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The Northridge, California Earthquake of January 17, 1994: Performance of Gas Transmission Pipelines

T.D.O'Rourke, M.C.Palmer

NCEER-94-0011 | 5/16/1994 | 96 pages

About the Report:

TOC: The table of contents is provided.

Notes: The photographs and corresponding captions included in this report can be viewed online

Keywords: Northridge, California Earthquake, January 1994, Seismic Performance, Ground Failure, Gas Transmission Pipelines, Surface Fault Ruptures, Buried Pipelines, Damage Statistics, Long Beach, California Earthquake, March 10, 1933, Welded Steel Pipelines, Liquefaction, Kern County, California Earthquake, July 21, 1952, Welds, Liquefaction, Landslides, San Fernando, California Earthquake, February 9, 1994, Imperial Valley, California Earthquake, October 15, 1979, and Earthquake Engineering.

Abstract: This reconnaissance report provides a performance analysis of gas transmission pipelines during the Northridge, California Earthquake of January 17, 1994, and a number of previous Southern California earthquakes, including the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, the Kern County earthquakes of 1952 and 1954, the 1971 San Fernando earthquake and the Imperial Valley earthquake of 1979. For each earthquake, the report provides a summary of its general seismological features, particularly its ground motion duration and intensity, followed by a review of both ground failures caused by the earthquake, and the performance of gas pipelines subject to varying local ground conditions and seismically induced forces. On the basis of this detailed and systematic review of past seismic performance, the report provides detailed observations relating pipeline damage to: 1) Modified Mercalli Intensity; 2) the types of welds used in the fabrication of the pipeline; and 3) the various types of seismically induced ground failure to which pipelines were subjected. The report provides detailed observations on the causes and characteristics of failure of older oxy-acetylene welds, as well as observations on the generally greater resiliency of post-WWII welds made using electric arc techniques.