Performance of Liquid Storage Tanks during the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake

by Medhat A. Haroun, Univ of California, Irvine, United States,
Sherif A. Mourad, Univ of California, Irvine, United States,
Wajdi Abou-Izzeddine, Univ of California, Irvine, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Lifeline Earthquake Engineering


Utilities and industrial facilities in the strong shaking area of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake include a large inventory of tanks of all types. The earthquake induced a few incidents of damage to tanks of old and modern design, and even to a retrofitted tank. This paper documents the performance of tank structures during this seismic event through a detailed description of the damage sustained by ground-based petroleum and water storage tanks and by elevated water tanks. It appears that site amplification of the long period ground motion components was a cause of large amplitude sloshing and the associated damage to tanks built on Bay Mud. It is also apparent that design procedures for ground-based unanchored tanks require a substantial updating to reflect the recent technical advances and the lessons learned for such a type of tanks.

Subject Headings: Storage tanks | Water tanks | Earthquakes | Water storage | Industrial facilities | Damage (structural) | Ground motion | Seismic design | California | United States

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