Site effects and associated structural damage analysis in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

  • Gautam, Dipendra (Structural and Earthquake Engineering Research Institute) ;
  • Forte, Giovanni (DICEA Department, Universita degli Studi di Napoli Federico II) ;
  • Rodrigues, Hugo (RISCO, School of Technology and Management, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria)
  • Received : 2015.11.20
  • Accepted : 2016.03.31
  • Published : 2016.05.25


Several historical earthquakes demonstrated that local amplification and soil nonlinearity are responsible for the uneven damage pattern of the structures and lifelines. On April $25^{th}$ 2015 the Mw7.8 Gorkha earthquake stroke Nepal and neighboring countries, and caused extensive damages throughout Kathmandu valley. In this paper, comparative studies between equivalent-linear and nonlinear seismic site response analyses in five affected strategic locations are performed in order to relate the soil behavior with the observed structural damage. The acceleration response spectra and soil amplification are compared in both approaches and found that the nonlinear analysis better represented the observed damage scenario. Higher values of peak ground acceleration (PGA) and higher spectral acceleration have characterized the intense damage in three study sites and the lower values have also shown agreement with less to insignificant damages in the other two sites. In equivalent linear analysis PGA varies between 0.29 to 0.47 g, meanwhile in case of nonlinear analysis it ranges from 0.17 to 0.46 g. It is verified from both analyses that the PGA map provided by the USGS for the southern part of Kathmandu valley is not properly representative, in contrary of the northern part. Similarly, the peak spectral amplification in case of equivalent linear analysis is estimated to be varying between 2.3 to 3.8, however in case of nonlinear analysis, the variation is observed in between 8.9 to 18.2. Both the equivalent linear and nonlinear analysis have depicted the soil fundamental period as 0.4 and 0.5 sec for the studied locations and subsequent analysis for seismic demands are correlated.


site response analysis;structural damage;EERA;NERA;seismic demand;Gorkha Earthquake;Kathmandu valley


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