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ARTICLE

Analysis of buried pipelines subjected to ground surface

settlement and heave

For personal use only.

Abstract: This paper presents an analytical methodology for the calculation of internal forces and strains developing in

continuous buried pipelines that cross geotechnically problematic areas and are susceptible to permanent ground surface

settlement or heave. Material nonlinearity effects are introduced in the solution via an iterative procedure, while taking into

account the effect of pipeline elongation on its response. The use of a versatile bilinear expression to describe the stressstrain

response of the pipeline material renders the method appropriate for steel, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), concrete, and cast

iron pipelines alike. Comparison of the analytical results against those from benchmark nite element analyses highlights the

effectiveness of the simplied analysis. The method is a potential alternative to elaborate three-dimensional nonlinear numerical analyses that are often used in pipeline design practice, and offers ease-of-use with no expense in accuracy, at least for

problems involving simple pipeline geometries.

Key words: buried pipelines, settlement, heave, reactive soils, ground subsidence.

Rsum : Cet article prsente une mthode analytique de calcul des forces et contraintes prsentes a` lintrieur des pipelines

continus enfouis qui traversent des zones gologiques problmatiques et peuvent subir les effets des tassements et soulvements

permanents de la surface du sol. Les effets matriels de non-linarit sont incorpors a` la solution par lintermdiaire dune

procdure itrative et tiennent compte de leffet de llongation du pipeline sur la rponse de ce dernier. Lutilisation dune

expression bilinaire polyvalente pour dcrire la rponse contraintedformation du matriau constituant le pipeline rend la

mthode approprie dans le cas des pipelines en acier, en polythylne haute densit (PEHD), en bton en fonte. La comparaison

des rsultats analytiques avec ceux obtenus par la mthode de rfrence des lments nis montre lefcacit de lanalyse

simplie. La mthode est une alternative possible pour laborer des analyses numriques non linaires tridimensionnelles, qui

sont souvent mises en pratique lors de la conception des pipelines, et offre une simplicit dutilisation et une grande prcision,

du moins dans le cas des problmatiques lies aux pipelines a` gomtrie simple. [Traduit par la Rdaction]

Mots-cls : pipelines enfouis, tassement, soulvement, sols ractifs, subsidence du sol.

Introduction

Rapid growth of buried pipeline networks inevitably leads to

routes that cross geotechnically problematic areas. In these cases,

permanent ground settlement or heave, which is not related to

pipeline construction activities, may result in the development of

excessive pipeline strains and failure in the forms of cracking or

buckling. Such problematic areas include, but are not limited to

due to environmental effects such as wettingdrying and freezing

thawing cycles (Chan et al. 2007; Gould et al. 2009; Rajeev and

Kodikara 2011).

Irrigated lands, where longer drought periods due to climate

change may lead to aquifer overpumping; which in turn may

result in nonuniform consolidation settlements (Budhu and

Adiyaman 2013; Wols and van Thienen 2014).

Areas susceptible to mine subsidence (Ho et al. 2007; ASCE-ALA

2005; AS 2885.1 2012 (Standards Australia 2012)).

Areas where ground surface subsidence is induced by nearsurface tunnelling works (e.g., Wang et al. 2011).

Loose sand deposits that are susceptible to dynamic densication (Tokimatsu and Seed 1987).

A link between pipeline failures and the geotechnical risks related to permanent ground surface deformation has been identied in the recent literature. Gould et al. (2009) analysed data from

39 687 failures documented by Australian water authorities over a

10 year period. Field crews responsible for pipeline repairs veried that a signicant number of these incidents were a result of

ground movement. Chan et al. (2007) identied a clear relationship between City West Water Ltd. (Melbourne, Australia) pipeline network failure rates and seasonal variation of soil moisture

content. Pratt et al. (2011) analysed a database of 8100 failures in

cast iron and reinforced concrete water pipelines that occurred

over a 10 year period in Western Australia, and reached similar

conclusions. In the USA, 10 143 serious incidents affecting onshore pipeline systems transporting hazardous liquid and gas

were reported between 1993 and 2004, and were included in the

US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration database. Seven hundred ten (7%) of these cases are explicitly attributed to pipeline exposure to natural hazards, and resulted in

14 fatalities, 78 injuries, and property damage of 1.8 billion USD

(source: PHMSA 2015 database). It must be stressed that, apart from

their economic and social impact, pipeline failures may pose a

signicant environmental threat, as they may result in leakage of

G.P. Kouretzis and S.W. Sloan. ARC Centre of Excellence for Geotechnical Science and Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment,

The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia.

D.K. Karamitros. Department of Civil Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

Corresponding author: George P. Kouretzis (e-mail: Georgios.Kouretzis@newcastle.edu.au).

Can. Geotech. J. 52: 10581071 (2015) dx.doi.org/10.1139/cgj-2014-0332

For personal use only.

Kouretzis et al.

of the soil or the aquifer.

