Assessment of Failure Frequencies of Pipelines in Natech Events Triggered by Earthquakes
Amaducci, Fabiola
Misuri, Alessio
Salzano, Ernesto
Cozzani, Valerio

How to Cite

Amaducci F., Misuri A., Salzano E., Cozzani V., 2022, Assessment of Failure Frequencies of Pipelines in Natech Events Triggered by Earthquakes, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 91, 451-456.


During a seismic event, underground pipelines can undergo to significant damages with severe implications in terms of life safety and economic impact. This type of scenarios falls under the definition of Natech. In recent years, quantitative risk analysis became a pivotal tool to assess and manage Natech risk. Among the tools required to perform the quantitative assessment of Natech risk, vulnerability models are required to characterize equipment damages from natural events. This contribution is focused on the review of the pipeline vulnerability models available for the case of earthquakes. Two main categories of models have been identified in the literature. A first category proposes the repair rate as performance indicator for the damage of pipeline due to seismic load, and gives as output the number of required repairs per unit length. A second category proposes fragility curves associated with risk states depending on the mechanism of ground failure. In the framework of Natech risk assessment, the latter have the important advantage of having clearly and unambiguously defined the risk status (and thus the extent of the release) with which they are associated. A subset of vulnerability models deemed more appropriate to be applied in the framework of Natech risk assessment is then identified. Their application to the assessment of the expected frequencies of release events due to pipeline damage is provided, enabling their comparison and the discussion of the relative strengths and weaknesses.