Simulation of Water System Seismic Risk

by Irving J. Oppenheim, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Architecture and Civ. Engrg.; Carnegie-Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, Pa.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Technical Councils of ASCE, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 2, Pg. 327-336

Document Type: Journal Paper


A function was generated to estimate the total earthquake induced loss as a function of earthquake intensity for a water system serving 400,000 users in a small land area. Losses included repair and emergency service costs, inconvenience, and fire and industrial loss estimates. The function was then integrated over the probability density function for earthquake occurrence, yielding the annual expected loss. This procedure was performed for hypothetical systems in different parts of the country, at different loss sensitivity levels, and with different levels of structural resistance. In the worst case, the system loss reached 15% of the annualized system cost. Although the results cannot be extrapolated to all systems, the results are representative for many water systems. In purely economic terms, seismic risk is not very significant for such systems.

Subject Headings: Seismic effects | Earthquakes | Seismic tests | Emergency management | Fires | Industries | Probability | Load and resistance factor design

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