Documentation, structural health monitoring and numerical modelling for damage assessment of the Morris Island Lighthouse

Anna Blyth, Rebecca Napolitano, Branko Glisic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Heritage structures serve as invaluable records of cultural achievement that should be preserved for future generations. To ensure the successful preservation of these structures, there must be an affordable and effective way to conduct conservation. The objective of this work is to outline an efficient workflow for the structural analysis of preservation projects through a case study on the Morris Island Lighthouse in Charleston, South Carolina. Thorough documentation of the cultural significance and structural condition of the lighthouse was completed through archival research, photogrammetry and crack mapping. Structural Health Monitoring and Distinct Element Modelling were used to analyse past structural damage and the present condition. The behaviour of masonry and crack propagation was evaluated under gravity, wind, wave and seismic loading. The results of these analyses were summarized in a virtual tour and informational modelling environment, which allows the results to be accessed and associated with their physical location on the structure. The benefits and limitations of this process are discussed, and a standardized workflow for efficient structural analysis of cultural heritage is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20190002
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2155
StatePublished - Oct 7 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Mathematics


  • Photogrammetry
  • Preservation
  • Seismic assessment
  • Structural analysis
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Virtual Tour and Informational Modelling


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