The role of site effects on elevated seismic demands and corollary structural damage during the October 30, 2020, M7.0 Samos Island (Aegean Sea) Earthquake

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ÇETİN K. Ö., Papadimitriou A. G., ALTUN S., Pelekis P., UNUTMAZ B., Rovithis E., ...More

BULLETIN OF EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING, vol.20, no.14, pp.7763-7792, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 14
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10518-021-01265-z
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Compendex, Geobase, INSPEC, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.7763-7792
  • Keywords: Reconnaissance, Samos Island Earthquake, Izmir Bay, Bayrakli, Vathy, Site effects, Amplifications, Resonance, GROUND MOTION, BORNOVA PLAIN, SOIL, IZMIR, MODEL, PGV
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


On October 30, 2020 14:51 (UTC), a moment magnitude (M) 7.0 (USGS, EMSC) earthquake occurred in the Aegean Sea. This paper presents the reconnaissance findings regarding the site effects on recorded strong ground motion intensities and duration, along with the resulting induced-structural damage in Izmir Bay and Samos Island, respectively. In all rock records, relatively high intensity long period rock spectral accelerations were observed in the mid to long period range of 0.5-1.5 s, which are attributed to the source, more specifically, to the slower rupture-mechanism of the event. These rich spectral intensities were further amplified by soil site effects and soil-superstructure resonance, leading to two to six times amplified overall responses and prolonged seismic shaking durations, more pronounced in Bayrakli and other Izmir Bay sites in Turkey. However, these amplified and prolonged excitations are still below design basis earthquake levels, which addresses the lack of proper structural design and construction deficiencies, as the underlying causes for the collapse to heavy damage performance of 795 buildings. On the other hand, although located only about 10 km from the rupture (22 km from the epicenter) and within the near fault zone, the town of Vathy on Samos Island (Greece) was rather lightly affected by the earthquake, with relatively few collapsed or heavily damaged buildings, partially attributed to the low height/low weight of structures in the area. However, a concentration of damage in low-rise buildings in Ano Vathy hill is considered indicative of a combination of coupled valley and topography effects on the strong motion. This event once again addressed the need to develop region-specific zonation and provisions, when more general code practices are proven to be inadequate to assess these extreme site effects.