Dynamic Investigation of a Large Historical Cathedral

Elyamani, A., O. Caselles, P. Roca, and J. Clapes, "Dynamic Investigation of a Large Historical Cathedral", Structural Control and Health Monitoring, vol. 24, issue 3, 2017.


The presented research aimed at studying the dynamic behavior of Mallorca cathedral (Mallorca Island, Spain) under ambient sources of vibration and seismic events. The cathedral is one of the greatest built masonry structures worldwide. It is characterized for its audacious dimensions and slender structural members. Because of it, the study of its dynamic behavior is a clear concern. The cathedral dynamic properties were firstly identified using ambient vibration testing. Afterwards, a dynamic monitoring system was implemented to continuously measure, record, and wirelessly transfer the acceleration records without having to set up an activating threshold. This monitoring type was implemented because of the low seismic intensity of Mallorca Island with a basic ground acceleration of only 0.04 g according to the Spanish seismic standard. The continuous monitoring allowed for capturing some seismic events and some drops in the natural frequencies were noticed because of a breathing crack effect. Using both ambient vibration testing and continuous monitoring system, global modes could be more accurately identified than more local ones. The identification of the global modes was more attainable than in the case of more local ones. The temperature was a more influential environmental parameter than humidity and wind for all of the identified modes except for one more directly depended on wind.

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