Earthquake Engineering MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions)

Here are Earthquake Engineering MCQs (Chapterwise).

1. Which of the following earthquakes helped researchers to discover the actual cause of earthquakes?
a) 1906, San Francisco, California earthquake
b) 1960, Valdivia earthquake
c) 1995, Kobe’s earthquake
d) 1940, El Centro earthquake
View Answer

Answer: a
Explanation: After the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco a fault was discovered that could be followed along the ground in a more or less straight line for 270 miles. The discovery of this fault led the researchers to study the cause of earthquakes.

2. How are magnitudes of the earthquake classified?
a) Reid’s and duration magnitude
b) Richter and Mercalli magnitude
c) Reid’s and Mercalli magnitude
d) Richter and duration magnitude
View Answer

Answer: d
Explanation: The earthquake magnitude is classified as Richter and duration magnitude. Richter magnitude was developed by Dr. Charles Richter and was based on past earthquake data whereas Duration magnitude was developed by Aki and Chouet and depended upon the duration for which occurs and unlike Richter scale it is independent of the distance of the seismometer from the epicentre.

3. The moment magnitude of an earthquake is measured by measuring which of these phenomena in an earthquake?
a) Energy released due to pounding of two masses
b) Duration required to achieve static equilibrium
c) Moment released during earthquake rupture
d) Displacement due to ground shaking
View Answer

Answer: c
Explanation: The conventional magnitude scales (ML, mB or MS) are based on maximum amplitude and period of body waves or surface waves and they underestimate the intensity of an earthquake. A moment magnitude scale measures these intensities by measuring the moment release during earthquake rupture which is appreciably on a conservative side.

4. What does the Reid’s elastic rebound theory explain about an earthquake?
a) Shaking of ground during earthquake
b) Volcanic eruptions
c) Spread of energy after formation of fault
d) Occurence of Tsunamis
View Answer

Answer: b
Explanation: Reid’s elastic rebound theory explains how energy stored in the tectonic plates is re-distributed when its stress resisting capacity exceeds a certain value.

5. Which of these theories explain the occurrence of earthquakes at specific locations?
a) Elastic rebound theory
b) Delamination theory
c) Intra-plate theory
d) Plate tectonics theory
View Answer

Answer: d
Explanation: According to the plate tectonic theory the continents have formed by splitting of one single land mass into multiple land masses. The line along which these land mass has split are the locations wherein the probability of occurrence of an earthquake is maximum.

6. Which of the following is not used to measure the intensity of an earthquake?
a) Reid’s Scale
b) Rossi Forel Scale
c) Medvedev Scale
d) Mercalli Scale
View Answer

Answer: a
Explanation: Reid’s scale is not a scale for measuring earthquake. Mercalli scale was developed in 1902 and later modified in 1931 and know as Medvedev scale, Rossi forel scale in 1900.

7. Which of these earthquakes occur within a plate?
a) Intrafault earthquake
b) Interfault earthquake
c) Intraplate earthquake
d) Interplate earthquake
View Answer

Answer: c
Explanation: Intraplate earthquakes are the earthquakes that occur inside a tectonic plate. Stresses within a plate result in this type of earthquakes. About 5% of the earthquakes occur within a plate. Gujarat earthquake which occurred in 2001 is an example of intraplate earthquake.

8. What is the term given to the maximum earthquake ground motion that is expected to occur once during the design life of the structure?
a) Design Mean Earthquake (DME)
b) Design Basis Earthquake (DBE)
c) Maximum Intensity Earthquake (MIE)
d) Maximum Credible Earthquake (MCE)
View Answer

Answer: b
Explanation: The earthquake corresponding to the maximum ground motion that is expected to occur once during the design life of the structure is called as Design Basis Earthquake (DBE). Ordinary buildings are designed considering this earthquake. The structure should remain functional during and after this earthquake.

9. What is the range of depth of focus for a deep focus earthquake?
a) 100 km to 450 km
b) 70 km to 300 km
c) 0 km to 250 km
d) 300 km to 700 km
View Answer

Answer: d
Explanation: Deep focus earthquakes are the earthquakes having depth of focus in the range of 300 km to 700 km. These earthquakes begin where one plate moves under the other. They are of higher magnitudes, of range 6 to 8 or more. They are measured using Moment Magnitude scale.

