Seismic vulnerability indices of ground for Değirmendere (Kocaeli Province, Turkey)

  • Hamdullah Livaoğlu
  • T. Serkan IrmakEmail author
  • I. Talih Güven
Original Paper


It is well known that the mechanical and physical properties of subsoil layers as well as poor construction practices play an important role in determining the level of structural damage sustained from earthquakes. Thus, sufficient knowledge of these properties is essential for estimating the weak points of a region. The ground vulnerability index (Kg), an indicator of the weak points of a region, also has a substantial importance role in mitigating earthquake hazards in multidisciplinary studies. In this context, we have used engineering basement shear wave velocity (vs30), fundamental frequencies and peak amplitude values of the horizontal-to-vertical ratio (H/V) to calculate Kg values for the study area (Kocaeli Province, Turkey). Structural damage was investigated after the August 17, 1999 Kocaeli (Mw = 7.4) Earthquake and compared with the calculated Kg values. The results indicate that the Kg values decrease towards the southern part of the study area, which is in good agreement with damage distribution from this earthquake. Kg values of >10 appear to be indicative of the most vulnerable areas in the study area. Structures built along the coastlines in Değirmendere area were the mostly severely damaged or collapsed entirely; we found that the subsoil beneath them have high Kg values of between 10 and 25 In contrast, Kg values in the southern districts, which sustained little or no damage, are relatively low (Kg < 10). In our study, the Kg values and soil types showed good agreement. Potential vulnerable areas also have poor subsoil conditions. Therefore, it could be important to consider these results for the future planning and designing of urban areas. These results could also be used as a rapid way to detect potential vulnerable areas before the occurrence of a destructive earthquake.


Ground vulnerability indices Resonant frequency Site effect Seismic hazard Marmara Turkey 



We would like to thank Dr. Martin Gordon Culshaw (Editor-in-Chief) and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments that improved the manuscript. The authors would also like to thank Mutala Mohammed for proof-reading the English of the manuscript. This study was a part of a project supported by TÜBİTAK-112 M421 within the scope of “Determining the risk analysis and management of urban disaster areas of Kocaeli- Gölcük- Değirmendere town”.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hamdullah Livaoğlu
    • 1
  • T. Serkan Irmak
    • 1
    Email author
  • I. Talih Güven
    • 2
  1. 1.Seismology Section, Department of Geophysics, Faculty of EngineeringKocaeli UniversityKocaeliTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and DesignKocaeli UniversityKocaeliTurkey

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