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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 16, issue 12 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 2455-2472, 2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 29 Nov 2016

Research article | 29 Nov 2016

Development of fragility curves for railway embankment and ballast scour due to overtopping flood flow

Ryota Tsubaki1, Jeremy David Bricker2, Koji Ichii3, and Yoshihisa Kawahara3 Ryota Tsubaki et al.
  • 1Department of Civil Engineering, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8603, Aichi, Japan
  • 2Delft University of Technology, Civil Engineering and Geosciences, P.O. Box 5048, 2600 GA Delft, the Netherlands
  • 3Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hiroshima University, Kagamiyama 1-4-1, Higashi-hiroshima 739-8527, Hiroshima, Japan

Abstract. Fragility curves evaluating a risk of railway embankment fill and track ballast scour were developed. To develop fragility curves, two well-documented events of single-track railway washout during floods in Japan were investigated. Type of damage to the railway was categorized into no damage, ballast scour, and embankment scour, in order of damage severity. Railway overtopping water depth for each event was estimated based on well-documented hydrologic and hydraulic analyses. Normal and log-normal fragility curves were developed based on damage probability derived from field records and the estimated overtopping water depth. A combined ballast and embankment scour model was validated by comparing the results of previous studies and the spatial distribution of railway damage type records.

Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Railways in floodplains and coastal areas are frequently damaged by floods. Railway systems suffering scour damage face interruption of operation for weeks. This substantially limits the socioeconomic activities that rely on the transport service provided by the railway. This paper proposes new fragility curves for railway embankment and ballast scour. This contributes to expand our ability to estimate risk of flood hazard on our society more holistic than ever.
Railways in floodplains and coastal areas are frequently damaged by floods. Railway systems...