Tse-Shan Hsu

President, Institute of Mitigation for Earthquake Shear Banding Disasters

Professor, Feng-Chia University, Taiwan, R.O.C., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hsin-Mao Wang, Yu-Chien Wu

Ph.D. Students, Ph.D. Program for Infrastructure Planning and Engineering, 

Feng-Chia University, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Ching-Chang Lin, Da-Jie Lin

Associate Professors, Feng-Chia University, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Zong-Lin Wu  

Assistant Professor, National Chin-Yi University of Technology, Taiwan, R.O.C


The seismic design codes for buildings in various countries have been revised repeatedly, and the fortification level against ground vibrations has continually increased. Despite this, a large number of building failures continue to be induced by tectonic earthquakes. For example, the Turkey-Syria earthquake resulted in building failures, which were attributed to inadequate vibration resistance by Taiwanese scholars and experts. In this study, the major cause of building failure due to the tectonic earthquake in Turkey were comprehensively investigated. The study reveals that similar seismic design codes are used in Turkey and other countries in earthquake zones, focusing solely on fortification against ground vibrations due to tectonic earthquakes. Secondly, buildings can maintain seismic conditions when subjected only to ground vibrations and the seismic conditions change to non-seismic conditions when the buildings are subjected to shear banding. Thirdly, building failures occur during tectonic earthquakes because the assumptions in the design code formula for the ultimate bearing capacity of building foundations are inconsistent with facts. Fourthly, in the building foundation formula in the design code, the assumptions lead to severe overestimation of the ultimate bearing capacity, resulting in building failure due to shear banding during tectonic earthquakes. Based on the above four findings, the seismic design codes for buildings should incorporate guidelines on fortification against shear banding, and the formula for the ultimate bearing capacity of foundations should be rectified to ensure the stability of buildings during tectonic earthquakes.

Keywords: tectonic earthquake, ground vibration, shear banding, ultimate bearing capacity, foundation.

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