Seismic sequence of 2016–17: Linear and non-linear interpretation models for evolution of damage in San Francesco church, Amatrice

Avni Jain, Maurizio Acito*, Claudio Chesi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This work presents a numerical simulation of the church of San Francesco, Amatrice, and subsequent interpretation of the evolution of damage and collapse mechanisms that were caused by the main events of the seismic sequence that hit the Apennine area of Central Italy in 2016. The study primarily focuses on the response of the church with reference to the two main events: seismic shocks of 24th August and 30th October 2016.

The dynamic non-linear analysis was performed on the structure using Abaqus CAE 2017, which was intended at simulating the damage and collapse that were observed on the real structure subsequent to the main seismic events. The study also contributes to suggest preventive interventions/material enhancements that could have either limited or mitigated the damage, thereby avoiding the collapse of the Church. In an effort to reciprocate the seismic events, the time-history of the accelerograms recorded at the AMT fixed station and of the amplified local accelerogram were considered as seismic input. Furthermore, this study presents simulations of the response of the structure subjected to the main seismic events simulated in a continuous chronological sequence and the effects of local and global interventions on the seismic response of the entire structure.

This study indicates the application of numerical simulation as an efficient tool for seismic analysis of masonry structures, with the obtained results ranging within the acceptable margin of errors. In addition, the simulations can be used to analyse the proposed interventions, while taking into account the limitations of the software and computational techniques. This paper highlights the interesting conclusions related to the effects of local and global interventions in case of the church of San Francesco and the role of amplification of the accelerations for the site of Amatrice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110418
Number of pages23
JournalEngineering Structures
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Centro Italia 2016 earthquake
  • Seismic sequence
  • Ground motion amplification
  • Masonry churches
  • Seismic response
  • Progressive damage
  • Multi-events limit states


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