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How do seismic waves affect buildings?

Last updated date: 20th Jul 2024
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Hint: Seismic waves are powerful waves of energy that travel through the layers of the Earth and cause earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. They are broadly divided into body waves and surface waves.

Complete answer: Seismic waves have a specific frequency in which they travel. When the seismic wave's frequency approximates or is similar to the building's natural frequency, resonance takes place and the buildings get affected. Therefore, the energy gets transmitted to the building at tremendous efficiencies.
- Small buildings are affected more by the high frequency waves. They undergo more quivering by high frequency tremor.
- Large or high rise buildings are more pretentious by long duration, or slow trembling.
- Similarly, a skyscraper will uphold greater trembling by long period earthquake waves, than by the shorter waves.
- Even if the frequencies do not approximate, the sheer existence of the waves may cause buildings with unstable foundations to be demolished, due to their incapability to regulate the pressure at the bottom.

Note: The Northridge fault had resulted in one fraction of bridge to shift 10 feet from the south side of the bridge. Valdivia earthquake was the largest earthquake experienced by the world which had recorded a magnitude of 9.5.