Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 299–310 | Cite as

Experimental investigation of the seismic response of classical temple columns

  • Vasileios A. Drosos
  • Ioannis AnastasopoulosEmail author
Original Research Paper


Remnants of Greek Temples are found all over the Mediterranean, surviving in most cases in the form of free-standing columns. The drums are resting on top of each other without any connection, being considered susceptible to strong seismic shaking. Their seismic response is complex, comprising a variety of mechanisms, such as rocking of sliding of the drums relative to each other. This paper studies experimentally the seismic performance of such structures, aiming to derive insights on the key factors affecting the response. Physical models of such multi-drum columns were constructed at reduced scale and tested at the shaking table of the NTUA Laboratory of Soil Mechanics. The marble specimens were excited by idealized Ricker wavelets and real seismic records. The tested multi-drum columns were proven to be very earthquake-resistant. Even when subjected to the strongest motions ever recorded in Greece, their permanent deformation was minimal.


Multi-drum columns Rocking response Shake table testing Monuments 



The results have been achieved in the project PERPETUATE (, funded by the European Commission in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013), Theme ENV.2009., under Grant Agreement No. 244229.


  1. Apostolou M, Gazetas G, Garini E (2007) Seismic response of slender rigid structures with foundation uplifting. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 27:642–654CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Calderini C, Lagomarsino S, Rossi M, De Canio G, Mongelli ML, Roselli I (2014) Shaking table tests of an arch-pillars system and design of strengthening by the use of tie-rods. Bull Earthq Eng—this Special Issue (submitted for possible publication)Google Scholar
  3. Cooper FA (1996) The temple of Apollo Bassitas, vol 1: The architecture. American School of Classical Studies at Athens, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  4. D’Ayala D, Lagomarsino S (2014) Application of PERPETUATE procedure to case studies: assessment and rehabilitation decisions. Bull Earthq Eng—this Special Issue (submitted for possible publication)Google Scholar
  5. Drosos V, Anastasopoulos I (2013) Shaking table testing of multi-drum columns and portals. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn. doi: 10.1002/eqe.2418
  6. Drosos V, Anastasopoulos I, Gazetas G (2012) Shaking table testing of multi-drum columns. Technical report, National Technical University of Athens, GreeceGoogle Scholar
  7. Gazetas G, Garini E, Anastasopoulos I, Georgarakos T (2009) Effects of near-fault ground shaking on sliding systems. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng ASCE 135(12):1906–1921CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gelagoti F, Kourkoulis R, Anastasopoulos I, Gazetas G (2012) Rocking-isolated frame structures: margins of safety against toppling collapse and simplified design approach. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 32(1):87–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Giuffre A (1986) Studies in progress on the seismic behaviour of the Imperial Columns in Rome. Studi e ricerche sulla sicurezza sismica dei monumenti. Report no 5, Universita degli Studi ‘La Sapienza’Google Scholar
  10. Guidotti A (1982) Questioni di dimanica per il restauro dei monumenti. Restauro 59:37–101Google Scholar
  11. Housner GW (1963) The behavior of inverted pendulum structures during earthquakes. Bull Seismol Soc Am 53(2):404–417Google Scholar
  12. Jones MW (2001) Doric measure and architectural design 2: a modular reading of the classical temple. Am J Archaeol 105(4):675–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Koh AS, Spanos P, Roesset JM (1986) Harmonic rocking of rigid block on flexible foundation. J Eng Mech ASCE 112(11):1165–1180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kounadis A (2012) Rocking cantilever consisting of rigid blocks freely resting on top of each other under ground excitation (Part A, Research Project 200/703). In: Proceedings of the Academy of Athens, 6 Dec 2012 (in Greek)Google Scholar
  15. Krstevska L, Mihailov V, Boschi E, Rovelli A (1996) Experimental dynamic testing of prototype and model of the Antonina Column in Roma. In: Proceedings of the 11th world conference on earthquake engineering. Paper no 546, Acapulco, MexicoGoogle Scholar
  16. Lagomarsino S (2014) Seismic assessment of rocking masonry structures. Bull Earthq Eng. doi: 10.1007/s10518-014-9609-x
  17. Lagomarsino S, Modaressi H, Pitilakis K, Bosjlikov V, Calderini C, D’Ayala D, Benouar D, Cattari S (2010) PERPETUATE project: the proposal of a performance-based approach to earthquake protection of cultural heritage. Adv Mater Res 133–134:1119–1124. doi: 10.2495/STR110581 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lagomarsino S, Abbas N, Calderini C, Cattari S, Rossi M, Ginanni Corradini R, Marghella G, Mattolin F, Piovanello V (2011) Classification of cultural heritage assets and seismic damage variables for the identification of performance levels. WIT Trans Built Environ 118:697–708. doi: 10.2495/STR110581 Google Scholar
  19. Makris N (1997) Rigidity–plasticity–viscosity: can electro-rheological dampers protect base-isolated structures from near-source ground motions? Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 26(5):571–591CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Makris N, Black CJ (2004) Dimensional analysis of rigid-plastic and elastoplastic structures under pulse-type excitations. J Eng Mech ASCE 130(9):1006–1018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Makris N, Chang S-P (2000) Effect of viscous, viscoplastic and friction damping on the response of seismic isolated structures. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 29(1):85–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Makris N, Roussos Y (2000) Rocking response of rigid blocks under near-source ground motions. Géotechnique 50(3):243–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Manos GC, Demosthenous M (1992) Dynamic response of rigid bodies subjected to horizontal base motion. In: Proceedings of the 10th world conference on earthquake engineering, Madrid, Spain, pp 2817–2821Google Scholar
  24. Mavroeidis GP, Papageorgiou AS (2003) A mathematical representation of near-fault ground motions. Bull Seismol Soc Am 93(3):1099–1131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mouzakis HP, Psycharis IN, Papastamatiou DY, Carydis PG, Papantonopoulos C, Zambas C (2002) Experimental investigation of the earthquake response of a model of a marble classical column. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 31(9):1681–1698CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Nakamura Y, Uehan F, Inoue H (1996) Waveform and its analysis of the 1995 Hyogo-Ken-Nanbu earthquake (II). Railway Technical Research InstituteGoogle Scholar
  27. Perry J (1881) Note on the rocking of a column. Transcr Seismol Soc Jpn 3:103–106Google Scholar
  28. Psycharis IN (1990) Dynamic behaviour of rocking two-block assemblies. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 19:555–575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Psycharis IN, Jennings PC (1983) Rocking of slender rigid bodies allowed to uplift. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 11(1):57–76Google Scholar
  30. Stavrakakis GN, Chouliaras G, Panopoulou G (2002) Seismic source parameters for the \(\text{ M }_{{\rm L}}\) = 5.4 Athens Earthquake (7 September 1999) from a new telemetric broad band seismological network in Greece. Nat Hazards 27:47–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Veletsos AS, Newmark NM, Chelepati CV (1965) Deformation spectra for elastic and elasto-plastic systems subjected to ground shock and earthquake motions. In: Proceedings of the 3rd world conference on earthquake engineering, Wellington, New Zealand, pp 663–682Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.University of DundeeDundeeScotland, UK

Personalised recommendations