Damage assessment of Siverek Castle during the Kahramanmaraş Earthquakes (Mw 7.7 and Mw 7.6) on 06 February 2023: Remediation and strengthening proposals

Nasery M. M., Çelik M., ŞADOĞLU E.

Engineering Geology, vol.334, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 334
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.enggeo.2024.107511
  • Journal Name: Engineering Geology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, INSPEC, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, DIALNET, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Cultural heritage, Kahramanmaraş earthquakes, Remediation and strengthening, Rockfall analysis, Siverek castle, Slope stability
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


On February 6, 2023, two significant earthquakes with magnitudes (Mw) of 7.7 and 7.6 struck Turkey, occurring nine hours apart. In addition to the tragic loss of over 50,000 lives in the earthquakes centered in Kahramanmaraş, hundreds of thousands of engineering structures, such as residences, schools, hospitals, historical landmarks, highways, and more, were severely damaged. This study assesses the damages and risk scenario following the Kahramanmaraş earthquakes concerning Siverek Castle. In addition, remediation and strengthening proposals, required to eliminate the damage and the possible risk, have been developed. The initial stage involved observational damage assessments on the castle and surrounding slopes as part of field studies, identifying five different types of damage and potential risks. Subsequently, a precise 3D digital model of the damaged castle and its slopes was generated using the digital photogrammetry method. Additionally, geological and geophysical studies were conducted in the field to determine the characteristics of the mound structure, historical castle walls, soil and rock on the slope. Non-destructive, geophysical methods consisting Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES), Seismic Refraction Method (SRM) and Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) measurements were specifically employed in the area with historical remnants. To verify the obtained data, five boreholes were drilled in the lower parts of the slope, and experimental studies were conducted to determine the soil and rock material properties of the slope. In the numerical studies, a total of 54 2D stability analyses were performed under static, long-term static, and dynamic conditions. Additionally, 1000 different probabilistic rockfall analyses were conducted, both in 2D and 3D, to calculate the run-out distance, bounce height, velocity, and kinetic energies of the blocks that fell or were about to fall during the earthquake. In the final stage of the study, remediation and strengthening recommendations were prepared for the strengthening of the fortification walls and slopes where failures occurred, and stability analyses were conducted. Consequently, a design proposal recommending five distinct approaches to remediate and strengthen the castle and slopes impacted by the Kahramanmaraş earthquakes was endorsed by the relevant authorities, and construction has commenced. When the remediation and strengthening works are completed, the security of the cultural heritage will be ensured, and it is planned to be opened to visitors.