Earthquake expert: older structures vulnerable in Midwest

An earthquake in the future of high magnitude would cause widespread damage, because unlike structures in California, bridges and buildings in the Midwest aren’t engineered to be earthquake resistant. The Midwest lies on the New Madrid fault.

04/23/2008


Jim Wilcoski, researcher at the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Lab in Champaign, Ill., said an earthquake in the 5.2 earthquake that originated in southern Illinois the morning of April 18 , may be a danger to Midwestern buildings.

Structures most at risk are older, unreinforced brick masonry buildings, said Wilcoski and University of Illinois engineering professor Doug Foutch.

If the quake is centered near a major city like Memphis, Chicago, or St. Louis— where the Missouri Dept. of Transportation conducted an examination of bridges over the Mississippi River —there may be significant serious damage, especially for an earthquake in the 6 range, as some experts predict the Midwest is scheduled to have .

Southern Illinois and surrounding areas sit on the northern extension of the New Madrid fault. This fault caused a 6.8

An earthquake in the future of those magnitudes would cause widespread damage, Foutch said, because unlike structures in California, bridges and buildings in the Midwest aren’t engineered to be earthquake resistant.

Foutch predicted that most of the damage from a big earthquake would be in utility facilities, particularly in gas and oil pipelines in southern Illinois; bridges; and some highways.





Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
2017 MEP Giants; Mergers and acquisitions report; ASHRAE 62.1; LEED v4 updates and tips; Understanding overcurrent protection
Integrating electrical and HVAC for energy efficiency; Mixed-use buildings; ASHRAE 90.4; Wireless fire alarms assessment and challenges
Integrated building networks, NFPA 99, recover waste heat, chilled water systems, Internet of Things, BAS controls
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me