Ertuncay D., Malisan P., Costa G., Grimaz S.




Near fault seismic records may contain impulsive motions in velocity-time history. The seismic records can be identified as impulsive and non-impulsive depending on the features that their waveforms have. These motions can be an indicator of directivity or fling step effect, and they may cause dangerous effects on structures; for this reason, there is increasing attention on this subject in the last years. In this study, we collect the major earthquakes in Italy, with a magnitude large or equal to Mw 5.0, and identify the impulsive motions recorded by seismic stations. We correlate impulsive motions with directivity and fling step effects. We find that most earthquakes produced impulsive signals due to the directivity effect, though those at close stations to the 30 October 2016 Amatrice earthquake might be generated by the fling step effect.  Starting from the analyzed impulses, we discuss on the potential influence of site effects on impulsive signals and suggest a characterization based on the main displacement directions of the impulsive horizontal displacements. Finally, we discuss on the damage of three churches in Emilia, which were subject to impulsive ground motion, underlying in a qualitative way, how the characteristics of the pulses may have had influences the structural response of the façades.