The proposed trans-Alaska oil pipeline, which would traverse the state north to south from Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic coast to Valdez on Prince William Sound, will be subject to serious earthquake hazards over much of its length. To be acceptable from an environmental standpoint, the pipeline system is to be designed to minimize the potential of oil leakage resulting from seismic shaking, faulting, and seismically induced ground deformation.
The design of the pipeline system must accommodate the effects of earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from 5.5 to 8.5 as specified in the 'Stipulations for Proposed Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System.' This report characterizes ground motions for the specified earthquakes in terms of peak levels of ground acceleration, velocity, and displacement and of duration of shaking.
Published strong motion data from the Western United States are critically reviewed to determine the intensity and duration of shaking within several kilometers of the slipped fault. For magnitudes 5 and 6, for which sufficient near-fault records are available, the adopted ground motion values are based on data. For larger earthquakes the values are based on extrapolations from the data for smaller shocks, guided by simplified theoretical models of the faulting process.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Ground motion values for use in the seismic design of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline system