Earthquakes and vibrations

Through knowledge of soil modeling and soil response to vibrations and dynamic loading, we analyze and evaluate earthquakes and vibrations and look at the effect of mitigating measures. Current issues are how vibration and earthquake loads affect buildings, bridges, railways, offshore structures, and slopes.


  • advanced numerical calculations of vibrations and wave propagation in soil and rock
  • modeling the response of soil masses to earthquake waves
  • instrumentation, measurement, and analysis of vibrations in soil, rock, and structures
  • cooperation between soil and construction
  • natural disasters caused by earthquakes
  • probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA)

NGI has a broadly composed professional environment with expertise in the behavior of geomaterials, acoustics, applied mathematics, and signal processing. This provides a unique starting point for solving practical problems and conducting research and development related to the effects of earthquakes and vibrations.

An increasing number of laboratories and production facilities are extremely sensitive to vibrations and require special vigilance when dimensioning the foundations. For offshore platforms, wind turbines, and other fixed structures, waves and wind lead to vibrations that affect the safety and service life of the structures.

Today's new buildings and constructions must be sized to withstand loads from any earthquakes, and we must follow the earthquake rules in Eurocode 8. The most current topics in earthquakes in Norway are slope stability, earthquake effects on piles, and cyclic response of quick clay.

Illustration of vibrations from railway

Research and development

The research efforts at NGI related to earthquakes and vibrations are:

  • the behavior of different soils, and stability of slopes under earthquake loading
  • response of offshore pipelines, piles, and inclined piles under earthquake loading
  • modeling of dynamic response to vibrations for wind turbines and offshore platforms
  • sound-induced vibrations in buildings, the influence of the ground on the propagation of low-frequency sound and vibrations
  • effect of vibrations from blasting on the triggering of landslides in quick clay, the behavior of quick clay during earthquakes
  • engineering design of foundations for vibration-sensitive facilities
  • low-frequency vibrations and structural noise from railways, dynamics on high-speed tracks

NGI is involved in standardization within vibrations and earthquakes and is a member of Norwegian Standards' earthquake and vibration committees. We have led the preparation of the Norwegian standards for vibrations from transport and effects on people, NS8176, and the standards for vibrations from blasting and other construction activities, NS8141.

Project example

Portrait of Maarten Vanneste

Maarten Vanneste

Head of Section Geohazards and Dynamics
+47 472 70 861
Portrait of Jörgen Johansson

Jörgen Johansson

Senior Specialist Geohazards and Dynamics
+47 912 49 616