October 13, 2010 by staff
Earthquakes Today, Having an earthquake was expected when the researchers planned a visit to northeastern Oklahoma for a test simulation of the earthquake on Wednesday, but was not a true part of the plan.
Researchers at the OU, Iowa State and UCLA are working together to study earthquakes and their effects on bridges. Now they were near Miami, located in Ottawa County in extreme northeast Oklahoma.
The simulation took place about eleven o’clock, two hours after the quake of magnitude 5-point-one that hit central Oklahoma and was felt as far away as Dallas and Wichita. The researchers conducted their test near the Route 125 Bridge over the Neosho River.
So why Ottawa County? Although the area is not prone to earthquakes, soft clay soils in it are similar to those found in San Francisco and areas of northeast Arkansas and southeast Missouri, where The New Madrid Fault Line headquarters. A technique called “cement deep soil mixing” is being developed which reinforces the soft clay soils by mixing them with cement to improve the performance of bridge piers. Today’s tests will help determine the extent of mixing cement at site of soft clay.
The tests are designed to be used for future applications to better re-inforce bridge structures, especially in earthquake zones. It is part of a four-year, 1-point-two million-dollar study funded by the National Science Foundation.
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