to mitigate earthquake losses. Our role complements that of our Federal partners-the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the 



262 



National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The USGS role is carried out through 
both internal and external program components which are closely integrated through a common 
prospectus of activities. In this way, we are able to apply the best talents of the academic, private, 
and other governmental sectors to NEHRP. 

We recognize that although NEHRP has made great progress, much remains to be done. There is 
dissatisfaction at the pace of implementing our findings; this situation is referred to in the 0£5ce of 
Technology Assessment (OTA) report on NEHRP as an "implementation gap.' As the authority 
for most implementation rests at local levels of govenunent or in the private sector, closing the 
"gap" involves political issues concerning mandates and incentives, as well as Federal-State roles. 
In any case, the Federal Government must work more effectively with these sectors to ensure 
transfer of sound infonnation as a basis for thdr decisions. The recently completed office of 
Science & Technology Policy report on NEHRP provides a strategy for meeting our future 
challenges. 

Noitbridgc, California, Earthquake: An Urban Disaster 

The most significant domestic earthquake since the last NEHRP reauthorization hearings was at 
Northridge, California, on January 17, 1994. The violent shaking caused by the M6.7 Northridge 
earthquake shocked the Los Angeles r^on, and the damage it produced startled the whole 
nation. It was a moderate earthquake in size, but since it occurred directly under the populated 
San Fernando Valley, it had an immense impact on the people and structures of the Los Angeles 
area. The 10 to 20 seconds of strong shaking at 4:30 a.m. collapsed buildings, brought down 
fi'eeway interchanges, and ruptured gas lines that exploded into fires. But the early morning 
occurrence was fortuitous, because many of the large buildings and parking structures that 
collapsed were unoccupied and traffic was very light on the fi'eeway overpasses that fell. 

The M6.7 Northridge event was the most costly earthquake in US history, causing estimated 
losses of S20 billion. Insured losses have reached SI 2 billion and are still dimbing. There were 
57 deaths and over 9000 iryuries attributed to the earthquake, as well as 20,000 people displaced 
fi'om their homes. Over 1600 buildings were "red-tagged" as unsafe to enter. Another 7300 
buildings were restricted to limited entry ("yellow-tagged"), and many thousands of other 
structures incurred minor damage. Freeways collapsed at 7 sites and another 170 bridges had 
varying amounts of observable damage. 

Despite these huge losses, infonnation gained fix>m scientific efforts of the NEHRP, combined 
with some of the best engineering of structures in the US, helped to limit the loss of life and 
property. In other parts of the worid where programs such as NEHRP do not exist, similar sized 
earthquakes, for example in India (1993) and Armenia (1988). have caused thousands of deaths 
and produced much more widespread damage to structures. 

With emergency supplemental funding provided to the NEHRP agencies. USGS sdentists have 
redirected their work in Fiscal Years I99S and 1996 to study the Northridge earthquake and 



263 



incorporate their findings into products that will help to reduce losses fi'om future earthquakes in 
the San Fernando Valley and the Los Angeles basin. For example: 

o Seismic studies of the thousands of aftershocks clearly showed the extent of the faulting 

during the earthquake. The concentration of aftershocks shows a rupture plane about IS 
X 1 km that slants downward toward the south fi'om a depth of S km to about 1 8 km. 

o Geologic investigations following Northridge confirmed that the &ult did not break the 

surface. This points to the difBculties in identifying "blind thrust" &ults. Efforts are 
underway to map and identify many of these blind structures in tlie greater Los Angeles 
r^on. 

o Seismologists are involved in detailed studies of the earthquake source. This event caused 
very large ground motion with peak accelerations of O.S to 1 .0 g in the Northridge area, 
decreasing to 0. 1 g at distances of about SO km These high levels of ground motion and 
the resultant wide-spread damage emphasize the need for a better imderstanding of how 
the earthquake source produces these large ground motions, and to determine whether or 
not such ground motion is typical of aU California earthquakes. 

o Geologists mapped thousands of landslides and rock falls caused by the earthquake. Data 
gathered from this earthquake will be used to make maps of landslide hazards in future 
earthquakes. 

o Following the earthquake, geologists identified areas of liquefaction and lateral spreading. 

Data gathered from this earthquake will be used to make maps of liquefaction hazards in 
future earthquakes. 

The type of &ult that produced the Northridge earthquake is not imique to the San Fernando 
Valley. There is geologic evidence that several blind thrusts in tlie Los Angeles basin are capable 
of producing events even larger than Northridge. Large earthquakes on these &ults threaten 
densely populated areas, including the high-rise buildings in downtown Los Angeles. Ongoing 
USGS research also focuses on the San Andreas &ult near San Bernardino and San Francisco, 
wliere the Hayward fiuih passes through the densely populated areas of Oakland and East Bay 
communities. The Puget Sound baan is also suspected of having blind thrusts, and research is 
underway to examine tUs possibility. 

Our studies at Northridge are being published rapidly. We plan to complete publication of our 
major studies during the current fiscal year (1996). In outlining the completion of tlie Northridge 
studies, we have developed a suite of products tailored to meet the needs of the primary users of 
this work— the people who live and work in the greater Los Angeles area. Our products mclude a 
series of maps in GIS format that explain what happened in the Northridge earthquake and help 
predict effects of future scenario earthquakes. These maps and predictions, which will serve as 
the foundation for helping the citizens and businesses of the Los Angeles area develop loss 



264 



reduction efforts to lower future urban earthquake losses, include: site response, damage, active 
fiuilting, liquefaction, landslide, and ground motion time histories of scenario earthquakes. 

Kobe, Japan: Important Lessons for the United States 

Just 9 months ago, the heavily industrialized center of Kobe was struck by a tragic earthquake. 
This earthquake initially raised many questions about the risks of large urban earthquakes and the 
ability of the engineering community to mitigate against these risks. As the attention in Kobe 
shifted from relief to recovery, American investigators had the opportunity to visit the city and 
examine at first hat>d this disaster. In the midst of the ruin, as in most great disasters, has come a 
powerfiil lesson for those in other areas subject to large earthquakes: it is necessary to continually 
work to understand regional seismic hazards and to incorporate this understanding into building 
codes and construction practices. 

In a sample of 83 buildings constructed from 1965 to the present, engineers found a dear 
correlation in building performance with the date of construction. For buildii^gs in the sample 
buih before 196S, severe damage levels (collapse) reached about 60% and moderate damage 
levels about 20%, while slight or no damage levels were limited to 10%. However, because of 
changes in seismic construction codes and practices after 1980, there was a dramatic improvement 
in building performance clearly related to date of construction. No buildings in this latter sample 
had severe or collapse fiulure, and moderate damage levels were below 20%. 

Pacific Northwest and Central United States: Seismic Source Zones 

The Northridge earthquake demonstrated the necessity of understanding source zones in 
estimating the sdsmic hazard of a region and the Kobe earthquake underscored the necessity of 
updating building codes as scientific understanding progresses. Although in the case of 
Northridge, the actual fiuilt that broke during the earthquake had not been described beforehand, 
we had a good working understanding of the causes of earth strain accumulation in the 
Los Angeles area before the event. We can use the Northridge earthquake to improve this 
understanding by incorporating blind thrusts as an important refinement. 

In contrast to our state of knowledge in California, we are just now beginning to understand the 
details of seismic source zones in the rest of the country. Here are two examples: 

(1) Central United SUte* 

In the Central United States, near New Madrid, Missouri, the country experienced a series of 
great earthquakes between 181 1 and 1812. One of the most important parameters m estimating 
earthquake hazards, namely the frequency of occurrence of these large events, has been 
completely unknown. To address this problem, the USGS has used paleoseismic techniques to 
search for evidence of past earthquake activity in the mu hista t e r^on. 



265 



The Centnd United States differs fix>m California in that: 1 ) faults are almost never exposed at 
the Earth's surface. 2) there have been only two decades of research in the region versus nine 
decades of relatively intense research in California, and 3) historically, there has been a lower level 
of widely scattered seismicity. 

We now know that large earthquakes, such as those in 181 1 and 1812, are recurrent events, with 
at least four in the past 2000 years. Further, in the Wabash Valley seismic zone in Indiana, there 
is now evidence of seven large earthquakes in the past 20,000 years. 

(2) PacifK Northwest 

In the Pacific Northwest, paleoseismic studies have changed our understanding of the regional 
firamework for earthquake hazards. The Pacific Northwest region has three fundamental source 
zones for earthquakes: 1) earthquakes on the long, downward sloping fauh between the Juan da 
Fuca plate and the North American plate, 2) shallow, crustal earthquakes within the 
North American plate, and 3) deep earthquakes within the Juan da Fuca plate. 

Before our paleoseismic studies in the region, the possibility of large, deep earthquakes was not 
recognized in earthquake hazard assessments. As evideitce for such events has grown, their 
potential consequences became one of the driving forces to improve the seismic provisions of 
building codes across western Or^on and southwestern Washington. 

The incorporation of our research results into seismic building code provisions has not ended the 
need for better understanding of seismic source zones in the Pacific Northwest region. During the 
last 3 years, we have found that: 

o A m^or earthquake (magnitude 7) occurred on the Seattle fiuilt about 1 100 years 

ago. That event ripped through what is now the heart of the city's industrial 
district, probably on a &ult parallel to the Mercer Island floating bridge. The 
South Widbey Island fiuilt has been identified as a possible candidate for similar 
large magrvitude earthquakes. 

o The West Rainier seismic zone, just west of Mount Rainier National Park, poses 

not only a seismic hazard, but the threat of landslides and avalanches off the high 
slopes of Mount Rainier. 

o Geophysical studies in Portland, Oregon, have confirmed that the Portland Hills 

&uh is a m^or fiuih zone capable (because of its length) of producing a magnitude 
7 event. 

National Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Map 

NEHRP research on earthquake recurrence, seismic sources, and seismic wave propagation are all 
used by the USGS in the construction of national and regional probabilistic seismic hazard maps. 



266 



These maps are used in planning by industry and the public, and in turn by the Building Sdsmic 
Safety Council (BSSC) as part of the 1997 NEHRP Recommended Provisions for the 
Development of Seismic R^ulations for New Buildings. 

The National Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Map project strat^y for the 1997 Building Codes 
involves extensive consultation with NEHRP researchers, practidng design engineers, and state, 
T^onal, and local govenunent for each region of the nation in order to obtain consensus on the 
geologic parameters and the methodology used in constructing the national and regional 
probabilistic seismic hazard maps. The goal is to produce a set of probabilistic hazard maps to be 
available in April 1996 that has the broad support appropriate for economically sensitive 
regulations such as building codes. In late 1994 and early 199S, the project held a series of 
regional workshops focusing on refining the characterization of seismic sources and ground 
motion attenuation in that region. Workshop attendees— earth sdoitists, practicing design 
practitioners, state and local officials, and representatives of the BSSC— were presented 
preliminary maps and asked to provide input and advice on the input data and map construction 
methodology. 

Improved Technology Transfer The Applied Technology Council 

Established by the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) in 1971, the Applied 
Technology Council (ATC) is a nonprofit corporation to help the design practitioner in structural 
engineering keep abreast of and effectively use technological developments. In 1992, the USGS 
signed a cooperative agreement, ATC-35, with ATC to improve the transfer of NEHRP research 
results to the engineering design practice. A steering committee of USGS, academic, and private 
consulting company scientists and engineers provides guidance to the practicing engineers 
managing ATC-3S. 

As the initial activity in the project, ATC conducted a series of five regional seminars: 
Los Angeles, California on January 26, 1994; San Francisco, California on January 27, 1994; 
Seattle, Washington on February 2, 1994; New York, New York on February 9, 1994; and 
Memphis, Tennessee on February 10, 1994. Each seminar provided comprehensive, practical 
region-specific information on earthquake potential and the characteristics of oqjected ground 
shaking, with a special emphaas on issues relevant to the determination and mapping of design 
ground motions. Each seminar was attended by hundreds of practicing engineers, and the 
proceedings of the seminars were published in 1994. 

The next phase of ATC-3S will focus on a Ground Motion Initiative to promote coordination 
between the USGS and the earth science communities and the engineering communities in 
developing the next generation of seismic design practices and regulations. The project will build 
on the structural engineering community's recognition of the need to reconsider the entire 
approach to seismic design practices and regulations by using the principles of mechanics to 
assess the demands made on structures during earthquakes and the capadties of materials and 
structures to response. This new coordination between the USGS and the engineering community 
has taken on boUi mcreased importance and urgency in the aftermath of the Kobe earthquake. 



267 



Regional Needs 

The USGS has placed high priority on studies in four earthquake-prone regions: the Pacific 
Northwest (including Washington, Oregon and Alaska), the San Francisco Bay area, southern 
California, and the Central U.S. In determining where to focus USGS efforts, we considered the 
seriousness of the earthquake hazard for a given region, and the population density and the 
economic infi^structure at risk in that region. For each region, the USGS appointed an on-site 
coordinator, charged with identifying the needs of end users in the region and developing a 
comprehensive program to meet these needs. In addition, the USGS continues to support work in 
other geographic areas of high to moderate seismic risk such as the Wasatch &ult zone of Utah, 
the southeastern and northeastern regions of the US, and Hawaii. 

In FY 199S, we realigned our program in accordance with recent major studies and 
recommendations for changes in the NEHRP. In this light, we are committed to continue to 
operate a National Program with strong regional emphasis in the Pacific Northwest (including 
Alaska), Northern California, Southern California, and Central United States. Outside of these 
four regions, we will continue program development in states in the Intermountain West (Utah, 
Idaho, Montana, Nevada), Northeastern States (New York, New England), and Hawaii. We will 
continue to support promising selected studies in these areas that will help these states understand 
their earthquake hazards. 

The USGS has reshaped its management and operational structure to accelerate progress toward 
the USGS NEHRP goals. In 1990, the USGS condurted a major strategic planning effort. The 
resulting strategic plan, 'Goals, Opportunities and Priorities for the USGS Earthquake Hazards 
Reduction Program", defines four goals for the USGS component of NEHRP, proceeding fi'om 
basic scientific investigations to implementation of research results. The fourth goal, 'using 
research results" is a strong commitment to foster the implementation of research in loss 
reduction, preparedness, and emergency response programs. 

Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country 

As the country slowly shifts toward a stronger emphasis on mitigation, the need to foster a 
broadly based understanding of the benefits of mitigation is more urgent then ever. Unless the 
benefit of mitigation is understood, the Nation will always be susceptible to a totally unexpected 
disaster tax. Over the last S years, the USGS and our partners have written and published 
newspaper inserts in the San Francisco Bay area, for the Humboldt coast of California, and in 
Alaska. The Humboldt coast insert was so popular that it has already been revised and reprinted. 
In each insert we explain the earthquake hazard and risk, show a homeowner simple, cost- 
effective mitigation steps, and list other infonnadon sources. 

A project in Southern Califoniia demonstrates our commitment to reach all persons «^ call 
earthquake country home. We have just distributed 2 million copies of "Putting Down Roots in 
Earthquake Country". This booklet has set a new standard for clarity and purpose in 
communicating technical information to the general public. Reviewers have compared this 



268 



booklet favorably with the publication series produced by Sunset Magazine. Within the 
atmosphere of heightened earthquake awareness that exists in Southern California, it outlines a 
clear strategy for families to greatly improve their chances of surviving the next southern 
California earthquake and significantly reducing losses to their homes and property. 

Conclusion 

We have outlined a vigorous agenda to build on NEHRP accomplishments over the coming years. 
In building this agenda, we have incorporated suggestions for new directions arising fi'om national 
reviews of NEHRP, including those done by the OfBce of Science and Technology Policy, the 
OfSce of Technology Assessment, FEMA-sponsored reviews of NEHRP, and our own strat^c 
planning effort. Looking ahead, FEMA's National Mitigation Strategy provides a coherent 
fi-amework for coordination among all organizations concerned with the earthquake threat, 
particularly because earthquake issues should be addressed in a multihazard context 

The understanding of earthquakes by the Nation's populace of 250 million varies widely, but the 
public's awareness of hazards is improving. The capacity to construct earthquake-resistant 
buildings and lifelines and to avoid hazards through wise land use in earthquake-prone regions 
varies greatly fi'om state to state, or even from one local jurisdiction to another, but it is also 
improving. Additional gains will be made as scientific understanding of the local earthquake 
threat improves and this, in turn, will increase the quality and effectiveness of these local risk 
reduction measures. 

Let me close by noting that projects were begun this year by the state geological surveys of 
California and Oregon with FEMA and State fimding to map the Northridge earthquake area and 
Portland, respectively, to carryout state-mandated efforts to reduce future earthquake losses. 
This positive development demonstrates how research results from NEHRP are being brought to 
bear on local decisions. Similar efforts are undoway elsewhere. This work would not have been 
possible without the results from NEHRP, and it indicates the accelerating pace of 
implementation. 



269 

Mr. Baker. Thank you, Dr. Hamilton. Dr. Bordogna. 

STATEMENT OF DR. JOSEPH BORDOGNA, ASSISTANT DIREC- 
TOR FOR ENGINEERING, NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION 

Mr. Bordogna. Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, 
thank you for giving me this opportunity to discuss the role of the 
National Science Foundation in NEHRP. 

NSF's participation in this important activity complements our 
overall mission of discovery. And, we've always welcomed being an 
integral part of the NEHRP partnership. 

The leadership of the United States in earthquake science and 
engineering is recognized the world over and is reflected in our con- 
tribution to new knowledge on the causes and effects of earth- 
quakes, other natural disasters and their mitigation. NSF's con- 
tribution to NEHRP starts with the funding of research that leads 
to new discoveries and technologies, including research in the dis- 
ciplines of earth sciences, earthquake engineering, the social 
sciences and integrated multi-disciplinary research. 

The fundamental research supported by NSF, which is performed 
by non-government persons and groups, complements the internal 
research activities carried out by such agencies as USGS and 
NIST. This research is intended to provide part of the basis for 
earthquake hazard mitigation and preparedness actions under- 
taken by FEMA and other Federal and state agencies, as well as 
further efforts undertaken by local officials and such professionals 
as architects, structural engineers and planners. 

NSF enables researchers to advance knowledge through both in- 
dividual investigator awards and group awards such as centers. In- 
dividual investigator awards comprise the largest number of 
awards made by NSF. And, they permit researchers to pursue lines 
of inquiry that their vision leads them to believe will contribute to 
fundamental knowledge. 

Group awards supported by NSF tend to focus on problems of 
multidisciplinary nature. For example, since 1986 NSF has sup- 
ported the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research 
at the State University of New York at Buffalo. This center was es- 
tablished to pursue a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach toward 
investigating the impact of earthquakes on the built environment. 

The Southern California Earthquake Center was established as 
one of NSF's science and technology centers, with NSF and USGS 
funding at the University of Southern California, in 1991 for the 
purpose of promoting and integrating science related to earthquake 
hazards estimation and reduction. Both of these centers have 
formed partnerships with many relevant pubhc and private sector 
groups, which significantly contribute to their ability to further 
both knowledge discovery and utilization. 

In addition to experimental research at a scientist's lab bench, 
new knowledge is also generated in the earthquake field through 
post-earthquake investigations on site. Earthquake events serve as 
natural laboratories for research, providing the opportunity to 
make new observations and to test insights gained fi'om analj^ical 
and experimental research performed in a laboratory. 

The more than 100 studies on the 1994 Northridge earthquake 
that was supported by NSF and its NEHRP partners are yielding 



270 

valuable information on the causes and consequences of earth- 
quakes, especially the impacts these events have had on steel 
frame buildings, which was mentioned earlier. Some of these tjrpes 
of buildings were surprisingly damaged during both the Northridge 
and the Kobe earthquakes. 

The Great Hanshin earthquake struck Kobe, Japan exactly a 
year after the Northridge earthquake and provides another exam- 
ple for discovering important lessons about such events. NSF has 
funded individuals and teams of researchers who are investigating 
a range of issues that have relevance to earthquake hazards reduc- 
tion in both U.S. and Japan, including the performance of soils and 
buildings, the impact of the earthquake on civil infrastructure sys- 
tems generally, and emergency response. 

In the months ahead, NSF will continue to support promising 
new efforts to learn from the Great Hanshin earthquake. 

Finally, while NSFs primary role in NEHRP is knowledge gen- 
eration, it also contributes to knowledge integration and utilization 
through its support of the education of the next generation of pro- 
fessionals in the field and support of information dissemination 
clearinghouses and other outreach activities. 

My final comment concerns research facilities. Because of their 
importance for the research enterprise, NSF gives considerable at- 
tention to the physical infrastructure necessary for performing re- 
search. NSF has provided funds for many of the research facilities 
using earthquake engineering research in the U.S. today and for 
their periodic upgrading. 

For example, NSF recently supported a major upgrading of the 
earthquake simulator at the University of Cailifomia at Berkeley, 
which is the largest shaking table in the U.S. for testing structural 
models. NSF, thus, concurs with the report prepared by the Earth- 
quake Engineering Research Institute regarding the continuing im- 
portance of experimental earthquake research and the conclusion 
that, while newer and larger facilities would benefit the field in sig- 
nificant ways, highest priority should be given to updating extant 
facilities, as has been done in the Berkeley case. These facihties 
have contributed to the development of new structural design ap- 
proaches, such as base isolation systems, and provide a part of the 
knowledge base for improvements in building codes. 

NSF also agrees with the report's conclusion that the lack of £iny 
needed laboratory resources can be partially overcome through co- 
operation with other countries that have required facilities. 

That concludes my oral statement. Thanks, very much. 

[The prepared statement of Dr. Bordogna follows:] 



271 

Testimony of Dr. Joseph Bordogna 

Assistant Director for Engineering 

National Science Foundation 

Before The 

Subcommittee on Basic Research 

Committee on Science 

House of Representatives 

October 24, 1995 

INTRODUCTION 

Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the Subcommittee: 

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to discuss with you the role of the National 
Science Foundation in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). 
NSF's participation in this important activity complements our overall mission, and we 
have always welcomed being an integral part of the NEHRP partnership, which was 
initially formed in 1977 The leadership of the US in earthquake science and engineering 
is recognized the world over and is reflected in our contribution to knowledge about the 
causes and effects of earthquakes and in the development and utilization of innovative 
mitigation strategies and tools that facilitate more effective earthquake hazard reduction in 
the Nation. We look forward to working with the other NEHRP agencies in meeting the 
future challenges posed by seismic hazards to our society and other parts of the world and 
in implementing lessons learned from such recent events as the January 17, 1994, 
Northridge earthquake and the Great Hanshin earthquake that struck Kobe, Japan on 
January 17, 1995. 

Since its creation in 1 950, the National Science Foundation has attempted to serve the 
Nation by furthering the development of scientific and engineering knowledge and the 
education and training of fijture generations of scientists, engineers and mathematicians . 
NSF does this by funding research in the scientific and engineering disciplines and in 



272 



mathematics, by providing support for related educational activities, and by integrating 
the two. 

Our basic mission, which was given to us by Congress, is to serve the Nation by furthering 
the progress of science and engineering. This challenge requires that the agency gives 
appropriate attention to the evolving needs of our society. Our vision and strategic plan, 
as set forth in the report entitled "NSF In A Changing Worid," identifies three basic goals 
for the agency: (1) Enable the U.S. to uphold a position of world leadership in all aspects 
of science, mathematics and engineering, (2) Promote the discovery, integration and 
employment of new knowledge in service to society, (3) Achieve excellence in U.S. 
science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education at all levels. The 
earthquake-related activities at NSF embody all of these goals, including the advancement 
of knowledge through university research in the earth sciences and engineering which is 
utilized by design and other professionals to promote seismic safety 

To achieve these goals, NSF follows core strategies which involve the development of 
intellectual capital, strengthening the physical infi-astructure of science and engineering, 
integrating research and education, and promoting partnerships. NSF's earthquake 
research, education and information dissemination activities, which are carried out in 
partnership with NEHRP and other relevant agencies and groups, exemplify these 
strategies and are part of the agency's response to the changing needs of society and the 
role assigned to NSF by Congress. 

Research and Knowledge Creation 

NSF's contribution to NEHRP starts with the funding of research that leads to new 
discoveries on the causes and consequences of earthquakes, including research in the 
disciplines of earth sciences, earthquake engineering, the social sciences, and integrated 
multidisciplinary research. Consistent with NSF's overall goals, one of our concerns is 
that we continue to enable the earthquake research community to maintain its rank in the 
forefront" of the field This will allow the US research community to address the needs of 
our society, work cooperatively with other leading countries, and also allow the US to 
continue to be globally competitive in those industries, such as construction, that play a 
prominent role in earthquake hazard reduction. 

Earth science research is funded through the Directorate for Geosciences, and earthquake 
engineering and earthquake-related social science research are supported in the 
Directorate for Engineering. The research supported by NSF complements the internal 
research activities carried out by such agencies as USGS and NIST. This research is 
intended to provide part of the basis for earthquake hazard mitigation and preparedness 
actions undertaken by FEMA and other federal and state agencies, as well as further 
efforts initiated by local officials and such professional groups as architects, engineers and 
planners. 



273 



NSF enables researchers to advance knowledge through both individual investigator 
awards and group awards such as centers. A merit review system is utilized to make 
decisions regarding the unsolicited proposals NSF receives from universities and other 
organizations Individual investigator awards comprise the largest number of awards 
made by NSF and they permit researchers to pursue lines of inquiry that they feel will 
add to fiindamental knowledge or contribute to the solution of particular problems 

Group awards supported by NSF often focus on problems of a multidisciplinary nature, 
such as are found in the earthquake field For example, since 1986 NSF has supported 
the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (NCEER) through the 
Directorate for Engineering. NCEER, which has its administrative headquarters at the 
State University of New York at Buffalo, was established to pursue a holistic approach to 
earthquake research Such an approach, which involves collaboration between 
seismologists, earthquake engineers and social scientists, has produced new insights on 
the impacts of earthquakes on the built environment and institutional systems and on cost- 
effective countermeasures for dealing with them 

In collaboration with USGS in 1991, NSF established the Southern California Earthquake 
Center (SCEC) for the purpose of promoting and integrating science related to 
earthquake hazard estimation and reduction in that region. Similar to NCEER, SCEC 
is a consortium of institutions and is administered through the University of Southern 
California. Through its research, including investigations of such recent events as the 
Northridge earthquake, SCEC has contributed significantly to a new understanding of the 
earthquake hazard in southern California by combining insights from seismicity, new 
geodetic technology, new geologic discoveries, and local site conditions in an innovative 
framework of earthquake hazard evaluation. 

Both of these centers have formed partnerships with many relevant groups, which 
significantly contribute to their ability to further both knowledge discovery and utilization 
and the leveraging of scarce resources. Other sources of support for NCEER include the 
State of New York, FEMA and private sector organizations such as IBM SCEC 
receives additional resources from USGS, FEMA and the State of California 

New knowledge is created by NSF-funded projects through a combination of analytical, 
computational, experimental and field studies. Earthquake events serve as natural 
laboratories for research, providing the opportunity to make new observations and for 
testing insights gained from analytical and experimental research. For example, studies 
supported by NSF on the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in collaboration with USGS have 
advanced the understanding of such events and resulted in the development, testing and 
utilization of alternative structural design and construction practices for new and extant 
buildings and civil infrastructure systems. Similarly, the more than one hundred studies on 
the 1994 Northridge earthquake that were supported by NSF and its NEHRP partners are 
yielding valuable information on the causes and impacts of earthquakes, including the 
impacts on steel frame buildings, that can be utilized to further earthquake hazard 
mitigation in California and the rest of the Nation. Individual investigators as well as 



274 



groups of researchers working in teams have contributed to these important efforts. 
Through conferences and other collaborative efforts the NEHRP agencies are 
encouraging Northridge researchers to make the results of their investigations available to 
architects, engineers, building officials, emergency managers and other potential end-users 
in both the public and private sectors. 

The Great Hanshin earthquake struck Kobe, Japan on January 17, 1995, exactly a year 
after the Northridge earthquake, providing another opportunity for NSF to enable the 
research community to discover important lessons from a significant event. Funding has 
been made available to individuals and teams of researchers to investigate a range of issues 
that have relevance to earthquake hazard mitigation in both Japan and the US., including 
the performance of soils and buildings, impacts of the earthquake on civil infrastructure 
systems, and emergency response This work, some of which commenced a few hours 
after the earthquake, is being carried out collaboratively by US. and Japanese researchers. 
Participating in the initial investigative response was a group of 40 US scientists, 
engineers and practitioners led by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute who 
were attending an NSF co-sponsored earthquake workshop on urban earthquake hazard 
mitigation in nearby Osaka This group's efforts to collect valuable perishable information 
on the earthquake were followed by more in-depth research activities sponsored by NSF 
and other NEHRP agencies In the months ahead, NSF expects to continue to support 
promising new efforts to learn from the Great Hanshin earthquake. 