A number of studies in the recent literature deal with the stress

analysis of buried pipelines subjected to permanent ground settlement. The bulk of these studies focus on ground subsidence

due to tunnelling where the axis of the tunnel crosses the pipeline

route transversely. Analytical approaches (e.g., Klar et al. 2005,

2007; Vorster et al. 2005; Wang et al. 2011) consider the pipeline as

a beam on an elastic foundation or are based on a more rigorous

elastic continuum formulation. The effect of soil nonlinearity is

introduced either by limiting the axial soilpipeline friction in the

elastic continuum solution (Klar et al. 2007) or by an equivalent

linear approach, where the stiffness of the soil springs is a function of the average deviatoric strain developing in the pipeline

(Vorster et al. 2005). Numerical parametric analyses have also

been employed for the statistical derivation of expressions for

estimating the maximum bending strain developing in the pipeline, based on the interpretation of nite element analyses results

(Wang et al. 2011). These studies have been benchmarked against

relevant centrifuge tests presented by Vorster et al. (2005),

Marshall et al. (2010), and others. Recently, Wols and van Thienen

(2014) extended this concept to compute the pipeline stresses due

to differential ground settlement along the pipeline route, using

a Winkler-type model to simulate soilpipeline interaction and

assuming elastic behaviour of the pipeline material.

Two simplifying assumptions are adopted in the abovementioned studies, although their effect on the computed pipeline

stresses can be prominent in certain cases of practical interest.

The rst is that the nonlinear pipeline material response is not

introduced in the analytical solutions, even though it could be

important for the rational design of steel and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipelines in areas of considerable ground surface

deformations, where yield of the pipeline material could be acceptable as long as it does not lead to rupture or local buckling.

The second is that the pipeline elongation due to the vertical

ground surface offset is assumed to be negligible, in spite of the

fact that it can lead to the development of considerable axial

strains, especially when the pipeline material reaches yield due to

bending.

To tackle these shortcomings, a new analytical method is presented for the estimation of internal forces and strains that develop

in buried pipelines subjected to ground surface settlement along

their route. This analysis is extended to also cover the scenario of

ground surface heave due to the pipeline route crossing reactive soil

deposits. The core of the method is based on the work of Karamitros

et al. (2007) and Karamitros et al. (2011) for the stress analysis of

buried steel pipelines that cross strikeslip as well as normal and

oblique faults, respectively. Nonlinearity of the soil and pipeline material is accounted for via a simple iterative procedure, which can be

programmed easily in a spreadsheet. The results are compared against

those from benchmark nonlinear nite element analyses with a

beamspring model, similar to the one described in the American

Lifelines Alliance guidelines (ASCE-ALA 2005) for the design of buried

steel pipes. To conclude, some practical implications and limitations

of the method are discussed, in view of its potential use in the practical design of pipelines.

Problem description

Consider a straight continuous pipeline whose route crosses an

area of nite width where differential settlement or heave of the

ground surface may develop. It is assumed that no pipe bends or

anchoring points exist within the unanchored length of the pipeline, which is dened as the length where the relative axial soil

pipeline displacement will take place due to the vertical offset of

the ground surface. This free-to-slip assumption does not apply

to the restraining effect on the relative axial movement between

the soil and pipeline that is caused by a zone of differential

1059

later in this paper. A step-like pattern for the differential ground

surface offset (Fig. 1) is also considered. In reality, the shape of the

deformed ground surface will be more complex, and vertical

movements will develop progressively along a zone of nite

width. Nevertheless, this guillotine type vertical offset is certainly conservative with respect to the calculated pipeline internal forces and strains. As per common practice in the design of

buried pipelines (e.g., ASCEALA 2005), stress analysis of the pipeline is performed via a beamspring model and the soilpipeline

interaction is quantied by replacing the soil surrounding the

pipeline with elastoplastic springs (Fig. 1). Three sets of springs are

used to account for the different mechanisms governing the axial,

upwards, and downwards relative movement of the soilpipeline.

The yield displacement and ultimate force of each set of springs

both depend on the geometry of the pipeline and properties of the

soil. The out-of-plane horizontal relative displacement is taken as

zero, so that transverse springs can be omitted from the analysis.

The in-plane vertical displacement is applied at the xed end of

the springs, resulting in the deformed pipeline axis shown in

Fig. 1a for a pipeline subjected to differential ground surface settlement, and in Fig. 1b for a pipeline subjected to differential

ground heave. The soil springs depicted in red (grey in the print

version of this paper) in Figs. 1a and 1b are under compression (and

thus apply a distributed pressure on the pipeline), while the

springs depicted in black are inactive, and correspond to sections

where no reaction load is applied on the pipeline.

Figure 1 illustrates that when a simplied step-like pattern is

considered, the heave is actually the mirror problem of settlement, and vice versa. In both cases the pipeline reacts to the

imposed displacements predominantly via bending, and both

deformation patterns intuitively should result in essentially the

same maximum internal forces and strains on the pipeline (for

the same relative offset magnitude). The difference is the location

of the maximum strains along the pipeline length, which should

be upstream of the point of application of the step-like displacement for the settlement case, and downstream for the heave case.

