Numerical Evaluation of the Strike-Slip Fault Effects on the Steel Buried Pipelines

Document Type : Seismology and Engineering Seismology


University of Kashan


Pipelines are often referred to as lifelines, demonstrating that they play an important role in human's life. Based on the damage mechanism, the permanent ground movements of active faults can have the most severe earthquake effects on buried pipelines. In this study, the effects due to strike-slip faulting have been investigated using 3D FEM, Winkler model and analytical method. The non-linear response of buried pipeline under fault offset is analyzed using pseudo-static approach wherein the interacting soil-pipeline systemis modeled rigorously. The paper focuses on the effects of soil and pipeline parameters on the structural response of the pipe, with particular emphasis on identifying pipeline failure. Some influential factors, such as fault-pipeline crossing angle, backfill type, burial depth, pipe diameter to thickness ratio and pipe surface characteristics are considered in the analyses in order to draw some regular conclusions. The present investigation is aimed at determining the fault displacement at which the pipelines fail for design purposes.