Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 16, Issue 10, pp 4443–4466 | Cite as

2D site response analysis of a cultural heritage: the case study of the site of Santa Maria di Collemaggio Basilica (L’Aquila, Italy)

  • Sara Amoroso
  • Iolanda Gaudiosi
  • Marco Tallini
  • Giuseppe Di Giulio
  • Giuliano Milana
Original Research Paper


The Santa Maria di Collemaggio Basilica is an important cultural heritage site and exemplifies Romanesque-Gothic art in the Abruzzo region (central Italy). Erected in the second half of the XII century, the Basilica was severely damaged during the April 6, 2009 L’Aquila earthquake (MW 6.1). In particular, the area of the transept collapsed causing the dome to fall. A refined two-dimensional (2D) geotechnical model was built representing a section that includes the Basilica, in order to better understand the soil response of the Basilica site. The subsoil model was constrained using the geophysical and geotechnical data collected from the seismic microzonation studies, the reconstruction of private damaged buildings and other technical and scientific studies realized in the L’Aquila basin and in the area of the Basilica before and after L’Aquila earthquake. 2D site response analyses were performed to verify the presence of local site effects by comparing simulated versus experimental transfer functions. Moreover, a frequency–wavenumber (f–k) analysis was executed with the aim of evaluating the occurrence of surface waves generated within the basin. 2D seismic effects involve significant amplification in the period range of engineering interest, therein providing an appropriate elastic response spectrum for the restoration of the Basilica.


L’Aquila earthquake 2D site response analysis Site effects Geotechnical model Aftershocks records Cultural heritage 



The study was funded by FIRB-Abruzzo Project (“Indagini ad alta risoluzione per la stima della pericolosità e del rischio sismico nelle aree colpite dal terremoto del 6 aprile 2009”, A special thanks to Zachary Boucias for the English language revision of the manuscript. The authors would also like to thank the anonymous reviewer for the valuable comments and suggestions to improve the paper.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e VulcanologiaL’AquilaItaly
  2. 2.Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche-Istituto di Geologia Ambientale e GeoingegneriaMonterotondo, RomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of L’AquilaL’AquilaItaly
  4. 4.Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e VulcanologiaRomeItaly

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