This is due to the fact that the downwards springs sustain a higher

yield force compared to the upwards springs, as given by the soil

failure surface that each deformation mode mobilizes (ASCE-ALA

2005, Kouretzis et al. 2014). Nevertheless, the exact location of the

maximum strains is irrelevant to pipeline design.

Keeping the above in mind, an analytical solution will be formulated to estimate the internal forces and strains in the pipeline, based on the same general concept of the nite element

nonlinear beamspring model that is used in everyday design

practice. The solution could be considered as a variation of the

method of Karamitros et al. (2011) for normal faults, assuming

that the deformation pattern imposed by the ground settlement is

equivalent to that imposed by the rupture of a normal fault with

a dip angle 90 whose trace is perpendicular to the pipeline route.

However, elongation of the pipeline due to the upwards or downwards displacement is taken into account here, and thus the corresponding axial pipeline force as a function of the width of the

settlement or heave zone is estimated. Albeit this elongation may

not be sufcient to mobilize the full friction resistance at the

soilpipeline interface, as assumed in all published methodologies for the stress analysis of pipelines crossing active faults

(Newmark and Hall 1975; Kennedy et al. 1977; Wang and Yeh 1985;

Karamitros et al. 2007, 2011; Trifonov and Cherniy 2010), it will be

proven here that the axial tensile strains that are developed

should not be neglected at least for cases where the ground

surface offset is considerable compared to the diameter of the

pipeline. In addition, the formulation for the heave problem will

be provided, to prove the postulation that step-like settlement

and heave of equal magnitude will result in the same maximum

internal forces and strains on the pipeline. Certain parts of the

analysis have already been presented in Karamitros et al. (2011),

Published by NRC Research Press

1060

For personal use only.

Fig. 1. Pipeline subjected to step-like differential (a) settlement and (b) heave along its route. The corresponding idealized beamspring

models are also shown, where the springs loaded by upwards and downwards movements are under compression and are depicted in red

(grey in the print version of this article) (the axial springs have been omitted for clarity).

Fig. 2. Segmentation of the pipeline into three beams A=A, ABC, and CC=: (a) settlement scenario: (b) heave scenario.

but are repeated here using the same nomenclature, where possible, as they are essential to describe the analytical method

completely.

Methodology

A step-like vertical offset z of the natural ground surface will

result in the deection of a straight continuous buried pipeline

crossing the settling or heaving zone, following the pattern illus-

disregarded in the following analysis, which suggests that it is not

valid for cases of vertical offset developing as a result of certain types

of deformation e.g., a rotational slope failure. Following the work

of Wang and Yeh (1985) and Karamitros et al. (2007, 2011), the analysis

of the pipeline will be based on beam theory, while uncoupling the

bending action from the axial elongation. To facilitate the analysis,

the pipeline is segmented into three characteristic parts: A=A, ABC,

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Kouretzis et al.

1061

For personal use only.

and CC= (Fig. 2). Points A and C along the pipeline route dene the

part ABC where it is presupposed that the maximum pipeline strains

will develop. Its ends are the nearest points to the edge of the settlement or heave zone where the relative vertical displacement between the soil and pipeline becomes zero. Point B is accordingly

dened as the projection of the edge of the settlement or heave zone

on the pipeline axis. Computation of the maximum values of the

pipeline internal forces and strains is performed in a ve-step iterative algorithm, which is described in the following.

Step 1

The case of the ground settlement prole illustrated in Fig. 2a is

examined rst. Beams A=A (from to A=) and CC= (from C= to +)

are analysed by employing beam-on-elastic-foundation theory to

obtain the relation between the reaction force, V; bending moment, M; and rotation of the elastic line, , at points A and C. This

implies that parts A=A and CC= will behave elastically for the range

of the vertical ground surface displacements considered, and the

vertical beam deection, w, will be limited so that geometric nonlinearity effects can be assumed to be negligible. In this case, the

differential equation providing the elastic line of the beams is

given by

(1)

E1Iw Kw 0

material, I is the area moment of inertia of the pipeline crosssection, and K is the vertical spring constant. The latter is different for upwards and downwards movement (see, for example

Trautmann et al. 1985 and Kouretzis et al. 2014), but a mean value

will be assumed for these particular segments, for the sake of

simplicity. The boundary conditions for eq. (1) are w = 0 for x = 0, as

well as w = 0 for x or x + for the beams A=A and CC=,

respectively (Fig. 2). Under the above conditions eq. (1) yields

x

(2b)

where

4 K/(4E I)

Differentiation of eqs. (2a) and (2b) results in the bending moment and reaction force at points A and C as

(4a)

MA (2E1 I)

(4b)

MC (2E1 I)C

(5a)

VA MA

(5b)

VC MC

rotation follows Fig. 3, whereas in Fig. 2 the actual directions of

the internal forces and beam deformation are plotted.

