Data, scripts, and figures associated with Flint et al. 2016 "Historical analysis of hydraulic bridge collapses in the continental United States"
Predictions of the risk to built infrastructure posed by climate and land use change have suggested that bridge collapses may increase due to changes in the frequency of flooding. Assessments of the United States frequently assume that bridges may collapse when the 100-year flood (ie., a flood with 1% annual frequency of exceedence) occurs, but this assumption has not been fully tested due to a lack of comprehensive collapse records. Thirty-five bridges for which a stream gauge on or near the bridge recorded the flow during total or partial collapse were identified and used to test this assumption. Flood frequency analyses, other statistical analyses, and structural reliability methods were used to quantify the return periods of collapse-inducing flows, identify trends linked to event and site characteristics, and assess the potential importance of collapse return period variability in assessing the impact of climate and land change on hydraulic collapse risk. Results indicate that the collapse-inducing flow return periods varied considerably (range: 1 to >1000 years), and were frequently lower than values considered in many climate impact assessments: 23 of the 35 bridges were estimated to have collapsed during flows with return periods lower than 100 years. Annual failure probabilities computed using the full distribution of return periods of the collapse-inducing flows, as opposed to central values (e.g., means), were more sensitive to an assumed increase or decrease in the underlying frequency of flooding. These results suggest that linking bridge collapse to only the 100-year flow does not capture significant variability associated with collapse return periods, potentially reducing sensitivity to flood frequency changes and reducing the robustness of assessments of the impact of climate, land use, and stream flow regulation change on hydraulic bridge collapses.
Files provided include supplementary data related to the bridges and the analyses, scripts to generate the figures in "Historical analysis of hydraulic bridge collapses in the continental United States," and supplementary figures.
|Type of resource
|[ca. 2013 - 2016]
|Flint, Madeleine M
|Diffenbaugh, Noah S
|Billington, Sarah L
|Department of Earth System Science
|Woods Institute for the Environment
|Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
|Flint, Madeleine M., Fringer, Oliver, Billington, Sarah L., Freyberg, David and Diffenbaugh, Noah S. (2017) "Historical analysis of hydraulic bridge collapses in the continental United States." ASCE Journal of Infrastructure Systems (Online): 04017005-1-16. 10.1061/(ASCE)IS.1943-555X.0000354.
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- Preferred Citation
- Flint, Madeleine M. and Fringer, Oliver and Billington, Sarah L. and Freyberg, David and Diffenbaugh, Noah S. (2016). Data, scripts, and figures associated with "Historical analysis of hydraulic bridge collapses in the continental United States." Stanford Digital Repository. Available at: http://purl.stanford.edu/xq579rb2654.
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