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Seismic Vulnerability of Masonry Lighthouses: A Study of the Bengut Lighthouse, Dellys, Boumerdès, Algeria


Medium: journal article
Language(s): English
Published in: Buildings, , n. 12, v. 10
Page(s): 247
DOI: 10.3390/buildings10120247

In Algeria, lighthouses are an essential element of the maritime landscape and constitute a substantial part of the local historical and cultural heritage, marked by a great variety of styles, architecture, geometrical forms, and materials. The study presented falls into the general context of pre- and post-seismic conservation of Algerian lighthouses, since all these stone masonry buildings are situated in areas characterized by a medium–high seismic hazard. In the paper, a relevant example has been analyzed: the Bengut Lighthouse, which has been classified as “National Heritage” by the Algerian Ministry of Culture and has been severely damaged by the Boumerdès that occurred on 21 May 2003. After an overview of historical lighthouses in Algeria and their morpho-typological classification, the case study of the lighthouse at Cap Bengut is presented, showing the results of a detailed survey of the geometric and constructive features and of the actual cracking and damage pattern. First, based on the critical analysis of this knowledge framework, a preliminary qualitative evaluation of the seismic vulnerability has been made, analyzing and classifying the set of local and global failure modes coherently with the observed structural pathologies and damages. Then, numerical modeling has been implemented in TreMuri computer code, performing a set of pushover analyses. This allowed the investigation of the criticalities in the response of the building to seismic actions, characterization of the dynamic behavior, and comparison with the actual observed damages, which are discussed, providing an interpretation of the global and local failure modes. Based on the results of the visual assessment and numerical analysis, guidelines for the retrofitting intervention have been proposed, by considering, on the one hand, the objective of effectively mitigating the elements of vulnerability pointed out by the results and, on the other, the main principles of conservation and restoration. The presented study and its results, in perspective, are intended to provide a basis for developing risk and vulnerability analysis of typological classes of historical lighthouses at a large scale.

Copyright: © 2020 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This creative work has been published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) license which allows copying, and redistribution as well as adaptation of the original work provided appropriate credit is given to the original author and the conditions of the license are met.

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