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Re: Basement Walls

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There is an excellent paper on the subject by Cetin Soydemir of
Haley & Aldrich Inc., Cambridge, Mass. and Mehmet Celebi of US
Geological Survey, Menlo Park, Calif. entitled "Seismic design
of buildings with multi-level basements" presented at the Tenth
World Conference on Earthquake Engineering in 1991.

The paper takes soil-structure interaction into account to 
calculate the displacements at ground level due to translation
and rotation of the system. These displacements are in turn are 
related to the dynamic soil pressure on basement walls.

A word of caution, however. No mention is made of liquefaction
of soil which can aggravate the situation further. I believe a
map of liquefaction potential of various locations in the US can
be downloaded from the web site of Applied Technology Council.

Rudra Nevatia