Furthering Implementation Through Education and Information Dissemination 

NSF also contributes to NEHRP and the Nation through its education and dissemination 
efforts. Such activities are perhaps most effective when they are combined with the 
research process, as encouraged by NSF. However, NSF supports a mix of education 
and information dissemination activities in order to fUrther the utilization of extant and 
emerging knowledge. 

Recipients of research awards at educational institutions, both individual investigators and 
research teams, are expected to devote significant time to training the next generation of 
researchers and practitioners. Thus, on most earthquake-related projects flinded by NSF, 
students actively participate in the on-going research process. Vital training is provided in 
this fashion for both undergraduate and graduate students and provides a foundation for 
their subsequent professional involvement in the creation and application of knowledge on 
earthquake hazards. Such intellectual capital development enables the U.S. to stay in the 
foreftont of those fields relevant to earthquake research and earthquake hazard reduction. 

NSF grantees also frequently enhance implementation of the knowledge and technologies 
they produce by taking various proactive actions in addition to such standard efforts as 
publishing their results in professional and technical journals. These include: serving as 
consultants to public and private sector groups on geotechnical, structural design, 
emergency preparedness and other issues; including potential users on their research 



275 



projects; appointing users to project advisory committees; and participating on code 
groups 

NSF also furthers the utilization of knowledge and professional development in the 
earthquake field through the support of seminars, workshops and conferences and 
information dissemination clearinghouses, which are increasingly supported in 
collaboration with other NEHRP agenciesm, as well as other federal agencies. Among the 
major information clearinghouses supported by NSF in this field are the two branches of 
the National Information Service for Earthquake Engineering at the University of 
California, Berkeley and the California Institute of Technology and the Natural Hazards 
Information Center at the University of Colorado. Boulder. In addition, both SCEC and 
NCEER have major information dissemination programs 

NSF also continues to work in partnership with professional organizations and 
associations that can serve as links between knowledge producers and users. Such 
organizations include the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the Applied 
Technology Council, the Building Seismic Safety Council, and the American Society of 
Civil Engineers. These organizations are important in developing a quality research 
agenda and serving as utilization catalysts. 

NEHRP to NEP 

NEHRP has been a very successful partnership since its inception in 1977. The synergism 
resulting fi-om this collaboration among FEMA, USGS, NIST, and NSF has contributed to 
such significant outcomes as increased knowledge about the causes and consequences of 
earthquakes, the development of more effective approaches to designing new structures 
and retrofitting existing ones, improvements in building codes and their increased adoption 
by vulnerable communities, and increased preparedness and mitigation actions across the 
U.S. There is also every evidence that NEHRP is increasingly reaching out to more 
stakeholders, including other federal agencies, state and local government, and 
practitioners in the private sector, thus laying the basis for an even more effective research 
and implementation enterprise. 

As damaging and disruptive as such recent events as the Loma Prieta and Northridge 
earthquakes have been, they have been far less destructive and caused fewer casualties 
than similar events that have occurred in other countries. Such factors as timing and 
location obviously played some role in these differential impacts. However, it is generally 
agreed that some of the differences can also be attributed to the combined efforts of state, 
local and private sector decision makers and NEHRP, which have made some 
communities in this country less vulnerable to seismic hazards than those in some other 
countries. 

Yet, though we conclude that NEHRP, as it has worked with other relevant groups, has 
been a success story, much remains to be done. Thus we might ask: What changes might 
make NEHRP even more successful in the future? We feel that the recommendations 



276 



outlined in the recently completed report of the National Earthquake Strategy Working 
Group, "Strategy For National Earthquake Loss Reduction," provide a sound basis for 
making the Nation's earthquake risk reduction efforts even more effective. The report 
calls for the intellectual and operational enhancement of NEHRP through the addition of 
other relevant federal agencies. The revised program, which would be called the National 
Earthquake Loss Reduction Program (NEP), would be expected to aggressively pursue a 
set of well-defined strategic goals outlined in the report. If the recommendations of the 
report are implemented, they should facilitate program focus, the leveraging of scarce 
human and financial resources, and increased program coordination and integration. 

Earthquake Engineering Research Facilities 

My final comment concerns research facilities. Because of their importance for the 
research enterprise, NSF gives considerable attention to the research physical 
infrastructure in the US. In the earthquake hazard mitigation field, experimental research 
is needed along with analytical and field investigations, and the former can only be done 
effectively when there are adequate facilities available to researchers. NSF has provided 
funds for many of the research facilities used for earthquake engineering research in the 
US. today and for their periodic upgrading. For example, NSF recently supported a 
major upgrading of the earthquake simulator at the University of California at Berkeley, 
which is the largest shaking table in the U.S. for testing structural models. This facility, 
originally constructed in 1972, is available for use by engineers in universities, 
government agencies, and consulting firms. Its recent upgrading allows the table to be 
used to apply simulated ground motions simultaneously in two horizontal and vertical 
directions. The table's range of ground motion parameters has also been increased. 

NSF and NIST provided the funding for the recently completed earthquake engineering 
facilities needs assessment requested by Congress. The Earthquake Engineering Research 
Institute did a professional job of carrying out this effort, including planning the 
workshop, assembling expert researchers and practitioners to contribute to the assessment, 
and preparing the final report, "Assessment of Earthquake Engineering Research and 
Testing Capabilities in the United States." NSF concurs with the report regarding the 
continuing importance of experimental earthquake research and the conclusion that, while 
newer and larger research facilities would benefit the field in significant ways, highest 
priority should be given to updating and maintaining extant facilities, as was done in the 
Berkeley case These facilities have contributed to the development of new structural 
design approaches such as base isolation systems and improvements in building codes and 
can be expected to continue to do so in the future if their capabilities are periodically 
enhanced. 

NSF also agrees with the report that the lack of any needed laboratory resources in the 
U.S. can be partially overcome through cooperation with other countries that have the 
required facilities, as has been the case in the past. For example, the long-term partnership 
maintained by the US. and Japan in large-scale testing has been mutually beneficial to 
both countries. Dating back to 1980, joint US-Japan large-scale testing programs have 



277 



included research on reinforced concrete and steel and masonry buildings There is every 
indication that the two countries will continue to pursue collaborative research 
opportunities in the future. Such research, combined with analytical and field 
investigations, promise to contribute to more effective earthquake hazard reduction 
efforts in both countries. 



278 

Mr. Baker. Thank you, Dr. Bordogna. Dr. Wright. 

STATEMENT OF DR. RICHARD WRIGHT, DIRECTOR, BUILDING 
AND FIRE RESEARCH LABORATORY, NATIONAL INSTITUTE 
OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY 

Mr. Wright. Mr. Chairman, and members, thank you for the op- 
portunity to testify for the National Institute of Standards and 
Technology on the reauthorization of NEHRP. 

In NEHRP, NIST is charged to conduct problem-focused research 
and development to improve standards, codes and practices for 
buildings and lifelines. This role complements the roles of the other 
NEHRP agencies. 

We have participated actively with a number of organizations, 
both in the private sector and in the Federal Government, which 
need state-of-the-art knowledge and practices in earthquake engi- 
neering. These organizations include the Interagency Committee on 
Seismic Safety and Construction, the Buildmg Seismic Safety 
Council, the Applied Technology Council, the American Society of 
Civil Engineers, and the Structural Engineering Association of 
California. 

We are working with these organizations to develop guidance 
documents for seismic rehabilitation. And, we are collaborating 
with the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory 
in research for rehabilitation of buildings. 

NIST is collaborating with the private sector, with FEMA and 
NSF to address the urgent needs in steel frame building design 
and retro-fit, evidenced by the damage to these buildings during 
the 1994 Northridge earthquake. We are working with the fire and 
lifeline communities to reduce losses from fires following an earth- 
quake. 

We will collaborate with the private sector and other Federal 
agencies in implementation of the recently issued "Plan for Devel- 
oping and Adopting Seismic Design Guidehnes and Standards for 
Lifelines." 

Our earthquake engineering research program fills gaps in 
knowledge that prevent improvements in standards and practices. 
Our participation in standards development and other collabora- 
tions with knowledge users help both to identify critical needs for 
research and to deliver the research results to practice. 

Post earthquake investigations provide one of the most effective 
means to assess the validity of design and construction practices. 
Lessons learned from these investigations allow engineers to iden- 
tify knowledge gaps and plan comprehensive programs to address 
these gaps. 

Since the early 1970's, post-earthquake investigation has been an 
integral part of our progrsun. We led multiagency Federal teams in- 
vestigating the performance of buildings and lifelines in the Janu- 
ary 1994 Northridge, California earthquake and the January 1995 
Kobe, Japan earthquake. 

These show great needs for improved practices for the seismic 
safety of existing buildings in general, for the reduction in property 
loss as well as collapse of buildings, for the improvement of the 
performance of lifelines, and for the control of fires following earth- 
quakes. However, the much improved performance of buildings and 



279 

bridges built, using up-to-date design and construction practices, 
show the effectiveness of NEHRP in reducing losses. 

Recommendations from the recent reauthorizations and experi- 
ences in recent damage and earthquakes have led to several poUcy 
studies related to NEHRP by the National Economic Council, the 
Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Office of Technology 
Assessment, and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. 
NIST has given active support to these studies. 

In general, they call for greater emphasis in strengthening seis- 
mic design and construction practices, which is the focus of our 
role, and in promoting their implementation, where we have a sup- 
porting role. We note there is a knowledge gap as well as an imple- 
mentation gap. 

We still lack nationally-recognized practices for seismic safety 
evaluation and strengthening of existing buildings, for evaluation 
and strengthening of existing lifelines, and for the design and con- 
struction of new lifelines. The lack of adequate experimental stud- 
ies is a cause of the unexpected failures of welded steel frames in 
the Northridge and Kobe earthquakes. Studies in existing facilities 
are now addressing these needs. 

Incidentally, our own seismic testing facilities are among those 
in need of upgrading and among those that have not been fiiUy 
used because of lack of funding for experimental studies. 

NIST provides the Chair and Secretariat for the Interagency 
Committee on Seismic Safety and Construction. This committee 
consists of the 30 Federal agencies concerned with seismic safety 
which collaborate to develop and incorporate earthquake hazard re- 
duction measures in their programs. 

FEMA provides funding for the Secretariat. These agencies, 
working together using consensus procedures, drafted the Execu- 
tive Order for seismic safety of Federal and federally-assisted or 
regulated new building construction of 1990 and the 1994 Execu- 
tive Order for seismic safety of existing federally-leased or owned 
buildings. 

ICSSC has developed recommended practices using available vol- 
untary national standards and model building codes for implemen- 
tation of the Executive Orders. As a result of these efforts, all new 
Federal and federally-leased or assisted buildings are required to 
meet up-to-date seismic design £ind construction standards. 

All existing federally-owned or leased buildings undergoing a 
change of use involving higher seismic risk, major upgrading or 
known to be of exceptionally high seismic risk are required to be 
evaluated for seismic safety and retro-fitted if found deficient. 

The ICSSC agencies have begun to inventory existing federally- 
owned and leased buildings to estimate the cost required to bring 
the entire Federed inventory to an acceptable level of safety. 

NISTs research for improvement of standards and practices for 
buildings and lifelines includes research on structural control; re- 
search on the Ufeline safety, fire safety, and geotechnical engineer- 
ing, and research on performance of buildings. 

NIST has also led the U.S. side of the U.S./Japan panel on Wind 
and Seismic Effects since 1969. This panel brings together 16 U.S. 
agencies and 9 Japanese agencies to collaborate, to learn about 



280 

earthquake effects, mitigation practices, and implementation mech- 
anisms. 

Strong collaborative U.S./Japan research programs have occurred 
v/ith sponsorship from the National Science Foundation, the Fed- 
eral Highway Administration, and the Geological Survey, as well as 
NIST, to exploit opportunities to learn from both U.S. and Japa- 
nese earthquakes and to use the research capabilities of both coun- 
tries in the common interests. 

Recommendations important to earthquake risk reduction have 
been made for soil liquefaction; site amplification of earthquake 
shaking, and design of concrete, steel, and masonry structures. On- 
going U.S./Japan cooperative research deals with composite struc- 
tures, with structural control, and with fire safety. 

Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to summarize our 
work in NEHRP. We are making our best efforts in collaboration 
with the private sector and other Federal agencies to achieve the 
vision of NEHRP that earthquakes are inevitable but disasters are 
not. 

I will be happy to respond to questions of the Subcommittee. 

[The prepared statement of Dr. Wright follows:] 



281 



STATEMEr<rr 



Richard N. Wright 

Director, Building and Fire Research Laboratory 

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY 



before the 



House Committee on Science 

Subcommittee on Basic Research 

The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program 

Reauthorization Hearing 



October 24, 1995 



282 



Table of Contents 



1. Introduction 

1 . 1 Congressional Mandate for NIST 

1 .2 Meeting the Mandate 

2. Funding for NIST in NEHRP 

3. Post-Earthquake Investigations 

3.1 The January 17, 1994 Northridge Earthquake, California 

3.2 The January 17,1 995 Hanshin-Awaji (Kobe) Earthquake, Japan 

4. Policy Recommendations 

4.1 Administration Policy Proposals 

4.2 Office of Science and Technology Report 

4.3 Office of Technology Assessment Report 

4.4 Lifelines Plan 

4.5 Research and Testing Capabilities Needs Assessment - EERI 

5. NIST Role in NEHRP Management and Planning 

6. Development and Implementation of Earthquake Hazard Reduction through 
the ICSSC 

6.1 Implementation of Executive Order 12699 

6.2 Implementation of Executive Order 1 294 1 

6.3 Technical Support to FEMA/BSSC 

7. Earthquake Engineering Research Activities 

7.1 Structural Control 

7.2 Lifeline and Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering 

7.3 Strengthening of Existing Structures and Improvement of 
New Structiu-e Design 

8. Technology Transfer 

8. 1 Standards Activities 

8.2 Industry Collaboration 

9. International Activities 

10. Appendices 

1 0. 1 Table-NIST Funding for NEHRP 

10.2 Earthquake Engineering Publications 



283 



Mr. Chairman and members, I appreciate the opportunity to testify for the National Institute of 
Standards and Technology (NIST) on the reauthorization of the National Earthquake Hazards 
Reduction Program (NEHRP). 



1. Introduction 

1.1 Congressional Mandate for NIST 

In the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, NIST is charged to conduct problem- 
focused research and development to improve codes and standards and practices for buildings 
and lifelines. This role complements the lead agency role of the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency (FEMA), the applied earth sciences role of the U.S. Geological Survey 
(USGS) and the engineering and fimdamental earth sciences research role of the National 
Science Foundation (NSF). NIST also chairs and provides technical secretariat support tc the 
Interagency Committee on Seismic Safety in Construction (ICSSC) through which 30 federal 
agencies concerned for seismic safety collaborate to develop and incorporate earthquake hazard 
reduction measures in their respective programs. 

1.2 Meeting the Mandate 

NIST has actively participated with a niunber of organizations, both in the private sector and m 
the federal government, which need state-of-the-art knowledge and practices in earthquake 
engineering. These organizations include ICSSC, Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC), 
Applied Technology Council (ATC), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the 
Structural Engineering Association of California (SEAOC). For example, ICSSC is given the 
responsibility to help implement Executive Order 12699 for new federal buildings and Executive 
Order 12941 for existing buildings. NIST is participating with ASCE, BSSC, and ATC, to 
develop design and construction guidance documents for seismic rehabilitation, and 
collaborating with the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in supporting 
research. NIST has also been working with ATC, SEAOC, and the California Universities for 
Research in Earthquake Engineering (CUREe) to address urgent needs in steel frame building 
design and retrofit evidenced by the damage to those buildings during the 1994 Northridge 
earthquake. NIST also is working with the fire and lifeline communities to reduce losses from 
fires following an earthquake. 



284 



NlSPs earthquake engineering research program aims at filling gaps in knowledge that prevent 
improvements in standards and practices. NISTs participation in standards development and 
other collaborations with knowledge users help both to identify critical needs for research and to 
deliver results to practice. 

Post earthquake investigations provide one of the most effective means to assess the validity of 
design and construction practices. Lessons learned from these investigations allow engineers to 
identify knowledge gaps and plan comprehensive research programs to attack those gaps. Since 
the early 1970s, post-earthquake investigation has been an integral part of NlST's earthquake 
engineering program. 

This testimony covers: 

Post-Northridge Earthquake and Post-Kobe Earthquake Investigations, 

Funding for MIST in NEHRP, 

NIST support of the development of policy recommendations for NEHRP. 

• Participation in the management and planning of NEHRP, 

• Support for developing and implementing earthquake hazard reduction practices, 

• Leadership of the ICSSC in addressing the seismic safety of existing federal buildings in 
implementation of Executive Order 12941, "Seismic Safety of Existing Federally Owned 
and Leased Buildings," and of new buildings in implementation of Executive Order 
12699, "Seismic Safety of Federal and Federally Assisted or Regulated New Building 
Construction." 

Problem-focused engineering research addressing needs for improved seismic design and 
construction practices, 

• Participation in technology transfer through standards activities and industry 
collaboration, and 

• International collaborations for earthquake hazard reduction. 

4 



285 



The vision of NEHRP is that earthquakes are inevitable natxiral hazards, but need not be 
inevitable disasters. In spite of its limited resources in NEHRP, NIST has made substantial 
contributions to achieving the vision of NEHRP; we look forward to further and accelerated 
progress. 



2. Funding for NIST in NEHRP 

NIST's appropriation for NEHRP in Fiscal Year 1995 was $ 1,932,000, but was reduced by 
rescission to $1,149,000. In addition, NIST was able to use funds from the Northridge 
Supplemental fund received in Fiscal Year 1994 from Congress and from FEMA for the 
investigation of the effects of the Northridge earthquake. Additional funding has been provided 
by other Federal agencies, such as FEMA, for technical support of their programs. Table 1, 
located at the end of this report, shows NIST's NEHRP funding for Fiscal Years 1993 through 
1996. 

3. Post-Earthquake Investigations 

Two moderate earthquakes, the January 1994 Northridge and January 1995 Hyogo Ken Nanbu 
(Kobe) earthquakes, which hit urban areas in California and Japan respectively, offered the 
earthquake engineering community an unprecedented opportunity to assess how the modem built 
environment responds to such powerful natural forces. In both earthquakes, NIST engineers led 
multi-agency federal teams to conduct post-earthquake investigations. 

3.1 The January 17, 1994 Northridge Earthquake, California 

Earthquakes provide a natural laboratory setting that allows us to evaluate not only the 
performance of the built environment when subjected to strong ground shaking, but also the 
catastrophic effects which a large earthquake can have on the people who inhabit those 
structures. Immediately after the January 1 7, 1994, Northridge earthquake, ICSSC, with NIST 
leadership, sent a reconnaissance team to the Los Angeles area to conduct observations of 
components of the built environment, including bridges, buildings, and lifelines such as gas and 
water systems, as well as to assess the causes of fires. NIST published its reconnaissance report 
entitled "1994 Northridge Earthquake: Performance of Structures, Lifelines, and Fire Protection 
Systems" in March 1994; a copy is offered for the record. 



m rt-^o 



286 



This magnitude 6.8 earthquake, which occurred in the San Fernando Valley, resulted in 58 deaths 
and an estimated total loss of $30 billion. Strong ground shaking caused severe damage to over 
1 1,000 homes, residential buildings, and commercial structures; six major highway structure 
collapses; and damage to over 150 highway overpasses. In addition, it resulted in the loss of 
power and water supply to tens of thousands of residents for an extended period of time, as well 
as fires that destroyed houses and mobile homes in several mobile home parks. However, the 
much improved performance of buildings and bridges designed and constructed using up to date 
seismic standards show the effectiveness of NEHRP in reducing losses. 

One of the major results of reconnaissance efforts was the discovery of the failure of many 
welded steel moment frames at welded joints. This behavior was unexpected and had not been 
observed in previous earthquakes. Joint efforts between NIST and private sector organizations 
have developed survey and testing programs to determine what caused these failures and how 
welded steel frames should be repaired, rehabilitated or designed in the future. 

3.2 The January 17, 1995 Hyogo Ken Nanbu (Kobe) Earthquake, Japan 

Exactly one year after the Northridge Earthquake, the Kobe Earthquake occurred. This 
earthquake, although of similar magnitude to the Northridge Earthquake, caused much more 
damage and suffering due to its location directly under a densely populated area, an area like that 
in many major US cities. 

The earthquake was ±e first time in recent history that a moderate earthquake (magnitude 6.9) 
devastated a modem urban region. It killed nearly 5,500 people, damaged or destroyed over 
150,000 buildings and homes, and disrupted the services of all lifeline systems; transportation, 
water Jind sewer, gas and liquid fuels, electric power, telecommunications, and ports and harbors. 
Fires following the earthquake resulted in the total destruction of areas equivalent to about 70 
U.S. city blocks. Japanese authorities estimate the total economic loss to exceed $200 billion 
dollars. 

Under the auspices of the U.S.-Japan Panel on Wind and Seismic Effects, technical experts from 
federal agencies participated in the post-earthquake investigation immediately after the 
earthquake to assess the performance of the built environment and to learn to prepare the United 
States for fiiture earthquakes. Technical areas covered in the investigation included the study of 
geological and seismological issues, the collection of field data related to them, and the 



287 

performance of buildings and lifelines. 

Many lessons have been learned from this investigation. These include: 

Moderate and large earthquakes directly beneath densely urbanized areas can cause 
catastrophic loss of life and property. Important factors contributing to these losses are 
proximity to the earthquake crustal-rupture zone, amplification effects of loose soil 
deposits, and liquefaction susceptibilities of reclaimed land and loose soil deposits. 

Most of the destroyed homes were non-engineered wood-frame residences of traditional 
Japanese design built between 1940s and 1970s. The lack of horizontal resistance in their 
design, coupled with heavy clay tile roofs, resulted in total destruction of many of such 
buildings. In comparison, U.S. homebuilding technologies performed well in local 
demonstration projects. 

• Many older reinforced concrete buildings also were severely damaged or collapsed. A 
major revision of the building code in 1981, which significantly upgraded seismic 
resistance requirements, significantly lessened damage in newer buildings. 

• Older steel fi'ame buildings (prior to 1 98 1 ) suffered damage. Some new steel frame 
buildings also had unexpected damages, such as brittle failures of steel sections at welds. 

• It appears that the eastem and central U.S. may have more than California to leam from 
this earthquake in Japan because of the predominance of steel girder bridges used in these 
regions. Some of these lessons are: 

The closure of arterial highways affects emergency relief and business recovery 

and can have a major economic impact on a region. 

Capacity design procedures, ductile details and generous seat widths are necessary 

to prevent catastrophic collapse during large earthquakes. 

Minimimi connection forces need to be enforced for all seismic zones unless 

connections can be shown to be fully protected by acceptable yielding of the main 

members. Redundancy in connection detailing is pzirticularly important for 

essential structures. 

Critically important structures must be designed to a higher level of performance. 

Retrofit measures reduce damage but inappropriate use and/or installation can 

defeat their piupose and perhaps even trigger coll^se. 



288 



Lateral spreading due to liquefaction can lead to collapse even in modem 

structures. 

Skewed bridges are susceptible to in-plane rotation leading to large displacements 

at their supports and possible unseating of girders in the acute comers. 

Rail services suffered more damage along the elevated structure sections than along the 
elevated embankment sections. Damage to reinforced concrete structures (columns) was 
extensive; the major cause of collapses was the non-ductile detailing of the steel 
reinforcement. Structures designed by current sp)ecifications performed well with minor 
damage. 

The extensive damage to the port of Kobe highlights the seismic hazard of loose sandy 
fills. Such materials have been widely used in the United States and worldwide to 
reclaim ground for port development and expansion. The earthquake once again 
demonstrated that these fills liquefy and generate large permanent ground displacements. 

There is a need to focus on the issue of fire following earthquakes. In Kobe, while there 
was no fire storm, there were 380 ignitions, and often no water to suppress them. Water 
purveyors and fire departments should review the vulnerability of water supplies. Recent 
earthquakes have shown that there is a low probability of maintaining a water system 
following an earthquake unless systems are designed and constructed, or retrofitted, for 
earthquake resistance. Consideration should be given to identifying and developing 
alternate supplies. Similarly, the use of monitoring and control systems should be 
considered to enable timely cutoff of a broken water system to save water in reservoirs 
for subsequent fire fighting. 

An important lesson leamed fi'om this earthquake is the need to coordinate the restoration 
of electric power with an assessment of the state of gas system repair. It appears that 
premature restoration of electric power in areas of Kobe with leaking gas contributed to 
additional fires. 

The difficulty and substantial time required for restoration of gas service in Kobe is an 
important reminder of the complexities and resources required for the resumption of gas 
supply after large-area shutdowns. Restoration of gas can be especially critical in U.S. 
areas with cold winter weather. It may be advantageous to provide for remote control and 
other rapid means of isolation of smaller, more manageable areas of the gas system. 

8 



289 



The extensive damage to vulnerable piping is a very important lesson and a sobering 
reminder of potential earthquake effects on weak systems. Although threaded steel 
piping is used rarely in U.S. gas systems, many U.S. systems do use cast iron mains, 
which are vulnerable to earthquakes, for low pressure distribution. 

High voltage bushings in electrical substations appear to contribute to poor seismic 
performance both in US. and Japan. Also, at potentially liquefiable sites, the need was 
shown for adequate slack in electrical wiring and in piping. 

Communication facilities are vulnerable to loss of water and emergency power. 

Passive fire protection systems were effective in stopping fire spread. A major 
earthquake overwhelms the capabilities of fire departments and public service rescue 
organizations. Homeowner self-help needs to be part of disaster response. 



4. Policy Recommendations 

The losses suffered in the Northridge earthquake and in recent hurricanes have resulted in an 
increased scrutiny by the federal government of its policies and activities for natural hazards 
reduction. This scrutiny has led to the FEMA-led development of the National Mitigation 
Strategy and to the recent publication of several studies by various government and private sector 
organizations which focus on needs for federal earthquake disaster mitigation and relief 
programs. In general, these studies recommend an increased emphasis on the mitigation of 
existing structures and lifelines which are vulnerable to earthquakes, increased research in areas 
of rehabilitation, increased sharing and utilization of this research, a larger education program to 
increase awareness of mitigation in the public, and the increased utilization of insurance industry 
policies to help promote mitigation. 

NIST has contributed to these studies and is prepared to participate in implementation of their 
recoirmiendations to the extent of resource availability. 

4.1 Adminbtration Policy Proposab 

Administration Policy Proposals on Natural Disaster Insurance and Related Issues, submitted by 
the Department of the Treasury and FEMA on February 16, 1995, discussed "the growing 



290 



concern that the costs of natural disasters - in terms of lives lost, property damaged, and 
economic dislocation - are simply too high, both to society as a whole and to the Federal 
government." These proposals emphasize cost-effective mitigation actions to reduce losses, and 
make mitigation a requirement for insurance against catastrophic events, and for post-disaster 
relief 

4.2 Office of Science and Technology Report 

The "Strategy for National Earthquake Loss Reduction" was completed recently by the National 
Earthquake Strategy Working Group for the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). 
This study recommends a new National Earthquake Loss Reduction Program (NEP) which 
would strengthen and extend the existing NEHRP. The new program would emphasize: 
utilization of agencies beyond the four NEHRP agencies, an increased emphasis on loss 
prevention and mitigation, the further development of technology transfer with the private sector 
and the establishment of education programs for earthquake loss reduction. 

43 Officeof Technology Assessment Report 

The Office of Technology Assessment's recently published report "Reducing Earthquake 
Losses", is in agreement that "damaging earthquakes will strike the US in the next few decades, 
causing at the minimum dozens of deaths and tens of billions of dollars in losses." This report 
states that "NEHRP has led to significant advances in our knowledge of both earth science and 
engineering aspects of earthquake risk reduction" and it recommends expanding the current 
scope of the NEHRP program to increase research on the retrofit of existing structures, to 
provide more direct support for public implementation programs, and to provide incentives for 
mitigation by making it a condition for federal disaster assistance. It should be noted that the 
federal goverrmient has shown leadership in requiring use of up-to-date seismic design and 
construction practices for new federal and federally-assisted buildings, including, for instance, 
new homes to be financed by VA. Also, there is a knowledge g^ as well as an implementation 
gap. We lack nationally recognized practices for seismic safety evaluation and strengthening of 
existing buildings, and for the evaluation and strengthening of existing Ufelines or the design and 
construction of new lifelines. 

