Effect of seismic activity on MIT building to be detailed
The seismic monitoring of buildings is particularly important in high-population urban areas like Greater Boston. While Massachusetts’ seismic building codes are adapted from California’s, the geological conditions in the two states are very different. The soft soil of land reclaimed from the Charles River on which some areas of Boston and Cambridge are built could make structures here more vulnerable to damage from earthquakes of small magnitude, particularly if the frequency of the seismic activity matches the fundamental frequency of a structure or site. But baseline measurements of buildings in these cities in response to environmental conditions — which could help predict their response to a high-magnitude earthquake — are generally not available.