Lifelines and transnational transportation corridors often traverse diverse geological terrains and are exposed to a variety of geohazards. The evaluation of such hazards can be made difficult by a lack of data (epistemic uncertainty) and an overwhelming and often confusing juxtaposition of differing geological environments. Analysis of such long, linear routes is best achieved using terrain analysis, considering both the seismotectonic characteristics and geomorphological settings. The development of detailed conceptual ground models for each terrain unit can allow the rational and logical synthesis of prior data allowing preliminary (deterministic) assessment of geohazard susceptibility. Once the hazards have been identified, available prior information can then be used to assign magnitude and recurrence parameters to each hazard. This allows a first-order assumption of hazard recurrence. Coupled with a basic understanding of system fragility, this can be used as a means to ensure that robust front end engineering design (FEED) can progress. This allows the identification of significant hazards requiring either project rerouting, redesign or further study. The levels of hazard knowledge can be clearly demonstrated and significant epistemic uncertainty identified early in the hazard evaluation process, allowing timely modification to subsequent site investigation activities in order that the relevant knowledge gaps are addressed.
- Ground models