One can easily visualize that the solution would be exactly the

same in the mirror problem of step-like ground surface heave

(Fig. 2b), if the order of parts A=A and CC= were reversed. Yet, to

maintain consistency throughout the presentation, the beam located upstream of the edge of the heave zone will still be identied as part A=A, and the beam located downstream of the edge of

the heave zone as part CC=. In the latter case, the signs of eqs. (4)

and (5) are reversed.

Step 2

Segment ABC will be analysed as an elastic beam supported by

two rotational springs at its ends A and B. The constant of both

these springs results from eqs. (4a) and (4b) as

(6)

Cr M/ 2E1 I

(2a)

(3)

internal forces.

where A wA and C wC is the rotation of the elastic line of the

beam. These constitute the boundary conditions for the analysis

of beam ABC during the next step of the algorithm. In order for

these boundary conditions to apply, one should ensure the existence of an adequate attenuation length x = La on each side of the

beam ABC. The quantication of this length is of special interest

in cases where the settling or heaving zone has a limited width,

and will be discussed in the following paragraphs.

beam support C (Fig. 2), equal to the vertical soil settlement or

heave. A positive sign for z corresponds to settlement while a

negative sign designates heave, according to the convention

shown in Fig. 3. Beam ABC of length L is accordingly partitioned

into two subsegments with lengths LAB and LBC, upstream and

downstream of the projection of the edge of the settlement or

heave zone on the pipeline axis, B. Lengths LAB and LBC are unknown, and will result from the following analysis. Downwards

vertical movement of support C will result in a negative ground

reaction load, qAB, distributed along subsegment AB, and a positive ground reaction load, qBC, along subsegment BC. The direction of the ground reaction distributed load, which follows the

convention of Fig. 3, is reversed in the case of upwards-vertical

movement of support C (Fig. 2b).

For the analysis of beam ABC it is assumed that the positive

reaction loads are uniform, and of a magnitude equal to the ultimate value of the resistance force developed during pipeline uplift (ASCE-ALA 2005; Trautmann et al. 1985). This is due to the fact

that this ultimate force develops for relatively low relative movements between the soil and pipeline, of the order of 0.01H to 0.02H

for pipelines buried in sand-backlled trenches, with H being the

embedment depth of the pipeline measured from the its centerline (ASCE-ALA 2005). Negative reaction loads, however, reach

their ultimate value, equal to the maximum resistance force

developed during relative movement of the pipeline vertically

downwards, for much higher relative displacement values of the

order of 0.1D, with D being the pipeline diameter (ASCE-ALA 2005).

Therefore it is expected that the negative ground reaction will

Published by NRC Research Press

1062

For personal use only.

Fig. 4. Estimation of zB in the case of differential ground (a) settlement and (b) heave.

point B of the beam equal to Kdownz in the case of ground

settlement, and to Kdown(z z) in the case of ground heave.

Here Kdown is the stiffness of the springs in the downward direction (Fig. 1) and z (in the case of settlement) or z z (in the

case of heave) is the relative vertical displacement of the soil

pipeline at point B. To facilitate the analysis, instead of using a

triangular load distribution an equivalent uniform distribution

(which has the same resultant) is considered for the negative

ground reaction. This has the magnitude

(7a)

along subsegment AB

(7b)

along subsegment BC

line of subsegments AB and BC deforms as a circular arc (Fig. 4).

This implies that segment ABC behaves as a cable of zero bending

stiffness, as in the work of Kennedy et al. (1977). Nonetheless, this

zero bending stiffness assumption is employed only for the estimation of displacement z, and not for the subsequent structural analysis of the beam, as this would overestimate the pipeline

strains for low relative offset values. Given the above, the radii of

curvature of subsegments AB and BC can be calculated while considering each circular arc to be part of the cross section of a

hollow cylinder, with a radius equal to the radius of curvature of

the corresponding subsegment, subjected to uniform internal

pressure qAB or qBC. Application of internal pressure to a hollow

cylinder will result in the development of a tensile hoop force, Fa,

translated as axial force for beam ABC, and

(8a)

RAB Fa /qAB

(8b)

RBC Fa /qBC

the input parameters of the problem. Thus the analysis can proceed for elastic beam ABC, whose rotation is constrained by rotational springs at A and C, which is subjected to uniform loads qAB

and qBC and to a prescribed displacement of z at its support C.

Starting with the settlement cases, bending moments MA and MC

at points A and C are estimated from eqs. (10a) and (10b)

(10a)

(10b)

(9a)

(9b)

zB

zB

2

2

3

LAB

qBCLBC

LBC

qABLAB

LAB

68

43

3 2

12

L

12L

L

L

EI

EI

EI

MC 2 A 4 C 6 2 z

L

L

L

2

2

3

LBC

qABLAB

LAB

qBCLBC

LBC

68

43

3 2

12

L

12L

L

L

Combining eqs. (10a) and (10b) with eqs. (4a) and (4b) for bending

moments at A and C, resulting from the analysis of the beams A=A

and CC= in step 1, yields

(11a)

MA

[2 (CrL/2EI)]MA0 MC0

4 (6EI/Cr L) (Cr L/2EI)

(11b)

