Seismologists will conduct detailed measurements for Bagan region, using the Micro-Tremor Method, for one year beginning from August in order to draw up an earthquake hazard map and to support the renovation process and ensure pagodas and religious buildings are earthquake resistant.
The Archaeology and National Museum Department will implement the one-year project in cooperation with the Bagan Technical Expert Team, comprising local and Singapore seismologists.
The project was started on 15 and 16 July, said Prof. Dr. Tun Naing, head of Engineering Geology Department of Yangon Technological University.
“We will conduct a detailed measurement not only of the pagodas damaged during last year’s earthquake in Bagan region but also free spaces between the pagoda and the field. When we conduct a detailed measurement, the results will show whether the pagodas were damaged because of the resonance effect or decomposing of materials used in the construction.
We will issue the earthquake hazard map in order to support maintenance and ensure protection against earthquakes,” he added.
Through the Micro-Tremor Method measurement, the composition of the soil, hardness, softness, resonance frequency of the ground, as well as the structure on it will be known and when there is an earthquake, the ability of a structure to withstand it can be estimated.
If the Fundamental Frequency and Resonance Frequency of the ground and the structure match, there will be the largest oscillation that causes the greatest damage.
“We have to think about how to maintain our pagodas from damage when an earthquake occurs in the future, especially the part of the pagoda that will be affected most from vibration. When the results of the detailed measurement is known, we will undertake renovation and maintenance of that part of the pagoda in order to make it stronger.
The authorities will draw a seismic risk assessment map and seismic hazard map after conducting a detailed measurement of the ground information.
The one-year project will also include necessary methods to strengthen the ancient building.
Around 389 pagodas were affected by an earthquake of 6.8 magnitude on 24 August 2016. Recently, the authorities have already repaired over 3,000 pagodas and still need to repair over 50 remaining pagodas.
Khine Set Wai