Contact: Jim Jennings, 703-295-6406 (w), 540-272-1452(c), email@example.com
Monday, April 18, 2011
American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Post-Disaster Assessment Teams Will Assess Impact on Lifeline Systems, as well as Structures, Coastal and Other Infrastructure
WHAT: Event: On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake occurred in the western Pacific Ocean, with its epicenter approximately 72 kilometers (45 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku, Japan. The earthquake lasted approximately six minutes. The nearest major city to the quake was Sendai, Honshu, Japan, 130 km (81 mi) away. This earthquake occurred where the Pacific Plate is subducting under the plate beneath northern Honshu and reportedly the break caused the sea floor to rise by several meters triggering the tsunami.
The tsunami wrought destruction along the Pacific coastline of Japan. As the tsunami propagated across the Pacific warnings were issued and evacuations carried out in many countries bordering the Pacific, including the entire Pacific coast of North America. The tsunami warning issued by the Japan Meteorological Agency was the most serious on its warning scale; it rated as a "major tsunami", being at least 3 m (9.8 ft) high. The actual height predicted varied, the greatest being for Miyagi at 10 m (33 ft) high. The tsunami inundated a total area of approximately 470 square kilometers in Japan.
ASCE is planning on sending seven reconnaissance teams to Japan over the next five months. The ASCE Tsunami Team will go over to Japan in mid-April. The other teams include an ASCE 43 (ASCE Subcommittee on Seismic Analysis of Safety-Related Nuclear Structures Standards) Nuclear team, ASCE 7/Industrial Structures Team, COPRI 1Team (an industrial coasts, oceans ports and river inlets/harbor team), a COPRI 2 Industrial Structure team (coastal and flood control structures focus) TCLEE (lifelines –what is lifelines????) and a GI (Geo Institute, ground motion) team.
The team from the Society’s Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) will document the performance of structures, both building and non-building, and assess whether changes to current codes and standards in the U.S. might be warranted as a result of their findings.
The team from the Society’s Embankment, Dams and Slopes Committee of the Geo-Institute will observe and document the seismic performance of earth and rock fill dams, embankments, levees and natural or modified slopes (e.g., slopes adjacent to highways).
The teams from the Society’s Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute will investigate the tsunami effects on coastal engineering structures used for navigation, flood control and life safety, as well as for erosion control and inlet or river mouth stabilization. Many inhabited areas affected by the tsunami were supposedly protected by concrete seawalls and flood walls, and the team will investigate the design and construction of these structures.
WHO: Tsunami Loads and Effects Team:
Gary Chock, MS.C.E. P.E. (team leader), Martin & Chock, Inc., Honolulu, Hawaii
Other Tsunami Team Members:
David Kriebel, Ph.D., P.E., U.S. Naval Academy Dept. of Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering, Annapolis, Md.
Ian Robertson, Ph.D., P.E., Structural Engineer, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii
Ioan Nistor, Ph.D., P.E., University of Ottawa
Matthew Francis, P.E., Senior Geotechnical Engineer, URS Corporation, Salt Lake City, UT
Daniel T. Cox, Ph.D., Past Director, O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory, Oregon State University
Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute Team 1
COPRI Team Leader:
Lesley Ewing, P.E., D.CE, Sr. Coastal Engineer, California Coastal Commission, San Francisco, CA
Other COPRI Team Members:
James Marino, P.E., D. CE, COO/Director of Engineering, Coastal Tech, Debary, FL
Ronald Noble, P.E., D. CE, D. PE, President, Noble Consultants, Inc., Ignacio, CA
David Dykstra, Sr. Coastal Scientist & Project Manager, Moffatt & Nichol Engineers, Long Beach, CA
Heath Pope, Sr. Project Manager, Moffatt & Nichols Engineers, Tamuning, Guam
Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute Team 2
COPRI Team Leader:
Marc Percher, P.E., M. ASCE, Halcrow, Inc., Oakland CA
Other COPRI Team 2 members
Alex Augustin, EIT, M., ASCE, Long Beach, CA
Bill Bruin, P.E., M. ASCE, Halcrow, Inc., Oakland, CA
Stephen E. Dickenson, Ph.D., P.E., D. PE, New Albion Geotechnical, Inc., Corvallis, OR
Structural Engineering Team
SEI Team Leader:
J.G. (Greg) Soules, P.E., S.E., CB&I Inc., The Woodlands, TX
Other SEI Team Members:
Robert Bachman, P.E., S.E., Laguna Niguel, CA
John Silva, S.E., Multi, Inc., San Rafael, CA
Embankment, Dams and Slopes Team
EDS Team Leader:
Joseph Wartman, Ph.D., P.E., H.R. Berg Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Other Embankment Team Members:
Binood Tiwari, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA
Daniel Pradel, Ph.D., P.E., G.E., D.GE, Chief Engineer of Praad Geotechnical Inc., & Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of California Los Angeles, CA.
WHEN & WHERE: Tsunami Loads and Effects Team 1: April 14
Tsunami Loads and Effects Team 2: April 24
COPRI Team 1: May 11
WHEN & WHERE: COPRI Team 2: May 11
Embankment, Slopes Team: April 22
Nuclear Team: TBD
WHY: As part of its disaster response procedure, ASCE forms technical teams to study infrastructure damage caused by natural or man-made disasters. Such studies are conducted so that engineers may learn from the disaster, and that those lessons learned may be documented to inform future actions.
ASCE has participated in more than a dozen assessments in the last decade, including studies of the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001; assessments following hurricanes Katrina and Ike; tsunami assessments throughout the India Ocean Basin in 2004 and at the Samoa Islands; and earthquake assessments in China, Peru, Japan, Sumatra-Andaman, Alaska, California, Italy, Algeria, Turkey, and most recently, Haiti.
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 140,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. For more information, visit www.asce.org.