MC

4 (6EI/Cr L) (CrL/2EI)

where

(12a)

and 4b z can be calculated from similar triangles as

qBC

EI

EI

EI

MA 4 A 2 C 6 2 z

L

L

L

qBC(qBC 2Kdownz)

qAB Kdownz

(12b)

Kdown

for differential settlement, Fig. 4a

(qAB Kdownz)

(Kdownz)

Kdown

for differential heave, Fig. 4b

2

2

qABLAB

LAB

LAB

EI

MA0 6 2 z

68

3 2

12

L

L

L

3

qBCLBC

LBC

43

12L

L

2

2

qBCLBC

LBC

LBC

EI

MC0 6 2 z

68

3 2

12

L

L

L

3

qABLAB

LAB

43

12L

L

considerations as

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Kouretzis et al.

1063

(13a)

VA

2

LAB

qBCLBC

1

MA MC qABLAB L

L

2

2

(13b)

VC

2

LBC

qABLAB

1

MA MC qBCLBC L

L

2

2

settlement or heave problem, and might provide an explanation

for the discrepancies noted by Karamitros et al. (2011) between the

numerical and analytical results for locations near vertical fault

planes and large fault offsets. Here elongation of the pipeline due

to the vertical offset is estimated as (Fig. 4)

For personal use only.

The locations of points A and C are not known a priori. Still, the

length of each subsegment LAB and LBC and the total length of

beam ABC, L, can be computed iteratively, from the boundary

conditions described in eqs. (5a) and (5b). For that an initial value

is assigned to lengths LAB = (5 to 10)D and LBC = (10 to 20)D, estimating the internal forces at A and C from eqs. (11), (12), and (13), and

updating LAB and LBC during each iteration as

(14a)

LAB

qBCLBC VC MA

(1 )LAB

qAB

(14b)

LBC

qABLAB VA MC

(1 )LBC

qBC

The above procedure converges if a value of between 0.2 and

0.5 is selected. The maximum bending moment, which in the

differential settlement scenario will develop upstream of the edge

of the settling zone, is then calculated as

(15)

2

xmax

2

where xmax

VA

qAB

The procedure is essentially the same for the heave case, but the

signs of the reaction moments and forces in eqs. (10) to (13) are

now reversed. Lengths LAB and LBC are also reversed, so their initial

values to be entered into the iterative procedure should now be

LAB = (10 to 20)D and LBC = (5 to 10)D. Moreover, the maximum

bending moment will now develop downstream of the edge of the

heaving zone, and is calculated as

(16)

2

xmax

2

where xmax

VC

qBC

theory can be computed as

(17)

Mmax D

2E1I

(18)

Step 3

Vertical offset of the ground surface will result in some elongation of the pipeline, x, and in the development of axial strains.

Karamitros et al. (2011) ignored the elongation due to vertical fault

displacement, as it can be considered to be insignicant compared to the elongation imposed by the horizontal displacement

component of a normal fault with a realistic dip angle (typically

zL

cos arctan

Equation (18) is valid for both the settlement and heave scenarios. The maximum axial force that will develop on the pipeline

can be found based on the demand for compatibility between the

geometrically required elongation Lreq = x (eq. (18)) and the

available pipeline elongation Lavail, a concept originally introduced by Newmark and Hall (1975). The latter is dened as the

integral of the axial strains along the pipelines unanchored

length Lanch, i.e., the length along both sides of the projection

of the edge of the settlement or heave zone on the pipeline axis

(point B) where some relative horizontal displacement occurs between the pipeline and its surrounding soil

Lanch

(19)

Lavail 2

(L) dL

All analytical methodologies for similar imposed-displacement

problems (Newmark and Hall 1975; Kennedy et al. 1977; Wang and

Yeh 1985; Karamitros et al. 2007, 2011; Trifonov and Cherniy 2010)

assume, for simplicity, that the ultimate friction force between

the pipeline and surrounding soil is fully mobilized when calculating (L). This assumption, however, is not accurate for the

problem examined herein. As discussed above, the geometrically

required elongation due to settlement or heave, x, is considerably smaller than the elongation induced by the rupture of a

major seismic fault, for which the abovementioned methodologies were developed. Overlooking the elastic component of the

axial springs may result in a signicant overestimation of the

axial pipeline strain and, therefore, a renement in the calculation of the axial pipeline force is introduced in this study.

Starting with the case where the relative soilpipeline displacement is not sufcient to mobilize the ultimate axial friction force,

tu, the axial response of the pipeline is described by the following

differential equation

(20)

and as the pipeline material undergoes yield it will ovepredict the

bending strains. However, the required magnitude of settlement

or heave to result in yielding of a signicant portion of the pipeline section (and consequently geometric nonlinearity effects becoming prominent) is unrealistic. As discussed in the following

step, the predominant mode of failure will be in bending, coupled

with a low tensile force. Thus calculating the bending strains via

eq. (17) is a realistic approximation.

tu

dF(x)

t(x) u(x)

dx

xu

where axis x coincides with the pipeline axis (Fig. 5a), F(x) is the

axial force along the pipeline, u(x) is the axial displacement of the

pipeline relative to the surrounding soil, t(x) is the mobilized axial

friction force, and xu is the relative displacement required for the

development of the ultimate friction force tu. Given the small

magnitude of the required elongation, Lreq, it can be assumed

that the relationship between axial stresses and strains along the

pipeline remains elastic, thus

(21)

du(x)

dx

eqs. (20) and (21) yields

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Fig. 5. Distribution of axial and friction forces along the pipeline for (a) Lreq < 2xu and (b) Lreq > 2xu.

