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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Miles, Scott B.

Second Advisor

Paci-Green, Rebekah

Third Advisor

Buckley, Patrick H.


This thesis looked at regional disaster resilience with a specific focus on economic loss of energy infrastructure disruption from a seismic hazard impact. This thesis discusses typical damage sustained by regions from energy disruption and representative earthquake damage specific to energy infrastructure. Due to its seismic risk, geographically concentrated energy infrastructure, and state-level agencies interested in energy infrastructure resilience, Oregon was used as a selected study to model energy infrastructure disruption. The economic interdependencies of Oregon's energy infrastructure, broader critical infrastructure, and Oregon's commercial economy are determined through an Input-Output (IO) economic impact model. IMPLAN provided the economic data and model software for all of Oregon for 2008. A sector aggregation scheme was developed to represent Oregon's economy as 19 sectors with emphasis on the energy infrastructure sectors of petroleum, electricity, and natural gas. The IO developed for Oregon in 2008 can be seen in Appendix A. A representation of output of the energy infrastructure sectors was then manipulated with impact scenarios in order to represent seismic hazard damage in the seismic disaster context. 16 impact scenarios were developed with varying degrees of final demand change ranging from one or all three energy infrastructure sectors being disrupted. Direct, indirect, induced, and total changes in all sectors for output, employment, labor income, and value added for every impact scenario were then analyzed. For the largest impact scenario, a total of 3% total output change for all of Oregon as well as a minimum of 2.42 jobs would be expected to be lost for every direct job lost in the energy sectors. The sectors of transport by pipeline, mining, transport by rail, and utilities will be more impacted than other sectors in Oregon's economy due to energy infrastructure disruption. Additionally, this thesis infers electricity is more important than petroleum and natural gas to everyday life in Oregon. Petroleum is important to the production of itself, the regional economy, and the production of all other energy infrastructure sectors. Therefore, regions should strive for petroleum to be the energy sector most resistant to damage and electricity to be the energy sector able to quickly regain output to enhance regional disaster resilience with respect to energy infrastructure. IO is a good first building block for more involved economic impact models but a more representative model would allow for substitution. Future work should also develop a way to incorporate IO and impact results into a recovery model for both components of resilience (loss and recovery) to be modeled.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Earthquake hazard analysis--Oregon; Energy industries--Oregon; Infrastructure (Economics)--Oregon; Emergency management--Oregon; Earthquakes--Economic aspects--Oregon

Geographic Coverage





masters theses




Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

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