Abstract

Building damage as a result of subsidence and lateral movement can be caused by numerous mechanisms including mining, dissolution of soluble rocks, shrink–swell of clays and landslides. In many instances, the distribution and severity of the damage caused can be diagnostic of the underlying geological condition and can be used as an aid to geological and geomorphological mapping. Many rigid buildings are sensitive to movement, meaning that careful surveys can delineate fine details that can be compiled to identify broader patterns of mass-movement. This paper discusses how damage has been recorded in the past and presents a unified scheme that is based mainly on UK and Italian practice and that can be applied to most situations. It broadens the existing schemes to include the assessment of damage to infrastructure (such as roads and pavements), which are also sensitive to movements; it also extends the existing schemes to include more serious building damage. In this way it unifies the current, disparate approaches and extends the usage of the semi-quantified approach to damage assessment. The damage assessment lends itself to storage in a database that can be interrogated, displayed and interpreted using a geographical information system (GIS).

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