Department of Civil Engineering Laboratories

Disaster Prevention and Mitigation

Development of Experimental Substructure System Combining Computer Simulation and Experiments

  • Developing substructure experimental systems

  • Example of a one-axis controlled substructure experimental system configuration

R&D on a hybrid experimental system that combines computer simulation and structural experimental equipment. We are conducting research to verify with high accuracy the performance of seismic energy dissipation devices required to improve the earthquake resistance of large scale bridges and similar structures by applying this system.

Theme leader: Prof. Koichi Watanabe

Numerical Simulation of Fracture Behavior of Bridge Structures in Massive Earthquakes

  • Cracks caused by extremely low cycle fatigue

  • Elucidating and predicting extremely low cycle fatigue phenomena based on numerical analysis simulation and experiments

Using numerical simulation, we are seeking to clarify how structures exhibit failure modes when subjected to excessive external forces such as an earthquake, focusing mainly on civil engineering steel structures such as steel bridge piers. We are developing methods to accurately evaluate the damage to the structure due to cracks caused by extremely low cycle fatigue.

Theme leader: Prof. Ge Hanbin

Prediction of Mechanical Behavior of Ground during a Massive Subduction-Zone Earthquake

Evaluation of seismic behavior of clayey ground using dynamic torsional shear test

We develop and implement advanced laboratory test methods to accurately observe the mechanical behavior of natural ground during an earthquake. We constructed a constitutive model that can predict the behavior of natural ground based on observed results. We are also carrying out simulation analyses of seismic ground behavior on the assumption that a subduction-type earthquake has actually occurred.

Theme leaders: Prof. Takeshi Kodaka; Prof. Cui Ying

Research on the Process of Levee Breaches

  • Setting parameters for the river and levee to be breached

  • Status of levee after breach (flat river bed contours and vector diagram)

Flooding disasters have become a more frequent occurrence in recent years. It is therefore necessary to gather more knowledge regarding disaster-reduction measures that can be taken in the case of excessive external forces (i.e., heavy rain). We focus on the phenomenon of the levee breach. Numerical analysis and experiments are conducted in order to explore differences in factors pertaining to the levee breach process. We consider measures to control the progression of such events.

Theme leader: Prof. Atsuko Mizoguchi

Research on the Mechanism behind Generation of Roll-Wave Debris Flow Surges and Their Surge Wave Motion Characteristics

  • Example of viscous debris flow in China (leading edge of debris flow runs from front to back in the photo)

  • Roll-wave debris surge experiment in a water channel 56 meters in length

Debris flow is well known as a phenomenon, which has great water depth at the leading edge and flows in a form as a single mass. We are conducting research to clarify its characteristics such as the mechanism in which a large number of debris flows occur intermittently and the height of the waves at the time of the flow.

Theme leader: Prof. Muneyuki Arai

Development of Methods to Evaluate the Stability of Artificial Slopes during Heavy Rain and Earthquakes

  • Laboratory test for mechanical properties of gravel taken from a levee

  • River levee breached by heavy rain from a typhoon

In recent years, frequent torrential rainfall has caused river levee failures to occur with regularity. The Great East Japan Earthquake also damaged a large number of river levees, and there are concerns about a Nankai Trough earthquake occurring in the very near future and causing damage in the Tokai region of Japan. Therefore, we are developing a rational method for evaluating the stability of river levees in order to prevent and reduce the impact of natural disasters caused by floods and earthquakes.

Theme leaders: Prof. Takeshi Kodaka; Prof. Cui Ying

Research on Optimization of Seismic Brace Joints Necessary to Control Seismic Response of Bridges

Experiment to verify performance of a gusset joint

We conduct experiments and analysis studies to establish optimal design solutions for gusset joints that connect energy dissipation devices applied to control the seismic response of bridges (for example, buckling-restrained braces, etc.) to the main structure of the bridge.

Theme leaders: Prof. Koichi Watanabe

Simulation of the Impact of Large Floating Objects on Long-Span Bridges at the Time of a Tsunami Wave Strike

  • Collision of a large vessel with a bridge during occurrence of tsunami

  • Damage situation of main tower base following collision

The Great East Japan Earthquake generated a massive tsunami, and a wide range of structures suffered catastrophic damage. In addition to the damage considered to have been directly caused by the tsunami, secondary damage was also enormous, such as vessels and containers swept away by the tsunami and becoming floating debris that damaged or destroyed structures. Using numerical simulation, we are developing techniques to shed light on the behavior of such floating objects in accident scenarios and damage to structures.

Theme leader: Prof. Ge Hanbin

Advanced Research Center for Natural Disaster Risk Reduction (NDRR) Launched

Meijo University’s “Research Project for ‘21st Century-Type’ Natural Disaster Risk Reduction” was adopted as a Strategic Research Base Development Program for Private Universities by MEXT Japan (the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) in 2012, and NDRR was launched.
NDRR promotes advanced research in the prevention and reduction of disasters in order to reduce the risks of “21st century-type” natural disasters faced by modern society, which include floods and landslide damage caused by torrential rain and earthquakes in urban areas.

Advanced Research Center for Natural Disaster Risk Reduction website