Refinement of Housner’s model on rocking blocks

Tamás Ther, L. Kollar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Housner published a simple model for the rocking block more than five decades ago (Housner in Bull Seismol Soc Am 53:403–417, 1963), which is widely used also for modeling stone and masonry columns and arches. In this paper we investigate the reasons of the well-known fact that experiments show lower energy loss during impact than it is predicted by Housner’s model. It was found that a reasonable explanation for the difference is that in the original model the best case scenario was assumed: that impact occurs at the edges, which results in the maximum energy loss. In reality, due to the unevenness of the surfaces, or due to the presence of aggregates between the interfaces, rocking may occur with consecutive impacts, which reduces the energy loss. This hypothesis was also verified by experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Nov 18 2016


  • Housner
  • Impact
  • Rigid block
  • Rocking block

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geophysics

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