Reconnaissance and Preliminary Observations of Bridge Damage in the Great Wenchuan Earthquake, China

The devastating Wenchuan earthquake occurred on a strip zone between the front of Longmen Mountain range and the northwestern margin of Sichuan Basin. It had a high seismic intensity and a broad quake-felt zone, with a shallow epicentral depth and thrust faults, causing substantial damage to bridges. Based on field reconnaissance and other pertinent resources, the destruction scenarios of five severely damaged bridges located at the major faults were expounded and investigated in this article. It was observed that many severe damages to the near-fault bridges were the result of a combination of permanent displacement of fault rupture, quake-induced geological hazards, and strong ground motion. The damage patterns of the bridges could be complete or partly collapse, unfavorable deformation or cracks in piers or abutments, and pounding damages between different parts of the bridge. Finally, preliminary observations are made on aspects of the seismic standard, structural vulnerability, detailing and conceptual design. (A)


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  • Accession Number: 01141225
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: TRL
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Sep 30 2009 9:12AM