Evaluation of pipeline performance subjected to slope instabilities

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Katebi, Mohammad
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The horizontal soil-pipe interaction in slopes is characterized in this research program for inclusion in pipeline guidelines. For this purpose, a series of full-scale experiments were conducted at the Advanced Soil-Pipe Interaction Research (ASPIRe™) testing facility at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. The experimental data indicated that the soil load is an increasing function of the slope grade for soil springs inside the landslide boundaries and a decreasing function of the slope grade for soil springs outside the landslide boundaries. The lateral force-displacement responses of pipes installed below sloping ground were presented and compared to those arising from the level ground condition. The experimental results suggest that the values of the horizontal bearing capacity factor can be two-fold higher than those estimated using pipeline guidelines. A finite element model was calibrated against the experimental data and was implemented in an extensive parametric study to extend the results to deep embedment conditions for loose, medium, and dense sands. The horizontal bearing capacity factors are presented in dimensionless graphs as a function of the slope grade and pipe burial depth, which can be used in pipeline guidelines as a benchmark for the design.
Pipeline, Soil spring, Full-scale experiments, Finite element modelling, Case study