How will 3 buildings, engineered equally, on different bedrock react to an earthquake?


University of Washington 
Related Animations 
USGS Amplification 
USGS Liquefaction


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Ampification and liquefaction of buildings on different bedrock

Highly generalized animation reflects the arrivals of P, S, and surface waves to 3 closely spaced buildings.  Exaggerated movement of the buildings reflects the relative motion recorded by the seismograms. The 4th building on the beach shows the effect of liquefaction of underlying sediment. Animation ends with actual seismograms from buildings on solid bedrock and sediment fill equal distance from the 1989 Loma Prieta M7 earthquake. Original music by Jesse Gay, Portland OR.

Quicktime (5.88 MB)

Liquefaction and sinking building

Cutaway animation of how liquefaction of compacted sediment in the San Francisco area led to the tilting of houses during the 1906 earthquake. Tilted Victorian home at Howard and 17th Streets in the Mission District of San Francisco showing liquefaction-related damage from the 1906 earthquake. This area is underlain by marsh deposits that were covered by artificial fill in the middle to late 1800s. The earthquake shaking caused the artificial fill to liquefy and lose its ability to support the house.(Photograph by G.K. Gilbert of the U.S. Geological Survey; description from USGS).

Quicktime (3.27 MB)

Sand Boil Forms during 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake

Sand Boil—sand-laden water can be ejected from a buried liquefied layer and erupt at the surface to form sand volcanoes; the surrounding ground often fractures and settles. Definition & photo from USGS.

Quicktime (2.47 MB)

Sand Blows and the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812

Animations and videos are made in partnership with Earthscope, USGS, and Volcano Video & Graphics.

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