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Pipelines are reliable and economical means of transporting water, oil, gas, sewage and other fluids. Substantial pipeline damages have occurred during past major earthquakes. These pipeline failures developed due to permanent ground deformation (PGD) or transient ground deformations (TGD). PGD caused by earthquakes across faults have high damage potential for buried pipelines even though they are limited to small areas within the pipeline network. Therefore, the behaviour of pipelines crossing faults is necessary to be understood in order to mitigate the effects of faults. Several studies including analytical methodologies, Finite Element models and experimental works have been performed for evaluating the behaviour of pipelines crossing faults. In this paper, a review of pipeline failure modes during past earthquakes are presented. Analytical, numerical methods, and experimental studies are also discussed. Furthermore, pipeline performance criteria are discussed considering tensile failure, local buckling, beam buckling and ovalisation.
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3rd International Soil-Structure Interaction Symposium-Izmir, Turkey
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A review of the behaviour of buried continuous pipelines crossing
faults
Hasan Emre Demirci1*, Subhamoy Bhattacharya 2, and Rao
Martand Singh3
1PhD Student, University of Surrey, h.demirci@surrey.ac.uk
2Professor and Chair in Geomechanics, University of Surrey,
s.bhattacharya@surrey.ac.uk
3Lecturer, University of Surrey, r.singh@surrey.ac.uk
ABSTRACT: Pipelines are reliable and economical means of
transporting water, oil, gas, sewage and other fluids. Substantial
pipeline damages have occurred during past major earthquakes. These
pipeline failures developed due to permanent ground deformation
(PGD) or transient ground deformations (TGD). PGD caused by
earthquakes across faults have high damage potential for buried
pipelines even though they are limited to small areas within the pipeline
network. Therefore, the behaviour of pipelines crossing faults is
necessary to be understood in order to mitigate the effects of faults.
Several studies including analytical methodologies, Finite Element
models and experimental works have been performed for evaluating the
behaviour of pipelines crossing faults. In this paper, a review of pipeline
failure modes during past earthquakes are presented. Analytical,
numerical methods, and experimental studies are also discussed.
Furthermore, pipeline performance criteria are discussed considering
tensile failure, local buckling, beam buckling and ovalisation.
Keywords: Earthquake, PGD, TGD, analytical methods, finite element
models, experimental study.
INTRODUCTION
A large number of pipelines are located in the areas of high seismic
risk. Earthquake related pipeline damage can severely affect a nation’s
industries, economy and services. Thus, earthquake resistant design of
buried continuous pipelines is one of the significant aspect in
geotechnical and structural engineering. Fault movement is one of the
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main seismic hazards and the biggest threat to pipeline services that
causes different types of pipe failure mechanisms. Types of failures
include joint failure, tension failure, beam buckling and local (shell)
buckling. The repair costs of the pipeline damage are extremely
expensive if the damage occurs at a large scale as a result of seismic
hazard. For example, the largest single pipeline loss in the history is the
extensive damage to the Trans-Ecuadorian pipeline in the 1987 Ecuador
earthquake. Roughly, 40 km of the 498 km Trans-Ecuadorian pipeline
was reconstructed which costed approximately $850 million (National
Research Council, 1991). In addition to cost implications, there are a
number of significant effects caused by pipeline failures that are not
initially apparent. For example, leakage from a damaged sewage pipe
could spread into soil and water resulting in illness and epidemic in
extreme cases and contamination. A gas pipe leakage could lead to fire
risks and health hazards. Water pipeline damage can pose the most
dramatic problems for fire emergency services. For example, during the
1906 San Francisco earthquake, the most documented event, the water
mains broke leaving the fire department with limited water resources to
fight fires (O’Rourke, 2010).
The evaluation of pipeline response to permanent ground deformation
PGD (faults, landslides, lateral spreading due to liquefaction etc.) and
transient ground deformation (TGD) (wave propagation) is required in
order to design earthquake resistant pipelines. In this paper, the pipeline
response to faulting is briefly reviewed and analytical, numerical and
experimental methods to analyse such problems are presented. Limit
states, which are used to evaluate the pipeline performance, are
reviewed and the critical values for the limit states are summarised in
the paper.
