According to the initial on-the-spot report from Liftech’s Feroze Vazifdar accompanied by a geotechnical engineer from Harza, Peter Kaldveer, the berths at Kobe are contained within perimeter quay walls and filled with reclaimed granular fill material hydraulically placed over natural sea bottom clay. The walls are made from 10m wide x 13m deep hollow concrete caissons filled with granular material. Girders for the waterside crane rails are placed over the caisson wall. The caissons were designed for a lateral coefficient of 0.lg while a seismic coefficient of 0.2g was usually specified for the container cranes.
Graphical cross-section summary of Kobe port construction, with 50ft and 100ft gauge
crane rails, and earthquake consequences (Source Liftech Consultants)
A lateral force of 0.1g is lower than would normally be specified today in earthquake zones. The Pier J expansion area at Long Beach, for example, is designed to 0.2g while the structures will respond to a force of 0.33g. The wharf structure uses the so-called “structural fuse” design developed by Dames & Moore in conjunction with the port’s engineers.
The main seismic event at Kobe had a duration of 20 seconds and produced peak effective lateral accelerations near the port of 0.8g (north-south) and 0.6g (east-west) while peak vertical acceleration was 0.3g.
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