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Urban Waves: evaluating structure vulnerability to tsunami and earthquakes (UrbanWaves)
Start date: Jan 1, 2014, End date: Dec 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Exposure to coastal floods across the world is forecast to increase to 150 million people and £20 trillion in assets by 2070 (>9% of projected annual global GDP). In addition to cities, potentially vulnerable assets include key infrastructure such as nuclear power plants and ports: the recent Japan earthquake and tsunami demonstrating this. Urban Waves will fill the gap in the engineering design and assessment of buildings in coastal areas subjected to onshore flow from tsunami preceded (or not) by earthquake ground shaking.In Aim 1 the unique experimental capability developed by the PI to reproduce flows on shorelines from tsunami will be used to provide information for fundamental research into tsunami flows onshore as well as the forces and pressures they exert on model buildings and coastal protection structures. In Aim 2 the experimentally measured force/pressure time-histories will be used to calibrate advanced finite element models of the structures that will then be used to further investigate the influence of bathymetry, topography, tsunami and structure characteristics on the structure forces/pressures. The study findings will be used to propose simplified relationships for tsunami forces/pressures suitable for inclusion in codes of practice (for buildings and coastal defences). In Aim 3, the FE models built will be used to generate fragility functions for buildings that can be used for the assessment of risk to urban areas. The first analytical tsunami fragility functions to be derived, these will also account for the effect of preceding earthquake ground shaking. These will also be compared to data collected after past tsunami events using advanced statistical methods.Urban Waves capitalises on the PI's recognised expertise in large-scale experiments, structural dynamics, analytical and empirical fragility function derivation and ability to carry out high quality multi-disciplinary research..
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