Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Seismic guidance for port designers

NEW DESIGN guidance, launched at the ICE last month, aims to help engineers assess earthquake risks more thoroughly when designing port structures.

Seismic design of port structures - international guidelines has been put together following the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan, and will highlight dangers posed to structures by ground liquefaction.

Ground liquefaction at Kobe port led to collapse and subsidence of cranes, buildings and quay walls, putting the port out of operation for months with permanent loss of trade.

Many of the structural failures seen at Kobe are common to other ports in areas of high seismic activity, said Scott Steedman, a director of UK consultant Whitby Bird and author of the guidelines.

Problems arise because designers are ignorant about soil mechanics and the ways different foundation types will interact with the ground when earthquakes strike, Steedman claimed.

No existing design codes clearly set out the risks of building ports in seismic regions. As a result structures are either underdesigned and at risk, or overdesigned and unnecessarily expensive.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.