• Earthquake

Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering Design and Analysis

MEA has performed various seismic geotechnical designs and investigations throughout the nation. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, MEA is very familiar with the related seismic conditions and codes in the Central-Eastern and Western seismic zones of the United States. MEA engineers have worked on numerous geotechnical earthquake projects including seismic investigations of retaining walls, deep and shallow foundations, pipelines, tunnels, levees, and embankment dams as well as soil liquefaction, seismic designs, earthquake damage inspections, and dynamic characterization of various fields.

MEA offers a number of earthquake engineering services, including:

  • Structural damage investigation and repair analysis.
  • Investigation of alleged damages due to earthquakes including visual inspection and subsurface investigations.
  • Site characterization of soil and rock foundations for earthquake design.
  • Seismic design of different geotechnical projects including shallow and deep foundations, slopes, retaining structures, levees, etc.
  • Seismic stability and deformation investigation using fully dynamic analyses.
  • Evaluation of site liquefaction and ground improvement methodology of liquefiable sites using stone columns, site compaction, and other stabilization solutions.
  • Development of specified earthquake ground motions for seismic study for different regions.

Seismic design and studies are conducted using state-of-the-art methodologies in geotechnical earthquake engineering and soil dynamics. For precise investigation in seismic cases, MEA performs field and laboratory evaluations, geophysical studies, and numerical analyses. Based on the site circumstances, MEA conducts numerical studies using advanced constitutive models for dynamic and liquefaction conditions including UBCHYST, UBCSAND, Finn, strain-hardening/softening, and ubiquitous-joint models as well as traditional models such as Mohr-Coulomb.

MEA engineers have published several articles in accredited journals and conferences. The president of MEA, Dr. Gennaro G. Marino, P.E., D.GE has authored a book entitled Earthquake Damage: Inspection, Evaluation, and Repair, a manual for insurance claims professionals. Dr. Marino was on-site shortly after the catastrophic Loma Prieta Earthquake, which occurred south of San Francisco in 1989. His investigation of earthquake damage led to the development of his earthquake investigation damage manual and the creation of his earthquake investigation and earthquake damage courses. Also, MEA’s staff has developed a program for seismic design of retaining walls in the Western and Central-Eastern seismic zones of the US.

For more information on specific projects related to this topic, see the following MEA Technical Bulletin:

Update #5: Response of House Foundations During the Loma Prieta Earthquake



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