10. Which of these earthquakes is more harmful?
a) Deep earthquake
b) Narrow earthquake
c) Shallow earthquake
d) Intermediate earthquake
View Answer

Answer: c
Explanation: A shallow earthquake is more harmful. In a shallow earthquake the fault occurs at a depth of less than 70 Km from the ground surface which results in less absorption of seismic energy in the earth’s interior, leading to more impact to the structures on the ground surface.

11. Basin edge induces which type of seismic waves?
a) Body waves
b) Surface waves
c) Shear waves
d) Bending waves
View Answer

Answer: b
Explanation: Basin edges induce surface waves mainly because of their cone-like geometry. It leads to diffraction of seismic waves and energy focusing.

12. Which of the following statement is not true for local site effects caused due to earthquakes?
a) Basin-edge induces strong seismic waves near the edges
b) There is more damage along the narrow zone of a soil mass with lateral discontinuities
c) Wave trapping is responsible for an increase in duration of the earthquake motion in a soil mass
d) Damping of soil during earthquake causes differential settlement
View Answer

Answer: d
Explanation: Due to soil damping the seismic energy is lost to a considerable extend and the soil particles vibrate with lesser amplitudes. Differential settlement is caused due to interference of multiple seismic waves. It is independent of the damping of soil.

13. Which of these earthquakes caused the largest number of casualties in the history of Indian earthquakes?
a) Anjar earthquake 1971
b) Broach earthquake 1970
c) Bhuj earthquake 2001
d) Koyna earthquake 1967
View Answer

Answer: c
Explanation: The casualties arising from the Bhuj earthquake were 20,000 whereas for Anjar, Koyna, Broach earthquakes the casualties were less than 500.

14. Which of these earthquakes has the lowest frequency and can be picked up only by a seismometer?
a) Teleseismic earthquake
b) Iso-seismal earthquake
c) Regional earthquake
d) Local earthquake
View Answer

Answer: a
Explanation: Teleseismic earthquakes are the ones which occur at a distance of 500 Km from the epicentre. Their intensity is so small that they can only be detected by seismometers.

15. Which of these earthquakes indicated a need of demarcating earthquake zones even in the Indian peninsular region?
a) Koyna Earthquake 1967
b) Bhuj Earthquake 2002
c) Latur Earthquake 1993
d) Kangra Earthquake 1905
View Answer

Answer: c
Explanation: An earthquake of magnitude 6.2 on the Richter scale stroked in the early hours of 30th September 1993 in Killari, Latur which of earlier considered as a low damage zone. This resulted in the BIS to review the seismic studies of the peninsular region and incorporate a method of probabilistic analysis along with the primitive method of demarcation on the basis of Iso-seismal data alone.

16. Which of these approaches of earthquake zoning considers the occurrence of earthquake from multiple sources?
a) Deterministic approach
b) Probabilistic approach
c) Realistic approach
d) Optimistic approach
View Answer

Answer: b
Explanation: A probabilistic approach considers the occurrence of earthquake from multiple sources where as a deterministic approach considers the occurrence of earthquake from a single-source. Therefore, a deterministic approach is a more conservative approach and a combination of it with the probabilistic approach has been it has been adopted by the Bureau of Indian Standards for zoning of the Indian Peninsular region.

17. Which of these recording instruments are being used to maintain earthquake records of the Himalayan belt in India?
a) MMR
b) Richter Scale
d) SRR
View Answer

Answer: d
Explanation: Structural response recorder (SRR) along with Roorkee Earthquake School Accelerograph (RESA) are being used to record earthquakes along the Himalayan belt. More than 200 RESA and 350 SRRs have been placed along the Himalayan belt.

18. Tsunamis are caused because of which of these phenomena?
a) Development of a low pressure zone near the sea surface
b) Volcanic activities under the sea
c) Seismic activities under the sea bed
d) Gravitational pull of the moon and the earth
View Answer

Answer: c
Explanation: Tsunamis occur mainly because of the collision of tectonic plates at the boundaries leading to the development of a subduction zone on the ocean floor. The friction between the plate undergoing subduction and the over-riding plate results in the two plates being stuck and releasing energy in form of Tsunami waves.

