Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Earthquake and post-earthquake vulnerability assessment of urban gas pipelines network

  • 21 Accesses


Urban gas pipelines network as one of the most vital lifelines plays an important role in the level of vulnerability and earthquake damage. Iran is located on the Alpide earthquake belt, which is one of the highly earthquake-prone zones of the world. The first earthquake effect, which can damage pipelines, is the transient ground deformation caused by wave propagation. The second one is the permanent ground deformation, which refers to liquefaction, landslide, and ground failure. With the failure of the gas pipelines, a fire may also occur, and consequently, the indirect damage caused by the earthquake may even further increase. This paper investigates the seismic risk of the Asaluyeh city urban gas distribution network by regarding the all geo-seismic hazard using HAZUS methodology. The post-earthquake ignition is evaluated using fault tree method, and the consequences of the design earthquake are assessed using PHAST package. Finally, the network physical damage risk, human risk, and direct economic risk are all evaluated. The results show that three possible failures may happen in the Asaluyeh gas distribution network. While the probability of an ignition occurrence is 35% for leakage and 32% for breaking, the post-earthquake ignition can affect around 30 people.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12


  1. Akkar S, Bommer JJ (2010) Empirical Equations for the Prediction of PGA, PGV, and Spectral Accelerations in Europe, the Mediterranean Region, and the Middle East. Seismol Res Lett 81(2):195–206

  2. Akyol N, Karagöz Ö (2009) Empirical attenuation relationships for western Anatolia, Turkey. Turk J Earth Sci 18:351–382

  3. Atkinson G, Davenport A, Novak M (1982) Seismic risk to pipelines with application to Northern Canada. Can J Civ Eng 9(2):248–264

  4. Behnam B (2017) Post-earthquake fire analysis in urban structures: risk management strategies. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, New York, London

  5. Berberian M (1994) Natural hazards and the first earthquake catalogue of Iran. Volume 1: historical hazards in Iran prior to 1900. International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, Tehran, p 603

  6. Berberian M (1995) Master “blind” thrust faults hidden under the Zagros folds: active basement tectonics and surface morphotectonics. Tectonophysics 241(3–4):193–224

  7. Berberian M, Qorashi M, Arzhang-Ravesh B, Mohajer-Ashjai A (1985) Recent tectonics, seismotectonics, and earthquake-fault hazard study of the greater Tehran region, Tehran quadrangle area (Contribution to the Seismotectonics of Iran). Geological Survey of Iran [Part V, Report No. 56. 316 p (in Farsi)]

  8. Borsutzky R (2006) Seismic risk analysis of buried lifelines: simulation of seismic ground motion. Technical report. International Graduate College, Risk Management of Natural …

  9. Chang L, Song J (2007) Matrix-based system reliability analysis of urban infrastructure networks: a case study of MLGW natural gas network. In: Fifth China-Japan-US trilateral symposium on lifeline earthquake engineering

  10. Cornell CA (1967) Bounds on the reliability of structural systems. J Struct Div 93(1):171–200

  11. Crespellani T, Facciorusso J, Renzi S (2006) Seismic risk analysis of a lifeline system subjected to permanent ground deformations. In: 1st European conference on earthquake engineering and seismology, Geneva

  12. Datta T (1999) Seismic response of buried pipelines: a state-of-the-art review. Nucl Eng Des 192(2–3):271–284

  13. Douglas J (2018) Ground motion prediction equations 1964–2018. Review, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

  14. Erel B, Patelunas GM, Niece JE, Oppenheim IJ (1977) Measuring the earthquake performance of urban water systems. In: The current state of knowledge of lifeline earthquake engineering. ASCE

  15. Esposito S (2011) Systemic seismic risk analysis of gas distribution networks. PhD University of Naples Fegerico II, PhD Porgramme in Seismic Risk, Naples

  16. Ghasemi H, Zare M, Fukushima Y, Koketsu K (2009) An empirical spectral ground-motion model for Iran. J Seismol 13(4):499–515

  17. Ghodrati Amiri G, Khorasani M, Mirza Hessabi R, Razavian Amrei SA (2009) Ground-motion prediction equations of spectral ordinates and Arias intensity for Iran. J Earthq Eng 14(1):1–29

  18. Ghorbani M (2013) A summary of geology of Iran. The economic geology of Iran. Springer, Berlin, pp 45–64

  19. Hessami K, Jamali F (2006) Explanatory notes to the map of major active faults of Iran. J Seismol Earthq Eng 8(1):1–11

  20. Hessami K, Jamali F, Tabassi H (2003) Major active faults of Iran (map), scale 1: 2, 5000, 000, Ministry of Science. Research and Technology, International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, Tehran

  21. IIEES (2019) International institute of earthquake engineering and seismology (of Iran). http://www.iiees.ac.ir/en/

  22. IRIMO (2018) I.R.OF IRAN meteorological organization. http://irimo.ir/

  23. Kijko A, Sellevoll MA (1989) Estimation of earthquake hazard parameters from incomplete data files. Part I. Utilization of extreme and complete catalogs with different threshold magnitudes. Bull Seismol Soc Am 79(3):645–654

  24. Koike T, Takada S, Ogawa Y, Matsumoto M, Tajima T, Hassani N (2004) Seismic damage predictions for the gas distribution systems in great Tehran, Iran. In: 13th world conference on earthquake engineering, Paper, Vancouver

