, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 891–904 | Cite as

Damage analysis of masonry structures subjected to rockfalls

  • O. Mavrouli
  • P. G. Giannopoulos
  • J. M. Carbonell
  • C. Syrmakezis
Original Paper


Masonry structures present substantial vulnerability to rockfalls. The methodologies for the damage quantification of masonry structures subjected to rockfalls are scarce. An analytical procedure for the damage assessment of masonry structures is presented. The procedure comprises three stages: (1) determination of the rockfall impact actions which are applied to a masonry structure, in terms of external forces, using the particle finite element method (PFEM), (2) evaluation of the mechanical properties, modelling of the masonry structure, and calculation of the internal stresses, using the finite element method (FEM), (3) assessment of the damage due to the rockfall actions, applying a failure criterion adapted to masonries, and calculation of the damage in terms of the percentage of the damaged wall surface. Three real rockfall events and their impact on buildings are analysed. A sensitivity analysis of the proposed procedure is then used to identify the variables that mostly affect the extent of the wall damage, which are the masonry width, the tensile strength, the block diameter and lastly, velocity.


Finite element method Masonry Rockfall Particle finite element method Damage structures 



This work has been realized within the framework of the fellowship ‘Ayudas Fundación BBVA a Investigadores, Innovadores y Creadores Culturales’ by the Foundation BBVA and the research project RockRisk financed by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (BIA2013-42582-P).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringsUniversitat Politècnica de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Institute of Structural Analysis & Antiseismic Research, National Technical University of AthensAthensGreece
  3. 3.International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE)Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC-BarcelonaTech)BarcelonaSpain

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