Seismic and Wind Performance of Five-Storied Pagoda of Timber Heritage Structure


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In Japan, there exist a total of 22 five-storied timber pagodas constructed before the middle of 19 centuries. All of those pagodas are registered as the important cultural heritages by Japanese Government, while some of them are listed in World Cultural Heritages such as Horyu-ji Temple’s Pagoda that was built in the end of 7th century. As those timber pagodas in seismic areas have survived against earthquakes during their long histories, their earthquake resistant capacity has been studied for a century. However, the actual dynamic behaviors of timber pagodas subjected to large earthquakes should be recorded to understand the seismic performance. Furthermore, an interesting structural issue has recently risen of wind resistant capacity of traditional five-storied timber pagodas, as such tall timber structures may be severely affected by strong wind. In order to record the actual dynamic behaviors during not only earthquakes but also typhoons, we have been conducting earthquake and wind monitoring at Hokekyou-ji Temple in Ichikawa City, next to Tokyo, which has survived for 4 centuries against not only large earthquakes but also severe typhoons. Hence, while the earthquake monitoring has been done by the conventional method utilizing accelerometers, the dynamic displacement of the structural response to wind has been directly measured by a new technique employing an image process system using LED makers and CCD camera, because the wind response includes much longer period component in general, therefore, it must be difficult to measure accurately the wind response by accelerometers. The scope of the present paper are 1) to review the past studies to understand the excellent earthquake resistance of five-storied timber pagodas, as well as, to introduce our research project of seismic and wind monitoring that has been successfully conducted since 2007, 2) to interpret those monitoring records which would be useful for understanding seismic and wind performance of the heritage timber pagodas that have survived for many centuries with describing the simulation analysis of seismic response, and 3) to show the long term monitoring records of the horizontal displacement of the heritage structure.



Advanced Materials Research (Volumes 133-134)

Edited by:

Xianglin Gu and Xiaobin Song






T. Hanazato et al., "Seismic and Wind Performance of Five-Storied Pagoda of Timber Heritage Structure", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 133-134, pp. 79-95, 2010

Online since:

October 2010




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