Earthquake Engineering

Seismic vulnerability and ranking of bridge embankments

In general, data regarding soil types and depth of bedrock are not available for many existing bridge embankments to allow for detailed seismic analysis and risk assessment.
This Chapter provides a methodology that enables identifying the embankments that are susceptible to failure during a seismic event. Having categorized the embankments in a designated region according to the respective failure risk, a priority list that includes the most critical bridge embankments can then be highlighted. When site-specific data for a bridge embankment is available, it can be used to obtain the list of seismically deficient embankments. When site-specific data for a bridge embankment is not available, the proposed methodology outlines an approach to estimate the information that is required to obtain the priority list. It is understood that the resulting seismic risk of a specific embankment may not be very accurate due to limited available data or lack thereof.
However, the estimated data and strength parameters that are available for utilization shall be assessed by a qualified geo-technical engineer in order to ensure valid results. In order to facilitate the application of the proposed ranking methodology, assumptions, calculations, and required checks are presented along with the parameters of each embankment. The parameters of each embankment include the respective geometry, material, seismic event, upper level of bedrock, level of natural ground line, soil type, and anticipated failure types.
The following sections: input variables, embankment vulnerability analysis, ranking parameters, category identification, and ranking and prioritization are provided to outline all of the necessary steps to achieve the study objective.

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