4.4 Lifelines Plan 

Lifelines are the public works and utility systems that support most human activities, and £dso are 

10 



291 



vulnerable to earthquakes. A Plan for Developing and Adopting Seismic Design Guidelines and 
Standards for Lifelines has been prepared by FEMA, in consultation with NIST and the private 
sector, in response to Public Law 101-614, the NEHRP Reauthorization Act. The Plan focuses 
on developing guidelines for existing and new lifelines, testing the guidelines in trial 
applications, making improvements, encouraging and supporting the adoption of these 
recommendations by the standards and professional organizations serving the lifelines 
community, and working with the lifeline community to achieve their effective implementation. 
Like those reports mentioned above, the Plan emphasizes efficient management, close 
coordination between the public and private sectors and the development of implementation and 
education efforts. NIST looks forward to carrying out its assignment in the Plan. 

4.5 Research and Testing Capabilities Needs Assessment - EERI 

A report entitled "Assessment of Earthquake Engineering Research and Testing Capabilities in 
the United States" was completed by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) in 
response to Public Law 103-374. This report states that significant reduction in economic and 
other losses fi'om firture earthquakes in the United States can be realized through an accelerated 
and coordinated national program of earthquake engineering research and testing. The direct 
benefits of such a program include the improved knowledge of the complex phenomena 
controlling seismic performance of structures and lifelines, the rapid development of reliable 
design guidelines and standards, and the development of a technically sound basis for actions and 
policy decisions by government leaders, insurance brokers, owners and others. The report 
recommends that existing testing facilities be upgraded and used in an augmented program of 
experimental and analytical studies to provide bases for improved loss reduction practices. 

We note that the lack of adequate experimental studies is a cause of the unexpected failures of 
welded steel firames in the Northridge and Kobe earthquakes, and that studies in existing 
facilities are addressing these needs. NIST's seismic testing facilities are among those in need of 
upgrading, and among those that have not been fiilly used because of lack of funding for 
experimental studies. 



5. NIST Role in NEHRP Management and Planning 

Despite its severely limited resources in NEHRP, NIST has contributed equivalently to the other 
principal NEHRP agencies in the management and planning of NEHRP. 

11 



292 



I have represented MIST in the NEHRP Interagency Coordinating Committee (ICC), whose 
members are the senior line managers of the principal agencies. ICC provides policy-level 
direction in the preparation of the coordinated and consolidated budget for NEHRP and its 
presentation to the Office of Management and Budget, the development of the Five Year Plan for 
NEHRP, and in strategic planning. ICC also coordinates the execution of the NEHRP program 
including: preparation of Congressionally-mandated studies, collaborations with private and 
public sector elements of the earthquake community, and development of the biennial NEHRP 
report to Congress. 



6. Development and Implementation of Earthquake Hazard Reduction Practices 

Through the ICSSC 

In accord with P.L. 101-614, NIST provides the chairman and technical secretariat for the 
Interagency Committee on Seismic Safety in Construction (ICSSC), through which 30 Federal 
agencies concerned for seismic safety collaborate, to develop and incorporate earthquake hazard 
reduction measures in their programs. FEMAfimds the work of the ICSSC secretariat. To link 
its activities to those of the private sector, the ICSSC chairman serves as a member of the Board 
of the Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC), and ICSSC members serve on many technical 
committees of BSSC. 



6.1 Implementation of Executive Order 12699 

Following the President's issuance of Executive Order 12699, "Seismic Safety of Federal and 
Federally Assisted or Regulated New Building Construction," in January 1990, NIST and ICSSC 
undertook a number of activities in support of the Executive Order's implementation. These 
included translating the "NEHRP Recommended Provisions for the Development of Seismic 
Regulations for New Buildings" into language suitable for incorporation into the national 
buildings codes, issuing a recommendation that the seismic provisions of the then current 
editions of the three model building codes are appropriate for implementing the Executive Order, 
and developing "Guidelines and Procedures for Implementation of the Executive Order on 
Seismic Safety of New Building Construction" to assist the agencies in developing their 
programs in response to the Executive Order. 

The ICSSC continues in its efforts to promote the Executive Order and to assist agencies in 

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developing their specific programs. In May 1995, a report was issued which compared the most 
recent editions of the ICBO Uniform Building Code, the BOCA National Building Code, the 
SBCCI Standard Building Code, the CABO One and Two Family Dwelling Code, and ASCE 7- 
93, "Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures" to the 1991 edition of the 
NEHRP Recommended Provisions. Also in May 1995. the ICSSC issued a recommendation, 
based on the results of this study, which stated that the seismic provisions of the current editions 
of the three model building codes, as well as ASCE 7-93 and Appendix, are appropriate for 
implementing the Executive Order. This recommendation is very important for cost-effective 
seismic safety. The designer of a federal, or federally-assisted or regulated building, can use the 
model building code familiar to the locality without incurring either the expense or the 
possibility of misunderstanding involved with use of an unfamiliar special federal seismic 
requirement. 

6.2 Implementation of Executive Order 12941 

Damage from recent earthquakes has made it apparent that existing structures built before the use 
of modem seismic codes are at much higher risk during an earthquake. However, there 
previously have been few requirements to upgrade any of these buildings and there have been no 
building codes or standards for the rehabilitation of these buildings. The federal government, 
using the ICSSC, has taken a lead role in the recognition of this problem and the development of 
the tools to tackle it. Public Law 101-614 called for the ICSSC to work with appropriate private 
sector organizations in the development of standards for assessing and enhancing the seismic 
safety of existing buildings constructed for or leased by the federal government. The standard, 
RP-4, "Standards of Seismic Safety for Existing Federally Owned or Leased Buildings", was 
published in February 1994. The Law also called for the President to adopt the standards by 
December 1, 1994. Executive Order 12941, "Seismic Safety of Existing Federally Leased or 
Owned Buildings" was drafted by ICSSC and signed by the President on December 1, 1994. 
This Executive Order is the implementing authority for the RP-4 Standard and requires all 
federal agencies to use the RP-4 Standard as a minimum when evaluating or rehabilitating 
existing buildings for seismic safety. 

RP-4 describes certain trigger situations which require an agency to evaluate and develop a plan 
for the mitigation of any building foimd to be seismically deficient. These triggers include a 
change in the use of the building, other upgrades being performed on the building, and the 
determination of the building as representing an "exceptionally high seismic risk." This provides 
an initial effort to reduce the seismic risk in federal buildings. In order to determine the fiill 

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extent of the level of seismic risk in existing federal buildings, a more extensive program must be 
put into place. For this reason. Executive Order 12941 tasks all affected federal agencies to 
develop a fiill inventory of their owned and leased buildings, and to develop estimates of the 
costs expected to bring this inventory up to a level of acceptable seismic safety. The information 
collected through this effort will be used to develop recommendations for an economically 
feasible plan to mitigate earthquake risks in existing federal buildings. 

The Executive Order states that the details for the inventorying and cost estimating effort Jire to 
be published by the ICSSC within one year of the signing of the Order. In response, the ICSSC 
is developing two documents. The Guidance Document provides the recommended 
methodology for collecting and reporting inventory and cost estimate information. It was 
approved by the ICSSC on October 3, 1995. The Handbook suggests detailed techniques for 
developing this information. Both documents are slated for publication before December 1 , 
1995. 

63 Technical Support to FEMA/BSSC 

In addition to its support of the ICSSC, NIST also provides technical expertise to assist FEMA in 
the review of projects to develop design and construction guidance documents for seismic 
rehabilitation. This includes the technical review of the "Guidelines for Seismic Rehabilitation". 
This project, which is being developed by the BSSC, Applied Technology Council (ATC), and 
the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), is a multi-year effort to develop 
comprehensive guidelines for the seismic rehabilitation of existing buildings. This type of 
comprehensive guidance currently does not exist, hence the document will provide an extremely 
useful tool to promote the cost-effective rehabilitation of seismically vulnerable buildings. By 
providing technical assistance on this and similar projects, NIST is able to provide a link 
between the development of federal and private sector seismic rehabilitation guidelines. The 
project is scheduled for completion in 1997. 

NIST is also involved in the technical review of an update of the FEMA document, "Typical 
Costs of Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings." This project has produced two volumes which 
can be used to establish an estimate of the costs to rehabihtate specific types of existing 
buildings. This product will be extremely useful in the cost-estimating efforts required by 
Executive Order 12941. 



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7. Earthquake Engineering Research Activities 

NISPs earthquake engineering research activities focus on three major program areas: 
1) structural control, 2) lifeline and geotechnical engineering, and 3) strengthening of existing 
structures and improvement of new structures. These program areas were selected through the 
collaborations with users described in Section 1 to make best use of the resources provided to 
NIST through NEHRP. 

NISPs earthquake engineering research activities were recently supported through two distinct 
funding sources: the normal year fiinding through NEHRP appropriation and the emergency 
appropriation resulting from the January 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake in southern California. 

The support from both funding sources allowed NIST to support studies of critical issues related 
to fires following earthquakes and the performance of steel frame buildings to expand its 
collaborative efforts with many other organizations in the nation's earthquake hazard mitigation 
community. 

7.1 Structural Control 

In its natural progression, the subject of structural control may be divided into three phases: 
seismic isolation (base isolation), passive energy dissipation, and active (or hybrid) control. 
Structural control is planned as a multi-year program in which NIST will develop test methods 
for structural control devices and systems in order to assist in bringing iimovations into practice. 
NISPs current effort is focusing on the seismic isolation technology. Future efforts will address 
technical issues in the areas of passive/active/hybrid control systems. 

Performance Requirements for Seismic Isolation Systems 

Seismic isolation has been demonstrated in recent earthquakes as an effective means for reducing 
the level of response in structures during strong earthquake groimd shaking. Testing of the 
isolation system prior to installation is required by each of the existing building codes that deal 
with the design of isolated structures; however, standards do not yet exist for conducting these 
much needed tests, and therefore, procedures and results are subject to considerable variability. 
NIST has completed the development of draft gxiidelines, a pre-standard, for testing of isolation 
systems. The guidelines address pre-qualification, prototype and quality control testing. The 
guidelines were developed in collaboration with an oversight committee and with inputs from 

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about 40 workshop participants. Work is continuing to develop a detailed experimental and 
testing plan, to conduct tests according to the procedures established in the Draft Guidelines, and 
to report on the adequacy and feasibility of the guideline test procedures based on the 
observations and experience gained in the test program. 

NlSTs guidelines are being used to evaluate innovative base isolation systems for highway 
structures. NIST also has proposed to ASCE that the NIST guidelines be used as the basis for 
developing an American National Standard Institute (ANSI) national consensus standard for 
testing of base isolation systems. ASCE has fonned a standard committee and NIST serves as 
the committee's technical secretariat. This is an example of technology developed at NIST being 
transferred into engineering practice. 

7J2 Lifeline and Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering 

The objective of the NISTs Ufeline and geotechnical earthquake engineering program is to 
develop the knowledge base, through appropriate research, that is needed to support the 
development of design guidelines, as proposed in the Plan for Dtv'eloping and Adopting Seismic 
Guidelines and Standards for Lifelines. 

Lifeline systems, i.e., water supply and sewers, gas and liquid fuels, electric power, 
transportation, and telecommimication systems, are pubhc works and utilities systems that 
support most human activities: individual, family, economic, political, and cultural. Disruption 
in services of lifelines can be devastating, as demonstrated by the aftermath of the Northridge 
and Kobe earthqual-es. In the past few years, NISPs lifeline program has concentrated its effort 
on technical topics common to all lifelines, such as determination of soil liquefaction potential, 
and assessment and development of methods to improve soil deposits to reduce or eliminate 
liquefaction potential. 

Fires following earthquakes are another major hazard, particularly in urban settings such as Kobe 
and many major cities located in seismic regions in the United States. Failures of lifelines, such 
as natural gas, electric power, and water supply, both cause fires and inhibit their suppression. 
The Northridge Earthquake Supplemental Fund has allowed NIST, with the fire and lifeline 
communities, to examine a number of critical issues related to fu-e/lifelines. 

Estimating In-Sim Liquefaction Potential and Assessment of Ground Improvement Technolog ies 



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In-situ methods are preferred since it is impossible to test in the laboratory "undisturbed" samples 
of loose soil deposits, which are most susceptible to liquefaction. The state of practice is the 
Standard Penetration Test (SPT) based method. The Spectral Analysis of Surface Wave 
technique has potential for examining the large areal extent of lifeline routes. Its effectiveness is 
being evaluated. 

Numerous techniques have been developed for improving loose soil deposits to reduce or 
eliminate their liquefaction potential. All these methods were developed through empirical 
approaches. They are generally costly. Moreover, not all of them are appropriate for use in 
retrofitting or strengthening existing lifelines. A second task of this study is to assess the 
effectiveness of various methods and recommend their proper use. A report entitled "Ground 
Improvement Techniques for Liquefaction Remediation near Existing Lifelines" has just been 
published. 

Fire/Lifelines Workshop 

The workshop was held in January 1 995 in Long Beach, California to identify research needs 
related to fu-e ignition and suppression and the performance of related lifeline systems. The 
objective of the workshop was to identify technology development and research needs for 
reducing the number and severity of post-earthquake fires. Forfy-two experts fi'om fire and 
lifeline conmiunities participated in the workshop to develop a priority list of 20 topics. Many of 
the topics are being addressed through grants to conduct the needed studies. They include: 

Northridge Post-Earthquake Monograph on Lifeline Performance Ml ST has engaged the 
American Society of Civil Engineers' Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering 
(TCLEE) to conduct a follow-up lifeline investigation of the earthquake and publish a 
monograph of the observations and lessons learned. The monograph was published in 
August 1995, presenting the information collected in the initial investigation conducted 
immediately after the earthquake, as well as the follow-up visits to the damaged sites in the 
months leading to the publication. 

Protection of Building Envelope fi-pm External Fire Sources This study evaluates the fire 
exposure conditions that cause glass to fall, examine the protection afforded by strategies that 
could easily be retrofitted, and address the protection of soffit vents fi-om external fire penetration 
in single family homes. 



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Fire-Related Aspects of the Northridge Earthquake This study investigates and fully documents 
fires, fire spread and fire department ojjerations; provides analysis of this data in support of 
fiiture estimation of fires following earthquakes; and summarizes lessons learned and insights 
resulting from this earthquake, in support of loss reduction practices and mitigation of potential 
conflagrations and large loss of fires following earthquakes. 

Analysis of Fire Sprinkler System Performance in the Northridge Earthquake The study will 
analyze the performance of fire sprinkler systems in the earthquake in relation to the specific 
earthquake protection measures employed in their design and installation, and develop proposed 
changes to the national installation standard, NFPA 13, to improve future system performance by 
bringing brace fastener details up to current levels of technology. 

Fire Hazards and Mitigation Measures Associated with Seismic Damage of Water-Heaters and 
Related Components The study aims to assess seismic damage of nonstructural elements in 
buildings which may lead to fire hazards; review current codes and provisions related to seismic 
design of water heaters and related components, develop, through analysis and experiments, 
mitigation measures which can be effective in minimizing fire hazards; and recommend specific 
code provisions and design gtiidelines for this class of nonstructural components. 

Evaluation of Passive Fire Protection Systems Following Earthquakes This effort seeks to create 
a post-earthquake safety evaluation of the passive fire prevention features of buildings and add 
such evaluation to the ATC-20 document, "Procedures for Post-earthquake Safety Evaluation of 
Buildings," which in its current form lacks procedures for fire protection system evaluation. 



Reliability and Restoration of Water Supplv Systems Following Earthquakes The study will 
assess post-earthquake system reliability and make recommendations to enhance post-earthquake 
operability of domestic water supply and/or alternate water supply systems, and enable quick 
restoration of service following an earthquake. 

Seismic Risk Assessment of Liquid Fuel Systems This study will review and integrate available 
methods and procedures of seismic risk assessment and loss estimation, develop a framework for 
risk assessment that can logically accommodate the state-of-the-art results of research and 
development efforts on the physical and functional performance of the liquid fiiel transmission 
systems subjected to earthquakes, identify and highlight the design issues that must reflect the 
risk concept in the process of the development of design guides, and develop and draft an outline 

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of design guides. 

Seismic Performance of Liquid Fuel Tanks This study will document and evaluate the 
performance of liquid fuel tanks during the past and most recent major earthquakes, particularly 
the Northridge and Kobe earthquakes, assess their performance with resjject to the current design 
and construction practices, and develop recommendations for improving their future 
performance. 

73 Strengthening of Existing Structures and Improvement of New Structure Design 

Post-earthquake investigation efforts following the Northridge and Kobe earthquakes again 
demonstrated the much higher vulnerability of older buildings designed and constructed using 
outdated methodologies and technologies. This observation further highlights the urgency to 
focus the engineering community's effort to develop methods for strengthening or retrofitting 
existing buildings and structures. Development of the best and most cost-effective strengthening 
techniques for different types of buildings and structures has been one of NISPs major thrusts in 
the past several years. 

There also is need to improve methods for the design and construction of new buildings and 
structures. This includes the use of new materials and systems for seismic resistant design and 
the ability to develop good detailing of structural components to improve their ductility when 
subject to seismic loading. 

Projects in this program area are: 

Performance of Welded Steel Mome nt Frame Structures 

Welded steel moment frame (WSMF) buildings have long been considered to be much less 
vulnerable to sustaining serious damage under strong ground shaking when compared with other 
types of buildings. However, after the Northridge earthquake, engineers uncovered wide-spread 
evidence of fractures in steel members and welded joints of WSMF buildings. The situation is so 
serious that the State of California issued an unprecedented advisory urging owners whose 
buildings suffered cosmetic damage to conduct thorough inspections to ensure that building 
damages were indeed only cosmetic. To assure safe and reliable seismic performance of WSMF 
structures in future earthquakes, the following tasks must be accomplished: 



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• Characterize and understand the nature of the failures. 

• Prepare interim procedures to identify buildings which may have been damaged, establish 
the condition of damaged buildings, and rehabilitate the damaged buildings. 

• Prepare recommendations for the repair, retrofit and design of WSMF buildings based on 
a rational tmderstanding of seismic behavior. 

NIST is an active participant in the SAC (SEAOC, ATC, and CUREe) effort established after the 
Northridge earthquake to address critical issues, both in retrofit and new design of steel frame 
buildings. NIST-sponsored efforts, which are underway as part of a comprehensive program to 
accomplish these tasks, include the following: 

a. Workshop on Seismic Performance of Steel Frame Buildings The purpose of this 
workshop was to bring together experts from across the country to form a national 
perspective on the problems observed in the performance of WSMF buildings in the 
Northridge earthquake and to develop a research plan and determine the best approach for 
solving these problems. Proceedings of this workshop were published in November 
1994. 

b. Performance of Steel Frame Bmldings During the 1994 Northridge Earthquake This 
project consisted of developing and performing a detailed survey of those WSMF 
buildings which were damaged in the Northridge earthquake. This survey provided a 
basis for establishing the extent of the problem and determining the best course of action 
to address the research and analytical aspects of the program. The report from this effort 
was pubUshed in April 1995. 

c. Enhancement of ID ARC Program for Modeling Inelastic Behavior of Welded 
Connections in Steel Moment Frame Buildings The purpose of this project is to modify 
an existing program which models the inelastic behavior of reinforced concrete structures 
for use in modeling the WSMF connections damaged in the Northridge earthquake. The 
modified program was published in April 1995. 

d. Failiu^ Analysis of Bmldings Structural Damage Sustained in the Northridge Earthquake 
The objective of this project is to identify, document and arrange for removal of actual 
failed sections of beam-column connections and to use these connections to characterize 

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properties of the beam and column flanges, properties of the weld metal and heat- 
afifected-zones, and fracture origin and mechanism, and to evaluate the test results to 
understand the causes of failures. 

e. Detailed Investigations and Analysis of Two Steel Frame Buildings Which Suffered 
Extensive Damage in the 1994 Northridg e Faithgnakp This project examines and fully 
documents the damaged condition of selected buildings and conducts analyses of the 
building systems using various types of analytical tools to assess the ability of these tools 
to predict the observed damage. 

f. Computer Modeling for Analysis of the Performance of Steel Buildings The objective of 
this project is to develop modeling assumptions and computer models for analyzing three 
WSMF buildings, varying from 4 to 6 stories, which suffered extensive damage in the 
Northridge earthquake. 

g. Lar ge Scale Testing of Retrofitted Steel Moment Connections There are currently three 
projects underway at three universities to test retrofit schemes for the types of 
connections which failed in the Northridge earthquake. These projects will test the 
effectiveness of three schemes and develop important data needed to formulate design 
guidance for these retrofit schemes. 

Seismic Perfonnance of Precast Concrete Connections 

The objective of this project is to develop building code provisions for moment resistant precast 
concrete beam-column connections. These are based on design guidelines derived from 
experimental work jointly sponsored by NIST and the private sector and completed at NIST. 
Proposed revisions to building codes require careful attention to exact content and wording so as 
to avoid conflicts with existing code requirements, the unintentional exclusion of materials 
and/or procedures, and potential mistakes caused by misinterpretation of the proposed changes. 
The inclusion of the gtiidelines into national building codes is an important step in the 
implementation of research results. NIST-developed design guidelines have been presented to 
SEAOC and the American Concrete Institute committees for their consideration for adoption into 
building codes and standards. Such adoption would allow the introduction of this new form of 
connection in new construction to gain the advantages of pre-cast construction with seismic 
safety. This is another example that technology developed at NIST is being transferred into 
engineering practice. 

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Seismic Resistance of Partially Grouted Reinforced Masonry Walls 

Results available from U.S. and foreign tests of fully- and partially-reinforced masonry shear 
walls have been compared to predictive equations for the ultimate flexural and shear resistance. 
Partially-grouted masonry, in which vertical reinforcement is concentrated in a few cells and 
only those vertical cells containing reinforcement are grouted, promises to be a cost-effective 
measure for construction of masonry buildings in moderately seismic regions, such as regions 
east of the Rockies. The Council for Masonry Research also has suggested that NIST investigate 
the replacement of bond beams, which contain the horizontal reinforcement needed to resist 
horizontal shear forces generated by the seismic motions, with bed joint reinforcement, which are 
electrically- welded grids of reinforcing wire. This replacement also has a high potential for 
improving the productivity and enhancing the cost-effectiveness of the U.S. masonry 
construction industry. NIST has developed a detailed plan for a comprehensive, multi-year 
experimental and analytical investigation on the shear strength of partially-grouted masonry 
shear walls. The experimental data is needed to calibrate an empirical expression developed by 
NIST staff for predicting the shear strength of partially-grouted masomy walls, as well as to 
verify existing finite element model of masonry shear walls. 

Seismic Performance of Cladding Systems 

This study is to evaluate the seismic performance of exterior architectural cladding elements 
during the Northridge earthquake, and to develop energy dissipating cladding systems for 
seismic retrofit and design of new buildings. Although cladding elements are not specifically 
designed for seismic forces, they participate in resisting lateral loads as they deform with the 
framing system. Some cladding systems sustained damage during the Northridge earthquake, 
particularly those on steel fi^me structures. The seismic performance of buildings could be 
improved by utilizing effectively the cladding system to dissipate energy and these systems can 
conceivably be applied to both new construction and seismic retrofit. The end result of this 
effort v^ll be seismic design guidelines for building cladding systems. 

Performance of Non-Structural Components 

This study is to develop recommended provisions for the seismic design of non-structural 
components in buildings. Non-structural components include such elements as suspended 
ceilings, exterior cladding panels, water pipes, ventilating ducts, window glass, furniture, and 
mechanical equipment. Damage to non-structural components in earthquakes often costs as 

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much as damage to the structure itself. Current practices for seismic design of non-structural 
components are being evaluated. A detailed study of critical non-structural components will 
follow to develop recommended provisions for seismic design of non-structural components. 

Performance of Rehabilitated Masonry Buildings and Development of Performance-Based 
Rehabilitation Guidelines 

Despite the rehabilitation requirements in Los Angeles, many rehabilitated unreinforced masonry 
(URM) buildings were badly damaged during the Northridge earthquake. As a life-safety 
measure, current rehabilitation practices appear to be successful. However, rehabilitation was not 
successfiil in reducing property damages, which often led to significant cost for repair and 
associated business disruption. This study is to document the performance of rehabilitated URM 
buildings, evaluate the effectiveness of current rehabilitation practices, and develop guidelines 
for rehabilitation achieving both life safety and property loss reduction. 

Seismic Strengthening Methodologies for Existing Lightly RC Frame Building s 

The objective of this effort is to contribute to the current development of rehabilitation design 
guidelines for existing lightly reinforced concrete (RC) frame buildings by translating existing 
and new research results obtained in NIST research efforts into technology usable by designers. 
A recently completed NIST program on strengthening lightly RC frame buildings with infill 
walls produced a set of design considerations. Design charts and procedures, tables, and 
simplified equations will be developed to convert the research tools into practical tools and 
technologies to support performance-based design approaches. The work from this project also 
will support the development of the FEMA guidelines for seismic rehabilitation. 

Inelastic Damage Model for Rectangular Reinforced Concrete Columns 

With the co-sponsorship of the Federal Highway Administration, State of California's 
Department of Transportation, and National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, NIST 
is continuing its effort in developing new and irmovative methods to improve the seismic 
performance of reinforced concrete bridge colunms. Several computer-based analysis models 
which predict the dynamic performance of reinforced concrete structures in earthquakes in both 
the elastic and inel2istic range of behavior are currently available. However, inelastic models 
remain theoretical tools which carmot be used with confidence until they are systematically 
calibrated against laboratory test data. This project will demonstrate a calibration procedure for 

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the program IDARC which could be adapted for use with other inelastic dynamic analysis 
software. A digital database of cyclic lateral load tests on rectangular RC columns developed in 
a previous phase of this project will be used. 

Cyclic Lateral Load Tests of Circular Reinforced Concrete Bridge Colurrms 

In earthquake engineering studies of reinforced concrete columns, a controlled, cyclic load 
pattern with gradually increasing amplitude has traditionally been applied to columns tested in 
the laboratory. However, in an actual earthquake, a bridge column is exposed to a random cyclic 
loading pattern, which is much different from the laboratory loading pattern. The differences 
between these types of loadings have never been explored systematically. In this study both 
types of loading - controlled, cyclic lateral loads, and random earthquake type loads - will be 
applied to nominally identical columns and the differences in observed damage will be studied. 
Recommendations will be formulated for test procedures. 

8. Technology Transfer 

8.1 Standards Activities 

NIST participates actively in over 100 national and international standards development 
activities for construction and fire. NIST also provides volunteer leadership to major standards 
organizations such as the International Standards Organization, the American Society for Testing 
and Materials, the American Concrete Institute (ACI), the American Institute of Steel 
Construction (AISC), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the American 
Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Examples of 
NIST staffs participation relevant to the earthquake engineering program are: 

• Dr. H. S. Lew, Chief, Structures Division/BFRL, serves on ACI Committee 3 1 8, 
Standard Building Codes and AISC Specification Committee on Steel Construction 

• Dr. Richard Marshall, Leader, Structures Evaluation Group, Structures Division/BFRL, 
serves on ASCE 7, Wind Loads Task Committee and ASCE Executive Committee of 
Structural Standards Division 

• Dr. Riley M. Chung, Leader, Earthquake Engineering Group, Structures Division/BFRL, 
serves on ASCE Committee on Natural Disaster Reduction, as vice chair of ASCE 

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Organizing Committee for the 1996 International Conference on Natural Disaster 
Reduction, and as chair of Specisil Session on Lifelines at the 11 th World Conference on 
Earthquake Engineering, June 1996. 

8.2 Industry Collaboration 

NEHRP depends strongly on professional and industry associations in the U.S. for development 
of, education in, and implementation of earthquake hazard reduction practices. NIST has been 
successful in encouraging collaborative activities, and participating in and leading the work of 
collaborating organizations. 

