Home Projects Earthquake Damage to Pipelines (2005-2009)

Earthquake Damage to Pipelines (2005-2009)

NEESR-SG: Evaluation of Ground Rupture Effects on Critical Lifelines

The research addresses a fundamental problem affecting all underground lifelines, namely the effects of large differential ground deformation on buried pipeline and conduit performance. The research will produce a seminal outcome through state-of-the-art modeling and quantification of earthquake-induced ground movement effects on lifelines. It also will improve the design and construction of lifelines affected by landslides, mining, extraction of subsurface fluids, and underground construction. The research deliverables include, as a minimum:

  1. systematic assessment of lifeline performance under permanent ground deformation,
  2. quantification of serviceability and ultimate limit states for critical lifelines,
  3. design guidelines,
  4. experimental databases for benchmarking future numerical models and guiding the evolution of numerical simulations for soil-structure interaction, and
  5. validation and guidance for advanced materials as well as sensor and robotics deployment in underground conduits.

The research is performed through physical modeling using the NEES@Cornell Large Displacement Soil-Structure Interaction Facility for Lifeline Systems and the NEES@RPI Geotechnical Centrifuge in combination with advanced computational simulation. The 4-year program is organized according to a matrix management approach in which lifeline response to a comprehensive suite of ground rupture patterns is systematically investigated and checked through large-scale experiments, centrifuge tests, and numerical simulation.


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