Geotechnical Engineer Available to Comment on Earthquake in Nepal

Researcher participated in NSF-sponsored team that studied the effect of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Clinton Wood, a civil and geotechnical engineering professor at the University of Arkansas, is available to discuss the response of and damage to buildings and other structures due to the earthquake in Nepal.

Wood has participated in many earthquake reconnaissance missions sponsored by the National Science Foundation, including a national team of engineers who studied the effects of the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010.

Wood’s research focuses on the dynamic characterization of soils. He uses broadband seismometers to measure low intensity stress waves (primarily surface waves) created by urban or natural noise sources, such as ocean waves. By measuring the frequency and wavelength of these waves as they pass through the array of seismometers, Wood calculates the shear wave velocity and layering of the soil underneath the arrays. These shear wave velocity profiles help engineers better understand the ground motions recorded during earthquakes and design buildings that can better withstand future earthquakes.

Wood also studies the effect of topography on earthquake ground motions. Earthquake experts have observed qualitatively that more building damage occurs at the crest of topographic features than at the base, but they have yet to fully explain this phenomenon in a quantitative manner. To do this, Wood deploys locally dense arrays of seismometers over a mountainous region that experiences frequent and predictable coal mining-induced seismicity, which provides an excellent opportunity to record topographic effects on full-scale features.

To learn more about Wood’s research, visit ---About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1 that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

CONTACTS: Clinton Wood, assistant professor, civil engineeringCollege of Engineering479-575-6084, [email protected]

Matt McGowan, science and research communications officerUniversity Relations479-575-4246, [email protected]

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