Gas Line Response to Earthquakes

by John D. McNorgan, Staff Engr.; Southern California Gas Co., Los Angeles, CA,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 4, Pg. 821-826

Document Type: Journal Paper


Since there is no such thing as an earthquake-proof pipeline, gas utilities operating in areas subject to seismic damage need adequate plans to respond to earthquakes. Emergency procedures, organizations, and communications are a must. Desirable design features for pipelines include in-line separator, pipeline drips, pigging ability, filters, and scrubbers. Distribution systems need valving to provide isolation districts and alternate supply. Sharp vertical or lateral dislocations and ruptures of the ground resulting from the February 9, 1971 earthquake caused 450 breaks in the 690 miles of gas piping located in the San Fernando-Sylmar area. Replacements, repairs, and service restorations cost $1,732,000.

Subject Headings: Pipe cleaning | Gas pipelines | Earthquakes | Natural gas | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Damage (structural) | Emergency management

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