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Project Team:

Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering; University at Buffalo

Jianwei Song

Senior Research Scientist;
Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering;
University at Buffalo

Yihui Zhou

Research Scientist;
Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering;
University at Buffalo

International Research Partners
Kunitomo Sugiura, Kyoto University

Yasuo Kitane, Nagoya University




National Science Foundation


Investigation of Cascading Effects of the 2011 Japan Earthquake to Structural Damage of Bridges

This Rapid Response Research (RAPID) award provides funding to carry out an exploratory study focused on modeling the structural damage to selected bridges subjected to long duration, high intensity earthquakes (including both the mainshock alone and the mainshock plus aftershocks), and a strong earthquake followed by tsunami wave force using actual input data from the March 11, 2011 Japan earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku. The project team will work with research partners in Japan who are collecting ground motion and tsunami wave force records as well as other useful perishable information; and will identify instrumented and damaged bridges that are suitable for preliminary investigations on the correlation between structural damage and long duration earthquake load effects as well those due to cascading hazard effects. Based on the available information, special emphasis for field data collection in this exploratory study will include some or all of the following:

The results of this exploratory research will be shared with NSF to consider future research opportunities related to multiple extreme hazard (including cascading events) mitigation of civil infrastructure systems. The study will also contribute to continued US-Japan cooperative earthquake engineering research activities and expand their scope to include multiple extreme event engineering. Additionally, this study will provide an opportunity to train post-doctoral and graduate students to understand the complex nature and challenges associated with developing multi-hazard resilient structures.