FAILURE MODES for CONTINUOUS PIPELINES
The principal failure modes for continuous pipelines are axial tension
failure, local buckling due to high axial compression, flexural failure
and beam buckling failure which occurs when a continuous pipeline is
buried at a shallow depth as observed during the past earthquakes.
Tensile Failure
Modern steel pipes with arc-welded butt joints are very ductile and
are able to mobilize large tensile strain with significant yielding before
rupture. However, older steel pipes with as-welded joints, steel pipes
with welded slip joints, and steel pipes with butt welded joints are not
3rd International Soil-Structure Interaction Symposium-Izmir, Turkey
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good at accommodating large tensile strain before rupture (O’Rourke
and Liu, 1999). Tensile strain in the pipeline can occur due to seismic
hazards such as faulting, landslide, liquefaction and liquefaction
induced lateral spreading.
Local Buckling
Local buckling or wrinkling in a pipeline arises due to local instability
of the pipe wall, caused by high axial compressive forces within the
pipe. After the initiation of local shell wrinkling, all subsequent wave
propagation and geometric distortion caused by ground deformation has
a tendency to concentrate at the wrinkle (O’Rourke and Liu, 1999).
Large diameter pipelines buried in deeper trenches behave more like
shells and the pipelines which have large diameter to wall thickness
ratio (D/t) and deep burial depth (H) tend to buckle in local (shell)
buckling mode.
Beam Buckling
Smaller diameter pipelines which are buried in relatively shallow
trenches and/or backfilled with loose material tend to behave like
beams. The small diameter pipelines which have small diameter to wall
thickness ratio (D/t) tend to buckle in a beam mode. Several factors such
as the bending stiffness and burial depth of the pipe and initial
imperfection have an influence on beam buckling occurrence. It can
also happen during post-earthquake excavations to relieve compressive
strain in the pipes (Mc Norgan, 1989).
EFFECTS of PGD on PIPELINE RESPONSE
Landslides, liquefaction induced lateral spreading, faulting and
seismic settlement are major forms of PGD. Even though the PGD
caused by earthquakes such as faulting and landslides are limited to
small areas within the pipeline network, the damage potential is quite
high since PGD imposes large deformation on the pipelines. Tensile
strain, compression strain and bending strain can occur within the
pipeline due to PGD imposed on them. The types of strain arising within
the pipeline for different PGD cases are shown in Figures 1, 2 and 3.
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Figure 1. Principal effects of landslides on pipelines depending on
their orientation
Figure 2. Schematic of buried pipeline response to transient
displacement at liquefaction site (O’Rourke and Pease, 1995)
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Figure 3. Earthquake-induced ground rupture patterns: (a) strike-slip
fault, (b) normal fault, and (c)reverse fault
As shown in Figure 1, orientation of pipelines with respect to landslide
direction is a significant issue which has a fairly large effect on cross-
sectional forces arising within the pipeline. In cases where pipelines are
placed perpendicular to landslide direction they are mainly subjected to
bending. In other cases such as oblique crossing and parallel crossing,
pipeline can undergo tension, compression, and bending. In Figure 2,
buried continuous pipeline response to transient displacement at
liquefaction site is shown. Axial and bending strains can arise along the
pipe due to settlement, transverse movement and axial movement at
liquefaction site. The effects of various ground rupture patterns such as
strike-slip, normal and reverse faults are shown in Figure 3. For a strike-
slip fault event, compression and bending occur within the pipeline if
pipe-fault intersection angle (α) is positive; on the other hand tension
and bending arise within the pipeline for a negative fault crossing angle.
In the case of normal faulting, a pipeline mainly undergoes tension
whereas compressive strains mainly occur within the pipeline subjected
to reverse faulting.
