Encyclopedia of Earthquake Engineering

2015 Edition
| Editors: Michael Beer, Ioannis A. Kougioumtzoglou, Edoardo Patelli, Siu-Kui Au

Seismic Collapse Assessment

  • Christoph AdamEmail author
  • Luis F. Ibarra
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35344-4_248


Collapse criterion; Collapse variability; Component deterioration; Nonlinear dynamic analysis; P-delta effect; Structural modeling strategies


In earthquake engineering, structural collapse is defined as the local or global failure of a system that occurs due to the loss of vertical load-carrying capacity in the presence of seismic events. The two primary modes of global collapse are sidesway and vertical collapse. Sidesway collapse is the global failure of the system caused by a reduction of the lateral load-bearing capacity due to large horizontal displacements, whereas vertical collapse is caused by a direct loss of the gravity load-bearing capacity in one or several structural components (Krawinkler et al. 2009). Vertical collapse is a type of progressive collapse, which is the total or disproportionate failure of the system triggered by an initial local failure that spreads out from element to element.

Commonly, in ductile frame structures, sidesway collapse...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Engineering Science, Unit of Applied MechanicsUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA