Probabilistic risk appraisal and mitigation of critical infrastructures for seismic extreme events

Alon Urlainis, Igal M Shohet

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The importance and the interdependencies of critical infrastructures such as power and water supply, communications, and healthcare is increasing continuously and constantly. Most of the vital services for the private and the public sectors depend on the continuous performance of critical infrastructures. However, the last decade's extreme events reveal a significant gap between the preparedness of critical infrastructures and the actual risk that those infrastructures are exposed to in case of seismic event. In this research a methodology is developed to appraise and mitigate the risk that critical infrastructures are exposed to in case of seismic events. The proposed method is designated also to act a s decision support tool for the selection of the most advantageous strategy to reduce the risk expectancy for extreme seismic events. A Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis (PSHA) approach is used in order to reflect a variety of possible seismic scenarios and overcome the uncertainties regarding to the timing, the location, and the magnitude of an earthquake. The seismic vulnerability of different components is evaluated by adjusted fragility curves and Fault-Tree-Analysis. The seismic risk function, that expresses the expected risk of the system for a given ground motion intensity, is derived according to the occurrence probabilities of the earthquake, the seismic vulnerability of different components, and the expected consequences. This paper introduces the developed methodology and demonstrates the key steps through a two case studies of oil pumping plant and oil tank farm. The pumping plant case study demonstrates the development of the risk function and examines the contribution of a possible mitigation strategy on the overall risk expectancy. The oil tank farm case demonstrates a derivation of an exclusive fragility function for critical infrastructures facility. This methodology provides novel analytical and decision-support tool that integrates between the components adjusted fragility curves in the risk assessment and the consequent mitigation step; the optimal mitigation strategy is derived from the fragility parameters reflection on the total risk function.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCreative Construction Conference 2018
PublisherBudapest University of Technology and Economics
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9786155270451
StatePublished - Dec 2018


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