Fault Movement Effects on Buried Oil Pipeline

by Robert P. Kennedy, (M.ASCE), Vice Pres.; Engrg. Decision Analysis Co., Inc., Irvine, Calif.,
Robert A. Williamson, (M.ASCE), Principal Engineer; Holmes & Narver, Inc., Anaheim, Calif.,
Andrew M. Chow, Sr.Engr.; Holmes & Narver, Inc., Anaheim, Calif.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 5, Pg. 617-633

Document Type: Journal Paper


In earthquake zones pipeline crossings of major active faults are often unavoidable, and movements of these faults can have serious consequences for the pipeline. The ability of a large diameter shallow-buried pipeline to withstand these movements is studied parametrically. Principal results of the study are summarized herein. Parameters considered include variations in: (1)Fault crossing angle; (2)unanchored length of pipe; (3)depth of burial; (4)wall thickness; (5)pipe diameter; and (6)pipe strength. A simplified procedure accounting for inelastic strains is developed for conservatively evaluating pipeline behavior during fault movement. Results indicate that under suitable conditions, a large diameter shallow-buried pipe can withstand large fault displacements. The procedure can be used to examine many cases other than those considered.

Subject Headings: Buried pipes | Oil pipelines | Pipelines | Geological faults | Pipeline crossing | Parameters (statistics) | Earthquakes | Pipe sizes

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