Seismic amplification effects and soil-to-structure interaction study nearby a fault zone: the Tremestieri fault and Madre Teresa di Calcutta School (Catania)

Mario Paratore, Luciano Zuccarello, Giuseppina Tusa, Danilo Contrafatto, Domenico Patané


Results of passive seismic surveys, in terms of both amplification and polarization effects in a section of the Tremestieri Etneo Fault (Sicily Eastern center - Catania) are discussed. For the purpose, velocimetric and accelerometric records of seismic ambient noise were analyzed. The polarization analysis of particle motion was performed and azimuthally dependent resonant frequencies were estimated. Ambient noise data were also used to assess the dynamic properties of a reinforced concrete building, located on the fault zone. The fundamental modes have been estimated through ambient noise recordings acquired by three-directional accelerometers, installed at the highest accessible floor and outside the building. The study revealed a clear oriented seismic amplification in the fault zone. This effect was observed in intensely jointed rock masses, located inside the fault area, as the result of specific geometries and significant directional impedance contrasts characterizing the area under study. The analyses show that the direction of the largest resonance motions has transversal relationship with the dominant fracture orientation. The directional amplification is inferred to be produced by stiffness anisotropy of the fault damage zone, with larger seismic motions high angle to the fractures. The results obtained are in complete agreement with those obtained by a previous study which analyzed the fault section located to the north-west. Finally, comparing the dynamic properties of the school building and the vibrational characteristics of the soil in the direction of maximum amplification, no clear resonant effect in the soil-structure interaction has been observed.

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X