Chapterwise Multiple Choice Questions on Earthquake Engineering

Earthquake Engineering MCQ

Our MCQs focus on all topics of the Earthquake Engineering subject, covering all topics. This will help you to prepare for exams, contests, online tests, quizzes, viva-voce, interviews, and certifications. You can practice these MCQs chapter by chapter starting from the 1st chapter or you can jump to any chapter of your choice.
  1. Engineering Seismology
  2. Seismic Zoning Map of India
  3. Strong Motion Studies in India
  4. Strong Motion Characteristics
  5. Evaluation of Seismic Design Parameters
  6. Dynamics of Single Degree of Freedom System
  7. Theory of Seismic Pickups
  8. Dynamics of MDOF System

1. MCQ on Engineering Seismology

The section contains multiple choice questions and answers on Reid’s elastic rebound theory, engineering seismology, seismic waves, earthquake size, local site effect, internal structure of Earth, seismotectonics of India, seismicity of India, earthquake classification, and tsunami.

  • Reid’s Elastic Rebound Theory
  • Engineering Seismology
  • Seismic Waves
  • Earthquake Size
  • Local Site Effect
  • Internal Structure of Earth
  • Seismotectonics of India
  • Seismicity of India
  • Classification of Earthquakes
  • Tsunami
  • 2. Earthquake Engineering MCQ on Seismic Zoning Map of India

    The section covers questions and answers on seismic hazard maps, including the seismic zone map of 2002.

  • Seismic Hazard Map
  • Seismic Zone Map of 2002
  • 3. Strong Motion Studies in India

    The section contains MCQs on the nature of ground motion, as well as strong motion studies in India.

  • Nature of Ground Motion
  • Strong Motion Studies in India
  • 4. Strong Motion Characteristics

    The section contains Earthquake Engineering multiple choice questions and answers on terminology of strong motion seismology.

  • Terminology of Strong Motion Seismology
  • 5. Evaluation of Seismic Design Parameters

    The section covers questions and answers on earthquake types, fault rupture parameters, ground motion characteristics, seismic design parameters evaluation, probabilistic approach, response spectra, and design spectra.

  • Types of Earthquake
  • Fault Rupture Parameters
  • Earthquake Ground Motion Characteristics
  • Evaluation of Seismic Design Parameters
  • Probabilistic Approach
  • Response Spectra
  • Design Spectra
  • 6. Dynamics of Single Degree of Freedom System

    The section contains MCQs on free vibration analysis of SDOF systems, force vibration analysis of SDOF systems, and vibration isolation.

  • Free Vibration Analysis of SDOF System
  • Force Vibration Analysis of SDOF System
  • Vibration Isolation
  • 7. MCQ on Theory of Seismic Pickups

    The section contains Earthquake Engineering multiple choice questions and answers on the theory of seismic pickups, seismometer, and seismic theory with accelerometers.

  • Theory of Seismic Pickups
  • Seismometer
  • Seismic Theory – Accelerometer
  • 8. Earthquake Engineering Questions on Dynamics of MDOF System

    The section covers questions and answers on dynamics of two-degree freedom systems, free vibration analysis of MDOF systems, fundamental frequency, forced vibration analysis, model order reduction, multi-support excitation analysis, and soil-structure interaction effects.

  • Dynamics of Two Degree Freedom System
  • Free Vibration analysis of MDOF System
  • Fundamental Frequency of MDOF System
  • Forced Vibration Analysis of MDOF System
  • Model Order Reduction in Structural Dynamics
  • Analysis for Multi-Support Excitation
  • Soil Structure Interaction Effects
  • If you would like to learn "Earthquake Engineering" thoroughly, you should attempt to work on the complete set of 1000+ MCQs - multiple choice questions and answers mentioned above. It will immensely help anyone trying to crack an exam or an interview.

    Wish you the best in your endeavor to learn and master Earthquake Engineering!

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