ANALYTICAL METHODS
Several analytical methods have been proposed to analyse the
response of pipelines crossing faults as reported in the literature.
Despite their limitations, the analytical methods are very time efficient
compared to numerical methods and quite practical for preliminary
design of pipelines. The analytical methods are an efficient way of
checking more rigorous and complex analysis. Table 1 summarises the
limitations of various analytical methods used in the past and
modifications relative to earlier methods.
a)
b)
c)
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NUMERICAL METHODS
Finite Element Method (FEM) is one of the most useful numerical
tools to explore the response of pipelines subjected to PGD, taking into
account the non-linear soil/pipe behaviour and the interaction between
soil and pipe. As reported in the literature, FEM is widely used in order
to validate analytical solutions, perform parametric studies and evaluate
the factors influencing the behaviour of pipeline subjected to PGD and
to design pipelines considering limit states including local buckling,
beam buckling and ovalisation. Table 2 summarises various studies
reported in the literature using FEM. The key findings of various finite
element studies are explained below:
The formation of local buckling at pipeline wall is the governing
mode when pipelines are subjected to excessive compressive
strains (Vazouras et al., 2010).
Stiff ground conditions results in a small deformation capacity
of the pipeline whereas soft ground conditions increase the
critical fault displacement (Vazouras et al., 2010).
There is a small decrease in the pipe deformation capacity due
to early yielding of the steel material when pipe is subjected to
internal pressure (Vazouras et al., 2010).
Pipelines have a greater deformation capacity when the steel
grade of pipeline increases (Vazouras et al., 2010).
Maximum axial strain occurs at the pipe-fault intersection (Xie
et al., 2011).
An increase in the ratio of burial depth to pipe diameter (H/D)
results in the increase in bending and axial strains of pipeline
(Xie et al., 2011).
For large fault-pipe intersection angles, the pipe is mainly
subjected to bending rather than tension (Xie et al., 2011).
Analytical methods are not capable of analysing behaviour of
pipes which is constructed from soft materials like High Density
Polyethylene (HDPE) because second-order effects induced by
large deformations are very significant for these kind of
materials (Xie et al., 2011).
1D Beam+soil spring model is adequate for capturing the salient
response of the pipe. The characteristics of soil springs (p-y
curves) are critical for obtaining good estimates of the pipeline
response (Xie et al., 2011).
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Table 1. A review of analytical methods and their limitations
Analytical Methods Modifications to earlier analytical methods Limitations
Newmark and Hall (1975) -
1.Only for pipelines which are primarily
subjected to tensile strain. 2.Small deflection
theory was used. 3.Passive soil resistance
was not considered.
Kennedy et al. (1977)
1.The work of Newmark and Hall (1975) was extended by
considering soil-pipe interaction in both transverse and
longitudinal directions. 2.Large deflection theory was used to
calculate pipeline elongation.
1.Pipeline was assumed as a flexible cable
with no flexural resistance, leading to
overestimation of pipeline curvature and
bending strain. (This assumption is valid for
the pipeline subjected to large fault
displacement-the whole cross-section of pipe
undergoes yielding) 2.Bending
strains arising on the pipeline in the foot wall
zone were ignored due to the consideration
of plastic hinge at pipe-fault intersection.
Wang and Yeh (1985)
1.Bending stiffness of the pipeline was taken into account.
2.The pipeline was partitioned into four distinct segments:
two portions in the transition zone (circular arcs), other two
portions outside this zone (beams on elastic foundation).
1.The bending strains were underestimated
due to the unfavorable contribution of axial
forces on bending stiffness of the pipeline.
(The bending strains are well predicted only
for very small fault displacements-this model
is unable to consider the influence of axial
force on the bending stiffness of the pipeline.)
Karamitros et al. (2007)
1.Four distinct pipeline segments were used as in the work of
Wang and Yeh (1985) with one basic difference: Elastic
beams were used to analyse two segments in the transition
zone so that variation of the bending stiffness of pipeline was
taken into account. 2.The equivalent linear calculation loops
which the secant Young's modulus of the pipeline was
adjusted in each loop. 3.Second order effects are taken into
account by using simple equation 4.The elasto-plastic
distribution of strains and stresses over the pipeline cross-
section were determined by quantifying the axial-bending
strain interaction.
