WIT Press

Case Study: The Strengthening And Seismic Safety Of The Oni Synagogue In Georgia


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M. Danieli & A. Aronchik


On April 29, 1991, there was an earthquake in northern Georgia, Caucasus, its magnitude by Richter scale being Ms = 6.9. Several buildings having architectural and historic importance including the synagogue in Oni were damaged by the earthquake. The synagogue was completed in 1895. It is a rectangular symmetrical structure (18.5 14.9 m) built of local stone, its maximum height being 15 m. The distance from the synagogue to the earthquake epicentre was 25 to 30 km. The earthquake caused substantial damage to the synagogue building. Cracks developed in all bearing elements, such as arches, the shell, walls, and in the drum. Some structures, mainly console structures, collapsed. Preserving architectural-historical monuments in their original state is one of the responsibilities of a civilized society. Retrofitting of these structures was completed two years later. Permanent conservation was aimed primarily at strengthening walls, arches, corner vaults, portico, stele, sculptures, drum, etc. On September 8, 2009, there was another earthquake in northern Georgia. The magnitude in the earthquake epicentre which was 12 km from Oni was 6.2. The building of the synagogue in Oni survived this earthquake without any substantial damage caused. It has proved the effectiveness of the strengthening works in these buildings performed by us. In this paper we analyze the seismic behaviour of the synagogue in Oni before and after its strengthening. The seismic behaviour of the building was investigated using FEM. The results of such an analysis given here correspond closely enough to the behaviour of the building during the earthquake. We developed and applied an original method of expert estimation of the earthquake resistance of buildings. Methods and