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Old Posted Dec 22, 2015, 5:07 PM
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emathias emathias is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
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Originally Posted by Tom Mazanec View Post
Are our supertall towers capable of surviving an F5 tornado or Mercalli XII earthquake? Or are those examples just too much for human architecture? If so, what level of intensity could they survive?
Has there been an earthquake with a magnitude of 12 at any time in the historical era? I'm not sure we need to plan buildings for earthquakes that happen less than every 10,000 years.

Originally Posted by Austin55 View Post
They wouldn't be built if they couldn't handle the location's natural phenomenon.
Modern high-rises are built to withstand quakes of substantial power. I think as you get over a magnitude of 9, or especially if you had one over 10, there could be substantial risk of failure for any human-engineered structure. At that scale, it would not only need to survive the forces at the surface, but there could be actually movement differences between the bedrock and all soil on it, putting the foundation at risk. Imagine the forces involved when earth moves in waves like a tsunami, which is what the description of a Mercalli XII quake includes. Building for that sort of event would basically mean we don't build at all. Fortunately, that sort of event is extremely unlikely in even the timeline of the history of most nations.
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