Impacts of the 1811-1812 earthquakes on existing transportation networks in memphis area


Significant damage of transportation infrastructure systems usually occurs during a major earthquake event. The impacts of bridge damage include not only short-term costs of structural repair, but also long-term economic consequences. In addition to initial replacement or repair costs of damage to the transportation structures, large earthquakes increase delays because of network components severe loss of functionality. After a severe earthquake, different parts of a roadway system will receive various levels of damage, and the capacity of those severely affected portions will be reduced, which will cause further traffic congestion. This paper describes a simulation of the response of a hypothetical transportation network, located in Memphis Area, which contains damaged bridges as result of multiple New Madrid earthquakes. For this purpose, the bridges in the transportation network are subjected to successive ground motions that simulate the historical 1811-1812 earthquake sequence. Bridge damage levels are determined based on a rigorous finite element analysis and the traffic capacity of the network roadways is predicted accordingly. Finally, the results show that the effect of earthquake damage on travel time is highly significant.

Publication Title

NCEE 2014 - 10th U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering: Frontiers of Earthquake Engineering