Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Palazzi N.C., Rovero L., de la Llera J.C., Sandoval C. (2019)

Preliminary Assessment on Seismic Vulnerability of Masonry Churches in Central Chile

Revista : International Journal of Architectural Heritage
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


The 2010 Maule Chile earthquake (Mw 8.8) caused extensive structural damage to the builtheritage. In particular, the poor seismic performance of a set of unreinforced masonry (URM)churches highlighted the need to implement protective and safety strategies in order to preservethese buildings which exhibit unique constructive and typological features, as a result ofa combination of Chilean and European construction cultures.The peculiarity of this heritage and the high seismic hazard of Chilean territory have motivatedthe present study which aims to apply systematic procedures to assess the seismic vulnerability ofthese buildings. This article is of archival nature and presents a complete database generatedfrom the geometrical, constructive, and structural characteristics of a representative stock of 106churches located in central Chile, with the goal of proposing fragility curves to be used in seismicrisk assessment. Considering variables related with geometrical, architectonic, and stylistic features, as well as damage levels for the 2010 Maule earthquake, this church sample is classified intothree homogenous groups: colonial, neo-classic, and neo-gothic. Moreover, a preliminary qualitative assessment of the seismic capacity of these structures is provided using a survey andanalysis of geometric indices for each of the three selected groups.