A Methodology for Assessing the Risk of Hazardous Materials Release Following Earthquakes—A Demonstration Study for the Los Angeles Area

by Hope A. Seligson, Dames & Moore, Los Angeles, United States,
Ronald T. Eguchi, Dames & Moore, Los Angeles, United States,
Kathleen J. Tierney, Dames & Moore, Los Angeles, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Lifeline Earthquake Engineering


A methodology for estimating the risk of post-earthquake hazardous materials releases was developed for the National Science Foundation and the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research. This methodology combines seismic hazard analyses with fragility modeling of facilities handling hazardous materials, and data on airborne toxic releases to estimate the magnitude of the risk. The methodology was developed as a tool for use by local communities interested in regional hazard management. In order to demonstrate the methodology, the population exposed to hazardous materials releases was estimated for three earthquake scenarios in the Los Angeles basin: a Magnitude 8+ event on the San Andreas fault, a Magnitude 7 event on the Newport-Inglewood fault, and a Magnitude 5.9 simulation of the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake.

Subject Headings: Hazardous materials | Soil pollution | Earthquake magnitude scale | Risk management | Earthquakes | Water pollution | Management methods | Geological faults | Los Angeles | California | United States

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