(22a)

tu

d2u(x)

2

E1 Asxu

dx

given as

(25)

where

(22b)

tu

E1 Asxu

(26)

Measuring x from the edge of the settlement or heave zone

(Fig. 5a), as x + the displacement u(x) 0, and thus C1 = 0

and C2 = uo with uo being the relative displacement at the edge

(point B of the pipeline). Furthermore, uo = Lreq/2 satises

displacement compatibility, taking into account that the required elongation is distributed symmetrically along both sides

of the settlement or heave zone edge. The corresponding axial

force Fo at point B may be then calculated from force equilibrium considerations, as the integral of the friction forces along

the pipeline

(23)

Fo

x0

t(x) dx

tuuo x

e dx

x0 xu

E1Astu

u

xu o

E1Astu Lreq

xu

2

Figure 5a presents the resulting distribution of the axial pipeline force and soilpipeline friction force, as calculated from

eqs. (20) to (22). Clearly eq. (23) is valid only when Lreq < 2xu. As

the required elongation Lreq = x increases, the ultimate soil

friction force will be eventually mobilized along a length Lu at

both sides of the edge, as shown in Fig. 5b. Length Lu can be

dened via the yield criterion for the axial soil springs

(24)

u(Lu) xu

F(x) Fo tux

Lu

FoLu

tuLu2

F(x)

dx

E1 As

2E1 As

x0 E1 As

Lu

Further away from the edge, the pipeline behaviour may still be

described by eq. (22), after substituting x with x Lu. To ensure

compatibility between the two pipeline segments, where the ultimate friction force is or is not mobilized, the following force

equilibrium equation needs to be considered:

(27)

F(Lu) Fo tuLu

E1 Astu

u(Lu)

xu

(28)

developed in the pipeline, at the edge of the settlement or heave

zone

(29)

Fo

E1 Astu(Lreq xu)

As expected, when Lreq = 2xu, eqs. (23) and (29) yield the same

force at B, Fo. Furthermore, if xu = 0, eq. (29) reduces to the corresponding formula proposed by Karamitros et al. (2007), who did

not take into account the elastic component of the axial soil

springs.

Published by NRC Research Press

Kouretzis et al.

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Fig. 6. Distribution of axial and friction forces along the pipeline, in the case of settlement or heave zone of limited width, Ls.

The above analysis essentially implies that the required elongation is accommodated along an innite length of the pipeline. If

the pipelines unanchored length where the relative axial displacement between the soil and the pipeline should not be restrained to avoid an increase in axial strain needs to estimated,

the following expression can be used:

(30)

Lanch Fo /tu

available is when the anticipated settlement or heave occurs

within a limited zone of width Ls < 2Lanch, as shown in Fig. 6. A

rigorous analysis of the effect of this restraint on the pipeline

strains would require distinguishing the following three cases:

1. The ultimate friction force is not mobilized along the pipeline

length.

2. The ultimate friction force is mobilized only outside the

settlement or heave zone.

3. The ultimate friction force is mobilized both inside and outside the settlement or heave zone.

Among these cases, only the third one is examined herein, as

the other two will have a negligible effect on axial pipeline

strains. Of course, due to symmetry, relative soilpipeline displacement becomes zero in the middle point of the settlement or

heave zone. This means that there must exist a region around this

point where the relative soilpipeline displacement is very small

and remains below xu, so that the ultimate friction force is not

mobilized. Nevertheless, in cases where the restriction of axial

displacement is expected to become critical for pipeline design,

i.e., in cases of increased elongation and limited settlement or

heave zone width, the extent of this region is expected to have a

trivial effect on the maximum pipeline strains that will develop

near the edges of the permanent ground deformation zone. It

therefore may be ignored, and the simplied distribution of the

axial and friction forces along the pipeline is assumed as depicted in Fig. 6.

ultimate friction force will be mobilized along a length Lu outside

the settlement or heave zone edges, where the pipeline behaviour

is described by eqs. (25) and (26). Further away from this length,

the axial soil springs will behave elastically and the pipeline behaviour is described by eq. (22). Finally, within the settlement or

heave zone, where the ultimate friction is also mobilized, the

axial force distribution will be as follows:

(31)

F(x ) Fo tux

where the axis x= has its origin at the edge of the zone, and its

direction is opposite to that of the axis x (Fig. 6). The elongation of

the pipeline along each half of Ls (Fig. 6) is calculated as

(32)

Ls

FoLs

tuLs2

F(x )

dx

2E1 As

8E1 As

x 0 E1 As

Ls/2

(33)

(34)

Fo

E1 Astu(2Lreq xu)

tu2Ls2

tuLs

2

2

For small values of Ls, eq. (34) predicts that the force Fo increases

for decreasing Ls values, as expected. Nevertheless, there is a critical Ls,cr value, above which this trend is reversed. Ls,cr is actually

the maximum width of the settlement or heave zone that will

induce restraint on the axial force developed in the pipeline.

