The profound cultural transformation that has taken place in Italian seismic studies in the last ten years is distinguished by the growing interest in the problem of assessing the effects of earthquakes linked to local conditions, and in the related issue of a precise definition of the properties of the soil in the sphere of the dynamic and cyclical stresses induced by seismic actions. Despite the profound awareness of the extent to which the nature of the soil contributes to the destructive effects of earthquakes, we are still a long way from the possibility of a realistic forecast of the seismic behaviour of the Italian soils. This is because the identification of the dynamic properties calls for experimental equipment that is technologically complex and costly as well as lengthy observation and qualified personnel. The rare experimental data that have been acquired to date hence represent a fundamental element for scientific reflection. This book has been conceived with a view to setting at the disposal of a broader public the results of the tests conducted on site and in the laboratory on the soil of certain significant seismic areas using the dynamic-type apparatus of the Geotechnical Laboratory of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DICeA) of the University of Florence. It presents a selection of the works of the Geotechnical section of the DICeA that have been published in various specialist international and national ambits. These studies were largely launched following the seismic sequence in Umbria and the Marches, in collaboration with several Regional Authorities and Research Institutes for the reduction of the seismic risk in Italy (GNDT, IRRS, INGV). In addition to the experimental techniques and the results obtained, the models and the geotechnical procedures adopted for assessing the effects of site and soil instability in certain specific deposits of the Italian territory are also expounded.
University of Florence, Italy