University of Seville, Department of Continuum Mechanics and Structural Analysis


Ancient masonry buildings located in seismic areas present a significant challenge mainly in what concerns their diagnosis and the analysis of their structural response under seismic loads. In this work, the Salares medieval tower is adopted as a case study for damage diagnosis and structural safety assessment. The analysed structure is placed in the province of Málaga (Spain) with a peak horizontal ground acceleration of 0.21g. A number of three-dimensional non-linear finite element models with different levels of complexity and simplifications was performed, using 3-D solid elements or 3-D beam elements. Brittle non-linear behaviour of masonry was considered in the macro-level. No information regarding physical material properties is available, and the properties of contemporary structures in the region were considered. Subsequent non-linear static and non-linear dynamic analysis were performed. A first discussion was held on its present state of conservation, as variegated severe damages –including depth cracks and inclination- were observed. Regarding the origin of damages, previous ground motion effects and soil-structure interaction were considered. After a set of seismic studies, a second discussion focused on predicting local and global collapse mechanisms such as cracking propagation, crushing or over-turning was held. The aforementioned issues are crucial tasks for the dynamic characterization and safety assessment under dynamic actions. Furthermore, the proposed analysis method could be used to tackle similar problems in the field of architectural heritage structures.

Key words
ancient masonry tower, non-linear dynamic analysis, damage diagnosis, safety assessment