Therefore, the critical width Ls,cr can be determined as

Published by NRC Research Press

1066

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(35)

dFo(Ls)

0 Ls,cr

dLs

2E1As(2Lreq xu)

tu

value Ls > Ls,cr, then the axial force should be calculated using

eqs. (23) or (29), depending on the magnitude of the required

elongation Lreq = x compared to xu (Fig. 5). For narrower zones

where Ls < Ls,cr, eq. (34) should be employed, provided that Lreq =

x > xu/2. When Lreq = x < xu/2 eq. (35) is not valid, as the

required elongation would be too small to mobilize the ultimate

friction force. In this case, the restraint effect of the settlement or

heave zone width on the axial forces is minimal, and need not be

taken into account during pipeline design. The axial force developed can be estimated directly from eq. (23).

The above formulation for considering the width of the settlement

or heave zone in the analysis is valid only when the half-width of

this zone is long enough to accommodate not only part BC of the

pipeline, but also an additional attenuation length La, thus ensuring that the boundary conditions used in the analysis of part CC=

(eq. (1)) are satised. In other words, the half-width of the soil

deformation zone Ls/2 must be larger than Ls/2 > LBC + La. The

length LBC is calculated in step 2, while the attenuation length La

dened in step 1 can be estimated by considering the equivalent

problem of a laterally loaded single pile in elastic homogenous

soil. The active length La, beyond which the behaviour of a laterally loaded pile becomes independent of its length, was estimated

by Karatzia and Mylonakis (2012) as

(36)

Ep

La

(0.1 0.7 logn)

Dp

ES

0.25

and Es are the stiffnesses of the pile and soil, respectively. Modifying the above relationship to account for the hollow cylindrical

section of the pipeline yields

(37)

E1 t

La

(0.17 1.18 logn)

D

KD

1 E2( 1)

E1

1 E2( 1)

0 1

1 2

2

where is the axial strain; 1 and 1 are the yield stress and strain

(Fig. 7), respectively; and 1 denes the portion of the cross section

undergoing yield in Fig. 8, depicted in red (i.e., the portions above

the 1 line and below the 1 line)

(40)

1,2

arccos

1

b

Step 4

The maximum pipeline strain is now calculated from the requirement for stress equilibrium over the pipeline cross section,

considering a bilinear stressstrain relationship for the pipeline

material (Fig. 7). Section deformation effects are ignored, as they

are not expected to be signicant for the range of ground movements considered. Referring to the point where the maximum

bending moment develops, the longitudinal stress distribution

over the cross section can be drawn as shown in Fig. 8, assuming

an internal force combination Fo, Mmax that results in a certain

portion of the pipeline cross section undergoing yield.

The longitudinal strain, , and stress, , distribution can be

described via the polar angle of the cross section, , as

b cos

(39)

0.25

Considering a reasonable tolerance of 10% (n = 0.1), most buried

pipelines would have an attenuation length of the order La =

(5 to 15)D. Nevertheless, even beyond the strict limits imposed by

the above derivation, the proposed methodology also provides

sufciently accurate results for the intermediate case where LBC +

La > Ls/2 > LBC. The validity of this hypothesis is investigated via

comparison with benchmark numerical analyses, and is discussed

in detail in the section titled Comparison of the results against

benchmark numerical analyses.

(38)

1

1

b

1

1

1

b

1

1

b

The axial force is accordingly calculated by summing the longitudinal stresses over the cross section, as

(41)

F2

where Rm = (D t)/2 is the pipelines average radius. The axial

strain, , results from the requirement for compatibility of axial

forces calculated from eq. (41) and step 3. The solution is obtained

iteratively, by employing a NewtonRaphson procedure. Starting

with an initial value = 0, the axial strain is calculated in each

successive iteration, k, as

(42)

k1 k

Fk Fo

dF/dk

where

(43)

dF

2Rmt E1 (E1 E2)(1 2)

dk

d2

d2

d1

d1

(E1 E2)

(E1 E2)

d

d

d

d 1

d2

d1

(E1 E2)

cos1

cos2 b

d

d

Kouretzis et al.

1067

For personal use only.

Fig. 8. Strain and stress distribution over the pipeline cross section. The part of the cross section undergoing yield is depicted in red (i.e., the

portions above the 1 line and below the 1 line) and the part of the cross section remaining elastic is depicted in blue (i.e., the portions

between the 1 and 1 lines).

and

(44)

d1,2

1

b sin1,2

100

100

1

b sin1,2

considered in the numerical analyses, plotted against the bilinear t

employed in the analytical solution.

b sin1,2 0.01

0.01 b sin1,2 0

0 b sin1,2 0.01

0.01 b sin1,2

Having calcutated both the axial strains from eqs. (42)(44) and

bending strains from eq. (17), the maximum, max, and minimum, min, longitudinal strains are derived from eq. (38), for

= 0 and = , respectively.

