Quantification of damage evolution in masonry walls subjected to induced seismicity

Dimitrios Dais, Eleni Smyrou, Ihsan Engin Bal

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This paper aims to quantify the evolution of damage in masonry walls under induced seismicity. A damage index equation, which is a function of the evolution of shear slippage and opening of the mortar joints, as well as of the drift ratio of masonry walls, was proposed herein. Initially, a dataset of experimental tests from in-plane quasi-static and cyclic tests on masonry walls was considered. The experimentally obtained crack patterns were investigated and their correlation with damage propagation was studied. Using a software based on the Distinct Element Method, a numerical model was developed and validated against full-scale experimental tests obtained from the literature. Wall panels representing common typologies of house façades of unreinforced masonry buildings in Northern Europe i.e. near the Groningen gas field in the Netherlands, were numerically investigated. The accumulated damage within the seismic response of the masonry walls was investigated by means of representative harmonic load excitations and an incremental dynamic analysis based on induced seismicity records from Groningen region. The ability of this index to capture different damage situations is demonstrated. The proposed methodology could also be applied to quantify damage and accumulation in masonry during strong earthquakes and aftershocks too.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalEngineering Structures
Issue number112529
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • masonry
  • distinct element method
  • cumulative damage
  • induced vibrations
  • crack-based damage quantification
  • Groningen
  • induced seismicity


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