Earthquake Surface Rupture: A Brief Survey on Interdisciplinary Research and Practice from Geology to Geotechnical Engineering

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Coseismic surface ruptures during desctructive earthquakes (1999 Kocaeli–Düzce, Turkey and 1999 Chi-Chi, Taiwan) have caused devastating effects on buildings and infrastructures. Surface rupture remains a complicated phenomenon involving variable movements along near surface traces of both primary and secondary faults. The surface rupture patterns observed in nature, the rupture zone width and the magnitude of the surface rupture displacements, depend on the type of faulting, the earthquake magnitude, the complexities of fault geometry, as well as on the thickness and nature of the materials above bedrock. Surface rupture hazard assessment for determining the width of the surface rupture and rupture displacements magnitudes for civil engineering design needs to be site specific and incorporate various geological and geotechnical investigations. The current research on laboratory and numerical simulations to evaluate the impact of surface rupture on structure foundations is promising. However, it may be misleading to conclude that such models are sufficient to simulate the surface rupture complexities as observed in nature.