Seismic Studies of the Valdez Marine Terminal

Content last updated in 2012. Because better seismic engineering is now available for asset protection and because the 1964 earthquake is now believed to have been more severe than originally thought, the council is concerned that the seismic protection of Valdez Marine Terminal (VMT) assets may not be adequate for an earthquake of the size that occurred in 1964. Specific concerns are the stability of containment dikes around the various types of storage tanks, slope stability, stability of earth and rock support under storage tanks, and the structural integrity of all oil handling components of the VMT, especially those weakened by corrosion.

Project Objectives

  • identify extent to which VMT may not satisfy current seismic engineering standards
  • examine seismic re-engineering issues at the VMT
  • recommend feasible seismic re-engineering activities for the VMT
  • identify current risks of significant oil spills due to large earthquakes at or near the VMT
  • coordinate with other seismic studies being conducted in Alaska
  • identify if degradation of physical plant has lessened its capability to withstand earthquakes
The Joint Pipeline Office (JPO) has indicated to Alyeska that the seismic standards to which Alyeska structures and facilities must conform are those described in IBC 2003 (International Building Code -2003). It is expected that those facilities and structures not presently conforming may be fully or partially grandfathered to older standards.
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