Seismic Assessment of Archaeological Heritage Using Discrete Element Method

A. Mordanova, G. de Felice
Taylor & Francis
International Journal of Architectural Heritage
Block structure, Colosseum, cultural heritage, Dynamic Analysis, Earthquake, Masonry, Pushover analysis

The seismic assessment of archaeological heritages is studied by means of 2D numerical analysis with Discrete Element Method (DEM). The proposed approach is based on a refined discretization that reproduces the effective block masonry pattern and on a routine for carrying out seismic analysis according to either quasi-static or dynamic approaches. The applicability of the DEM for the analysis of archaeological heritages is discussed referring to the case studies of the south-east edge of the external wall of the Colosseum that was restored by Stern in 1807, and the arcades of the Claudio Aqueduct in Rome. The analyses based on DEM provide a reliable estimate of the seismic capacity and a refined representation of the expected failure mode, while also contributing to the design of appropriate strengthening measures. The approach is finally validated through comparison between the outcome of the numerical simulation and the survey of the existing crack pattern of the monuments.

Keywords: Block structure, Colosseum, cultural heritage, dynamic analysis, earthquake, masonry, pushover analysis

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