Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 17, Issue 10, pp 5429–5447 | Cite as

Seismic actions on structures in the near-source region of the 2016 central Italy sequence

  • Iunio IervolinoEmail author
  • Georgios Baltzopoulos
  • Eugenio Chioccarelli
  • Akiko Suzuki
Original Research Paper


The central Italy seismic sequence began in the latter half of 2016 and continued well into 2017, causing severe damage in the villages close to the source and causing hundreds of casualties. It is a sequence especially interesting to study, from the perspective of seismic actions experienced by structures, because it saw nine M ≥ 5.0 earthquakes within a period of 5 months, rupturing parts of the complex central Apennine mountain range fault system. Consequently, some of the main earthquake engineering issues that arose are the multiple locations where the code-mandated seismic actions were exceeded in more than one of the main events of the sequence and the number of pre- and low-code existing buildings that suffered heavy damage or collapse due to the intensity of individual earthquakes and the cumulative effect of repeated damaging shocks. The present article picks up on these topics and uses probabilistic seismic hazard, as well as the multitude of strong ground motion recordings available from the sequence, to provide a discussion on certain issues, that are all related to the topical subject of seismic actions. These issues are: (1) the unsurprising exceedance of code spectra in the epicentral areas of strong earthquakes; (2) the particular spectral shape and damaging potential of near-source, pulse-like, ground motions, possibly related to rupture directivity; and (3) structural non-linear behaviour in the wake of a sequence that produces repeated strong shaking without the necessary respite for repair and retrofit operations.


Seismic hazard Pulse-like ground motion Cumulative damage 



The study presented in this paper was developed within the activities of ReLUIS (Rete dei Laboratori Universitari di Ingegneria Sismica) for the project ReLUIS-DPC 2014–2018, as well as within the H2020-MSCA-RISE-2015 research project EXCHANGE-Risk (Grant Agreement Number 691213).


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Strutture per l’Ingegneria e l’ArchitetturaUniversità degli Studi di Napoli Federico IINaplesItaly
  2. 2.Istituto per le Tecnologie della Costruzione, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (ITC-CNR)NaplesItaly
  3. 3.Università Telematica PegasoNaplesItaly

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