Learning from Earthquakes: First person reports

Tohoku Pacific Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami: Quick observations from the PEER/EERI/GEER/Tsunami Field Investigation Team.

April 26, 2011 by
Filed under EERI Team Field Blog

The PEER/EERI/GEER/Tsunami Field Investigation Team has returned from Japan and complied a short interim report of their observations related to the Tohoku Pacific Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami. It is hoped that the contents of this very short interim report may be especially useful to researchers developing and submitting NSF RAPID Proposals.


The 2011 Tohoku Pacific Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami provides unique and important opportunities advance fundamental knowledge and mitigate future earthquake disasters due to the:

  • Scope and scale of the damage to engineered facilities and lifeline systems in general, and widespread consequences of this damage,
  • Likely long term effects on society of very low probability, but high consequence phenomena such as the tsunami and damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants,
  • Substantial amount of instrumentation installed throughout Japan to measure the movement of the ground, water and structures,
  • Highly detailed documentation being compiled of the direct damage and of the economic, social, political, medical and other impacts, and
  • Longstanding and strong collaborative ties between US and Japanese scientists and engineers.

Based on the discussions with Japanese engineers and officials, and quick inspections of damages in the Tohoku and Kanto regions, the PEER/EERI/GEER/Tsunami field investigation team, has identified the following key areas related to engineering as being of high priority that would benefit from further intensive immediate study by US, Japanese and other investigators.

1.     The tsunami and its effects
2.     Liquefaction or settlement-related damage to structures
3.     The nuclear power plant and related issues
4.     Disruption of Business and Social Systems
5.     The effect of the earthquake shaking on engineered facilities

For more details, read the complete short interim report that can be downloaded from the link above.  A more detailed report will be released soon, and a web-cast seminar is being planned.


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