The Peer review has evaluated this group as Excellent
(A) Seismic hazard assessment at long periods The group is currently leading a national project due to quantify seismic actions at National level in terms of long period spectral displacement ordinates, in view of updating the current seismic design procedures with displacement-based design approaches. The research work includes assembling a digital worldwide strong motion database, suitable data processing, derivation of attenuation relationships of spectral ordinates up to 15 s period, calibration of new correction factors to account for site effects and the vertical component of motion, and producing displacement hazard maps for Italy. The national project sponsoring this activity is funded by the Department of Civil Protection and coordinated by the present Group leader himself; some of its main results will shortly be implemented in the new National earthquake hazard maps and norm requirements for the seismic actions at long periods. (B) In-field and numerical studies on seismic wave propagation and seismic site effects The group has a wide and well internationally recognised experience in this field, having contributed to develop one of the most performing numerical codes for efficiently carrying out 3D analyses of wave propagation in complex geological configurations, as well as and dynamic soilstructure interaction. The numerical applications of the code, which is based on the spectral element method and has been implemented in a parallel computer architecture, address the seismic response of deep alluvial basins, such as Alpine valleys, and the topographic amplification effects. One leading topic that can be tackled by the numerical tools developed by this group is the coupled analysis of seismic source, propagation path and site effects, made possible by the implementation of the socalled Domain Reduction Method. (C) Traffic-induced soil vibrations and its interaction with structures The researchers of the present group have been frequently involved in research and/or consulting activities dealing with the ground and building vibrations induced by train passage, either in urban or rural environment. Of special interest are studies of the effects induced by “supersonic” highspeed trains, such as in the case of the line Malmoe-Goteborg in Sweden, where the train speed exceeds the Rayleigh wave velocity in soils with amplification effects similar to the “bang” of supersonic airplanes, as well as of the soil vibration effects induced by underground trains in urban areas. The group is one of the few in the world that has the numerical capabilities to simultaneously study the train loading, the wave propagation in the soil and the building dynamic response.