1.Symmetry condition was used so that only
the case of the pipeline crossing strike-slip
faults can be analysed.
2.The elongation due to the bending was
neglected in calculation of axial force.
Trifonov and Cherniy (2010)
1.Non-symmetry condition about pipe-fault intersection
point, which is capable of analysing different types of fault
kinematics, was used. 2.The pipeline was partitioned into
four segments as in earlier methodologies (Wang and Yeh,
1985; Karamitros et al., 2007). However, beams in bending
and tension with direct account for the axial force were used
for the segments in the transition zone. 3.The elongation due
to pipe bending was taken into account.
1.Simulating second order effects has brought
about a complexity in system of equations
that are solved with minimization techniques.
Karamitros et al. (2011)
1.Non-symmetry condition about pipe-fault intersection point
was used to analyse the behaviour of pipeline crossing
normal faults. 2.Three pipeline segments were used since
there is no symmetry about pipe-fault intersection. 3.The
response of pipelines crossing oblique faults was analysed by
combining the work of Karamitros et al. (2007) and this
method.
1.The elongation due to the bending was
neglected in calculation of axial force.
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The critical fault displacement is strongly dependent on pipe
diameter to wall thickness (D/t) (Vazouras et al., 2012).
Local buckling is governing limit state for non-positive values
of fault-intersection angle () (Vazouras et al., 2012).
For positive values of % tensile strain limit and the
flattening limit state are dominant (Vazouras et al., 2012).
The presence of internal pressure results in decrease in cross-
sectional distortion of the pipeline. The flattening does not reach
the critical value of 0.15, even for a large fault displacement
(Vazouras et al., 2012).
Table 2. A review of FEM Studies
EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES
The verification of analytical results/finite element analysis results by
using field case histories is essential to obtain reliable outcomes.
However, there is a limited number of validated case histories to verify
such results. Due to the lack of verified case histories, large-scale
laboratory tests, 1g scaled tests, and centrifuge-based modelling of
buried pipelines are adopted for verification and calibration of
Lim et al. (2001) Beam Model Longitudinal PGD
1.Verification of their analysis results using earlier research results
2.PGD Pattern, pipe diameter and pipe thickness effects on the response
of pipeline 3.The critical length of lateral spreading zone and the critical
magnitude of PGD
Takada et al. (2001) Hybrid Model Faulting
1.Determination of the relation between bent angle and maximum pipe
strain by using finite element analysis for various pipe-fault conditions
O'Rourke et al. (2003) Beam Model Faulting
1.Comparison of finite element analysis results and measured results
from centrifuge based modeling
Sakanoue and Yoshizaki (2004) Hybrid Model PGD
1.Investigation of lightweight backfill effects on the response of pipeline
subjected to PGD
Liu et al. (2004)
Shell model + Equivalent
Boundary
Faulting
1.The verification of equivalent boundary method with the fixed boundary
shell model 2. The evaluation of time efficiency of the new model
Karamitros et al. (2007) Hybrid Model Faulting
1.Verification of the results obtained from their proposed methodology by
using 3D nonlinear finite element analysis
Vazouras et al. (2010) Soil Continuum-Shell Faulting
1.Investigation of the mechanical behaviour of buried steel pipelines
under strike slip faulting 2.The effects of various soil and pipeline
parameters on the response of pipeline
Xie et al. (2011)
1.Beam Model
2.Shell Model
Faulting
1.Comparison of finite element analysis results and measured results
from centrifuge based modeling 2.Offset rate, Moisture content, H/D
ratio, Pipe diameter, Fault angle effects on pipeline behaviour subjected to
faulting 3.Evaluation of soil spring model in ASCE Guidelines
4.Evaluation of analytical models
Vazouras et al. (2012) Soil Continuum-Shell Faulting
1.Extension of their work in 2010, regarding buried steel pipelines
crossing the fault plane at different angles
Research
Finite Element Model
Type of Permanent
Ground Deformation
Subjects Covered in the Research
Vazouras et al. (2015)
Soil Continuum-Shell
Faulting
1.Investigation of boundary effects on response of buried pipeline
subjected to oblique strike-slip faulting 2.Development of a closed-form
solutions for buried pipeline subjected to pure tension 3.Evaluation of
pipeline performance with respect to local buckling, ovalization and tensile
rupture 4. A simplified formulation for occurrence of local buckling
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analytical and numerical results. Table 3 shows a review of the
experimental studies and the key findings of are summarised below:
The centrifuge tests data are generally consistent with the trend
predicted by Kennedy model as opposed to measured peak
bending strain magnitudes which are much less than the values
predicted by Kennedy model (Ha et al., 2008).
