Earthquake engineering

With ever increasing global urbanisation and industrialisation, the risks caused by natural or induced seismicity are increasing as well. In order to prevent loss of human lives and reduce economical damage it is necessary to understand and quantify the performance of structures and facilities during a seismic event.

During the last decades, great advances have taken place in the understanding of the fundamentals of seismic activity and its effects on soil and structures. Witteveen+Bos has played an active role growing knowledge in this field of expertise, especially focusing on the practical implementation of this new knowledge in our designs. In this way, we can help our clients by delivering designs and consultancy services that take into account the latest knowledge on earthquake engineering, eventually reducing undesirable risks of seismically induced failure or damages. We have carried out a wide range of seismic-related engineering and consultancy services worldwide for various structures and facilities (i.e. ports, coastal-protection structures, land reclamations, deep foundations, excavations, tunnels, bridges, storage tanks) over the past years. Some recent examples are:

  • Seismic design of the quay wall structures at Baku New International Sea Trade Port including ground response, fully nonlinear dynamic analyses of quay wall structures with FEM and liquefaction hazard assessment and mitigation design in Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Evaluation of the seismic resistance and liquefaction potential of the subsoil for several breakwaters at Constanta, Romania
  • Seismic design of a jetty and the foundation of storage tanks at the coast of the Sea of Marmara, Turkey
  • Dynamic analyses of the seismic resistance of land reclamation near Pluit City, Jakarta Indonesia
  • Site-dependent probabilistic hazard analysis at Sharq Crossing, Doha, Qatar. As part of TEC (Tunnel Engineering Consultants)
  • Research on possible impacts (induced seismicity) of shale gas exploration in The Netherlands.
  • Seismic resistance evaluation  of storage tanks at Vopak terminal Eemshaven in the province of Groningen, the Netherlands

Valuable tools

Our experts have proven to be able to provide valuable tools at every stage of a project. Starting with the provision of decision-making tools during an initiation phase (i.e. location selection), continuing with delivering seismic-resistant designs during preparation and execution phases, and after construction by evaluating seismic performance of existing structures.

More specifically, our seismic-related services are:

  • seismic hazard identification and quantification (natural and/or induced, liquefaction)
  • seismic-resistant design approach definition
  • ground response analysis during earthquakes or other vibrations
  • co-seismic deformation analyses of slopes and sloping structures (e.g. retaining walls)
  • seismic design of structures (soil-structure interaction and structural seismic analysis)
  • mitigation, instrumentation and monitoring solutions.