Ground conditions

The earthquake response of structures is significantly affected by the underlying soil condition. Clause 3.1.1 In this section, general guidelines and requisites for ground conditions are provided. The properties of the ground type at a given site can be characterized through adequate geotechnical investigations, in situ and/or in the laboratory. Rules for the identification of ground types are given in a simplified fashion in clause 3.1.1 of EN 1998-1. Guidance for soil investigations and classification can be found in clause 4.2 of EN 1998-5.

Earthquakes may cause several types of ground effects, which can be either direct or indirect (Fig. 3.1); large ground deformations are a serious contributor to the damage of structural systems.

Generally, seismic hazard due to direct ground effects can be prevented by defining requisites for sound construction sites. Clause 3.1.1 {3) of EN 1998-1 states that the occurrence of ground rupture, slope instability and permanent settlements caused by liquefaction or

Fig. 3.1. Direct and indirect ground effects caused by earthquakes

densification in the event of an earthquake should be avoided by means of thorough investigation carried out in compliance with Section 4 of EN 1998-5.

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