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Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering

On-line version ISSN 2309-8775
Print version ISSN 1021-2019


WORKU, A. The status of basic design ground motion provisions in seismic design codes of sub-Saharan African countries: A critical review. J. S. Afr. Inst. Civ. Eng. [online]. 2014, vol.56, n.1, pp.40-52. ISSN 2309-8775.

Basic provisions for design ground motions in seismic design codes of sub-Saharan African countries are critically reviewed. The seismic codes of Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda are selected to represent the eastern region, Ghana to represent the west and South Africa to represent the south. The specific provisions considered are those pertaining to site effect and the recurrence period of the design earthquake. The codes are also compared with one another and with selected current international codes from the US and Europe, with respect to selected provisions. The provisions are further viewed from the perspective of the state of the art and the state of the practice. It has been concluded that these basic provisions in most of the sub-Saharan African codes considered are inadequate in guaranteeing safety of human life and limiting damage to property, suggesting a need for immediate updating, an exception being the South African code.

Keywords : seismicity; seismic design; seismic hazard; return period; site effect; design spectra; sub-Saharan Africa.

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