Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Rakesh Goel


The design and maintenance of Marine Oil and LNG Terminals is governed by the Marine Oil Terminal Engineering and Maintenance Standards (MOTEMS) which is part of the 2010 Title 24 California Code of Regulations, Part 2, California Building Code, Chapter 31F: Marine Oil Terminals. The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate the current recommendations for the in-ground plastic hinge length and depth for piles in section 7 of MOTEMS for all typical soil properties and pile dimensions found in Marine Oil and LNG Terminals. The pile types considered in this analysis are 24-inch octagonal prestressed concrete piles and 24-, 36-, and 48-inch steel pipe piles in varying soil conditions.

Existing recommendations for plastic hinges are incomplete and inadequate. MOTEMS does not have any recommendations for plastic hinge depth, only length, nor does it have any recommendations for in-ground plastic hinge for steel piles. Recommendations for steel piles are however found in the Port of Long Beach Wharf Design Criteria (POLB), but the recommendations in both MOTEMS and POLB have shown to be inadequate for both steel and prestressed concrete piles. MOTEMS also proves to be adequate for Level 2 earthquakes but not for Level 1. The plastic hinge length for Level 1 is much longer than that for Level 2. So the MOTEMS recommendations for Level 1 lead to conservatively small displacement capacity. POLB recommendations are also adequate for Level 2 but not Level 1 for concrete and are overly conservative for steal and therefore, not adequate for either level except in dense and medium sands during a Level 1earthquake. POLB does not take into account different soil characteristics and has one value for all soils, which is inadequate for most cases.