500-Year-Old Leaning Tower Of Pisa Mystery Unveiled By Engineers
Why has the Leaning Tower of Pisa survived the strong earthquakes that have hit the region since the middle ages, this is a long-standing question for research group of 16 engineers has investigated, including a leading expert in earthquake engineering and soil-structure interaction from the University of Bristol. Professor George Mylonakis, from Bristol's Department of Civil Engineering, was invited to join a 16-member research team, led by Professor Camillo Nuti at Roma Tre University, to explore this Leaning Tower of Pisa mystery that has puzzled engineers for many years. Despite leaning precariously at a fivedegree angle, leading to an offset at the top of over five metres, the 58-metre tall Tower has managed to survive, undamaged, at least four strong earthquakes that have hit the region since 1280. Given the vulnerability of the structure, which barely manages to stand vertically, it was expected to sustain serious damage or even collapse because of moderate seismic activity. Surprisingly this hasn't happened and until now this has mystified engineers for a long time. After studying available seismological, geotechnical and structural information, the research team concluded that the survival of the Tower can be attributed to the phenomenon of dynamic soil-structure interaction.
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