Computer Simulations

(See Close Up)

A computer model (Show Me) was developed for the 25 metre high intake tower in Loch Glascarnoch (Where is it?). The tower is constructed from reinforced concrete. Computer simulations were then run to find out how the tower would behave during different earthquakes. (Why?)

The results of the simulation are studied to find out what the forces on the tower could be and also how far it could bend. This picture shows the areas of tension on the tower when it is swaying in the direction of the arrow. Tension would try to pull the tower apart. If the forces become too great, the concrete would crack and the steel reinforcement would stretch and eventually break. You can see that the highest tension occurs near the base of the tower.


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from Bristol University