Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Joaquín Dagá 1,4; Alondra Chamorro 1,3; Hernán de Solminihac 1,4; and Tomás Echaveguren 2,3
1 Department of Construction Engineering and Management, School of Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
2 Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Chile
3 National Research Center for Integrated Natural Disaster Management (CIGIDEN), CONICYT/FONDAP/15110017, Santiago, Chile
4 Latin American Center of Economic and Social Policies UC (CLAPES UC), Santiago, Chile
One of the main volcanic processes affecting road bridges are lahars, which are flows of water and volcanic material running down the slopes of a volcano and river valleys. Several studies have evidenced the effects of other volcanic processes on road infrastructure; however, limited information is available about the effects of lahars on bridges. In this paper, bridge failure models due to lahars are proposed and, based on these, fragility curves are developed. Failure models consider the limit state of pier and abutment overturning, and deck sliding caused by lahars. Existing physical models are used to stochastically characterize lahar loads and overturning momentum on bridges. Monte Carlo simulations are applied to quantify the probability of bridge failure given by different lahar depths. Fragility curves of bridges are finally parameterized by maximum likelihood estimation, assuming a cumulative log-normal distribution. Bridge failure models are empirically evaluated using data on 15 bridges that were affected by lahars in the last 50 years. Developed models suggest that decks fail mainly due to pier and/or abutment overturning, rather than deck-sliding forces. Moreover, it is concluded that bridges with piers are more vulnerable to lahars than bridges without piers. Further research is being conducted to develop an application tool to simulate the effects of expected lahars on exposed bridges of a road network.