Most recentiy, efforts to research the extent of the steel moment frame connection failures in the 
Northridge earthquake have provided an opportunity for NIST to collaborate with private sector 
organizations such as SEAOC, ATC and CUREe as well as several Universities and private 
sector companies to work towards design and rehabilitation solutions for the entire building 
community. The need to examine technical issues related to fu^es following earthquakes also 
allowed NIST to collaborate closely with experts from the fire and lifelines communities. 



9. International Activities 

The NEHRP gains greatiy from international collaborations in learning about earthquake effects, 
mitigation practices and implementation mechanisms. NIST has been active in supporting 
information exchange through the following international organizations: 

• U.S. -Japan Panel on Wind and Seismic Effects includes 1 6 U.S. Federal agencies and 9 
Japanese agencies. NIST provides the U.S-side chairman. The Panel has: 

held 27 armual technical meetings for prompt exchange of research findings, 

conducted over 40 workshops and conferences, on topics such as repair and 
retrofit of structures, involving leading U.S. and Japanese researchers and 
practitioners, 

conducted cooperative post earthquake investigations. 



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hosted visiting Japanese researchers and provided access for U.S. researchers to 
unique Japanese facilities, 

organized cooperative research programs on steel, concrete, masonry and precast 
concrete structures, and 

cooperated in investigations of damaging earthquakes in Japan and U.S. 

International Coimcil on Building Research, Studies and Documentation (CIB). NIST 
provided the President from 1983-86 and serves on its Board and Program Committee. 
CIB provides recommendations for international standards on structural resistance to 
earthquakes and international cooperation on earthquake hazard reduction. 

International Union of Laboratories for Testing and Research on Materials and Structures 
(RILEM). NIST provided the president from 1982-85, and provides continuing 
leeidership in development of its technical programs. 



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Table 1 



NIST Funding for NEHRP 
($ million) 



FY96' 



^^ST Appropriation 

Northridge Supplemental Appropriation: NIST 

Northridge Supplemental Appropriation: FEMA 

Other FEMA (Obligations) 

Other Federal Agencies (Obligations) 

Private Sector (Obligations) 



1.332 


1.532 


1.149- 


1.932 





3.000 











1.500 








0.244 


0.210 


0.268 


0.240 


0.099 


0.103 


0.208 


0.115 


0.154 


0.036 


0.013 


0.050 



Total 



1.829 6.381 



2.337 



Estimated. 
Reflects rescission 



308 



National Institute of Standards and Technology 

Building and Fire Research Laboratory 

Structures Division 

Earthquake Engineering Publications 

(FY93-FY95) 



Technology transfer takes various forms and plays a critical role in successfully meeting the NEHRP 
goals and takes various forms. These forms include publication of problem-focused engineering research 
results in NIST interim reports (NISTIR); in journals, and conference and workshop proceedings; in trade 
associations, professional societies, and agencies' newsletters; and through speeches given at professional 
gatherings. 



Post-Earthquake Investigations 

Chung, R. M. Technical Editor and co-author, "Hokkaido-Nansei-Oki Earthquake and Tsunami 
of July 12, 1993 Reconnaissance Report," EERI Earthquake Spectra, April 1995 (Publication 95- 
01) 

Todd, D.T., Carino, N., Chung, R.M., Lew, H.S., Taylor, A.W., and Walton, W.D., "1994 
Northridge Earthquake: Performance of Structures, Lifelines, and Fire Protection Systems," 
ICSSC TR-14 and NISTIR 5396, March 1994 (available through NTIS PB 94-1611 14) 

Todd, D.T., Anderson, E., Carino,N., Cheok, G., Chung, R.M., Gross, J., Phan, L., 
Shultz, A.E., Shenton, H.W., Taylor, A., Yancey, C.W.C, "Performance of HUD-Affiliated 
Properties During the January 17, 1994 Northridge Earthquake," NISTIR 5488, August 1994 
(available through NTIS PB95-174488/AS) 

Youssef, N.F.G., Bonowitz, D., and Gross, J.L., 'A Survey of Steel Moment-Resisting Frame 
Buildings Affected by the 1994 Northridge Earthquake," NISTIR 5625, April 1995. 



Structural Control 

Lin, A.N. and Shenton, H.W. Ill, "Relative Performance of Fixed-Base and Base-Isolated 
Concrete Frames," ASCE, Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol 119, No. 10, Oa. 1993. 

Shenton, H.W., "Draft Guidelines for Testing and Evaluation of Seismic Isolation Systems," 
ATC-17-1, Proceedings of Seminar on Seismic Isolation, Passive Energy Dissipation, and Active 
Control, pp. 349-354, March 1993. 

Shenton, H.W., "NIST Efforts in Natural Hazard Mitigation: Current Programs and Future 
Opportunities in Structural Control," Proceedings of the International Workshop on Structural 
Control, Honolulu, Hawaii, August 5-7, 1993. 

Shenton, H.W., and Un, A.N., 'Relative Performance of Fixed-Based and Base-Isolated 
Concrete Frames," ASCE, Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol. 119, No. 10, October 1993. 



309 



Sbentoo, H.W^ ID; Taykr, A.W^ and Le«, iLS., Tea R a f mumu a for Bse bolaboa,* 
Proceedii^s, 27tfa Joint Meo^ oo Wmd ad Seisauc Effecs. U.S.-Japai Paad oa Wkd aod 
Effeos. UJNR, May 1995. 



Tarlor, A.W.; SWnlM , H.W., HI; and am^, ILM., 'Soodards for the Testing j 
Ev-aloadoa of Seismic Isolaboo Swctts.' Proceedii^ of tbe ASXlEyJSME Pressure Vessels 3 
Piping Coofereac*. Vol. 319, pp. 39-43. July 23-37, 1995. 



Ufeiine and Geotedmicai Eartbquaks Engineering 

ASCE Tedmital CooHcfl — Lifefcie FirtlUBilrii Fnpaff rwg Monognph No. 8, •Monhriilge 

Eanbquake Lifeiioe Pet fo o m ace aid Fost-EaniiqBake Response,' edimd by Ansfad StUtL, 
AagBl 1995 

*ii*iiJ, HD. aad Cb^^ RM^ 'Cosi-eSeaivs Gnxmci Improvsnea for Liqoeaaioa 
Bfffrfiarino near Fjiui a fl Lifeines,* Proceedinp of the 27t& Joint Meetii^ of tbe US-Jap2:i 
Paaei oa Wind and Setsmk Effects, Tsuknba, Japaa, May 1995. 

Andnis, RJ>. and CSoBg, KM., 'Gnnad li Bpr wuma Tednqaes iir Ijqaefumm 
Remediatioa Near Exisnag LifisiiBes,' hOSTIR 5714. September 199S 

CkMg. K. M^ iasm, N. H,^ Mainz, R^ Jtfowrer, F. W^ Wateo, W. D. E^fitm. Tost- 
EatAqoakB Fke and LifeUnes Worisfaop; Long Beacfa, C^ifioraia. January 30-31, 1995,' 
Proceedings. NET SP889. Sepceaiber 1995. 

EgDcfai, R.T. aod Cfaoae, KJl, "TiLMfii mt Iiniwii ■■!! 1^-tc r:= ne Jiodsv 

17, 1994NonfaridgeEaid>qaake-Ti3as{nraoaoaadUiliqrLi:r .- :.-:i -r i. : 

Lifelines Wortsfaop; Loi^ Beadi, CaUfixBia, Jaoaqr 30-31, : . z. < iT i?;^- 
SepceBbei 1995. 

Gbser, S., T.gi mating Soii Parameters Importaot for Lifeline Siting UOTig Syaeo Ideaidcaboa 
Teci^qua,' SlSTtR 5U3. Mardi 1993 (a%-ailabie liirougfa NTIS. PB93'lTS606) 

Glaser, S^ 'EstiauiiaglB-SiDiLiqaefactiooPoGeodaiandPerT&aieaGnnndOtspiacemeBcDae 
aLiqoisfKtiooforifaeSitiagofLifeBties,' NISTIR5150, Mardi 1993 (availaUe tfaroogfa NTIS, 
PB93 17^614). 

Glaser, SJ)., 'Scra:s Dispia:enieoc doe to Eartfaqoake F^rit^ifin of SacnaEed Sands,' EERI 

Speara, Vol.10, .vk). 3, 1994. 

Glasa-, SJ)., 'Applicatiaa of Pataiaetric Models for r^iuutim of Soi PaMiiliii.' 
Proceedings, Sih I maimiuai l Coa feie a ce of tbe Assodadoo for Compatgr Metbods aad 
AthoBoes a GroTfiun ics. RoUa, Missaim, 1994. 

Gteer, SJ). aad CkHg, RJf., " Ew iaMioa of Uqaefywe SaA Ibroogh Tmte Vjaag Spatm 



310 



Facilities and Countermeasures against Soil Liquefaaion," Snowbird, Utah. NCEER, Buffalo, 
NY, January 1995 

Glaser, S.D. and Chung, R.M., "Use of Ground Improvement to Mitigation Liquefoction 
Potential for Lifelines," Proceedings, Taiwan-US Workshop for Joint Research in Geotechnical 
Engineering, NSF, Taiwan, January 1995. 

Glaser, S.D. and Chung, R.M., 'In Situ Methods for Estimating Liquefaction Potential," EERI 
Spectra, Vol.11, No.4, 1995 

Glaser, S.D., "System Identification and its Application to Estimating Soil Properties," ASCE 
Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, Vol.121, No. 7, July 1995 

Idriss, I.M., "Procedures for Selecting Earthquake Ground Motions at Rock Sites," NIST-GCR 
93/625, March 1993 (available through NTIS, PB93185973). 

Idriss, I.M., Assessment of Site Response Analysis Procedures," NIST GCR 95-667, July 1993. 

Stone, W.C., and Taylor, A.W., "Seismic Performance of Circular Bridge Columns Designed 
in Accordance with AASHTO/CALTRANS Standards," NIST Building Science Series, BSS-170, 
February 1993. 

Stone, W.C.; and Taylor, A.W., "An Integrated Approach to the Seismic Design, Retrofit and 
Repair of Reinforced Concrete Structures," ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol. 120, 
No. 12, pp. 3548-3566, December 1994. 

Taylor, A.W., and Stone, W.C, 'Jacket Thickness Requirements for Seismic Retrofitting of 
Circular Bridge Columns," Proceedings Symposium on Practical Solutions for Bridge 
Strengthening and Rehabilitation, Des Moines, Iowa, April 5-6, 1993. 

Taylor, A.W., and Stone, W.C, 'Evaluating the Seismic Performance of Lightly-Reinforced 
Circular Concrete Bridge Columns,' Proceedings of the 1992 National Earthquake Conference 
(NEC), Memphis, Tennessee, May 3-5, 1993. 

Taylor, A.W.; Stone, W.C; and Lew, H.S., "An Integrated Approach to Seismic Design of 
Concrete Bridges," Proceedings, 4th Asia-Pacific Conference on Structural Engineering and 
Construction, Seoul, Korea; September 20-22, 1993. 

Taylor, A.W.; Kawashlma, K., and Hoshlkuma, J., 'Estimating Seismic Retrofit 
Requirements for Reinforced Concrete Bridges Using Damage Observations from Past 
Earthquakes,' Proceedings of the Second U.S. -Japan Workshop on Seismic Retrofit of Bridges, 
Berkeley, California, January 20-21, 1994. 

Taylor, A.W. and Stone, W.C, 'Performance-Based Seismic Design of Reinforced Concrete 
Bridge Columns,' Proceedings of the Fifth National Conference on Earthquake Eojineering, 
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Chicago, Vol. I, pp. 459-468, July 10-14, 1994. 



311 



Yokel, F.Y., 'Effect of Subsurface Conditions on Earthquake Ground Motions,' NISTIR 4769, 
November 1992 (available through NTIS, PB93 158343). 



D. Strengthening of Existing Structures and Improvement of Design of New Structures 

1. Existing Structures 

Carino, N J., 'Performance of Electromagnetic Covermeters for Nondestructive Assessment of 
Steel Reinforcement," NISTIR 4988, 1993 (available through NTIS, PB93 178630). 

Celebi, M., Phan, L.T., and Marshall, R.D., "Dynamic Characteristics of Five Tall Buildings 
During Strong and Low-Amplitude Motions," The Structural Design of Tall Building s. Vol. 2, 
1-15, 1993. 

Cohen, J.M., "Literature Survey on Seismic Performance of Building Cladding Systems," NIST 
GCR 95-681, February 1995. 

Marshall, R.D., Phan, L.T., and Celebi, M., "Full-Scale Measurement of Building Response 
to Ambient Vibration and the Loma Prieta Earthquake," EERI Fifth U.S. National Conference 
on Earthquake Engineering, Chicago, IL, July 1994. 

Phan, L.T., Todd, D.R., and Lew, H.S., "Strengthening Methodology for Lightly Reinforced 
Concrete Frames-I," NISTIR 5128, February 1993 (available through NTIS, 93161354). 

Phan, L.T., Todd, D.R. and Lew, H.S., "Seismic Strengthening of Reinforced (Concrete Frame 
Buildings," Proceedings, 1993 National Earthquake Conference, Memphis, Tennessee, May 
1993. Vol. II, pp. 235-244. 

Phan, L.T.; Todd, O.K.; and Lew, H.S., 'Strengthening Methodology for Lightly Reinforced 
Concrete Frames". Presented at the Proceedings of the 25th Joint Meeting of the U.S. -Japan 
Cooperative Program in Natural Resources Panel on Wind and Seismic Effects, May 1993. 

Phan, L.T., Todd, D.R., and Lew, H.S., 'Strengthening Methodology for Lightly Reinforced 
Concrete Frames-II. Recommended Calculation Techniques for the Design of Infill Walls," (will 
be available in May 1994 through NTIS). 

Phan, L.T., Marshall, R.D. Hendrickson, £., and Celebi, M., 'Analytical Modeling for Soil- 
Structure Interaaion of a 6-Story Commercial Office Building', EERI Fifth U.S. National 
Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Chicago, IL, July 1994. 

Phan, L.T., Choek, G.S., and Todd, D.R., "Strengthening Methodology for Lightly 
Reinforced Concrete Frames: Recommended Design Guidelines for Strengthening with Infill 
Walls," NISTIR 5682, July 1995. 



312 



New Structures 

Cheok, G.S., Stone, W.C. and Lew, H.S., 'Partially Prestressed and Debonded Precast 
Concrete Beara-Column Joints," Proceedings of the Third Meeting of the US-Japan Joint 
Technical Coordinating Conunittee on Precast Seismic Structures, November 18-20, 1992. 

Cheok, G.S., Stone, W.C, and Lew, H.S., "Seismic Behavior of Precast Concrete Beam- 
Column Joints," Proceedings, Structural Engineering in Natural Hazards Mitigation, Vol. 1, 
ASCE Structures Congress '93, April 19-21, 1993, pp. 83-88. 

Cheok, G.S. and Stone, W.C, "Overview of NIST Research on Seismic Performance of 
Moment Resisting Precast Beam-Column Joints containing Post-Tensioning", Special Report to 
SEAOC Seismic Committee, NISTIR 5257, May 1993 (available through NTIS, PB94103686). 

Cheok, G.S. and Lew, H.S., "Model Precast Concrete Beam-to-Column Connections Subjected 
to Cyclic Loading," PCI Journal, Vol. 38, No. 4, July-August 1993, pp. 80-92T ' 

Cheok, G.S. and Stone, W.C, "Performance of 1/3 Scale Model Precast Concrete Beam- 
Column Connections Subjected to Cyclic Inelastic Loads - Report No. 3," NISTIR 5246 August 
1993 (available through NTIS, PB94101813). 

Cheok, G.S., Stone, W., Stanton, J., and Seagren, D., "Beam-to-Column Connections for 
Precast Concrete Moment-Resisting Frames," Proceedings of the Fourth Joint Technical 
Coordinating Committee on Precast Seismic Structural Systems, Tsukuba, Japan, May 1994. 

Cheok, G.S. and Stone, W.C, "Performance of 1/3 Scale Model Precast Concrete Beam- 
Column Connections Subjected to Cyclic Inelastic Loads - Report No. 4," NISTIR 5436 June 
1994. 

Fattal, S.G., "Research Plan for Masonry Shear Walls," NISTIR 5117, 1993 (available through 
NTIS, PB93206183). 

Fattal, S.G., "The Effect of Critical Parameters on the Behavior of Partially-Grouted Masonry 
Shear Walls under Lateral Loads," NISTIR 51 16, 1993 (available through NTIS, PB93206894). 

Fattal, S.G., "Ultimate Strength of Partially Grouted Masonry Shear Walls," NISTIR 5147, 
1993 (available through NTIS, PB93206225). 

Kunnath, S. K., "Enhancements to Program IDARC: Modeling Inelastic Behavior of Welded 
Connections in Steel Moment-Resisting Frames," NIST GCR 95-673, May 1995 

Schultz, A.E., "Performance of Masonry Structures under Extreme Lateral Loading Events," 
Masonry in the Americas, Abrams, ed., ACI SP-147, American Concrete Institute, Detroit, MI, 
1994. 

Schultz, A.E., Tadros, M.K., and Magana, R.A., "Ductile Connections for Precast Panel 
Structures - Concepts and Experiments," Fourth Joint Coordinating Committee PRESSS, Tokyo, 
Japan, May 1994 



818 



Schultz, A.E., Magana, R.A., Tadros, M.K., and Huo,X., 'Seismic Resistance of Vertical 
Joints in Precast Shear Walls," Proceedings, XII FIP Congress, Washington, DC, May 1994 

Schultz, A.E., "NIST Research Program on the Seismic Resistance of Partially-Grouted Masonry 
Shear Walls," NISTIR 5481, June 1994. 

Schultz, A.E., Magana, R.A., Tadros, M.K., and Hue, X., 'Experimental Study of Joint 
Connections in Precast Concrete Walls," Proceedings, Fifth U.S. National Conference on 
Earthquake Engineering, EERl, Chicago, IL., July 1994. 

Schultz, A.E., "Connection Details for Seismic Resistance in Precast Panel Buildings," PRESSS 
Industry Seismic Workshop - 1993, Nakaki and Priestley, ed., PRESSS Report No. 94/04, 
August 1994. 

Schultz, A.E., "Research at NIST on Partially-Grouted Masonry Shear Walls," CMR Report, 
Council for Masonry Research, Vol. 7, No. 1, 1995. 

Schultz, A.E. and Magana, R.A., "Seismic Performance of Vertical Joint Connections in 
Precast Concrete Walls," 1995 U.S. PRESSS Meeting, San Diego, Ca, May 1995. 

Stone, W.C., Check, G.S., Jind Stanton, J., "Performance of Hybrid Moment-Resisting Precast 
Beam-Column Concrete Connections Subjected to Cyclic Loading," ACI Structural Journal, 
Vol.92. No.2, ACI. pp.229-249, March-April, 1995. 

Tadros, M.K., Einea, A., Low, S.G., Magana, R.A., and Schultz, A.E., 'Seismic Resistance 
of a Six-Story Totally Precast Office Building," Proceedings, FIP Symposium '93, Kyoto, Japan, 
October 1993. 

Tadros, M.K., Einea, A., Low, S.G., Magana, R.A., and Schultz, A.E., 'Seismic Behavior 
of a Six-Story Precast Office Building," Proceedings, XII FIP Congress, Washington, DC, May 
1994. 



Support of Interagency Committee on Seismic Safety in Construaion, Executive Orders 12699 
and 12941, and Standards Activities 

HJ. Degenkolb Associates, Engineers, and Rutherford & Chekene, Consulting 
Engineers, "Evaluation and Strengthening Guidelines for Federal Buildings 
Identification of Current Federal Agency Programs, NIST GCR 94-649, March 1994. (available 
through NTIS PB94-176278/AS) 

HJ. Degenkolb Associates, Engineers, and Rutherford & Chekene, Consulting Engineers, 

'Evaluation and Strengthening Guidelines for Federal Buildings - Assessment of Current Federal 
Agency Evaluation Programs and Rehabilitation Criteria and Development of Typical Costs for 
Seismic RehabUiUtion," NIST GCR 94-650, March 1994. (available through NTIS PB95- 
1818S6/AS) 



314 



Todd, D., "Evaluation and Retrofit Standards for Existing Federally Owned and Leased 
Buildings," Proceedings of the 1993 National Earthquake Conference, Memphis, TN, May 1993, 
Volume I, pp. 25-29. 

Todd, D., editor, "Standards of Seismic Safety for Existing Federally Owned or Leased 
Buildings," NISTIR 5382 and ICSSC RP^, February 1994. 

Todd, D., "Seismic Safety of Federal Buildings - Initial Program: How Much Will It Cost?", 
NISTIR 5419, May 1994. (avaUable through NTIS PB95- 182291 /AS) 

Todd, D. and Morelli, U., "Adoption of Seismic Standards for Federal Buildings: Issues and 
Implications," Proceedings, 5th U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Chicago, 
IL, July 1994. 

Todd, D. and Bieniawski, A., 'Performance of Federal Buildings in the January 17, 1994 
Northridge Earthquake," NISTIR5574, January 1995 (available through NTIS PB95-231775/AS) 

Todd, D. and Bieniawski, A., editors, "ICSSC Guidance on Implementing Executive Order 
12941 on Seismic Safety of Existing Federally Owned or Leased Buildings," ICSSC RP-5 and 
NISTIR xxxx, October 1995. 

Bieniawski, A. and Todd, D., editors, "How-To Suggestions for Implementing Executive Order 
12941 on Seismic Safety of Existing Federal Buildings, A Handbook," ICSSC TR-17 and NISTIR 
xxxx, December 1995. 



Others 

Taylor, A.W., 'Earthquake Engineering Research in the United States at the National Institute 
of Standards and Technology," Japan Society for Earthquake Engineering Promotion News, July 
1994. 



Updated: October 1995 



315 



RICHARD N.WRIGHT 

Education : Syracuse University, B.S., Civil Eagineering, 19S3 
Syracuse University, M.S. .Civil Engineering, I9SS 
University of Illinois, Ph.D., Civil Engineering, 1962 

Piwition : Director, Building and Fire Research Laboratory 

National Institute of Standards and Tb^hnology 

His professional experience includes: junior engineer with the Pennsylvania Railroad, I9S3 to 
I9SS; Instructor, as.sistant professor, associate professor and professor of civil engineering at the 
University of Illinois at Urt>ana from I9S7 to 1974; and at the National Institute of Standards and 
Technology, Chief of the Structures Section, Building Research Division 1971 to 1972; Deputy 
Director- Technical, Center for Building Technology, 1972 to 1973; Director, Center for Building 
Ibchnology 1974 tu 1990; and Director, Building and Fire Researdi Laboratory 1991 to date. 

The Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) is the national laboratory dedicated to the 
life cycle quality of ainstructed facilities. It enhances the competitiveness of U.S. industry and 
public .safety through performance prediction and measurement technologies and technical 
advances that impnive the life cycle quality of constructed focilities. It perfbmis and supports 
laboratory, Tield and analytical research on the performance of construction materials, 
a)raponents, systems and practices, and the fiindameatal processes underlying initiation, 
propagation and suppression of fires. It does not promulgate building or fire safety standards or 
r^ulations, but its research results are widely used in these communities and adopted by 
governmental and private sector organizations with standards and codes responsibilities. It 
conducts programs in Are research mandated by the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 
1974, research and development to improve building codes and standards and practices for 
buildings and lifelines assigned by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 as amended, 
and structural failure investigations mandated by the NBS Authorizing Act for FY 1986. 

Dr. Wright has published over 100 articles on building and fire research, computer-int^rated 
construction, formulation and expression of standards, performance of structiu'es, structural design 
methods for earthquakes and other dynamic loads, flow and fracture in structural metals and 
mechanics of thin-walled beam structures. 

He is Co-chairman of die Subcoounittee on Construction and Building of the National Science 
and Ibchnoiogy Council; Chairman of the Interagency Committee on Seismic Safety in 
Constxuctioa; U.S. Chairman of the U.S.-Japan Panel on Wind and Seismic Effects; Past 
President of the International Council for BuiMing Research, Studies and Documentation; fellow 
of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Association for Advancement of 
Science; and member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, National Society of 
Professional Engineers, Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Iku Beta Pi. He roistered as a 
professional engineer in New York in 19S8 and as a structural engineer in Illinois in 1974. 

He received the Gold Medal Award of the Department of Commerce in 1982 for distinguished 
acfaievemem in the Federal Service, was selected for the Rank of Meritorious Executive by the 
President in 1988; received the Special Presidential Award of the Illuminating Engineering Society 
of North America in 1983 for contributions to the organization of the Lighting Research Institute; 
and was named Federal Engineer of die Year 1988 by the National Society of Professional 
Engineers. 



316 

Mr. Baker. Thank you very much, Dr. Wright. The OTA report 
found a lack of quantitative data, both in losses before mitigating 
and losses after we would mitigate an area for higher building 
standards. 

Do you have anything to say about what NEHRP can do about 
this? 

Mr. Wright. I c£in make a couple of comments on it, Mr. Chair- 
man. One of the recommendations of our own internal study for 
post-earthquake investigations is to give a lot more attention to 
documentation of the damages, not simply looking at the most in- 
teresting collapses and the most interesting successful performance 
but reaUy identifying just how much damage occurred and where. 

And, similarly, the ongoing effort that FEMA is carrying out in 
the loss estimation study is going to give the knowledge for assess- 
ing the benefits, because based on this study we will be able to say 
what would happen if we did not improve our practices. 

Mr. Baker. Okay. Let me ask you a question, if you don't find 
that exciting. 

Fifty percent of our losses is not dealing with structural damage. 
It's non-structural. 

Is there anything that can be done about that? 

Mr. Moore. In fact, a good portion of the mitigation fiinds that 
are going to the State of California will be used for non-structural 
activity within the school systems. The formula that was changed 
by the Congress for post-disaster mitigation some two years ago fol- 
lowing the midwest floods significantly increased post-disaster re- 
sources. 

And, that's going to mean somewhere on the order — depending 
upon what the fin^ bill comes in at in California — about $700 mil- 
lion. And, California has chosen to use it for non-structural retro- 
fitting of the school facilities. 

And, so that — and we are going to learn a lot, I think, from that 
process that will provide some important guidance for other states 
as well. 

Mr. Baker. They wouldn't be structural in the sense that it oc- 
curred because of the earthquake but it would be structural rehab, 
right? 

Mr. Moore. It's mainly the ceiling fixtures and the lighting and 
other kinds of materials that collapsed. The buildings themselves 
withstood, in many cases, much of the shaking. 

It was the internal, the insides, the guts of the building basically 
that posed problems. And, a number of studies are being done on 
that particular issue as a result of that. 

Mr. Baker. We are replacing those now in the schools. 

Mr. Wright. Mr. Chairman, if I could comment? 

Mr. Baker. Yes. 

Mr. Wright. The non-structural damage is largely related to the 
nature of building codes. They are aimed to protect life and safety 
and not aimed at reducing property damage. 

Actually, technically, the control of property damage is simpler 
than the control of structural collapses. But, it does require that 
the owner of the facility be willing to invest additional money, not 
required by the state or local building code, in order to reduce 
structural damage. 



317 

And, this is where the knowledge of the potentials for non-struc- 
tural losses will be such a valuable incentive to owners to do rel- 
atively cost-effective things to reduce the non-structural damage. 

Mr. Baker. Great. Okay. For that, Peter, I would like to thank 
you once again. 

Mr. Geren. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. All of you were here, I 
think, and heard Dr. Abrams testimony. 

Would each of you offer your observations on his recommenda- 
tions of how we could spend an additional capital infusion? He had 
a minimum of $60 million and considerably more than that for up- 
grading some of the testing facilities or even building additional 
ones. 

If we were able to secure an additional capital infusion, how 
would you recommend it be used? 

Mr. BORDOGNA. Well, I think this sounds like an infrastructure 
issue for supporting and enabling the research to be done. NSF has 
been looking at this closely for the last three or four years. 

It started with the idea that we don't have a big enough shake 
table. The one at California is 20 by 20 feet. And, the one in Japan 
is 18 by 18 meters. There is a large difference. 

It's an enormous aniount of money to build a big shake table and 
much more than the $60 million dollars, maybe three times that 
much. And, there has been a study of this. 

And, as Dr. Abrams told you some of the results of that, as you 
look across the country at generic kinds of infrastructure, all kinds 
of disciplines, we have begun to take the view that we would like 
to build a partnership among some of the universities so this equip- 
ment infrastructure can be shared in many ways. 

