For nearly 1,000 years, the Tower of Pisa resisted many: earthquakes, Mussolini and other straightening attempts. A new study by a European engineering team shows why the tower is so “rebellious” and “stubborn”.
He did not want to turn (rebellious) nor collapsed (stubbornly) for the same reason: the soft ground at the base of it. Thus, the interaction between the tower‘s foundation and the soft soil gave it a bizarre (unstable) stability.
Several strong earthquakes struck Italy since the construction of the tower in 1173, the existence of which is known from various chronicles from the time of the Holy Roman Empire . However, none of these events led to a change in the axis of the Tower in Pisa, according to Popular Science .
Researchers have come to the conclusion, after analyzes, that if an earthquake hit the area, the soft soil, the height and robustness of the tower would not vibrate as much as the adjacent structures.
“Ironically, the same soil that caused instability and led the tower to the point of crash has the merit of helping construction to survive seismic events,” said engineer George Mylonkanis, one of the research team members at the University of Bristol, the Great Britain, and one of the two non-Italian scientists in the research team of 16 specialists.
This is the newest study on the Tower of Pisa. Over the past 30 years, the (near) millenary construction has returned to the attention of specialists after the structure of the earthquake began to bend dramatically in 1990 and the interventions of the engineers made the tower return to its known angle of 0, 54 degrees.