Dynamic evaluation of a historic fountain under blast loading

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The fountain in the center of the Plaza de los Luceros is one of the most important monuments of the city of Alicante (Spain). This modernist structure was built by the local artist Daniel Bañuls in 1930, and is composed of a central body and four horse sculptures. It has been re-paired several times in the early years of XXI century, even the monument was once totally dismantled, and reconstructed later, due to the works carried out during the construction of an underground railway station under the Plaza. The most frequent pathologies are superficial cracking and spalling because of the nearby road traffic, water from the fountain, and corrosion of the embedded steel elements of the fountain installation. Furthermore, blast-induced vibrations should be considered as another damage source, because every year for the city festivities several fireworks (called mascletàs) are held in the Plaza, near the fountain. The location of these mascletàs, typical in the east-coast of Spain, led to a public debate about the possible effects on the fountain's health. Temporary measures were taken to protect each horse sculpture during last years' mascletàs, and health monitoring was made to evaluate both the effectiveness of these protections, and the damages suffered by the monument. Several accelerometers were attached to the fountain itself and the ground (which is currently the slab of the lower station. The peak accelerations measured at the monument during a mascletà were around 0.4g. After a frequency analysis, the maximum accelerations exceeded the limits recommended in different European standards for low frequencies, in the range between 1 and 10 Hz. Therefore, these blasts may produce excessive damage on the fountain and some preventive measurements should be taken to preserve it.




Baeza, F. J., Ivorra, S., Bru, D., & Varona, F. B. (2017). Dynamic evaluation of a historic fountain under blast loading. In Procedia Engineering (Vol. 199, pp. 3308–3313). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2017.09.435

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