I will give you one example. In the small devices area, going from 
micro-structures to nano-structures, that are both electronic and 
mechanical small devices, there is a great need among many re- 
searchers for these devices to do other research. For example, put- 
ting small devices inside the body somewhere to do some investiga- 
tions. 

And, we had a center for many years being able to support that 
need as an infrastructure for the entire country. All research went 
right to that one university. 

But, now the issue is so complicated, going from micro to nano, 
not one university can support all the equipment needed, nor can 
NSF or the government give many universities the specific things 
they need. So sharing is in order. 

And, we have just inaugurated a national nano-fabrication users 
network with five universities that have different portions of the 
spectrum of infrastructure needed. And, they collaborate and pro- 
vide a service to the entire country for that kind of research work 
to be done. So, it's an example. 

Our thinking now is that we should look at what is extant and 
see if we can couple it in some way. That's one issue. 

And, so $60 million is a rational number when you think that 
way compared to building one shake table. 

Another issue here is — and I think it was mentioned by several 
people during the previous discussion — to put some intelligence 
into the infrastructure system so — simply said, it's computer sim- 
ulations. But, give the system its extant, coupling it across univer- 



318 

sities and making it useful to lots of different researchers but mak- 
ing it more intelligent, applying computers and computer commu- 
nications that can be accessed in different ways and do the simula- 
tion on a virtual sense. 

In the end, this instrumentation is important for doing test bed- 
ding, too. So, NSF is thinking — would like to do some sharing of 
this. 

We do believe that the recommendation on attacking the extant 
system first, the infrastructure in place, is the rational thing to do, 
because a lot can be done. As was pointed out by Dr. Abrams, it's 
not being totally utilized as it is. 

And, that's because it's not updated or it's not connected or it's 
not accessible to people from different universities. So, that's the 
view we are taking right now. 

And, we think it's a rational way to proceed. 

Mr. Geren. Would any of the other witnesses hke to comment? 

Mr. Wright. In terms of Dr. Abrams' recommendations, my per- 
sonal sense is the highest priority is the $40 million to $50 milHon 
per year to conduct research using these facilities. There is no use 
creating them if no one is going to use them. 

And, if we look at the current amoimt of funding which goes into 
research in the existing facihties, it's probably on the order of $10 
million to $15 million a year from all private sector and Federal 
sources put together. So, the most important problem is to be sure 
that the private sector and public sector funding to exploit the ca- 
pabilities of these facilities will be there. 

I would note, for instance, if the private sector and the Federal 
efforts worked together to be strengthened to the level of $40 mil- 
lion to $50 million a year, it would take several years to build up 
the human capabilities to spend this money well. And, indeed, in 
the early years, the funding could go for upgrading the facilities for 
the maximum part; and then, as the facilities are upgraded, the 
money can be put annually to proper use of those facilities, 

Mr. Geren. An interesting observation. 

Mr. MoORE. I would add a couple of points with regard to the 
suggestion of collaborating with others and not building a whole set 
of these stand-alone type of operations. I think that that's particu- 
larly critical. 

We have been directed by the Congress over the last four years 
to spend some money to develop a shake table at the University of 
Nevada, Reno, which is in the process of construction. And, one of 
the requirements we attached to that expenditure was that the 
University collaborate with the other shake table universities that 
exist in the country and with the private sector, with the AppUed 
Technology Council, the Building Code organization, and others, to 
make sure that they were conducting research that was going to 
be directly applicable to the codes and to building standards so that 
we could put it into fairly early practice. 

The other is that in the funding that we now have ongoing with 
the Steel Moment Frame Building study, one of the requirements 
of the second phase of that study is to work with the building in- 
dustry, with the materials manufacturers 2ind the contracting orga- 
nizations, and others, to have them share a part of the cost of tiie 



319 

study and the implementation particularly of that study and the 
findings, once those are completed and worked into the codes. 

Mr. Geren. Thank you. Dr. Hamilton? 

Mr. Hamilton. I don't have anything. 

Mr. Geren. Thank you. I 5deld back my time, Mr. Chairman, in 
the interest of giving everyone an opportunity to ask questions. 

Mr. Baker. Thank you, Mr. Geren. How big is that shake table 
in Reno? 

Mr. Moore. It's actually a two-part shake table. I believe — I'm 
going to be maybe wrong on this, but I believe it's about a 24 by 
24 table, two-parts. And, if someone here has a better figure on 
that, they can correct me. 

But, it's designed primarily for bridges and lifeline type of test- 
ing. It can do structural, too, but it's more designed for the bridge 
test. And, they are doing a lot of work with DOT and others to pro- 
vide that kind of information. 

We are also building it in in an existing facility that the state 
funded. So, it's a joint project with the state as well. 

Mr. Baker. Thank you. Dr. Bartlett. 

Mr. Bartlett. Thaiik you very much. Dr. Wright, did I hear you 
say that there were 30 Federal agencies that had interests in this 
area and were funding various types of programs? 

Mr. Wright. Yes. We have 30 Federal agencies in the Inter- 
agency Committee on Seismic Safety and Construction. 

It includes the agencies that are pure users, like the Postal Serv- 
ice and the General Services Administration, people who have very 
important building inventories. And, it's extremely important that 
they be consulted in determining what they are going to be re- 
quired to do for their facilities. 

And, it includes research agencies that are not presently part of 
NEHRP, such as the Corps of Engineers. 

Mr. Bartlett. In your view, is there adequate coordination 
amongst these agencies so that we don't have duplications or gaps? 

And, if there isn't, is there something that we need to do so that 
all of these various interests are appropriately coordinated in the 
future so that we don't have duplications and don't have gaps? 

Mr. Wright. I think we need a sustained effort for coordination. 
It's not something that is done once £uid takes care of itself forever 
thereafter. 

There has been very good coordination through the Interagency 
Committee on Seismic Safety and Construction on getting the 
agencies to work consistently in the practices that they are using. 
So, if the same architectural engineering firm on one side of the 
street is doing a post office and on the other side of the street is 
doing a hospital, they will be using consistent seismic practices. 

And, the efforts within NEHRP have done a good deal to coordi- 
natfe the research activities among the agencies. 

Mr. Bartlett. Is there a lead agency or is the lead assumed by 
this Committee? 

Mr. Wright. The Interagency Committee on Seismic Safety and 
Construction has a secretariat and a chair which come fi*om NIST. 
I happen to have been the chair for a few years. 



320 

But, we do work by consensus procedures. We don't tell the Gen- 
eral Services Administration, *Tou have to do it this way or that 
way." 

Everyone votes. And, the votes are considered. And, we are sure 
that we agree rationedly with every concern that every agency has 
when a recommendation is made. 

Mr. Bartlett. Well, I suspect that you are well ahead of many 
other areas in government where we have a number of agencies 
working in a similar area and they are not coordinating. And, it's 
to the credit of all the agencies in this area that they are. 

Dr. Bordogna, do you think that basic — is basic research leading 
in any meaningful way to better prediction? 

Mr. Bordogna. Well, yes. My colleague. Bob, here listed knowl- 
edge about earthquakes that happened way in the past that wasn't 
available until now. And, that comes from investing in fundeunen- 
tal discovery modes by individual investigators primarily. 

So, at NSF, the budget is one-third for investigations into geo- 
sciences on prediction and other issues related to that; and, two- 
thirds is for the engineering process to investigate new structures 
that would mitigate against what is being discovered. So, there is 
a tie there. 

So, the answer is yes. And, I think there is much more to be dis- 
covered. It was pointed out that in Los Angeles it was a different 
kind of fault that hadn't been thought about before. 

And, so we have to understand that. There is a lot of research. 

It happened. We know why it happened — we know that it hap- 
pened but we don't quite know why it happened and how to pre- 
vent against it. It is a different kind of force that happened there. 

And, it has a lot to do with the testing again. We have been test- 
ing things for different kinds of forces. This is a new kind of force. 

So, yes, basic research is critical. 

Mr. Bartlett. My next question is for Dr. Hamilton. And, then 
you can comment. 

If we can have better prediction, then, very clearly, if we didn't 
do anything to improve buildings or lifelines or anything else, just 
knowing when it was going to happen, we could really hmit the 
damage that was done. And, I was wondering what kind of 
progress we were making in that £irea. 

Mr. Hamilton. Okay. Let me start with the first question and 
then lead to the second one. 

Mr. Bartlett. Okay. 

Mr. Hamilton. I think, in responding to the first question. Dr. 
Bordogna was really referring to prediction of effects and prediction 
of where and perhaps how often earthquakes will occur. And, I 
agree with his point on that, that, yes, we are making progress. 

As to predicting when earthquakes occur, I think we would have 
to say we are making no progress. There is no method currently 
known that allows us to predict the time of occurrence of an earth- 
quake. 

Mr. Bartlett. Is there any hope that we will be able to do better 
at that in the future? 

Mr. Hamilton. Well, we have worked on it very hard. Back in 
the 70s, there were very encouraging reports that came from the 
Soviet Union at that time and China. 



321 

And, we undertook cooperative programs with those countries 
and attempted to learn everything we could about what they are 
doing. And, we followed up with our own experiments. 

We currently have one, what you might call, earthquake pre- 
diction experiment underway. This is in the Parkfield area of 
central Califomia, about halfway between San Francisco and L.A. 

It's not actuEilly a prediction experiment. It's an experiment to 
determine whether earthquakes have precursors or not. 

And, in that area, we've had a sequence of five magnitude 6 
earthquakes with an average return time of 22 years. And, the last 
one was in 1966. 

So, we staked out the area. And, we have been waiting since 
1988 for the earthquake to occur. 

Our goal is to try to get instruments close into the source to trap 
an earthquake in the sense of seeing whether there are premoni- 
tory phenomena. That earthquake has not yet occurred. 

Almost always when there is a large earthquake, in hindsight 
there are reports of something that happened beforehand. The 
water turned muddy. The chickens flew up into the trees. 

Or, there was a small flurry of earthquakes that somebody said, 
"Ah, ha, those were fore-shocks." Of course, you don't know they 
are fore-shocks until after the event. 

So, we pursued it. We continue to have this one experiment, 
which we feel is well founded and should be continued. 

But, the answer to your question is no, there is no method to pre- 
dict the time of occurrence. And, so prediction is no substitute for 
sound engineering and sound land use. 

Mr. Bartlett. Just one additional question on this same subject, 
then, for Mr. Moore. If that's true, then, how can you develop a na- 
tionally- appUcable standardized method for estimating potential 
earthquake losses on a regional basis if you have no idea when 
they are going to occur? 

Mr. Moore. No, but it's looking at the structures that are in 
place, looking at the built environment and then calculating the 
impact of various magnitudes of 

Mr. Bartlett. Oh, so this is losses if it occurs, if and when? 

Mr. Moore. That's right. 

Mr. Bartlett. Okay. 

Mr. Moore. And then calculate what you need to do to protect 
those facilities, particularly critical faciUties like hospitals and oth- 
ers. 

Mr. Bartlett. Okay. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Baker. Who do you select to man that station down there 
wsdting? 

Since 1988, who has been standing there waiting for this 

[Laughter.] 

Mr. Hamilton. Well, the fact is the school teacher, the teacher 
in Parkfield. 

[Laughter.] 

Mr. Hamilton. We have hired the school teacher to go out and 
run the laser every night. And, of course, a lot of these 

Mr. Baker. So, he is doing instrument readings hoping that it 
doesn't occiir? 

Mr. Hamilton. Well, I think they look forward to it. 



322 

[Laughter.] 

Mr. Baker. I won't comment. I won't comment on the NEA. 
Okay, Dr. Ehlers. 

Mr. Ehlers. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I find earthquake pre- 
diction very easy. I predict we will have a major earthquake some- 
where on the earth next year. 

[Laughter.] 

Mr. Ehlers. You know, it's narrowing the window that is the 
problem, both the location and time window that becomes a prob- 
lem. 

Also, just another comment. I hope you do find some precursors, 
but I am sure you have no problem finding post-cursers sifter every 
earthquake, spelled e-r-s. 

I don't have any questions, Mr. Chairman. But, I do have a com- 
ment based on the testimony this afternoon and based on some 
other things happening in the Congress this year. 

I was astounded when I arrived in Congress two years ago to 
find that there eire some people here who think the USGS should 
go out of business, should be terminated. And, I, for years, have 
had a lot of respect for the USGS as an agency. And, I think they 
do great work. 

Similarly, this year, there have been proposals that I think 
would have done severe damage to the National Institute of Stand- 
ards and Technology. Fortunately, the Science Committee has stud- 
ied that very carefiUly. 

And, I think we've come up with a good solution if the Depart- 
ment of Commerce is restructured, a solution which might, in fact, 
benefit the current NIST and even make it back into the National 
Bureau of Standards, which I suspect some of the old timers would 
appreciate. 

I think it's very important for us on the Science Committee to 
not only realize the good work these agencies do — and we heard 
testimony earUer that the cost of what we are spending, even if we 
were to provide the money that was mentioned in the first panel, 
which is more than we are spending now, the cost would be ap- 
proximately one-thousandth of the cost of a major earthquake in 
the United States. Now, there aren't very many things that you can 
spend .1 percent on and get that kind of return. 

And, yet, we continue to have — some of our colleagues continue 
to hold these efforts in low regard. I think it's incumbent upon the 
Science Committee to start spreading the word to the Congress of 
the good work these agencies do. 

Science seems to be a favorite target in budget cutting. And, we 
simply have to make our colleagues, as well as the rest of the 
world, aware of the retxim on the dollar that we are getting in 
some of the agencies that are doing research in this area and other 
areas. 

And, so I hope the Science Committee members will join me in 
that. Thank you. 

Mr. Baker. Sherwood Boehlert, which is a low to medium den- 
sity risk area as far as earthquakes, has joined us. Sheri. 

Mr. Boehlert. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First and foremost, I 
wish to associate myself with the remarks just made by Dr. Ehlers. 
I couldn't agree more with what he just said. 



323 

And, we are part of the vanguard trying to convince some of our 
colleagues of the wisdom of his words. Out of the mouths of babes, 
you know. 

Let me ask. Dr. Hamilton, I understand that USGS is developing 
maps and earthquake scenario predictions in and around the re- 
gion of the Northridge earthquake. Would it be realistic to task 
USGS with producing maps like this for all earthquake-prone areas 
in the U.S.? 

Mr. Hamilton. It certainly could be done. The development of 
earthquake scenarios is fairly well established. 

And, it's not just the U.S. Geological Survey that does it. The 
state agencies do it. 

FEMA has funded the development of scenarios. And, a number 
of organizations participate in this. 

And, it turns out to be a very good preparedness and planning 
technique. It helps to put in tangible terms what might happen and 
it gets the authorities to start thinking about what they could do 
to reduce the losses. 

Mr. BOEHLERT. Well, you know, what we need in addition to au- 
thorities thinking about what we can do to prevent the damage, in 
the first place, but reduce it if the inevitable occurs, I think we've 
got a job to do of public education. You know, I go in beautiful up- 
state New York, my home district, and they thii^ eartiiquakes are 
the exclusive domain of California, for example. 

And, I think there are a lot of £U'eas — I know there are a lot of 
areas — of the country that are earthquake-prone. And, perhaps if 
our citizenry were better informed and on the alert, they might be 
doing a better job of writing to their representatives in this distin- 
guished institution to encourage us to do some of the things that 
we should be doing, which were mentioned by Dr. Ehlers just a mo- 
ment ago. 

Mr. Hamilton. I think you've put your finger on the central 
problem that we face. It's almost worse than you can imagine, I 
think. 

I attended the second workshop that Moore convened in develop- 
ing the National Mitigation Strategy. This was in Harrisburg, 
Pennsylvania. 

And, a member of the audience stood up and said, "Over half of 
the communities in Pennsylvania don't have building codes. And, 
we like it that way." 

Mr. BoEHLERT. They took pride in that? 

Mr. Hamilton. And, so to progress fi*om that attitude toward one 
where the public demands safer structures represents quite a chal- 
lenge. And, I think that, in the development of the National Mitiga- 
tion Strategy, FEMA has addressed that issue and has structured 
the program to try to develop that change in public attitude. 

Mr. BoEHLERT. You know, on a different subject, I was just down 
to St. Thomas which suffered the devastation of Marilyn. And, let 
me once again sav, as I've said many times before, I could not be 
more impressed than I am with the outstanding work that FEMA 
is doing. 

But, on a hill — and St. Thomas has many hills — ^there were all 
these structures that the roofs or top stories had been just com- 
pletely torn off of. But, right in the middle of it all, like an oasis 



324 

in the middle of the desert, were two structures that looked like 
they had been constructed the day after Marilyn arrived instead of 
two or three years before to very stringent codes. 

And, mitigation is so critically important. And, people don't want 
to pay for it. But, boy, I would suggest, in retrospect, a lot of people 
look and say, "Gee, maybe we should have." 

I don't have anymore questions, Mr. Chairman. But, I do want 
to seize this opportunity to say I was privileged last week to attend 
a ceremony in which one of our colleagues. Dr. Ehlers, was in- 
ducted as a Fellow in the American Physical Society. 

And, I want to say how comforting it is for me to sit here on this 
Committee on Science next to someone so distinguished in his field 
of science. And, it proves that Congress does do things right on oc- 
casion. 

Isn't it refreshing to see this very eminent scientist on the 
Science Committee? 

Now, with me, I came to Congress back in 1982. And, they looked 
at my resume and said, "The last science course Boehlert took was 
high school chemistry, and he got a C. Let's put him on the Science 
Committee." 

[Laughter.] 

Mr. Boehlert. At least, we've improved the way we operate 
around here. Dr. Ehlers, congratulations to you. 

Mr. Ehlers. Will the gentleman yield? 

Mr. Boehlert. I will be glad to yield. 

Mr. Ehlers. First of all, thank you very much. But, secondly, I 
wish to point out that we are blessed with three eminent scientists 
on this Committee — one sitting to my immediate right has a very 
distinguished scientific career, and also Dr. Olver, who is unfortu- 
nately not here at the moment. 

But, I think we try to be a real asset to the Committee. And, I 
appreciate your comments. 

Thank you. 

Mr. Baker. Well, with that brief pat on the back, we will move 
right along. And, I want to thank the panel for their heird work. 
I appreciate it. 

We will start with Panel 3 right away. Dr. Paul Somerville is a 
seismologist at the Woodward-Clyde Federal Services in Pasadena, 
California, where he has a bird's-eye view of most of the earth- 
quakes. 

Dr. Thomas Anderson, Fluor Daniel Corporation, representing 
the NEHRP Coalition, fi*om Arlington, Virginia; Dr. Thomas Jor- 
dan, Chair of the Department of Earth Science, Massachusetts In- 
stitute of Technology fi'om Cambridge, Massachusetts; and. Dr. 
Anne Kiremidjian, Department of Civil Engineering at Stanford 
University. 

Thank you. Dr. Kiremidjian, why don't we start with you? You 
will be the lead off. 



325 

STATEMENT OF DR ANNE S. KIREMIDJIAN, PROFESSOR OF 
CIVIL ENGINEERING AND DIRECTOR OF THE JOHN A. 
BLUME EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING CENTER, STANFORD 
UNIVERSITY, STANFORD, CALIFORNIA 

Ms. KiREMlDJiAN. Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, 
thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to speak to 
you. This is my first time addressing any committee in the House 
or the Congress, so if I appear a httle bit nervous you will excuse 
me. 

Mr. Baker. Please, don't be nervous. In spite of all these learned 
minds around you, this is a very simple committee. And, we would 
just love to hear what you have to say. 

Ms. KiREMiDJiAN. Thank you. Let me, first of all, tell you that 
over the past 23 years I have been involved in research education 
and implementation of earthquake engineering. 

And, most of my support has come fi'om the National Science 
Foundation where it has been primarily in research and education; 
and, to some degree, from the U.S. Geological Survey, NIST. In re- 
lationship to the implementation projects that I have been involved 
in, that support has come primarily from FEMA. 

Through my experience, I have seen both research being con- 
ducted and I've seen that research being translated into implemen- 
tation and policy programs. 

I would like to start my comments by saying that, in my opinion, 
NEHRP has made some very significant and very important ad- 
vances in the effort toward this earthquake hazard. I think some 
of the comments that were made earlier by the individual rep- 
resentatives from the agencies summarized very nicely some of the 
major contributions that have been made under the NEHRP pro- 
gram. 

I concur with each and everyone of them in terms of those con- 
tributions. 

In my opinion, these advances have been both in research and 
implementation. And, I find it rather surprising, over the years, to 
hear the criticism of how research has now been translated into im- 
plementation. 

Coming from the research community, the very first comment I 
would make is that if, indeed, implementation is lagging by several 
years from research, that is only natural. If research was not sev- 
eral years ahead of implementation, we shouldn't call it research. 
That's the very first comment I would like to make. 

So, it is natural that it will take several years until that research 
gets translated into implementation. 

In response to the criticism that the NEHRP Coalition has draft- 
ed — let me back that up again. Several years ago, during the 1993 
hearings, there were several criticisms brought out by the review 
panel. Aiid, this afternoon, we also heard comments from Mr. 
Komor regarding the Idck of coordination between the various 
agencies and lack of specific goals that NEHRP can follow. 

In response to those criticisms, the NEHRP Coalition has drafted 
a strategic plan. And, I believe Mr. Anderson will summarize that 
plan in a few minutes. 



326 

I would like to — I've had the opportimity to look at the plan. 
And, I would like to say that I'm very impressed with the thorough 
work that has been done by the CoaUtion. 

And, I concur with the way the plan has been developed. And, 
they need to be congratulated for the excellent work that they have 
done. 

There are several issues in that plan that do concern me. And, 
at this time, I would like to bring those issues. 

The first issue is implementation versus research. Although the 
strategic plan recognizes the importance of research and many ele- 
ments of the plan address research components, the overall empha- 
sis is on implementation. 

I can understand that this is a reaction to the criticism of 
NEHRP. I agree that it is through extensive implementation that 
we will be more effective in enforcing the earthquake hazard. 

However, I find this approach to be somewhat shortsighted; for, 
if we do not continue our effort in research, both basic and prob- 
lem-focused, we will find ourselves in only a few years with little 
to implement and not having resolved the problem of earthquake 
hazards. 

The second concern is with the centrahzed management plan 
and, in particular, with the establishment of a program office to be 
headed by a member from FEMA. I beUeve that question was 
raised a little earlier today, as well. 

While there are many capable individuals at FEMA who, in prin- 
ciple, would be qualified to head this effort, I beheve very strongly 
the director of that office should not necessarily come fi*om any one 
particular agency. And, it should be an individual who understands 
the overall goals of NEHRP and has an understanding and appre- 
ciation for the missions of each and everyone of the agencies. 

This individual will have the difficult task to bring the agencies 
together toward the NEHRP goals, toward a well-coordinated ef- 
fort. Perhaps this person should be fi'om outside of all the three 
agencies. 

Another issue that was brought up was related to the testing 
procedures, of structures, especially in view of the performance of 
steel structures in the Northridge earthquake. In general, labora- 
tory testing is critical component of the earthquake engineering re- 
search process. 

I would like to take this opportunity to raise an awareness in 
this Committee that over the past decade we have allowed our lab- 
oratories to deteriorate, with much of its equipment now outdated 
and obsolete. All you have to do is come and look at our laboratory, 
which has not been renovated since 1975. Equipment has not been 
renewed simply because of lack of funds. 

Support provided primarily by NSF for actual testing and experi- 
mentation has decreased over the years, mostly due to continued 
decreasing funding in NEHRP. 

There is a gap between analytical modeling and real life perform- 
ance of structures subjected to earthquakes. Earthquake events 
provide a natural laboratory for evaluation of performance of var- 
ious types of structures and verification of our design methods. 

Since the 1971 San Fernando earthquake, we have been 
instrumenting buildings in order to evaluate their performance. 



327 

Modem buildings, however, have not been subjected to a truly 
great earthquake, such as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, thus 
making it difficult to truly predict the performance of structures. 

We can expect that we can continue to improve our design meth- 
odologies. Laboratory experimentation will attempt — thus attempt 
to bridge the gap between analytical models and the real life per- 
formance of structures, but it can do so partially. 

The main reasons for deficiencies in real structures are intro- 
duced because of the scaling of materials and geometric properties, 
which can be evaluated only through full-scale testing. Such full- 
scale testing, however, is economically prohibitive, since a single 
test may exceed the entire NEHRP budget. 

In order to reduce the potential for major catastrophic failures, 
our ongoing efforts need to continue on integrating fundamental 
analytical developments, small and large scale testing, data and in- 
formation gathering after each significant earthquake and practical 
considerations. 

In conclusion, the National Hazards Reduction Program has, or 
is about to, embark on an aggressive implementation program. At 
least, that's the way it appears to me. 

Such an approach necessarily requires the integration of research 
fi-om earth sciences, engineering, economics, sociology and public 
policy and the translation of this research in an appropriate mitiga- 
tion program. The draft strategic plan for the Nation^ Earthquake 
Loss Reduction has laid out the road map for achieving the goals 
of NEHRP over the next decade. 

It is important, however, as we enter this implementation phase, 
that our efforts continue to improve our knowledge about the fun- 
damentals of earthquake phenomenon, the performance of different 
structures and the socioeconomic consequences to be — the socio- 
economic consequences to be enforced through sustained funding. 
We also should not forget that it is through innovation and knowl- 
edge that we can continue to effectively mitigate natursd disasters. 

Furthermore, it is through improved building codes, appropriate 
education of the public and the professions and prudent enforce- 
ment policies that we can decrease the potential losses of life and 
can alleviate major economic disasters. Finally, our ability as a na- 
tion to respond to the public in the event of a catastrophic earth- 
quake hinges on our ability to implement new technological tools 
as well as the development of realistic emergency response plans 
that balance our resources with the needs. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Dr. Kiremidjian follows:] 



328 



WTWTTEN TESTIMONY OF ANNE S. KIREMIDJI.\N 

Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of 

The John A. Biume Earthquake Engineering Center 

Stanford University 

before the 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON BASIC RESEARCH 

COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE 

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATH^S 

October 24, 1995 
231$ Rsybum House OfGce Building 



HEARINGS ON 
THE NATIONAL EARTHQUAKE HAZARD REDUCTION PROGRAM 



329 



Chairman Walker and Coraminee Members, thank you for the opportunity to speak ss a 
participant of the research supported by the Nationa] Earthquake Hazard Reduction 
Program (NEHRP). I have addressed several of the issues raised in your letter to me. 

1. NEHRP Strategic Plan, Long Term Goals and Managetnent Structure 

After a careful review of Uie draft Suaffigic Plan developed by the Coalition of Professional 
and Scientific Associations in Support of NEHRP, I found the plan to be comprehensive, 
well thought out and very effective In addressing criticism raised previously in relationship 
to the program. I would like to bring several concerns to yoor attention. 

My first concern is related to the proposed niara|sment structure and, more specifically, to 
the establishment of the Program Office. While I agree that there is a need for a 
coordinated effort on the part of the different NEIIRP agencies in order to achieve the goals 
and the objectives of the program, each agency should be given latitude to develop 
programs that are in support of their primary mission. A Program OSicc under the 
auspices of FEMA may focus primarily on implementation of existing technologies. For 
example, NSF and USGS have responsibility to support basic research as well as problein 
focused or need based research. It is basic research that eiiables us Lo extend the horizons 
of our knowledge ultimately leading us to improved mi-Jgaacn methods. Thjs, it is 
essential that dicse programs' abiUty to develop a well balanced research agenda be 
preserved. 

My second concern is with the recommendation that the funding for the Program OfSce be 
allocated from the existing NEHRP funds. If the budget for ttis ofiBce becomes a 
significant proporrion of the overall NEHRP funding (e.g., more than 3-5% of the overall 
budget), then it is highly recommended diat that new funds be sought for that office. Given 
the fact that funding has decreased over the past decade, allocadon of funds from the 
existing NEHRP agencies would further L-npair their ability to fulfill their mission. 

2. Short-Term, Applied Research vs. Basic Research in Earth Science 

SiiKC its inception, the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program has conduaed 
both basic and applied (or problem-focused) research. Continued support of basic research 
is imperative. It is primaiily through basic research thai we will continue to improve our 
undei«anding and knowledge about the earthquake phenomenon and its effect on the built 
environraenL It is through e^itensive instrumentation and measurements that we are able to 
monitor crustal movements, map existing faults and identify areas with the greatest 
potential for seismic activity. While we are far from predicting earthquakes, measurements 
and monitoring of seismic activity have enabled us to gready improve om' understanding of 
where earthquatcs occur, how geologic cfaaractcristics affect activity along fanlta, what are 
the major factors influencing groimd motion propagation, and what secondary hazards 
(such as liquefaction, and landslides) are likely to occur in various regions. 

