SYNER-G: Systemic Seismic Vulnerability and Risk Analysis for Buildings, Lifeline Networks and Infrastructures Safety Gain
fp7 natural hazards

Case Studies

The applicability of the SYNER-G methodology and tools has been tested through several case studies at urban and regional level as well as at complex infrastructure level.


The City of Theassaloniki in Northern Greece

Sotiris Argyroudis, Jacopo Selva, Kalliopi Kakderi, Kyriazis Pitilakis (AUTH), George Tsionis, Michael Fardis (UPAT), Bijan Khazai (KIT), Sebnem Duzgun, Kivanc Ertugay (METU)

The city of Thessaloniki is located in a high seismicity area in Northern Greece. The study area covers the municipality of Thessaloniki, which is divided in 20 Sub City Districts as defined by EUROSTAT and Urban Audit approach. The case study includes the following elements: building stock (BDG), road network (RDN), water supply system (WSS) and electric power network (EPN). The networks are comprised by the main lines and components and cover the wider Metropolitan area. The internal functioning of each network is simulated and a connectivity analysis is performed. Moreover, specific interdependencies between systems are considered: EPN with WSS (electric power supply to pumping stations), RDN with BDG (road blockage due to building collapses), BDG with EPN and WSS (displaced people due to utility loss). New fragility curves have been developed for building and bridges in Thessaloniki. An accessibility analysis to hospital facilities considering the damages in RDN is also performed and a shelter demand analysis based on a multi-criteria approach and using the loss assessments for buildings and utilities is applied.

Sub-city districts (SCD) of Thessaloniki study area as defined by Urban Audit


The Brigittenau district in Vienna, Austria

Contributors: Helmut Wenzel, David Schäfer, Anna Bosi (VCE)

The city of Vienna in Austria is located in a low seismicity area. The majority of seismic risk in Austria is associated with the Vienna transform fault zone, which runs through the eastern part of Austria beneath the city of Vienna and surrounding areas. The region of interest selected for the case study is the Brigittenau district, which is the 20th district of Vienna. It is located north of the central district, north of Leopoldstadt on the same island area between the Danube and the Danube Canal. Brigittenau is a heavily populated urban area with many residential buildings and several networks and infrastructures.

The present test case is mainly an attempt to look at SYNER-G methods at the building level, using high-resolution data. This data is not commonly available, thus a specific building identification procedure has been formulated to identify and inventory buildings that were considered in the case study. A deterministic and a probabilistic analysis have been performed in the area of interest in order to assess the expected losses for buildings and lifelines and to highlight the benefits of both approaches. The EQvis software which is based on MAEviz tool (MAEviz, 2010) has been used for the deterministic analysis, while the SYNER-G prototype software was used for the probabilistic analysis.

Brigittenau district in the city of Vienna and overview of transportation networks in the considered area


The medium-pressure gas distribution system of L’Aquila in Italy

Contributors: Simona Esposito, Iunio Iervolino (AMRA)

The medium-pressure part of the L’Aquila (central Italy) gas distribution system is considered. The selected network is characterized by three reduction stations connecting the network to the high-pressure nationwide net-work, more than two hundreds kilometers of pipelines, either made of steel or high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes, and about two hundred Reduction Groups (M/R stations). The network is composed of 602 nodes (3 sources, 209 RGs and 390 joints) and 608 links.

The study employs probabilistic seismic and geotechnical hazard analysis, empirical relations to estimate pipeline response, fragility curves for the evaluation of M/R stations’ vulnerability, and connectivity performance indicators  (serviceability ratio and connectivity loss) to characterize the functionality of the network. Earthquakes are generated using as source the Paganica fault and considering characteristic earthquakes of moment magnitude Mw 6.3 while the landslide potential of L’Aquila region is also considered.

Application gas system of L’Aquila (central Italy)


The Road Network of Calabria region in Southern Italy

Contributors: Francesco Cavalieri, Paolo Franchin, Paolo Emilio Pinto (UROMA)

The road network in Calabria region, Southern Italy has been chosen as the case study. A data reduction process was performed in order to remove the irrelevant components at the regional scale. A pure connectivity analysis is per-formed considering 2,861 nodes and 5,970 edges of the network. The seismic hazard is modeled through 20 faults taken from the Italian DISS (Database of Individual Seismogenic Sources) database.

Calabria region road network topology


The Electric Power Network of Sicily in Italy

Contributors: Francesco Cavalieri, Paolo Franchin, Paolo Emilio Pinto (UROMA)

The electric power network of Sicily, Southern Italy has been chosen as a case study. A capacitive study is performed, with power flow analysis that follows the analysis of short-circuit propagation, in which circuit breakers are active components playing a key role in arresting the short-circuit spreading. The substations are not modeled as vulnerable points, while their full internal logic is modeled to account for partial functioning. The network is composed of 181 nodes and 220 transmission lines. The seismic hazard is modeled through 18 faults taken from the Italian DISS database.

Position of municipalities and Electric Power Network nodes in Sicily case study


A Regional Health Care System

Contributors: Alessio Lupoi, Francesco Cavalieri, Paolo Franchin (UROMA)

The seismic performance of a generic regional Health-Care System (HCS) is investigated. The earthquake effects both on hospitals and on the Road Network (RDN), connecting towns to hospitals, are evaluated and the interaction among them is accounted. Victims move to hospitals until their request for a bed or for a surgical treatment is satisfied, if possible. A novel “dynamic” model for hospitalization is developed and implemented where the path of the victims from the town of origin to the hospital of destination through the road network is considered. Hospitalization, for each homogenous type of victims, is accorded on a “first-come, first-served” criterion. 

The road network is modelled in connectivity terms. The vulnerability of hospitals and bridges is expressed by pre-evaluated fragility curves relative to existing structures located in Italy. Uncertainties associated to seismic hazard, ground motion intensities and estimation of victims are accounted. In particular, the reliability problem is solved by Monte Carlo simulation. The un-hospitalized victims, the risk that hospitals are unable to provide medical care, the demand of medical care on hospitals and the hospitalization travel time, are among the useful results of the analysis. The methodology is exemplified with reference to a hypothetical region, with population of 877,000, 20 towns, 5 hospitals and 32 bridges.

The study area of regional Health-Care System


The Harbour of Thessaloniki in Greece

Contributors: Kalliopi Kakderi, Jacopo Selva, Kyriazis Pitilakis (AUTH)

The assessment of the systemic vulnerability of Thessaloniki’s port is performed. The port covers an area of 1,550,000 m² and trades approximately 16,000,000 tons of cargo annually, having a capacity of 370,000 containers and six piers with 6,500m length. In the case study, waterfront structures, cargo handling equipment, power supply system, roadway system and buildings are examined. In particular, for the systemic analysis, waterfront structures of a total 6.5 km length, 48 crane-nodes and two terminals (one container and one bulk cargo) are considered. The interactions accounted for in the analysis are the supply of EPN to cranes and the road closures due to building collapses.

For seismic hazard, five seismic zones have been selected, based on the recent results of the SHARE European research project (Giardini et al. 2013), as for the Thessaloniki case study. A plain Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) has been carried out sampling earthquake events for these zones and computing selected performance indicators (PIs) based on the estimated damages and functionality loss of the different components.

Aerial view of Thessaloniki’s harbor

More information for the case studies are given in the SYNER-G Reference Report 6 and in the  Book (ed. Pitilakis K, Franchin P, Khazai B, Wenzel H, 2014) published by Springer Editions.


                         © VCE 2014