Advantages of the System
In the last decade, there have been major earthquake events in Frioul (Italy) in 1976, Liege (Belgium) in 1983, Honsu (Japan) in 1983, Mexico City in 1985, New Zealand in 1987, San Francisco in 1989, Northridge (USA) in 1994 and Gölcük (Turkey) in 1999. But the most tragic Gölcük earthquake in 1999 resulted in 16,000 deaths, 30,000 injuries and $20 Billion US in damage.
There were numerous Reinforced Earth® structures constructed near the respective epicenters of the seismic events. The relative flexibility of Reinforced Earth® walls and their ability to withstand distress in the face large vertical and horizontal accelerations appears to set these structures apart from the more rigid structures where significant damage occurred under seismic action. As a result, these structures remained stable after earthquake action.
The notable observation is the good performance of Arifiye bridge ramp approaches constructed very near the epicenter of the earth-quake. The Reinforced Earth® walls were 10 meters high and constructed in 1988 in Arifiye-Adapazarı. Although the bridge itself has collapsed, the reinforced earth ramp walls sustained only nominal damage and remained stable.
A conventional reinforced concrete wall located from 250 meter away from the Arifiye Bridge suffered from heavy damages during the earthquake, experiencing large damage as a result of settlements of 1 meter.