Much of the information developed in recent years has been uliHaed in the devetopmcat of 
national seismic hazard maps. In addition, USGS has published reports identifying high 
aeismic hazard areas with likeliluxKls of occtirrettce of events and their sizes. The hazard 
maps form the basis for seismic buiUing code regulations, USGS is cunendy in the 
process of developing a new national map which cttteoipts to implement some of the latest 
earth science fintiings and techniques. A major improvement in the process of developing 
these maps has been the coordination of the mapping efforts with several stale agencies, 
such as the Califorma State Division of Mines and Geology, and the various user 
communities, such as the scientists/researchers and the engineers/designers. 



330 



In addition to the national seismic hazard maps, it is of great imponance to develop 
microzonation maps identifying local seismic hazards. Such maps, cuncndy exist for very 
few regions in the country and, for locations where they do exist, tbcy an; often greatly 
outdatal not nsflecting current knowledge. Such information is imperative for the 
implementation of regional seismic risk and loss estimation methodologies which are the 
basis for the long tenn earthquake disaster mitigation programs and emergency response 
planning. Effective mitigation measunas can be developed and implemented only if the 
hazards are adequately identified and quantised. 

The USGS program, however, goes well beyond the mapping efforts described above. 
The agency is the primary provide' of information critical to any earthquake hazard and risk 
studies. It serves as a repository of critical earthquake data and geological, seismological 
and geophysical information utilized by engineers, policy makers and various business 
entities. These functions are essential to the continued success of the NEHRP programL 

Thus, the program should be balanced between (a) basic and applied research, (b) problem 
focused studies to develop, evaluate and implement earth science results in desigo/rctrDfU 
guideLiiTes and earthquake mitigation policies, and (c) education and training. Considerably 
improved support can be provided by USGS programs through continuous communication 
and interaction with the engineering and public policy communities. In addition to 
exploring innovative means to the understanding of seismic effects, the earth science 
comratmity should identify unresolved issues Aat are of critical importance to the 
engineeis/designers and public policy makers fdling in gaps in our knowledge. 

3. Lessons From the January 17 Northrldge (1994) and Kobe (1995) 
Earthquakes 

The Northridge and Kobe earthquakes are the first two events since the authorization of 
NEHRP that struck in ti»e hearts of major metropolitan areas. They are a sobering 
neminders of the great devastation that can take place even if the earthquake is of moderate 
strength. They have Fcvcaled once more that our cities arc populated with large stock of 
vulnerable buildings and lifeline systems that can cause staggering economic losses, large 
number of casualties and major business interruption. The long-term economic 
consequences from these events will not be understood for sometime. While many of the 
lessons were not new, the two earthquakes brought a renewed realization of the degree of 
chaos that snch events can cause. 

The following are important lessons that can be drawn from these two events: 

• The first and foremost lesson to be learned from the Kobe earthquake is that the 
earthquake hazard wiU not go av.^y. Just because then; has not been an 
earth qtiakg within the last few decades, it does not moan that the region has 
become quiescent. There are many regions within the United States where the 
earthquake threat is real, yet little is done to mitigate its effea mosdy due to 
public and political complacency. We need to continue our effort to identify all 
areas with moderate and high seismic hazard potential and proceed to impJenicnt 
appropriate mitigation policies. The NEHRP program has been succeisfol in 
identifying global seismic hazards in the United States, but often, because of the 
vast areas to be covered we have concerlraicd on major known fault zones. 
The Northridge earthquake occurred on a previously imidentified fault Thus, it 
is imperative thai wc continue our effort to map regions and identify fault 
features, their activity and their hkslihood to geneixiie significant earthquakes. 
This is a difficult and time consuming task that will take decades to complete to 



331 



a satisfactory level. New technological tools and instruments are becoming 
increasingly more effective in speeding this process. NcvBrtheless, this costly 
process requires sustained effort over a long period of time and the NEHRP 
program needs to recognize that achievements in this area will be incremental. 
Ground motions in close proximity to the fault rupture zone are considerably 
greater than previously observed. Studies are still continuing to fully 
understand the near-field large velocity pulses generated by these earthquakes 
and to evaluate their effect on structures. In addition, strong motion recordings 
from the Northridgc earthqualoe point to important diffcrence in the ground 
motion depending on the fault structure and movement (motions over the 
hanging vs. foot wall of a trust fault). Considerable additional studies will need 
to be conducted to fully understand the mechanisms and iraplicadona of the 
ground motions from these events. The NEHRP program has been vital for fee 
development of better, more efficient and more accurate instruments and the 
installation of greater seismic networks. These programs have been crucial for 
our improved understanding of earthquake ground motion. It is with this type 
of sustained research effort that our ability to develop appropriate mitigation 
measures, such as seismic building code requirements and laiid use poLcies, 
will vastly enhanced. 

The Kobe earthquake demonstrated also that, even when buildings are designed 
properly to withstand seismic forces, their functionality can be severely 
impaired due to geotechiucal or lifeline fiailures. Very few new geotcchnical 
lessons were teamed from that event. However, that earthquake and the Lama 
Prieta earthquake of 1989 point to the lack of policies that would cnfoiw: the 
implementation of appropriate mitigation measures. Such pohcies need to 
evaluate flic implications to existing hazardous structuies (buildings and 
lifelines) arul geotcchnical conditions, as well as to new structures and land 
developments. A critical component of these policies should be an cducatitmal 
process for the public and the individual owner. As these policies are being 
developed to implement existing knowledge, efforts should continue on 
gathering of information on local soil properties, the development of better and 
more robust analytical tools to quantify soil behavior, and expand 
instrumentation of various types of soils and topographies in order to improve 
OUT understanding of the in-situ behavior of these soils. Provisions also need to 
be made to implcnwnt new knowledge as it is developed. 
Failures of lifelines in the Nordiridge and Kobe earthquake have pointed to the 
lack of guidelines for the expected perfonnance of utilities and other lifeline 
systems. Most utilities in the United States are self-regulated and performance 
standards vary between utilities. Thus, performance guidelines need to be 
established that are in compliance with functional requirements of individual 
lifelines, other dependent lifelines and the strucUires that they service. 
The performance of btiildings in the Northridgc and Kobe earthquakes poiiu 
again to the fact that our greatest pail is with existing older structures. Even 
though much of the damage to structures in these earthquakes could have been 
piedicted, the extensive damage to steel structures primarily with welded 
connections was a surprising new finding. fj)ver the years, the NEHRP 
agencies have supported imponani efforts in the e sta b lis hm ent of strucmral 
rehabilitation and seismic upgradmg proceduies for hazardous buildings other 
than steel structures. Problem focused programs supported by NSF have 
provided the fundamentals tools for developing seismic rehabiliution methods. 
These have been implemented in design guidelines by FEMA. Current 
programs undertaken by FEMA to evaluate the pcifoimance of steel structures 



332 



and develop new design and rchahilitation guidelines for existing and new steel 
structures is a clear exampb of the crincal funcuons that NEHRP plays in 
mitigating earthquake ri^ks. In general, efforts need to continue to dc\'elop 
new, mure cost effective methods for seismic upgrading and to provide 
guidelines or policies for implementing these measures. 

• The Kobe earthquake tested emergency response capabilities to the fullest. 
Similar and larger eanhquakes can be expected over the next few decades in 
major urban areas in the United States. The Northridge eajThquake tested to a 
lesser degree the capabilities of Federal, State and local emergency response 
systems. It is imperative that the lessons from these earthquakes be used to 
create prudent emergency response plans. New technologies (c.g, geographic 
infonnatioQ systems, database management systems, and satellite imagery) 
should be utilized to aid with important decisions immediately following an 
earthquake. After the Nortliridge event, loss estimates were obtained 
employing some of these technological tools. However, much remains to be 
developed and implcmcnied to enable emergency response personnel to act in an 
informed and efficient way. The NEHRP goal should be to have such 
technologies in operation when the next major earthquake strikes. 

• The Northridge and Kobe earthquakss have also pointed to many societal and 
economic issues that are the result of not only earthquakes but any natural 
catastrophe. Many of the^e issues aie regional and as such tliey need to be 
addressed with these differences in mind. Over the past 18 years, NSF and 
FEMA have supported programs that have brought better understanding of 
some of the critical issues such as effects on multicultural societies, public 
education and emergency response. The long-term implications of earthquake 
disasters on the affected societies and institutions is a problem thai still needs to 
be atidressed in future years. 

4. Adequacy of Laboratory Research for Welded Steel Structures 

In general, laboratory testing can be considered adequate for evaliiating the performance of 
steel welded joints. However, the relatively poor pofonnancs of steel structures during the 
Nortiiridge and Kobe earthquakes points to a more fundamental problem. There are 
numerous issues that have been raised in relationship to the ijcrformance of steel structures 
one of which is the cracking of the welded joints. Studies are still underway lo understand 
the underlying mechanisms of crack initiation and propagation in such joints. An 
unresolved problem is the identification of whether cracks were initiated by the earthquake 
and propagated by the large vibrations, or whether cracks were already in existence and 
were aggravated by the cardiquake. What size cracks are detrimental to a joint and at what 
point should a structure be consideed hazardocs? What demands ars placed on structural 
components and the systenos as a hole? Are our ciirrent analytical and desig;n tools 
adequate to evaluate the performance of these structurts? 

Over *e next few years, the engineering and sdcntiiic community through cooperation 
between practitioners and academicians will be addressing all these issues. Resolving these 
questions will require: 

• extensive laboratory testing of components; 

• development of new analytical tools (e.g., three dimensional nonlinear dynamic 
analysis techniques) that will enable a more accurate and reliable assessment of 
the performance of structural components and systems; emphasis should be 
placed on systems performance. 



333 



• exploration of new designs and rnateiials that may alleviate the problem 
associated with welding of sleel joints; 

• development of nondestructive testing and health monitoring methods for the 
evaluation of the state of existing structures before an earthquake and 
imniediajeiy after an earthquake; 

• development of seismic upgrading procedures for steel structures found to be 
deficient in their seismic resistance; 

• development of policies for implementation of seismic rehabilitation and 
upgrading of deficient structures; 

• development of periodic structural maintenance of structtires that would enable 
identi&canon and correction of problems that may have been caused under 
normal conditions but can become detrimental in the event of an earthquake. 

In gpieral, laboratory testing is a critical component of (he eartitquake engineering research 
process. I would like to tals this opportunity to raise an awarene^ in this committee thai 
over the past decade we have allowed our laboratories to deteriorate with much of its 
equipment outdated or absolete. Support, provided primarily by NSF, for actual testing 
and experimentation has decreased over the years mostly due to deteriorating funding ir. the 
NEHRP. There is a gap between analytical modeling and real life perfottnancc of 
structures subjected to earthquakes. Laboratory exp)erimcntation attempts to bridge that 
gap, but it can do so only partially. The main reason for this deficiency is that real 
structures are of vast dimensions making it difficult to test in the laboratory. Errors and 
onccrtainties are introduced through scaling of material and geometric properties which can 
be evaluated only through full scale testing. Such testing, however, is economically 
prohibitive since a single test may exceed the enure NEHRP budget. Earthquake events 
provide a natural laboratory for evaluation of the performance of various types of structures 
and verification of our design methods. Since the 1971 San Fcraando earthquake we have 
been instrumenting buildings in order to evaluate their performance. Modem buildings, 
however have not been subjected to a truly great earthquake, such as the 1906 San 
Francisco event, making it difficult to truly predict the performance of structures. Thus, 
we can expect that as we continue to improve our design methodologies, future surprises 
are Ukely. In order to reduce the potential for major catastrophic failuncs, our ongoing 
efforts need to continue integrating fundamental analytical developments, small and large 
scale testing and practical considerations. 

5. Conclusion 

The National Hazard Reduction Program has embarked on a more aggressive 
implementation program. "Such an approach necessarily requires the integration of research 
from earth sciences, engineering, economics, sociology and public policy, and the 
translation of this research in an appropriate mitigatioo program. The draft Strategic Plan 
for National Earthquake Loss Reduction has laid out the road map for achieving the goals 
ai NEHRP over tiK next decade. It is important, however, as we enter this implementation 
phase, that our efforts to continuously improve our knowledge about the fundamental 
earthquake phenomenon, the performance of different structures and the socio-economic 
consequence be enforced through sustained funding. It is through innovation and 
knowledge that we can continue to mitigate the effects of natural disasters. Furthermore, it 
is through improved buUdiEg codes, appropriate education of the public and professions, 
and prudent enforcement policies that we can decrease potential loss of lives and can 
alleviate major economic disasters. Finally, our abihty as a nation to respond to the public 
in the event of a catastrophic earthquake hinges on our ability to implement new 



334 



technological tools as well as on the development of realistic emergency tespoasc plans that 
baknce our resources with the needs. 



335 

RESUME 
Dr. Anne S. Kirciai^Jian 

Business Address: Home 

Department of Civil Engineering 142 10 Berry Hill Cr. 

Stanford University Los Altos Hills, C A 94022 
Stanfoni, CA 94305-4020 

Tel: (415) 723-4164 Tel: (415) 941-8405 

Fax: (415) 723-7514 Fax: (415) 941-8336 

Degrees: 

B.S. in CJE., Columbia University, New York, June 1972 
B.A. in Physics, Queens College of the CUNY, Now York, June 1972 
M.S. in Stnict Engr., Stanford University, Stanford, CA, June 1973 
Ph.D. in Struct Engr., Stanford University, Stanford, CA, January 1977 

Professional Experience: 

1994-prcscnt Chairman of the Board, K2 Technologies, Inc. 

1991-pToscnt Professor of Civil Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 

1995-pre8ent Director of the John A. Blumc Earthquake &igineering Center, Stanford 

University, Stanford, CA 
1987- 1994 Co-Director of the John A. Bhune Earthquake Engineering Center, 

Stanford University, Stanford, CA 
1985-1991 Associate Professor, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 
1978- 1985 Assistant Professor, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 
1976-1978 Postdoctoral Researeh Affiliate, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 
1976-1977 Visiting Lecturer, Depc of Civil Engrg., Stanfoni University, Stanford, CA 

ProfessioDal Societies: 

SERI, ASCE, SEAONC. SSA, lASSAR 

Awards: 

School of Engineeting Distinguished Advisor Award, Stanford University, June 1989 
National Science Foundation Faculty Award for Women, 1991-1995 
Society of Women Engineers Distinguished Educator Award, 1992 

Honors: 

Member of Tau Beta £i, Sigma Xi; Elected to Who is Who in California, 1982, 
Who is Who in the West, 1985 

Active in the Following Professional Comnrittees: 

Probabilistic Mediods Comi nittrr . of tiie EngiDeering Mechanics Division of ASCE 

Seismic Risk Committee of EERI 

Committee on Building Instrumentation , CSMIP, California Seismic Safety Commission 

Committee on Stochastic Meiiuxis in Structuml Engineering, LASSAR 

Vice -CSiairman, Executive Comminee of TCLEB, ASCE 

Advisory Committee to the Biological and Critical Systems Division of NSF 

Fellow and Advisory Board Member of the StanfortJ/USGS Insiimte for Research in 

Banbquake Engineering and Seismology 
Member of the Board, CUR^, Treasurer 

Member of the , New York State Committee on Low Level Nuclear Waste Management, NAS 
Memberoftlie Scientific Advisory Committee, NCEER 



336 



On the Editorial Board of: 

The IniBniatioiial Joumal of SoQ Mechanics and Earthquake Engineering 
IntematioiLal Journal of Stmctural Safew 
Inteniational Joumal on Probabilistic Mechanics 

Reviewer for: 

The International Journal of Eaithquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics 

BoUetin of tlie Sdsmological Society of Anurica 

Joumal of Structural Engineering, ASCE 

Journal of En^necring Mechanics, ASCE 

Journal of Probabilistic Engineering Mechanics 

International Jbuinal of SaO Dynamics and Eaithquake EagiDeeiing 

Research and Teaching Interest: 

Dr. Kiremidjixn's general icscaich interests aie witliin the aiea of probabilistic methods in civil 
engineering. She specializes in developing models for earthquake occurrences, ground motion 
characterizaiion, structural damage evaluation and reliability analysis of smictures. Dr. Kirenddjian 
currently teaches courses in the Department of Civil Engmeenng at Stanford University on probabilistic 
methods in engineering, structural analysis, earthquake engineering, structural lehabiUty, and strength of 
materials. 

Academic Advising: 

Professor Kiremidjian is cuirently the primary disaertation advisor to five doctoral students and two 
masters degree students. During her academic career she has been the primary advisor or has served on the 
dissertation committee to more than twenty doctoral students. 

Research Projects: 

Professor Kiicmidjien has been the primary investigator to fifteen research projects ranging in amounts 
from $100,00 to $350,000 awanlea from variety of funding agencies including the Nanonal Sdence 
Foundation, the National Center for Research in Earthquake Engineering, the Electric Power Research 
Institute, United States Geological Survey, California Department of Transportation, and CaUfomia 
Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering. 

Consulting: 

Dr. Anne Kiremidjian has servtul as a consultant to several structural engineering companies and other 
corporations. These include Chevron Corporation. URS/John A. Blume &. Associates, Black & Veatch, 
EQE International, Forell FJsfvssn- Engineers, Rutherford and Chckene. and CH2MHilL In addition, she 
has been a consultant to various institutes (e.g.. Electric Power Research Institace and Applied TeciuK^gy 
Council), and govemmeot agencies such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and ttte Fadeial 
Emergency Management Agency. As part of her consolting work, she has been involved in the 
development of (a) seismic reliainEty methods for larpe sphaical ammonia tanks and taU columns found at 
oil reObeties and other chemical plants; (b) mnld-hazard risk analysis methods for major water supply 
systems; (c) teg^oaal sdsmic hazard mapping and site specific seismic hazard estimation models; (d) 
regiooal damage estimation models; and (f) implementation of geographic infonnation systems, 
kriowledge-based expert systems and database management systems in negicmal earthquake (t^vi^g^ and 
loss estimation methods. 

Publications 

Dr. Kiianidjian has published over 100 journal papers, technical reports, and conference proceeding 
papers. She has been an invited and keynote speaker to major imemational conferences and malms 
f{<n]iunt presentatioiu at seminars and other professional meetings. A complete publicatian Hst can be 
provided upon request. 



337 

Mr. Baker, Thank you. Dr. Anderson. 

STATEMENT OF DR. THOMAS ANDERSON, FLUOR DANIEL COR- 
PORATION, REPRESENTING THE NEHRP COALITION, AR- 
LINGTON, VIRGINIA 

Mr. Anderson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Congressman Baker. 
I appreciate the opportunity to address you on behalf of the Coali- 
tion of Professional and Scientific Associations in Support of 
NEHRP. 

The Coalition is composed of 10 professional and scientific asso- 
ciations. The members of these groups represent the vast majority 
of the professional engineers, scientists, architects and public ad- 
ministrators conducting research on earthquakes and earthquake 
hazards mitigation. 

The NEHRP Coahtion strongly supports the reauthorization of 
NEHRP. And, we urge that the funding authorization levels for the 
program be increased substantially for the fiscal year 1997 and be- 
yond. 

Our justification for this request is tied to the urgent need for 
more rapid utilization of the lessons learned fi*om the Northridge, 
California earthquake and the more recent Kobe, Japan disaster. 

In recent years, numerous studies and reports have criticized 
NEHRP for the slow rate of adoption and enforcement of NEHRP 
research results. We need often to remind ourselves that NEHRP 
was not initially a mitigation implementation program. It was an 
earthquake science and technology research and development pro- 
gram. 

And, the assumption waS^ that the states, local jurisdictions, busi- 
nesses and individuals would voluntarily and enthusiastically in- 
corporate new mitigation technology and would push building code 
changes, would adopt new codes and would vigorously enforce 
them. This clearly has not happened. 

The technology push is not working in this market. Incentives 
are required. 

Our priorities for action for the future of a revitahzed NEHRP 
are, in order. One, incentives; two, program management; and, 
three, technical issues. 

We believe that incentives should be the cornerstone of a Federal 
natural hazards mitigation policy, a top priority. In the few min- 
utes I have for my remarks, let me touch on two of our priority 
areas — incentives and technology issues. 

NEHRP and its four program agencies do not have the authority 
to establish and enforce implementation regulations or to establish 
incentives, financial or otherwise. It, therefore, is clearly the re- 
sponsibility of Congress either to establish Federal implementation 
regulations or financial incentives or both. 

The NEHRP Coalition beheves strongly that any combination 
should be heavily weighted on the side of financial incentive and 
have immediate impact and which are certainly the most effective 
and least objectionable. 

Our third priority deals with technical issues. In my written tes- 
timony, we outline nine areas of research needs. And, we outline 
the research successes revealed by the Northridge earthquake. 



338 

Briefly, at least five major lessons emerge fi'om that destructive 
event. Codes work. Retro-fitting works. Preparedness works. We 
are reminded that there is a huge inventory of collapse hazard 
buildings in the U.S. that poses a severe threat to the many earth- 
quake-prone regions of this country. 

And, Lesson 5 is that most of the $22 billion financial loss to 
businesses and industry from the Northridge earthquake was not 
in building damage and collapse. It was, rather, in non-structural 
losses. 

We believe that the major risk from earthquakes is the enormous 
stock of potentially hazardous existing buildings and their contents. 
The financial losses in Northridge resulted from damage to build- 
ing contents such as furnishings, inventory, vital records, equip- 
ment, telephones and the like. 

Businesses that had not prepared were luiable to function. Pay 
checks stopped. Market share was lost. 

The impact on the people and the economy was profound. And, 
its effects linger on today. 

Yet, these kinds of losses are preventable. But, they receive little 
attention under NEHRP. 

It is a research area in which the payback ratio would be very 
high. 

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, we appreciate the opportunity to 
testify. We would highlight the fact that societal costs of earth- 
quakes can — in fact, they must — be reduced by leveraging signifi- 
cantly smaller expenditures for loss prevention measures that can 
be put in place in advance of destructive earthquakes. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Dr. Anderson follows:] 



339 



TESTIMONY OF DR. THOMAS L. ANDERSON 

ON BEHALF OF THE 

COALITION OF PROFESSIONAL AND SCIENTIFIC 

ASSOCIATIONS EV SUPPORT OF NEHRP 

BEFORE THE BOUSE SUBCOMMTTTEE 

ON BASIC RESEARCH 

OCTOBER 24, 1995 

I. INTRODUCTION 

This testimony is submitted in support of the reauthorization of the National Earthquake 
Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP) The Coalition, which I am representing, is 
composed often professional and scientific associations: the Association of 
American State Geologists, the American Geophysical Union, the American Institute of 
Architects, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Public 
Administration, the Applied Technology Council, the Association of Engineering 
Geologists, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the Seismological Society 
of Amenca, and the Structural Engineers Association of California The members of 
these organizations represent the vast majority of the professional engineers, scientists, 
architects, and public administrators conducting research on earthquakes and earthquake 
hazard mitigation. 

The NEHRP Coalition strongly supports the reauthorization of NEHRP, and we urge that 
the funding authorization levels for the program be increased substantially for the fiscal 
year 1 997 and beyond Our justification for this request is tied to the urgent need for 
more rapid utilization of all of the knowledge gained from the Northridgc, California, 
earthquake and the more recent Kobe, Japan disaster We clearly need to accelerate the 
implementation of earthquake hazard mitigation throughout the 38 of our states which are 
at moderate to very high risk 

During the last six years the nation has suffered $10 billion in losses from the Loma 
Prieta earthquake, and over $20 billion fi-om the Northridge event These loss rates will 
certainly increase in future years unless major changes in public policy are made 

In recent years numerous studies and reports have criticized NEHRP for the slow rate of 
adoption and enforcement of NEHRP research results We need oflen to remind 
ourselves that NEHRP was not initially a mitigation implementation program It was an 
earthquake science and technology research and development program And, the 



340 



-2- 



assumption was that states and local jurisdictions would voluntarily and enthusiastically 
incorporate new mitigation technology, and would push building code changes, would 
adopt the new codes, and would vigorously enforce them This clearly has not happened, 
and in retrospect, the assumption that it would or even could was naive The problem is 
that NEHRP did not then, nor does it now have a strong mitigation element within the 
provisions of the existing program, and can neither establish incentives nor can it establish 
regulations and enforce them We will address the issue of incentives in Section 11 of this 
testimony 

Many of the studies and reports referred to earlier strongly criticize NEHRP's program 
management Clearly, substantial improvement can and should be achieved, but the 
assumption that "more efficient research" is going to greatly accelerate the rate of 
mitigation implemention is also naive We will address the issue of program 
management in Section III of this testimony 

And in Section FV we will offer a number of specific areas for further technological 
research 



341 



-3- 



II. ADOPTION AND ENFORCEMENT OF INCENTIVES 

We believe that incentives should be the cornerstone of federal natural hazards 

mitigation policy a top priority and ahead of calls for better strategic planning, 

interagency coordination and accountability The latter are definitely necessary, but will 
not accelerate implementation and enforcement at the state and local levels. 

If the original assumption on voluntary adoption and enforcement was incorrect, 
as obviously it was, then any argument which says that the NEHRP program as presently 
constituted is at fault fails to recognize that NEHRP and its four US government 
program agencies, (NSF, USGS, NIST, and FEMA,) would individually or collectively 
have needed authority under NEHRP to establish and enforce implementation regulations 
or to establish incentives, financial or otherwise, which could have achieved the desired 
result Such is not the case, and therefore it is clearly the responsibility of Congress either 
to establish Federal implementation regulations or financial incentives or both The 
NEHRP Coalition believes strongly that any combination should be heavily weighted on 
the side of financial incentives which are certainly the most effective and least 
objectionable 

Earthquakes pose a greater threat of social upheaval and economic losses than any 
natural disaster to which our nation is subjected Because these disasters occur 
infrequently, sustained efforts toward mitigating their consequences is very difficult to 
achieve Moreover, earthquake hazard mitigation programs, activities, and 
responsibilities for taking actions are highly diffused, adding to the difficulty in 
fostering implementation The federal government's iniatives for seismic upgrading of 
buildings which it builds or leases is admirable, but private sector investors and home 
owners must be induced by other means 

It is recommended that a concerted effort be undertaken to develop financial 
incentives and to provide for coordinated actions to implement earthquake hazard 
mitigation actions across jurisdictional lines In addition, inducements must be 
developed by working with these jurisdictions to foster better training for building 
inspectors, better education for the construction trades, and resources for better 
enforcement. Effective implementation of the technologies developed under NEHRP 



342 



must be a very high national priority if the social and economic risks of earthquakes 
are to be reduced to an acceptable level, and fin^Jicial incentives applicable at all 
levels are absolutely vital to this process From our reading of the recently published 
OTA report entitled "Reducing Earthquake Losses," we believe that OTA confirms this 
conclusion. That report in its Executive Summary- Policy Options section states: 

"The third type of option includes changes to federal disaster assistance and 
insurance, regulation, and financial incentives Such changes are outside the 
current scope of NEHRP and would represent a significant change in direction 
for the program However, such changes are necessary to yield major 
national reductions in earthquake risk." 