The force level for the plastic p-y behaviour in the centrifuge
tests was found to be fairly consistent with that of the ASCE
Guidelines (1984) (Ha et al., 2008).
The pipe-fault orientation angle has a strong effect on pipe axial
strain whereas the influence of pipe-fault orientation angle on
pipe bending strain is relatively minor (Ha et al., 2008).
The relative burial depth (H/D) was found to have significant
influence on both the magnitudes and locations of the peak
strains in the pipe (Abdoun et al., 2009).
Soil moisture content and fault offset rate do not have an
important influence on the locations and magnitudes of the peak
strains and the peak lateral forces on the pipe (Abdoun et al.,
2009).
The pipeline diameter to thickness ratio (D/t) is a significant
factor affecting the soil-pipe interaction (Abdoun et al., 2009).
Designing the pipe with 90° pipe-fault orientation angle is
preferable in order to have a conservative design (Ha et al.,
2010).
HDPE pipelines are suggested to be used in the vicinity of fault
due to their high ductility (Ha et al., 2010).
One dimensional beam model is adequate for obtaining the pipe
response and the soil springs used in the model are critical for
having good estimates of the pipe response (Xie et al., 2011).
The numerical simulations via FEM are the most suitable
approach for obtaining reasonable estimates of the behaviour of
HDPE pipelines whose response may be strongly influenced by
both material and geometric nonlinearities whereas analytical
methods are limited to predict the pipeline response due to
complex nature of the material and geometric nonlinearity (Xie
et al., 2011).
Bending moment occurring in pipe reduces as the pipe-fault
crossing angle decreases (Sim et al., 2012).
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Larger strains and bending moments arise in pipeline due to
increase in relative density of soil surrounding pipeline (Sim et
al., 2012).
Table 3. A review of experimental studies in the literature
PERFORMANCE CRITERIA OF BURIED STEEL PIPELINES
Pipelines experience severe inelastic deformations in case of large
ground induced deformations. Pipelines may have tensile rupture at
locations where large tensile strains develop due to large PGD.
Excessive compressive strains may cause local buckling (wrinkling) at
the pipe wall, which is followed by folding of pipeline wall and
progression of significant local strains. Excessive distortion of pipeline
cross-section due to longitudinal bending may result in operational
problems of the pipeline. Therefore, pipeline performance should be
evaluated in terms of appropriate performance criteria (limit states)
based on strains. The limit states for tensile failure, local buckling and
ovalisation (flattening) are given in Table 4. However, it is difficult to
consider a failure criterion for beam buckling in terms of pipe material
O'Rourke et al. (2003) Centrifuge Tests
1. Investigation of continuous pipeline response subjected to PGD. 2. The comparison of the
measured strains and finite element results.
O'Rourke et al. (2005) Centrifuge Tests
1. Determination of pipe strains occurring due to PGD. 2.The comparison of the measured
strains and finite element results for larger and smaller offsets.
Palmer et al. (2006) Large-Scale Tests
1. The description of large-scale testing facility at Cornell University. 2. The experimental
plan for evaluating pipeline response systematically. 3. The working principle of large-scale
testing setup. 4. Engineering properties of soil used in the experiments.
