Monumental Challenge


On Tuesday, August 23, 2011, an earthquake with a moment magnitude of 5.8 was recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey within the Central Virginia Seismic Zone. Centered near Mineral, Virginia, approximately 84 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., the earthquake occurred at an approximate depth of 3.7 miles below the surface and was followed by several aftershocks with moment magnitudes ranging from 2.0 to 4.5. The U.S. Geological Survey has confirmed that this event was the most widely felt earthquake in U.S. history, and among the structures that sustained damage was the Washington Monument, long considered the centerpiece of the National Mall.

Our engineers and architects share their first-person accounts of the post-earthquake assessment, stabilization, and repair design of this monumental challenge.