343 



-5- 



m. PROGRAM MANAGEMENT ISSUES 

From the beginning, NEHRP research of all types, (scientific, engineering, societal,) 
has been conducted in a collegial, rather than pyramid, fashion with a strong peer 
review element And the very nature of NEHRP research has been very heavily 
"problem focused " "Curiosity-driven research" within NEHRP is virtually 
non-existent because of the very nature of the subject being addressed Nevertheless, 
substantial improvement can be achieved through overarching direction, strategic 
plaiming, coordination and accountability, and each of the four program agencies involved 
directly in NEHRP agrees that tliis is the case 

A recently completed OSTP study report, (in press,) which resulted from an extensive 
review of NEHRP by representatives of over twenty federal agencies, including NSF, 
uses, NIST, and FEMA, has concluded that the establishment of a program 
office in FEMA, which would be staffed by personnel from each of the principal program 
agencies, is the most achievable way to improve program management, and they have 
further concluded that this is the most cost-eflFective approach as well 

It has become clear that many federal government agencies in addition to the four 
directly charged with NEHRP responsibility are involved with earthquake hazard 
mitigation issues These agencies should be encouraged to participate in and contribute to 
the activities of the program office 

Finally, oversight and periodic review of the program office's success should be 
conducted fi'om the highest levels of government 



344 



-6- 



IV. TECHNICAL ISSUES 

A. RESEARCH SUCCESSES REVEALED BY THE NORTHRIDGE 
EARTHQUAKE 

The Northridge earthquake revealed notable successes in the nation's long-term program 
to protect itself against disastrous earthquake losses Building code improvements 
adopted in California since the 1971 San Fernando earthquake minimized damage and 
prevented collapse of many commercial, industrial, and residential structures that might 
otherwise have suffered these levels of damage Experience in 1971 with the near 
collapse of the lower Van Norman Dam and subsequent research and evaluation of earth 
dams resuhed in greatly reduced levels of damage to these facilities in 1994 Require- 
ments to retrofit or replace unreinforced masonry buildings in Los Angeles implemented 
during the past two decades paid off in reduced damage and fewer casualties for those 
type of structures Every single bridge and fi^eeway overpass which had been retrofitted 
survived the earthquake with its full functionality intact But, perhaps most important, 
recognition, monitoring, study and public awareness of earthquake hazards in the Los 
Angeles area resulted in more prompt emergency response and organization than might 
otherwise have happened The establishment of the Southern California Earthquake 
Center as a NEHRP-funded regional earth hazard mitigation resource is an example of this 
research focus in an area of high risk These successes are the result of NEHRP support 
for research in the earth sciences, earthquake engineering, and the social sciences They 
are also the result of a team of earthquake specialists educated at universities throughout 
the United States using NEHRP support Recent assessment of the probabilities of large 
earthquakes in the region has focused attention on the very real earthquake risk faced by 
citizens of Southern California Continuing actions of this type will be necessary long 
afler the memory of the Northridge earthquake losses have faded away, if we are to 
protect California, and the other thirty-seven states that are at-risk, from the disastrous 
social and economic consequences of earthquakes In this regard, other NEHRP-fiinded 
programs such as the Central United States Earthquake Consortium and the National 
Center for Earthquake Engineering Research have measurably raised earthquake 
awareness and preparedness in the central and eastern U S The NEHRP Coalition 
strongly urges that the program agencies increase their efforts in the following 
research, mitigation, and policy areas The urgent need for accelerated progress in these 
vital areas more than justifies the increase in funding which we propose. 



345 



B. FUTURE RESEARCH NEEDS 

Despite the successes noted above, complacency must not be tolerated There is little 
doubt that the death toll and injury count would have been much higher had the North- 
ridge earthquake occurred later in the morning of January 1 7 A careful and thorough 
examination of gaps in our knowledge must be undertaken if we are to succeed in 
mitigating the earthquake hazard to an acceptable level 

1 ANTICIPATrNG THE LOCATIONS, STRENGTH, AND THE OCCURRENCE 
RATES OF FUTURE EARTHQUAKES 

The ability to accurately estimate the locations, strengths and occurrence rates of 
earthquakes is a fundamental requirement for prioritizing mitigation efforts and 
for reducing the loss of lives and economic disruption that these disasters cause 
Recent experience -- San Fernando, 1971, Whittier, 1987, Loma Prieta, 1989, 
Northridge, 1994 — has shown that moderate earthquakes pose a severe threat to 
urban populations. 

Three aspects of this type of earthquake increase the threat: 1) they occur 
frequently, 2) they tend to occur on many smaller faults that are not capable of 
producing large or great earthquakes, and 3) they cause intense and extensive 
damage when they occur in highly populated areas and thus, in sum, affect much 
wider areas than larger earthquakes During the past 23 years, moderate 
earthquakes are estimated to have caused more than $40 billion in losses to just 
two of our major metropolitan areas - Los Angeles and San Francisco Other 
major metropolitan areas in the eastern and central US are also at risk, and 
losses due to moderate-sized earthquakes must be expected to be even higher 
in these regions because they are less well-prepared than either Los Angeles or 
San Francisco Recognizing that earthquakes having magnitudes in the 6-7 
range could occur somewhere in a highly populated area in the US every few 
years, nationwide priority must be given to identifying the expected locations of 
these events and projecting the threat which they pose This information is 
necessary for setting priorities to reduce losses through retrofitting key 
structures and essential transportation and utility facilities, for disaster response 



346 



planning, and as the basis for safe seismic construction of new structures and 
facilities Mapping of likely earthquake sources and their expected effects needs 
to be done for all metropolitan areas that have high earthquake risk Thirty-eight 
of our fifty states are at moderate to very high risk fi^om earthquakes that could 
cause extensive loss of lives, devastating loss of property, and unacceptable 
economic disruption 

2 ASSURING THE AVAILABILITY OF UTILITIES AND TRANSPORTATION 
SYSTEMS 

Another high priority need, reinforced by recent earthquakes that have struck the 
urban areas of California, is to develop guidelines for earthquake resistant 
construction of lifeline facilities, particularly water, gas, and electrical 
transmission and distribution lines Closely aligned with these facilities is the 
transportation system Currently, two research studies, sponsored by the 
Federal Highway Administration, are addressing the earthquake vulnerability of 
highway construction, including bridges, tunnels, retaining structures, slopes and 
embankments The first of these projects will develop revised seismic retrofit 
guidelines and provide cost-effective technologies for improved evaluation and 
seismic upgrading of the existing highway system The second project is 
concentrating on the development of improved seismic design guidelines for 
water, gas and electrical transmission and distribution systems to assure that these 
systems are available following an earthquake 

3 UNDERSTANDING FUTURE EARTHQUAKE LOSS POTENTIAL AND 
STRENGTHENING LOSS MITIGATION 

A third priority need is a methodology to reliably determine expected direct 
losses by class of structure and facihty and to project indirect economic losses as 
well The earthquakes that have struck the populated Los Angeles and San 
Francisco metropolitan areas during the past twenty-three years have impacted a 
broad inventory of structures and facilities A research effort should be 
undertaken to learn how this inventory of structures and facilities performed in 
these recent earthquakes and to use these data in improved methods for assessing 
the expected losses in future earthquakes The information developed by such a 



347 



study could also be used together with results of engineering studies to revise and 
improve building codes, as the basis for improved insurance administration, for 
other mitigation actions, and for earthquake response planning 

EXPANDED MAPPING OF SEISMIC HAZARDS 

Building codes and guidelines for seismic design of structures and facilities rely on 
maps depicting the level of seismic hazard - the level of ground shaking and its 
probability of being exceeded - to set seismic design criteria Currently, seismic 
hazard maps are generalized at a scale representing the entire United States 
Because knowledge of the level of seismic hazard is fundamental to providing 
seismic design, as well as to effective land-use planning and other mitigation 
actions, there is a strong need to have regional scale maps for regions of high 
seismic hazard, and detail scale maps for populated urban areas exposed to high 
seismic risk As a basis for developing regional and local maps, it is necessary 
to have more detailed knowledge of the sources of earthquakes and a more 
complete understanding of the role that local geological and soil conditions have 
in determining the severity of earthquake motions at a particular location 
Earthquake induced landslides and various other ground failures are responsible 
for wide-spread damage and losses To provide adequate earthquake hazard 
information requires a commitment to a sustained multi-year earthquake hazard 
mapping program 

ASSURING BASELINE EARlrfQUAKE RECORDINGS 

Recordings of earthquakes on high quality instruments are essential for developing 
tools and guidelines to mitigate the hazard posed by earthquakes Two types of 
recordings are required recordings on sensitive seismograph instruments 
designed to record even small earthquakes, and recordings of strong, damaging 
ground motions on seismographs designed to remain on scale during even the 
most intense motions The ability to record and locate small earthquakes 
throughout the nation is essential in order to identify geological features that are 
sources of future large earthquakes A national network of seismographs designed 
to determine the precise locations of earthquakes is currently being installed 
The information from this network will continue to improve our knowledge of the 



348 



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locations and causes of earthquakes and it is essentia] that this effort be 
sustained on a long term basis 

There is a need to develop a national network of seismographs to record strong 
ground motions near earthquake sources These recordings are essential for 
developing tools to anticipate the amplitudes and characteristics of structurally 
hazardous motions from future expected earthquakes Methods to determine 
motions from expected future earthquakes are also essential for mapping seismic 
hazards and providing guidelines for seismic design of structures and lifeline 
facilities It is recommended that provisions be made for a sustained national 
strong ground motion program that would include a national network of 
recording stations and a national strong ground motion data base The network 
should include installations in structures as well as artays of instruments 
designed to study the effects of local geology on strong ground motion The 
resulting data base should be structured and operated to provide rapid access to 
high quality recordings by researchers and practitioners engaged in earthquake 
hazard mitigation activities. 

DEVELOPING AND VALIDATING COST-EFFECTIVE AND RELIABLE 
METHODS FOR RETROFITTING EXISTING STRUCTURES 

The major risk from earthquakes is the enormous stock of potentially hazardous 
existing buildings, their contents, and other structures There have been significant 
advances in developing and applying various techniques for retrofitting such 
structures including, for example,'base isolation and the use of dampers, as well as 
structural strengthening and stiffening Because buildings are being retrofitted, 
it is of^en assumed that engineers know exactly how to do the job However, there 
simply is not adequate knowledge available to achieve the most appropriate 
retrofit of a wide range of structural systems in a cost-effective manner and with 
the assurance of a high probability of success Part of the problem is an inadequate 
level of confidence in curtent methods for predicting the response of existing 
structures to earthquakes Such knowledge can only come from an aggressive 
program of engineering studies, which includes large-scale testing and detailed 
interpretation of observations during actual earthquakes Both of these vital 
studies have been badly underfunded for at least a decade There are few 



349 



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laboratories that have the capacity to undertake the necessary testing programs, 
and many of these have not been kept up-to-date in regard to instrumentation and 
experimental facilities Few opportunities are seized to test structures about to 
be demolished Although measurements of dynamic response during earthquake 
shaking have been recorded in a number of buildings, a significant number of 
these records have not been analyzed adequately It is necessary to establish a 
program of upgrading and expanding the laboratory experimental capacity in the 
nation, and to undertake a prioritized program of studies using these facilities. 
The ability to perform full-scale testing of selected structures is a vital 
necessity The deliverables from such efforts must be proven, effective, 
affordable retrofit technologies which are ready for market 

One of the most significant findings from Northridge is that roughly eighty percent 
of the economic losses were non-structural These financial losses resulted from 
damage to building contents, and to the non-structural elements upon which the 
buildings functionality depends, such as electric power, gas, plumbing, telephone, 
and so forth This is an area in which little mitigation research has been done, 
and in which the pay-back ratio would be very high 

7 DEVELOPING COST-EFFECTIVE SEISMIC DESIGN CODES 

A program to develop the knowledge base for the next generation of cost- 
effective seismic design codes covering all structures and facilities should be 
undertaken immediately Many current code provisions are based on the 
performance of structures in earthquakes that occurred twenty or more years ago 
and are primarily intended to sav€ lives while giving inadequate emphasis to 
protecting property or functionality Seismic design procedures must directly link 
seismic performance requirements to the expected level of earthquake ground 
shaking if confidence in the safety of a structure is to be achieved These 
requirements are then keyed to the various components of the structure and to the 
importance of that component to the overall safety of the structure 
Performance-based seismic design procedures of this type which directly address 
life-safety, structural integrity, and contents damage, have been apphed to the 
seismic evaluation of certain critical facilities for more than twenty years With a 
focused and sustained developmental effort these procedures could be adapted for 
the seismic design of all structures and facilities, resulting in significant long-term 
improvements in performance and economic benefits as well as hfe-safety 



21-033 - 96 - 12 



350 



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8 MAKING INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO POLICY MAKERS FOR 
INTERJURISDICTIONAL DISASTER RESPONSE ACTIONS 

Recent earthquakes, and particularly the Northridge earthquake of 1994, have 
revealed a critical gap in timely, accurate information available to decision-makers 
within the impacted organizations and jurisdictions An eflfort was made in 
response to the Northridge earthquake to introduce advanced information 
technology and telecommunications to support decision-making However, to 
foster wider implementation, improved procedures must be established, and there 
must be much more advanced preparation and training The procedures must 
link decision-makers in real time with information on the earthquake's effect and 
must particularly accommodate differences in local response capability It is 
recommended that a program be supported to establish the information 
gathering, analysis and dissemination capabilities needed to serve multiple 
organizations simultaneously Such a capability must include hardware and 
software that would enable decision-makers to collect, classify, store, retrieve and 
exchange relevant information using existing telecommunications technology and 
systems These systems must be interactive to permit continuous inflow of 
information as the response to a disaster unfolds Finally, provisions must be 
made for ongoing development and for training of officials responsible for 
implementing the system during an earthquake disaster 

9 MAINTAINING AN EFFECTIVE RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE 

It is shortsighted to believe that our knowledge base is sufficiently complete and 
that the only task facing NEHRP is to implement currently available information 
A recent congressional initiative to eliminate or cut back severely the USGS 
External Research Grants Program was clearly ill-advised That badly under- 
funded program forms the very underpinning upon which the nation's earthquake 
hazard mitigation efforts are based 

Completion of each of the tasks outlined in this testimony is dependent on an 
active research program in the earth sciences, earthquake engineering, and in the 
social sciences However, our infrastructure in these fields is under stress because 
it is under-funded and ill-equipped Successes to date have been achieved in spite 



351 



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of a decline in funding and other resources If the earthquake risk is to be reduced 
in a timely manner, innovation must be encouraged New risk reduction strategies 
are required that are increasingly reliable and cost-effective This will require a 
sustained effort that systematically addresses these issues It also needs to be 
funded at a level commensurate with the intellectual challenge that is involved 
Funding levels for NEHRP should reflect the consequences of ignoring the risk 
and must ultimately be based on the financial benefit to the nation from reducing 
the huge disaster relief expenditures which inevitably follow each major 
earthquake Societal costs of earthquakes can, and must, be reduced by 
leveraging significantly smaller expenditures that can be put in place in advance of 
the next destructive earthquake 



352 

Mr. Baker. Thank you. Dr. Jordan. 

STATEMENT OF DR. THOMAS JORDAN, CHAIR, DEPARTMENT 
OF EARTH SCIENCE, MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECH- 
NOLOGY, CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 

Mr. Jordan. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I guess I am here be- 
cause I have participated in NEHRP as a researcher funded 
through the National Science Foundation, but I would also point 
out that I am familiar with its overall goals and achievements 
through my experience in several advisory capacities which include 
the current chairmanship of the Nationsd ResearchCouncil Com- 
mittee on Seismology and membership on the Advisory Panel of the 
recent OTA study. 

Although the successes of NEHRP in basic and applied research 
are generally well regarded and usually not disputed, it has re- 
cently become very popular to criticize NEHRP for what it has not 
done in implementing current knowledge about earthquake haz- 
ards through more aggressive mitigation programs. But, as you've 
heard from previous speakers today, the problems of implementa- 
tion are largely issues for state and city governments, which must 
assess and respond to earthquake risks, engineering problems and 
community priorities that are highly variable from one part of the 
country to another. 

The degree to which the Federal Government can, and should, 
attempt to force particular mitigation strategies on local popu- 
lations is highly controversial. Moreover, it's clear that to be really 
effective, more aggressive Federal policies will have to be backed 
by levels of funding that far exceed the size of the current NEHRP. 

But, I am not an expert in these issues, so I will instead focus 
my remarks on a much less controversial aspect of NEHRP, which 
is the status and prospects of basic and applied research on the 
science of earthquakes and the Federal Government's role in sup- 
porting this research. My primary point is this. Regardless of what 
level the Federal Government involves itself in the implementation 
process, the most effective foundation for continued national efforts 
in earthquake hazard reduction is a vigorous federally-funded and 
coordinated program of basic and applied research directed towards 
a better understanding of earthquakes and earthquake related 
damage. 

Earthquakes are a very complex phenomenon involving deep- 
seated geological processes about which we still know very little. 
But, almost all will agree that NEHRP's investments in long-term 
earthquake research have been hugely successful and that they are 
paying out substantial short-term practical dividends in several 
areas of public concern. 

Great improvements in seismic hazard mapping and long-term 
earthquake forecasting have been made using the new techniques 
of paleoseismology and global positioning system geodesy. And, 
these have identified major — have identified higher levels of seis- 
mic risk in areas like the Pacific Northwest and the Wasatch Front 
in Utah. 

Armed with this information, some communities have enacted 
more comprehensive hazard mitigation programs, including land 
use planning and zoning provisions, more stringent building codes 



353 

and seismic retro-fit programs. In high risk areas of Cahfomia, the 
prioritizations needed to implement the seismic retro-fit programs, 
which are always very resource-limited, are being aided by 
microzonation studies which provide a rational basis for the 
targeting of the most vulnerable structures. 

The data derived from a new generation of broad-band, high-dy- 
namic range seismographic instrumentation are providing engi- 
neers with better criteria for designing earthquake-resistant struc- 
tures, including the time histories that take into account the phase 
as well as the amplitude of ground shaking. Post-earthquake emer- 
gency response has been enhanced by the ability to rapidly collect, 
process and distribute seismic information to potential users. 

Earthquake early warning systems are under development that 
may be able to immediately detect and broadcast when a major 
earthquake has occurred, thereby alerting critical facilities that po- 
tentially destructive seismic waves are on the way. 

NEHRP's accomplishments also include the establishment of re- 
gional working groups, comprised of earth scientists, earthquake 
engineers and local officials, which act to coordinate and publicize 
mitigation-related activities. One of these is the Southern Califor- 
nia Earthquake Center, whose tasks include the construction of re- 
gional seismic hazard maps, the formulation of realistic earthquake 
scenarios and the processing of real time earthquake information, 
as well as doing fundamental research on regional tectonic proc- 
esses and earthquake dynamics. 

Built into the SCEC program is a vigorous set of activities aimed 
at public education and community outreach, as well as interfaces 
to the relevant state and local agencies. 

Now, the new data being provided by geological field investiga- 
tions and by the new types of seismic and geodetic instrumenta- 
tion, that have been installed under the auspices of the NEHRP 
program, is already stimulating additional advances in earthquake 
science and its application to hazard reduction. For example, global 
positioning system measurements, in the near future, will yield 
more qualitative estimates of earthquake risk in the eastern con- 
tinental interior, where historical seismicity is significant but tends 
to be distributed in ill-defined zones characterized by low and pre- 
viously unobserved strain rates. 

Dynamical studies of complex systems of interacting faults will 
improve the ability to anticipate the sequencing of earthquake ac- 
tivities in very active regions. There are many other examples I 
could go into, but perhaps the potential for long-term research 
gains are best illustrated by the problem of earthquake prediction. 

Now, a few would question the notion that if earthquakes could 
be accurately predicted in terms of their times, locations and mag- 
nitudes then much could be done to reduce their potential for dam- 
age. But, no practical scheme for this type of short-term earth- 
quake prediction has yet been discovered. 

And, we must recognize that useful prediction algorithms are, at 
best, years away and, at worst, completely unattainable. However, 
it is not actually known whether earthquakes are predictable or 
not, even in principle. 

There has been some progress in basic research, however, that 
I think is cause for renewed optimism that some earthquakes, at 



354 

least, may be predictable or, at least, in principle. And, I would 
argue that NEHRP should intensify the integrated, multidisci- 
plinary efforts aimed at evaluating earthquake predictability in a 
variety of geological settings. 

Research centers like SCEC should be established in other areas 
of high seismic activity and the instrumental networks for close-in 
monitoring of this activity, both seismic and geodetic, should be up- 
graded and expanded. New technologies like dense arrays of con- 
tinuously monitoring GPS stations should be deployed. 

Field observations by teams of geologists should be supported 
with adequate funds for extensive mapping and trenching. Theo- 
retical work on the physics of the earthquaSke rupture process and 
the interactions with fluid systems in the crust should be acceler- 
ated through the increased use of high-performance computers. 

And, finally, considerably more emphasis should be placed on the 
study of earthquakes occurring outside the borders of the United 
States, since these studies can considerably increase the knowledge 
of different earthquake types. 

The first 17 years of NEHRP have been an unequivocal success 
in terms of the technical areas the program was intended to ad- 
dress. And, these research-based accomplishments should, in the 
future, generate returns with much greater dollar value in the form 
of reducing earthquake losses. 

Given the increasing threat that earthquakes pose to our popu- 
lation centers, there is a clear argument for a modest but steady 
increase in the NEHRP budget over the next three years that will 
allow the program to take advantage of the outstanding research 
opportunities that I have listed here, as well as to expand its pro- 
grams for implementing mitigation strategies. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Dr. Jordan follows:] 



355 



Testimony by: Thomas H. Jordan 

Sfarock Professor of Geophysics and Department Head 

Dqjartment of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 

Phone: (617)253-3382 Fax: (617)253-7651 Email: thj@mit.edu 



Submitted to the Sabcommittee on Basic Research, Committee on Science, 153. House of 
Representatives, for Hearing on the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Progi^m, to 
be bdd oo October 24, 1995. 



Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee on Basic Research: 

My name is Thomas H. Jordan, and 1 am the Robert R. Shrock Professor and Head of the 
Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the Massachnsens ]nsiiiute of 
Technology. Since receiving my Ph.D. in geophysics from the Cabfomia Instinite of 
Technology in 1972, 1 have taught and supervised research in geophysics and seismology on the 
faculties of Princeton University, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and MTT. I have 
participated in the National Earthquake Hazzird Reduction Program (^fEHRP) as a researcher 
funded through the National Science Foundation, and I am familiar with its overall goals and 
achievements through my experience in several advisory capacities. For the past three years, I 
have chaired the Coimnittee on Seismology, a standing commitiee of the National Research 
Council that provides the federal government with advice about seismological research and 
practice. I participated in the National Earthquake Strategy Workshop held in June, 1994 by the 
Office of Science and Technology Policy, and I was a member of the Advisory Panel for the 
1995 Office of Technology Assessment study of NEHRP, Reducing Earthquake Losses. I also 
serve as a member of the Advisory Council of the Southern California Earthquake Center 
(SCEQ. 

Earthquakes cause more loss of life and damage to property than any other type of natural 
disaster, and the rapid expansion of large uiijan infrastructures is stcadDy increasiiig the threat erf 
earthquakes to human socrety. The cost of U.S. earthquake damage during this ccntoiy is 
estimated to be forty billion (constant 1994) dollars. It is striking that mote than two-thiids of 
this total resulted fix>m two of the most recent earthquakes, the 1989 Lonm Pricta and 1994 
Northridgc events, both of which were over an order of magnimde smaller than the great 1906 
San Francisco earthquake. During the next several decades it is likely thai large eardtquakes 
will strike one or more urban centers in the United States, inflicting a significant number of 
human casualties and costing at least tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars in damages. (For 
concq^arison, the ItKscs from the recent earthquake near Kobe, Japan, are estimated to be more 
than 5,500 lives and S2(K1 billion.) Although earthquaioes cannot be conoolkd, they can be 
onderstood, and their disastrous effects can be mitigated by a wide variety of actions taken by an 
infonocd pq^ulacc. 



356 



Eaniiquakcji are a very complex phenomenon involving deep-seated geologicaJ processes about 
which wc stUI know very Htile. My tcsomony today will focus on what has been, and I believe 
should continue to be, the central tenet of NEHRP: The most effective foundanon for continued 
national efforts in earthquake hazard reduction is a vigorous, federally funded and coordinated 
program of basic research direaed towards a fundamental understanding of tanliquakes and 
earthquake-related damage . In making this argument, I will address four questions: What has 
been progress in earthquake science during the iwo decades of the IVEHRP? How has this basic 
research contributed to practicai earthquaJce mitigation strategics? What are the prospects for 
further breakthroughs in earthquake science? What new opporwaities in earthquake science 
Should the futnrt NEHRP address? 

Pmgress in EarthQuake Science cnder NEHRP . Prior to the initiaiion of NEHRP in 1977. the 
data on earthquake phenomena were rudimentary. Most seistnic sensors were analog devices 
that could only record signals over a restricted range of frequencies and would go off-scale — ^"hit 
the stops" — during earthquakes of even moderate size; only a few close-in readings of large 
earthquakes had been obtained from special sensors designed to measure ver^' strong ground 
motions. Very little was known, therefore, about the violent ground morions that damage 
buildings and other structures during earthquakes. Ahnost all seismograms were recorded on 
paper, requiriiig a time-consuming hand-transcription to digital fomi before any computer 
amdysis of the signals could be done. Indeed, the comparing capabilities of even the most well 
cqiripped laboratories were primitive by today's standards, so that only the simplest aspects 
earthquake ruptures and seismic wave propagation could be analyzed with quantitadve 
techniques. At that time, the new theory of plate tectonics had already provided a gross 
understanding of where to expect most large earthquakes (on the boundaries between rwo 
moving plates), but the detailed nature of these boundaries, which can extend over broad zones in 
continental regions like the western U.S., had not been cxploird. Moreover, plate tectonics gave 
very little insight into the causes of earthquakes at locations far away from plate boundaries — 
places like Charleston, South Carolina, arid New Madrid, Missouri, which were the sites of huge 
earthquakes during the nineteenth century. Almost nothing was known about the octrttnence of 
prehistoric earthquakes, so very little could be said about how fiequcntly big earthquakes might 
happen on major faults like the San Andreas in California. The U.S. Geological Survey had 
pioneered ground-based geodetic techniques to monitor the buildup of strain on fan\ss (which is 
eventually released by earthquakes), but the collection of geodetic data on the San Andreas and a 
ocher fault systems was restricted by the high expense and limited tange of geodetic 
measurements. Hence, earth scientists were in a poor position to advise engineers and the 
general public abont where, how often, and how strong ground shaking would be; they coukl not 
provide rapid and accurate assessments of what had happened during a large exnfaqaake, nor 
coold they quantitatrvely assess the aftershock risks tmmediatciy foHowing such events. 

Research in earthquake science done under the auspices of NEHRP and other federal programs 
has changed all of this. Seismic networks have been upgraded with high-performance 
instnnncnts having very broad bandwidth and high dynamic range, capable of accurately 
recording both very weak and very strong seismic signals. In some regions like Southern 
CaHfomia, advanced communications now deliver these data to high-performance computers 
rapidly enough to allow seismologists to locate and describe an earthquake within the first few 
minutes after its occurrence, and then to transmit the results in near-real time xo local authorities. 



357 



to lifcUne engineers and critical-service companies, and even to private citizens. An ejitircly new 
technology based on the Global Positioning System (GPS) has been developed that is capable of 
precise, continuous monitoring of strain bnUdup acrtKS well-defined, narrow ftiult zones as well 
as broader, more diffuse belts of dtformaiion. With these data, geophysicists have improved 
dieiT forecasts of which faults will pnxiuce large earthquakes and how often such ruptures will 
occur. 

Long-term forecasts have also been refined by the new discipline of paleoseismology. Through 
careful mapping, trenching, and daring of features within a fault zone, geologists have been able 
to estimate the ages and magnitudes of major prehistoric earthquakes and thus obtain invaluable 
constraints on the probable magnitude and recurrence intervals of future earthquakes. The 
geological structure and seismic potential of the plate-boundary defoimarion zones in the western 
U.S. and Alaska are now much better understood. For example, NEHRP-sponsored structural 
mapping, geodetic measurements, and paleoseismology studies have shown that the Wasatch 
Fault in Utah and the fault systems along the Washington and Oregon coasts are capable of 
generating much stronger earthquakes than indicated by the historical scismicity. Geologisis 
have identified the subsurface structures responsible for intniplate earthquakes in the Mississippi 
Valley and along parts of the Atlantic jnargin; they have also uncovered a new class of buried 
ftnlts — the so-called "blind thrusts" responsible for the 1994 Northridge and 1987 Whiaicr 
Narrows earthquakes — which pose a significant (and previoosiy underestimated) threat to Los 
Angeies and other parts of the western United States. Scismologisis have developed mortt 
sophisticated and successful models of fault friction and earthquaice rupture dynamics, and they 
have achieved a nascent understanding of how the rupture of one fault can enhance or rcdnoc the 
chances of an earthquake happening on another nearby fault. 

