One of the most important issues of the engineering design of oil and gas pipelines is the assessment of all potential earthquake-related geohazards (i.e. strong ground motion, fault rupture, slope stability, soil liquefaction etc). Soil liquefaction is an extreme consequence of strong ground motion which leads to practically total loss of shear strength in relatively loose cohesionless soil formations below the water table. Soil liquefaction may cause liquefaction-induced (differential) settlements (i.e. almost vertical permanent ground deformations). Note that in liquefiable areas with topographic irregularities (such as a river bank, a shore of a lake, or a sea-shore) the phenomenon of lateral spreading may also occur, leading to substantial lateral soil movements. Given the calculated acceleration levels and the geotechnical findings of an area crossing by a pipeline, the liquefaction potential can be quantified and the first part of the paper presents the state of the art for liquefaction phenomena. The second part of the paper deals mainly with the numerical simulation of the interaction between the potential liquefiable soil and the pipeline. Additionally potential mitigation – protection measures that may be adopted in the case of excessive pipeline distress present.
Soil liquefaction and lateral spreading: Serious threats for onshore, nearshore and offshore pipelines
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