July 2013, Vol. 240 No. 7

TechNotes

Protecting Pipelines From Catastrophic Effects of Earthquakes

On Dec. 26 a gas pipeline blast followed by a mild earthquake struck Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi, which will host the 2014 Winter Olympics. No one was hurt and there was no apparent damage to the city’s infrastructure after a 5.2 magnitude earthquake was reported at 0242 local time. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there are 14,000 earthquakes worldwide each year that have a magnitude of 4 or greater—700 of which occur in the U.S. and Alaska. There are several methods for mitigating the effects of seismic activity on infrastructure, among the most notable being the use of EPS geofoam as a seismic buffer for buried structures and rigid retaining w

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