Contributions of Earthquake Science to Hazard Mitigation . Recent reviews, including the OTA 
study, have criticized NEHRP for being ineffectual in translating these enormons gains in our 
knowledge of earthquake phenomena into practical strategies for mitigating earthquake hazards. 
It has been aigned that NEHRP has suffered from poor leadership and the lack of effective 
cooftliiianon among the parncipating agencies. While these criticisms are based on some truth, 
they tend to have a superficial, inside- the-beltway concern for the top-down aspects of agency 
management, and their prominence in the recent reviews and congressional testimony has not, in 
my opinion, been balanced by adequate assessments of the steady, boaom-cp progress towards 
NEffilF's goal of reducing earthquake hazards. (The paucity of internal programmatic 
assessments is, of course, among the failures assignable to the participating agencies.) 

The fans are clear NEHRPs investments in earthquake research are already paying out 
substantia] practical divideixls in several areas of pnhlic concern. Consider, for example, the 
tmproveincnts in seismic hazard mapping and long-term earthquake forecasting derived from 
paleoseismolc^ and GPS measurements of strain accumulation. As mentioned above, studies 
using diese techniques have established the Wasatch Front and the Pacific Northwest as areas of 
high confaquakc potentiid, and they have confirmed relatively high intiaplaie defomiation rates 
suspected for the New Madrid region of Missouri, Kenmcky, and Tetuiessee. Armed with this 
information, communittes in some of these areas have enacted more comprehensive hazard- 
mitigation programs, including land-use planning and zoning provisions, more stringent building 
ctxies, and seismic retrofit programs. In high-tisk areas of California, the prioritixations needed 



358 



to implement ihc resource -limited seismic retrofit programs arc being aided by miciozonation 
studies, which combine detailed mapping of near- surface geology with scismographic recordings 
of local earthquakes and probable scenarios of future nipiures to predict where anomalously 
strong shaking, liqoifaction, and ground failure might occur. They provide a rational basis for 
the targeting the most vulnerable struaures for the earliest ictrofirs in programs where the 
resistance to retrofit proposals can be severe and the available dollars arc always much smaller 
than the projected needs. 

The data derived from broad- band, high-dynamic range scismographic instrutnents during n:cent 
California earthquakes arc providing engineers with beuer criteria for designing earthquake - 
resistant structures, including time-histories that take into account the phase as well as the 
amplitude of the groirad shaking. Post-earthquake emergency response has been enhanced by the 
ability to rapidly collect, process, and distribute seismic information to potential users through 
the CUBE system in Sooihem California and the REDI system in Northern California. 
Earthquake early warning systems are under development that can immediately detect and 
broadcast when a major earthquake has occurred, thereby alerting critical facilities to expect 
potentially destructive scisnaic waves. This notification can be done up to tens of seconds prior 
to the wave arrivals, enough time to inidate automatic emergency pioceduies. 

NEHRP's accomplishments also include the establishment of regional working groups, 
comprising caixh scientists, earthquake engineers, and local officials, which act to coonlinate and 
publicize mitigation-related activities. One of the largest and most successful groups is the 
Southern CalifcMTiia Earthquake Center, founded in 1991 and supponed joindy by the U.S. 
Geological Survey and the National Science Foundation. SCEC sponsors research by sdcnii.sLs 
ffoin the uses and a number of U.S. academic institntions, and it engages them in a highly 
coordinated, muiudiscipliuary study of earthquake hazards in Southern CaUfornia. Its research 
tasks include the construction of seismic hazard maps for the entire region, the fcwmulation of 
earthquake scenarios for high risk areas such as Los Angeles and San Bcmadino, and the 
processing of real-rime earthquake iitformation, as well as furulamcntai research on regional 
tectonic processes and earthquake dynamics. Built into the SCEC program is a vigorous set of 
activities aimed at public education and community otrtieach, as well as interfaces to the relevant 
state and local agencies. 

Prospects for Harthouake Science . The new data now being collected by geological field 
investigadons and by high-performance seismic and geodetic itistrumcntation will stimulate 
additional advances in earthquake science and its application to hazard reduinion. For example, 
GPS measurements will yield more (Quantitative assessments of earthquake risk in the eastern 
continental interior, where the historical seismicity is sigttificant bet tends to be distributed in ill- 
defined zones characfisrized by low (and pteviousiy unobserved) strain rates. Dynamical studies 
of complex systems of interacting faults will improve the ability (o antinipatr. the sequencing of 
earthquake activity in very active regions. 

Although there are many other examples, the potential for long-term research gains are perhaps 
best illustrated fay the problem of earthquake prediction. This is highly controversial topic in 
earthquake science. Few would question the notion that, if an earthquake could be accurately 
piediaed in terms of its ditie, location, and magnitude, then much could be done to ceducc its 



359 



potcniia] for damage. But no practicable scheme for this type of short-term earthquake 
prediction has yet been discovered; indeed, it is not known whether earthquakes arc predictable, 
even in principle. In the raid-1970's, there was a heady optimism among some gcoscientists that 
earthquake prediction was just around the comer, and this spirit contributed to the establishment 
of NHfllP. Unfortunately, the theories that underlay this optimisin were poorly supported by 
actual seismic data, and their applicability to the earthquake prediction problem was quickly 
proven (by ^fEHRP-sponsored rcscait:h) to be illnsory. More recently, it has begun to be 
appreciated that the earth's crust may, in many regions, maintain itself in a state very close to 
failoTc, so that a big earthquake might resolt at a moie-or-Iess arbitrary rime from a cascade of 
events nucleated by a vcrj' small iniual earthquake. Based on this thinking (which is again 
theoretical), some gcophysicists have argued that the short-tam prediction of large eanhquakes 
is essentially impossible, because the information that a major rupture is about to happen is not 
encoded into the system. These ideas are consistent with a notable lack of systematic short-term 
precursors for a series of moderate- to-large earthquakes njcorded during the last ten years by 
near-5eld strainmetcrs in California and Japan. 

There is, however, considerable cause for renewed optiinisra regarding the prospects of 
earthquake prediction. First, the advances in long-term earthquake forecasting will permit the 
deployment of various instruments in regions where the probabilides for capturing major 
earthquakes are gi^atest. Obtaining very close-in recordings of such events is critical for 
evaluating more precise prediction schemes. Second, statistical algorithms have been developed 
by Russian scientists for intcrmcdiatc-tcrm earthquake prediction (i.e., on time scales of months 
to years) that are based on the subtle, large-scale behavioral patterns now thought to be 
characteristic of complex systems approaching the point of failure. These algtwithms arc still 
being refined and evaluated, but prclirainary results suggest that they may have some prctiictivc 
skill. Rnally, there have been a series of observations in the U.S. and elsewhere which suggest 
thai the preparation zone for major earthquakes may be large enough to generate detectable 
precursors hours, days, or even months prior to the event. One of the most exciting studies was 
recently published in Science by BUI Ellsworth of the USGS and Greg Beroza of Stanford 
University, who used data from the new generation of high-performance seismographs to 
measure the properties of a distinctive, but previously unstudied, seismic nucleatioo phase. 
(Trticsc phases could not be detected on older instruments, because they were driven crff scale by 
cveuts of even moderate magnitude.) Ellsworth and Beroza show that the size and duration of 
the unclcation phase scale with the eventual magnittide of the earthquake. If this concl«»ion 
survives the intense scrutiny it is now receiving, then the information that a msijar rupttire is 
about to occur is eiKXxled into the system, and the prospects are brighter that at least soaie 
eaithqtiakes might be short-term predictable. 

The Funire of NEHRP . At present, we must simply admit that we just do not know which types 
of earthquakes, if any, are short-term predictable. Moreover, we must rccoginze that the useful 
prediction algorithms are at best years away and, at wtjrst, completely unattainable. But our 
society cannot afford a Icisitrcly, unfocused approach to the diffjculi questions surrounding the 
issue of earthquake prediction . The new NEHRP shoold intensify the integrated, 
maltidisciplinary efforts aimed at evaluating eanhqtiakc predictability in a variety of geological 
settings. RcscaR± centers like SCEC should be established in other aieas of high seismic 
activity, and the instnunental networks for close-m monitoring of this activity should be 



360 



upgraded and expanded. New technologies like dense arrays of continuously lecotding GPS 
stations should be deployed. Field observation^i by teams of geologists should be supported with 
adequate funds for extensive mapping and trenching. Theoretical work on the physics of the 
earthquake rupture process and its interactions with fluid systems in the crust should be 
accelerated thnjugii the increased use of simulaiion codes now installed on high-perftmnance 
computers. And more cooperation widi research efforts in other at-risk countries should be 
fostered through substantial VS. participation in programs like the U.N.-sponsored International 
Decade of Natural Disaster Reduction. Considerably more emphasis should be placed on the 
stiaiy of earthquakes occurring outside the borders of the United States, because such studies can 
snbstantlally increase the diversity of earthquake types for which good data sets arc available. 

The first 17 years of NEHRPhavc cost the American taxpayer just under $1.3 billion. NEHRP 
has been an unequivocal success in the technical areas it was intended to addicss, and it will 
generate etajnomic letnms with a much greater dollar value in the form of reduced earthquake 
losses. Given the increasing threat that eanhquakes pose to our population centers, thete is a 
clear argument for a modest bat steady incrca-sc in the NEHRP budget over the next three years 
to allow the ptrogram to take advantage of the outsnnding research opportunities, as well as to 
expand its prognnns for implementing mitigation strategics. 



361 

Mr. Baker. And, thank you. Dr. Somerville. 

STATEMENT OF DR. PAUL SOMERVILLE, ENGINEERING SEIS- 
MOLOGIST, WOODWARD-CLYDE FEDERAL SERVICES, PASA- 
DENA, CALIFORNIA 

Mr. Somerville. Thank you. My name is Paul Somerville. I 
work for a geotechnical engineering consulting firm. 

I was a member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Insti- 
tute's delegation to a conference in Osaka, Japan when the Kobe 
earthquake struck about 15 miles away from where the conference 
was being held. The title of the conference was the "Fourth U.S./ 
Japan Workshop on Urban Earthquake Hazard Mitigation." 

So, I just want to focus my remarks on one topic, which is the 
Kobe earthquake and what it means for us in the United States. 
To do that, I want to use the viewgraphs. 

And, let me begin with the Northridge earthquake, which one 
might think of as being a comparable event. But, I want to show 
you the ways in which it is not comparable. 

This is a map of the Los Angeles region. And, this shows three 
things. 

First of all, this rectangle is the fault that ruptured during the 
Northridge earthquake. It's about 14 miles beneath Northridge and 
about four miles beneath the mountains here north of the San Fer- 
nando Valley. 

The second thing the map shows is in these hash regions Eire 
places where the dense urban zones are in the L.A. region. This is 
the San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica, west Los Angeles and 
downtown Los Angeles. 

The third thing it shows are these dots. And, these dots rep- 
resent the peak ground velocity recorded during the earthquake. 

Now, you can see from this map that the size of the dots in the 
dense urban region is quite small. The big ground motions were re- 
corded up here, more or less out of harm's way, north of the San 
Fernando Valley. 

And, they are big there because the rupture propagated from 
depth up towards the surface. And, this is where the freeways fell 
down and steel buildings were severely racked in this locality. 

But, by and large, you would say this was a near miss. Now, in 
contrast with that picture from Northridge, this is the picture from 
Kobe. 

It's showing the dense urban region, which is this hash zone 
here. The fault now is a vertical fault that is shown by these lines 
here. 

And, Kobe is this region here. And, the dots, again, are showing 
how strong the ground motion was. 

Now, in this case, you can see that the largest recorded peak ve- 
locities were in the dense urban region. And, they were big, be- 
cause the rupture propagated directly into this dense urban region. 

The estimated losses from this earthquake are about $125 bil- 
lion. And, from Northridge, about $25 billion. So, it makes a factor 
of about five difference or so in loss. 

Now, if you turn this map around a little bit like this, it bears 
an uncanny resemblance to Oakland, California. 

[Laughter.] 



362 

Mr. SOMERVILLE. And, the point I want to make is that there are 
many regions in the United States that are just as vulnerable, if 
not more so than Kobe, because these kinds of earthquakes actu- 
ally occur more frequently than we think they occur in Kobe. So, 
the issue is that we may be facing losses in individual earthquakes 
in the United States that may amount to $125 billion. 

I have addressed in my testimony all the questions that were 
raised to be addressed in the invitation that I received in my invi- 
tation to appear here. But, I don't have time to go into all of those. 
I will just answer one of them. 

Before I do that, let me quickly show this figure. This is from the 
Architectural Institute of Japan. 

This is describing some damage statistics in the Kobe earth- 
quake. The top figure is for concrete structures and the bottom fig- 
ure is for steel structures. 

The color code is sort of like a building tag. Blue is slight damage 
or no damage. Green is minor damage. Yellow is moderate damage. 
And, red is collapse or severe damage. 

And, the three histograms are for different time periods. Before 
1971 is here. Then, 1972 to 1981 is here. And, then 1982 and be- 
yond is here. 

Now, these divisions are based on changes and upgrades in 
building codes in Japan. And, you can see there is a dramatic im- 
provement in the performance of these structures as we progress 
towards the present time. 

In other words, building codes in Japan have been extremely ef- 
fective in reducing the ratio of severe damage or collapsed build- 
ings, as you see in the vanishing or rapidly decreasing amount of 
red in these figures. So, I think this is a very clear lesson which 
may be applicable to us, too, that building codes really can have 
a very important effect on reducing damage. 

And, finally, I want to answer just one of the questions that was 
posed in my invitation to address this Subcommittee. And, it is. 
Does the Federal Government need to put more teeth into earth- 
quake hazards reduction? If yes, what is the best way to achieve 
results? 

And, so my answer is. Yes, more teeth are needed in earthquake 
risk reduction. The experience of the Kobe earthquake of January 
17, 1995 suggests that the United States may incur direct economic 
losses of $100 billion or more from moderate magnitude earth- 
quakes occurring within urban communities, in addition to loss of 
life and indirect economic losses. 

I do not think that the resources that are committed to earth- 
quake risk reduction in the United States are commensurate with 
this very high level of risk to life and economic health. The only 
comparable external threat to our society, short of war, is AIDS. To 
date, the direct cost of dealing with AIDS in the United States has 
been $75 biUion. 

So, what are the best ways to achieve results? 

Mr. Baker. Let me assure you that all of your questions will be 
answered as you submit your testimony. 

Mr. SOMERVILLE. Okay. 

Mr. Baker. So, you don't have to show them to us. 

Mr. SOMERVILLE. I have just a few more. 



363 

Mr. Baker. You don't have a map of the Loma Prieta earthquake 
to show where the fault is in relation to the population center? 

Mr. SOMERVILLE. No. But, if I did, it would show that most of 
the damage occurred about 90 or so kilometers away from the epi- 
central region of that earthquake. 

So, there was what I would call a "far miss" where the earth- 
quake was located quite remotely from the epic region but still very 
severe damage was done with collapsed bridges and so forth. 

Let me quickly finish here. I think these are important points. 

The best way to achieve results are to introduce legislation that 
mandates or provides financial incentives for the adoption of codes 
and the implementation of mitigation measures. And, that's the 
same topic that Dr. Anderson addresses. 

Provide better coordination of applied research and involve re- 
searchers and practicing professionals jointly in focused applied re- 
search projects like the SAC joint venture. Fund activities such as 
seismic microzonation that identify zones of special vulnerability to 
seismic hazards and thereby help to prioritize hazard mitigation 
work. 

Fund studies aimed at understanding the causes of the large 
amount of damage caused by the Kobe earthquake and whether 
such damage would occur during earthquakes in the United States. 
There are two more to go. 

Provide better mechanism for the development of building codes, 
which are revised every three years. The appropriate development 
of these codes should be less dependent on the voluntary contribu- 
tion of free time by busy practicing professionals, like me, and 
more dependent on a rigorously reviewed and adequately funded 
process involving the collaboration of practicing professionals and 
researchers. Future codes need to be performgmce based and ad- 
dress non- structural as well as structural damage. 

Finally, provide adequate funding for pure research, applied re- 
search and development and implementation. The NEHRP pro- 
gram consists of a very capable and committed community of pro- 
fessionals, but their productivity is severely limited by a shortage 
of funds to support research and its implementation. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Dr. Somerville follows:] 



364 



SUBCOMMITTEE ON BASIC RESEARCH 

COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE 

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 



HEARING ON THE NATIONAL EARTHQUAKE HAZARDS REDUCTION 

PROGRAM 



October 24, 1995 

Testimony prepared by 

Paul Somerville 

Engineering Seismologist 

Woodward-Clyde Federal Services 

Pasadena, CA 



365 



This testimony is in the form of responses to questions, reproduced in boldface, 
contained in the hearing charter. 



What has been learned from the Northridge and Kobe earthquakes? 

Kobe 

The 1995 earthquake ruptured directly into and underneath downtown Kobe. The 
focussing effect caused by rupture propagating toward Kobe produced almost the most 
severe ground shaking levels possible, causing effects that resemble a worst case 
earthquake scenario. The toll from the Kobe earthquake was 5,368 dead and 26,815 
injured. It is estimated that 144,032 buildings were destroyed by ground shaking and 
7,456 buildings were destroyed by fire. The number of homeless people requiring 
shelter was approximately 300,000, which is 20% of the population of Kobe. Current 
estimates of direct losses in this city of 1.5 million people lie between $100 to $150 
billion. This does not include the loss of building contents, or indirect economic losses 
due to dislocation caused by the earthquake. 

The fault on which the Kobe earthquake occurred had been clearly idenhfied as 
a seismic hazard by earth scientists in the 1970's. Government agencies and the public 
alike were surprised by the earthquake, however, reflecting the conventional wisdom 
that earthquakes don't occur in the Kansai District (Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto). It appears 
that the national government was preoccupied with the seemingly larger and more 
imminent seismic hazard in and near Tokyo (where very damaging earthquakes occur 
about once every one hundred years), and ignored the hazard in the Kansai district 
where the frequency of occurrence of very damaging earthquakes may be closer to once 
every one thousand years. 

About one-third of all low rise residential and commercial and one-sixth of all 
mid rise buildings located within 3 miles of the fault in Kobe collapsed or were severely 
damaged. Levels of damage to reinforced concrete and steel buildings were dramatically 
lower with successive upgrades in building codes in 1971 and 1981, demonstrating the 
effectiveness of improvements of buildings codes as a long term mitigation measure. 
The performance of bridges was worse than that of buildings, because ductile design 
procedures of the kind introduced for buildings had not been implemented for bridges. 
Many older bridges collapsed catastrophically and many new bridges were severely 
damaged. The Kobe earthquake shows that even in a technologically advanced and 



366 



seismically vulnerable country like Japan, engineers are just beginning to learn how to 
effectively design structures to withstand earthquakes. 

Differences between Kobe and Northridge 

The Kobe earthquake was similar to earthquakes that occur in California, and the 
largest ground motion levels recorded in Kobe are similar to those of the Northridge 
earthquake. What then explains the much larger level of damage in Kobe ($100 to $150 
billion) than Northridge ($25 billion)? While low-rise residential buildings in Kobe may 
have been weaker than their counterparts in Northridge, most engineers consider that 
other structures in Kobe were of comparable strength to those in Northridge. The much 
larger level of damage in Kobe was probably caused by the very large ground motion 
levels in the dense urban region, due to the rupture of the earthquake directly into this 
region. 

As shown in Figure 1, the largest peak ground velocities recorded from the Kobe 
earthquake were in the dense urban region. Equally large peak ground velocities were 
recorded during the 1994 Northridge earthquake, as shown in Figure 2. However, the 
Northridge earthquake ruptured updip and to the north, so the largest ground motions 
occurred on the northern fringe of the dense urban region, not at its center. Although 
the Northridge earthquake occurred beneath an urban region, almost all of the faulting 
occurred at depths greater than 5 miles, and the majority of multi-story buildings in the 
San Fernando Valley were at least 10 miles from the fault due to their location in the 
southern part of the Valley. With the principal exception of the freeway bridges in the 
northern San Fernando Valley, large structures in the Los Angeles region were not 
subjected to the large near-fault ground motions that downtown Kobe experienced. 

Can a Kobe damage scenario occur in the United States? 

I think so, but this question should be the subject of urgent and intensive research, 
because an affirmative answer would have important implicatior\s for policy decisions 
concerning the reduction of earthquake risk in the United States. The conditions that 
gave rise to the large ground motions in Kobe exist in San Diego, San Bernardino, 
downtown Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, and Oakland, and were presumably present 
in the 1906 San Francisco and 1933 Long Beach earthquakes, to name just a few locations 
in just one state. Unlike the Kobe earthquake, recent earthquakes in California have not 
ruptured directly into dense urban regions, but instead have occurred on the fringes of 
dense urban regions. Like the Kobe earthquake, most have occurred at favorable times 



367 



of day (very early morning) and under favorable wind conditions (preventing the spread 
of fire). 

One of the important lessons from the Kobe earthquake is that devastating 
earthquakes can occur in regions of relatively low seismic activity, like most of the 
United States east of the Rocky Mountains. These regions tend to be especially 
vulnerable to earthquakes because of the low perceived level of hazard. 

A more detailed discussion of the implications of the Kobe earthquake for seismic 
hazard mitigation in the United States is provided in Structural Engineers Association 
of Northern California (1995). 

Northridge 

The small number of building collapses during the Northridge earthquake signals 
the success of structural engineering in meeting the goals of current building codes, 
which are to prevent loss of life by preventing collapse. But the huge economic loss of 
$25 billion shows that the goals of the code must be broadened beyond the protection 
of life safety to include reduction of economic losses. The earthquake engineering 
community is already embarking on this task of developing "performance based design," 
the goal of which is to prevent economic losses and in some cases prevent interruption 
of operation of the facility. To achieve this objective, structural engineers recognize that 
they need to go back to basics and learn how to imderstand and predict the performance 
of buildings during earthquakes. They also have to place more emphasis on how to 
reduce losses due to non-structural damage (i.e. architectural and contents damage),, 
which exceeded the losses due to structural damage in the Northridge earthquake. This 
will require the adequate funding of researchers and design professionals working 
together in applied research projects like the SAC Joint Venture Project described below. 



Did Northridge shed any light on the effectiveness of the NEHRP programs? 

Yes. When the magnitude 6 Whittier Narrows earthquake occurred on a blind 
thrust fault beneath Los Angeles in 1987, little was known about the kind of fault on 
which it occurred because these faults do not reach the earth's surface. Since then, 
much progess has been made by NEHRP-funded earth scientists in understanding blind 
thrust faults. However, the fact that the 1994 Northridge earthquake occurred on a blind 
thrust fault that had not been identified illustrates the need for ongoing research. 



368 



As another example, the strong ground motions recorded during the Northridge 
earthquake were 50% larger than those predicted based on strong motion data recorded 
during past earthquakes. But methods for predicting strong ground motions based on 
seismological models, developed by NEHRP-funded seismologists, showed that the 
recorded ground motions were predictable from such models. However, much remains 
to be learned about whether the localized zones of concentrated damage caused by the 
Northridge earthquake are attributable to local geological conditions, and if so how these 
local conditions amplified the ground motions. 

The brittle failures that occurred in the moment frame connections of steel 
buildings during the Northridge earthquake was a surprise to most structural engineers. 
The FEMA-sponsored SAC Joint Venture Project, whose objective is to reduce seismic 
hazards in steel moment frame buildings in the aftermath of the Northridge earthquake, 
is a model of how applied research projects involving the collaboration of researchers 
and practicing professionals should be conducted. It is a joint venture between the 
Structural Engineers' Association of California, the Applied Technology Council, and the 
California Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering. Interim guidelines for 
the evaluation, repair, modification and design of welded steel moment frame structures 
are provided in a report released in August 1995 (SAC Joint Venture, 1995). 



Is NEHRP research user driven? 

Some NEHRP research is user driven. An example is the National Earthquake 
Ground Motion Mapping Project sponsored by the USGS, which provides input into the 
development of seismic provisions for national building codes. Another is the SAC Joint 
Venture Project mentioned above. However, much NEHRP research is driven more by 
the interests of researchers than by the needs of users, and consequently much of it does 
not have and may never have the potential for practical application. Also, the NEHRP 
agencies that fimd research are not currently well set up to manage applied research. 
One way of enhancing the relevance of research and enhancing its implementation is to 
involve more practicing professionals in applied research following the model of the 
SAC Joint Venture. 



369 



Should the NEHRP program emphasize short-term, applied research such as 
microzonation rather than improving basic earth science knowledge? 

It needs to do both: to improve basic earth science knowledge and to support 
applied research. There is a danger that basic research will be neglected if too much 
emphasis is placed on short-term applied research. I expect that what we learn from 
basic research in the next few decades will be much more useful for seismic hazard 
mitigation than what we know now. At the same time, I think that microzonation is a 
potentially very effective short-term tool for risk mitigation. 

Microzonation is the mapping of seismic hazards, expressed in relative or absolute 
terms, on an urban block-by-block scale, based on local conditions (such as soil types) 
that affect ground shaking levels or vulnerability to soil liquefaction. It is motivated by 
the observation, common to all earthquake disasters, that severe damage tends to be 
concentrated in discrete zones which may be separated by relatively unscathed regions. 
By identifing the localities within a region which are most subject to seismic hazards, it 
provides an effective means of prioritizing mitigation actions which may otherwise be 
financially or administratively unmanageable in scope. 



There has been criticism that many of the technologies and practices developed have 
not been implemented and that research is far ahead of implementation. 

It may be that much research lacks practical relevance, but I do not think that 
research is far ahead of implementation. On the contrary, in many areas the technical, 
questions are beyond our present capacity to give useful answers, and research is only 
beginning to produce findings that can be implemented. Some of these basic research 
problems are: What is the physics of earthquakes, and how can we predict earthquakes 
and their effects? How can we realistically model the behavior of structures during 
earthquakes? How can we economically reinforce existing structures? How can 
sociological knowledge be used to enhance the effectiveness of earthquake preparedness, 
earthquake response, and the implementation of mitigation measures? 



Is laboratory research adequate for testing welded steel structures? 

See testimony by Dr Dan Abrams. 



370 



There has been criticism that NEHRF lacks clear goals and strategies, that the program 
is disjointed, and that each agency is pursuing uncoordinated activites based primarily 
upon its own agency mission. 

The OSTP report addresses many of the organizational issues raised here. I think 
that one of the best ways to have better integrated and implemented research is to use 
the kind of collaboration between university researchers and practicing professionals 
that forms the basis of the SAC Joint Venture Project. 



Does the Federal Government need to put more teeth into earthquake hazard 
reduction. If yes, what is the best way to achieve results? 

Yes, more teeth are needed in earthquake risk reduction. The experience of the 
Kobe earthquake of January 17, 1995 suggests that the United States may incur direct 
economic losses of $100 billion dollars or more from moderate magnitude earthquakes 
occurring within urban communities, in addition to loss of life and indirect economic 
losses (see preceding discussion). 1 do not think that the resources that are committed 
to earthquake risk reduction in the United States are commensurate with this very high 
level of risk to life and economic health. The only comparable external threat to our 
society, short of war, is AIDS. To date, the direct cost of dealing with AIDS in the 
United States has been $75 billion. 

The best ways to achieve results are: 

Introduce legislation that mandates or provides financial incentives for the adoption of 
codes and the implementation of mitigation measures. See testimony by Dr Thomas 
Anderson. 

Provide better coordination of applied research, and involve researchers and practicing 
professionals jointly infocussed applied research projects like the SAC Joint Venture. 

Fund activities such as seismic microzonation that identify zones of special 
vulnerability to seismic hazards and thereby help to prioritize hazard mitigation work. 

Fund studies aimed at understanding the causes of the large amount of damage caused 
by the Kobe earthquake, and whether such damage could occur during earthquakes in 
the United States. 



371 



Provide better mechanisms for the development of building codes, which are revised 
every three years. The appropriate development of these codes should be less dependent 
on the voluntary contribution of free time by busy practicing professionals, and more 
dependent on a rigorously revieived and adequately funded process involving the 
collaboration of practicing professionals and researchers. Future codes need to be 
performance based, and address non-structural as well as structural damage. 

Provide adequate funding for pure research, applied research and development, and 
implementation. The NEHRP program consists of a very capable and committed 
community of professionals, but their productivity is being severely limited by a 
shortage of funds to support research and its implementation. 



References 

SAC Joint Venture (1995). Interim guidelines: evaluation, repair, modification, and 
design of welded steel moment frame structures. Report No. SAC-95-02; FEMA 
Report 267. 

Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (1995). Engineering implications 
of the Jan