Post-earthquake damage assessment, earthquake damage repair and seismic vulnerability assessment of the Washington Monument: Semm Seminar

Seminar | April 9 | 12-1 p.m. | 502 Davis Hall

 Terrence Paret, Wiss, Janey, Elstner Assoc. Inc.

 Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE)

On August 23, 2011, the Washington Monument was subjected to ground shaking from the Magnitude 5.8 Mineral, Virginia earthquake, whose epicenter was roughly 80 miles from the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Shaking of the 555-foot tall unreinforced stone masonry structure resulted in damage, most significantly to the pyramidion, the construction comprising its upper 55 feet. A comprehensive post-earthquake damage assessment employing rope access inventoried the damage over the full height of the monument and that information was used as the basis for the repair of the earthquake damage addressed potential concerns relating to its behavior during future earthquakes. The assessment focused on the monument’s three distinct structural regions; its pyramidion, shaft, and foundation.