  25. Mashaly E-SA, Datta TK (1989) Seismic risk analysis of buried pipelines. J Transp Eng 115(3):232–252

  26. Meyersohn WD (1991) Analytical and design considerations for the seismic response of buried pipelines. Cornell University, Ithaca

  27. Mizuno H (1978) On outbreak of fires in earthquakes. Dissertation. Department of Architecture, Kyoto University, Kyoto

  28. Mohammadi J, Ang AH (1982) Seismic hazard analysis of lifelines. J Struct Div 108(6):1232–1249

  29. Monzon-Despang H, Shah HC (1982) Seismic risk analysis of infrastructural systems. J Tech Counc ASCE 108(1):10–23

  30. Mousavi M, Hesari M, Azarbakht A (2014) Seismic risk assessment of the 3rd Azerbaijan gas pipeline in Iran. Nat Hazards 74(3):1327–1348

  31. NIBS (2012) Multi-hazard loss estimation methodology, earthquake model HAZUS-MH 2.1 technical manual

  32. Nowroozi A (2005) Attenuation relations for peak horizontal and vertical accelerations of earthquake ground motion in Iran: a preliminary analysis. J Seism Earthq Eng 7:109–127

  33. O’rourke M (1995) Seismic behavior of buried pipeline components: a state-of-the-art review. In: Proceedings, 10th European conference on earthquake engineering

  34. Oppenheim IJ (1979) Simulation of water system seismic risk. J Tech Counc ASCE 105(2):327–336

  35. O’Rourke T, Jeon S-S (1999) Factors affecting the earthquake damage of water distribution systems. Optimizing post-earthquake lifeline system reliability, ASCE

  36. O'Rourke MJ, Liu X (1999) Response of buried pipelines subject to earthquake effects. Technical Report of MCEER Monograph No.3. Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research

  37. O’Rourke T, Grigoriu M, Khater M (1985) Seismic response of buried pipelines. In: American society of mechanical engineers, pressure vessel and piping technology—1985: a decade of progress, pp 281–323

  38. Psyrras NK, Sextos AG (2018) Safety of buried steel natural gas pipelines under earthquake-induced ground shaking: a review. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 106:254–277

  39. Reiter L (1991) Seismic hazard analysis. Columbia University Press, New York

  40. Sadigh K, Egan J, Youngs R (1986) Specification of ground motion for seismic design of long period structures. Earthq Notes 57(1):13

  41. Scawthorn C (1986) Simulation modeling of fire following earthquake. In: Proceedings, 3rd national conference for earthquake engineering

  42. Scawthorn C, Eidinger JM, Schiff A (2005) Fire following earthquake. ASCE Publications, New York

  43. Seed H, Idriss I (1982) Ground motions and soil liquefaction during earthquakes: engineering monographs on earthquake criteria, structural design, and strong motion records. MNO-5. Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, Oakland

  44. Taleb-Agha G (1977) Seismic risk analysis of lifeline networks. Bull Seismol Soc Am 67(6):1625–1645

  45. Talebian M, Jackson J (2004) A reappraisal of earthquake focal mechanisms and active shortening in the Zagros mountains of Iran. Geophys J Int 156(3):506–526

  46. Tavakoli B, Pezeshk S (2007) A new approach to estimate a mixed model–based ground motion prediction equation. Earthq Spectra 23(3):665–684

  47. Toprak S, Taskin F (2007) Estimation of earthquake damage to buried pipelines caused by ground shaking. Nat Hazards 40(1):1–24

  48. Tsinidis G, Di Sarno L, Sextos A, Furtner P (2019) A critical review on the vulnerability assessment of natural gas pipelines subjected to seismic wave propagation. Part 1: fragility relations and implemented seismic intensity measures. Tunn Undergr Space Technol 86:279–296

  49. Wijaya H, Rajeev P, Gad E (2019) Effect of seismic and soil parameter uncertainties on seismic damage of buried segmented pipeline. Transp Geotech 21:100274

  50. Wilson R (1985) Predicting areal limit of earthquake-induced landsliding, evaluating earthquake hazards in the Los Angeles region—an earth-science perspective. US Geol Surv Prof Pap 1360:317–345

  51. Wong I, Bouabid J, Graf W, Huyck C, Porush A, Silva W, Siegel T, Bureau G, Eguchi R, Knight J (2005) Potential losses in a repeat of the 1886 Charleston, South Carolina, earthquake. Earthq Spectra 21(4):1157–1184

  52. Yamin LE, Arambula S, Reyes JC, Belage S, Vega A, Gil W (2004) Earthquake loss estimation for a gas lifeline transportation system in Colombia. In: 13th world conference on earthquake engineering, Paper, Vancouver

  53. Youd TL, Perkins DM (1978) Mapping liquefaction-induced ground failure potential. J Soil Mech Found Div 104(4):433–446

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Behrouz Behnam.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Farahani, S., Tahershamsi, A. & Behnam, B. Earthquake and post-earthquake vulnerability assessment of urban gas pipelines network. Nat Hazards (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-020-03874-4

Download citation


  • Pipelines
  • Earthquake
  • Post-earthquake
  • Hazard analysis
  • Vulnerability