O'Rourke et al. (2007) Large-Scale Tests
1. Evaluation of steel gas distribution pipeline performance with 900 elbows. 2. Effects of
ground rupture on HDPE pipelines. 3. Lateral soil-structure interaction during ground failure.
Ha et al. (2008) Centrifuge Tests
1. The effects of pipe-fault orientation angle on the response of pipe. 2. The comparison of
measured pipe strains and results predicted by Kennedy model. 3. The evaluation of p-y
relations proposed in ASCE Guidelines.
Abdoun et al. (2009) Centrifuge Tests
1. The effects of moisture content, fault offset rate, relative burial depth (H/D), D/t and pipe
diameter on the response of pipe subjected to strike-slip faulting. 2 . The evaluation of p-y
relations proposed in ASCE Guidelines.
Ha et al. (2010) Centrifuge Tests
1. The comparison of results from centrifuge modeling and the results observed in a case
history of pipe failure in 1999 Izmit. 2. The effects of fault crossing angle on pipeline
behaviour. 3. The evaluation of p-y relations proposed in ASCE Guidelines.
Xie et al. (2011) Centrifuge Tests
1. The effects of offset rate, moisture content, H/D ratio, pipe diameter, pipe-fault angle on
the reponse of pipelines under strike-slip faulting. 2. The evaluation of soil spring model in
ASCE Guidelines. 3. The evaluation of analytical models.
Sim et al. (2012) 1g-Shake Table Tests
1. A new testing setup which is capable of simulating the behaviour pipeline of pipeline
crossing strike-slip faults. 2. The behaviour of pipeline subjected to simultaneous fault
movement and shaking.
Moradi et al. (2013) Centrifuge Tests
1. The effects of burial depth and diameter on the response of pipeline subjected to normal
faulting. 2. The comparison of test results and 1977 Kennedy model.
Research
Experiment
Key Subjects Investigated in the Research
3rd International Soil-Structure Interaction Symposium-Izmir, Turkey
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properties since the pipe continues to transmit fluid without interruption
after beam buckling of the pipeline.
Table 4. Limit pipe strain values for performance limit states
CONCLUSIONS
Pipelines are generally referred to as lifelines since they play a very
significant role in our lives. Thus, protection of pipelines subjected to
earthquake induced PGD (faults, landslides, etc.) is one of the
significant aspects in geotechnical and structural engineering.
Analytical methods and FEMs have been used to analyse the behaviour
of pipelines crossing faults. Experimental studies have been performed
to validate finite element models and analytical solutions and to
understand the soil-pipe interaction problem under faulting. Despite the
limitations of analytical methods, they are very time efficient compared
to FEMs and quite practical for preliminary design of pipelines. FEMs
are very beneficial to investigate the behaviour of pipelines crossing
faults. The FEM is capable of taking into account the non-linearity in
soil/pipe behaviour and the soil-pipe interaction. On the other hand,
calculation time for rigorous and complex analysis (3D FE models) is
very large. For the earthquake resistant design of buried pipelines,
pipeline performance should be evaluated in terms of performance
criteria (limit states) based on strains. Using the appropriate limit states
enables us to improve the pipeline performance under faulting.
Limit States Limit strain values for limit states
Tensile Failure
4% (Newmark and Hall, 1975),
3% - 5% (ASCE, 1984),
2% for normal operability goal and 4% for pressure integrity goal (ALA, 2001)
Local Buckling
Ovalisation
  
   

 

  

 

 
The equation was proposed by Gresnigt (1986)
and has been adopted by Canadian Standard
Association, CSA-Z662.
According to Gresnigt (1986), the limit state for cross-sectional flattening is reached
when f is equal to 0.15. The suggestion for flattening limit state is also adopted by the
Dutch specification NEN 3650.
3rd International Soil-Structure Interaction Symposium-Izmir, Turkey
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