Building and bridge pounding damage observed in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake


This paper describes pounding damage sustained by buildings and bridges in the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Approximately 6% of buildings in Christchurch CBD were observed to have suffered some form of serious pounding damage. Almost all of this pounding damage occurred in masonry buildings, further highlighting their vulnerability to this phenomenon. Modern buildings were found to be vulnerable to pounding damage where overly stiff and strong ‘flashing’ components were installed in existing building separations. Soil variability is identified as a key aspect that amplifies the relative movement of buildings, and hence increases the likelihood of pounding damage. Pounding damage in bridges was found to be relatively minor and infrequent in the Christchurch earthquake.


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How to Cite
Cole, G., Chouw, N., & Dhakal, R. (2011). Building and bridge pounding damage observed in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 44(4), 334-341.

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