Step 5

The nonlinear behaviour of the pipeline material can now be

introduced into the solution by computing a secant Youngs mod

, compatible with the stress and strain distribution over

ulus, Esec

the pipeline cross section. This is calculated as

(45)

Esec

Mmax

D

2Ib

where the bending moment Mmax

results from the stress distribution over the cross section as

(46)

2

Mmax

E 2

2

RmtRm cos d 2Rm

t

b

b

(E1 E2)(1 2) (E1 E2)(sin21 sin22)

2

4

the Youngs modulus, until convergence is achieved. Via this procedure the nonlinear response of the pipeline material is taken

into account (albeit approximately), while still using the mathematically convenient elastic theory for the analysis of beam ABC.

numerical analyses

As stated earlier, the proposed analysis aims to provide results

that match as closely as possible the results obtained from non-

Spring

Yield

force

(kN/m)

Yield

displacement

(mm)

Axial (friction)

Vertical (upwards displacement)

Vertical (downwards displacement)

18.60

31.91

576.18

3.0

2.3

63.0

is the current state of practice for the design of buried pipelines

subjected to permanent ground deformations (ASCE-ALA 2005).

To investigate to what extent this objective has been met, the

maximum, minimum and axial pipeline strains calculated analytically are comapared against those predicted from the results of

three-dimensional nite element analyses with the commercial

code ANSYS.

To this end a typical straight, continuous 20 in. (1 in. = 25.4 mm)

natural gas pipeline, made of high-strength API.5L-X65 steel is

considered. The external diameter of the pipeline is D = 0.508 m

and its thickness t = 0.0079 m. The total length of the simulated

Published by NRC Research Press

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Fig. 10. Detailed results from the numerical analysis for differential heave offset z = 1.2D, focused on the area of interest where the

maximum strains develop. The sign of the vertical reaction forces follows the convention of Fig. 3.

Fig. 11. Comparison of axial, maximum, and minimum pipeline strains calculated with the proposed method against numerically computed

strains for relative settlement and heave. This set of results corresponds to the analysis for a settling or heaving zone of width Ls = 40 m.

or heaving zone. The total length of the model was proven adequate to avoid any end effects on the results in the area of interest.

Straight plastic beam elements (PIPE20) are used to discretize the

pipeline, each of which is 0.5 m long. A RambergOsgood curve is

used to simulate the stressstrain response of the steel, as per

common practice

(47)

1

Ei

r 1 e

where for X65 steel Ei = 210 GPa, e = 490 MPa, b = 38.32, and r =

31.5 (Fig. 8). In this way, the effect of considering a simple bilinear

stressstress relationship in the analytical solution on the accu-

relationship of Fig. 7 is tted to the RambergOsgood curve, as

depicted in Fig. 9.

The soilpipeline interaction in the vertical and axial directions is quantied via elasticperfectly plastic spring elements

(COMBIN39), connected to each node of the pipeline elements

(two sets of spring elements per running metre). The properties of

the springs were derived according to the ASCE-ALA (2005) guidelines, assuming the pipeline is installed inside a trench of sufcient dimensions and backlled with medium-dense sand up to a

level of 1.20 m, measured from the pipeline crown (Table 1).

The sand unit weight is taken as = 18 kN/m3, its friction angle

as = 36, and the soilpipeline interface friction angle as = 24.

It is further assumed that the earth pressure coefcient at-rest of

Published by NRC Research Press

Kouretzis et al.

1069

For personal use only.

Fig. 12. Comparison of axial, maximum, and minimum pipeline strains calculated with the proposed method against numerically computed

strains, for varying widths of the soil heave zone.

compaction of the sand although compaction of the backll in

areas where relative ground surface deformations are expected

should be avoided, as a denser backll will introduce higher reaction forces on the pipeline. Note that the uplift yield displacement

in Table 1 is derived by tting a bilinear forcedisplacement curve

to the hyperbolic equation proposed by Trautmann et al. (1985).

The free end of the spring elements is xed, and a step-like

prescribed displacement (Fig. 10) is applied to the xed nodes

located along the width of the settling or heaving zone. Analyses

for both ground settlement and heave are performed, with the

absolute offset value ranging from 0.1016 to 1.016 m, which corresponds to normalized offset values z/D = 0.2 to 2.0. This range is

expected to cover realistic ground surface offsets due to settlement or

heave.

First a pipeline crossing a settling or heaving zone of width Ls =

40 m (approximately 80D) is simulated, to check whether it is

parts of the pipeline located at the edges of the zone (Ls/2 > LBC + La

from step 3). Detailed results of the analysis for ground heave with

an offset z/D = 1.2 are presented in Fig. 10, to assess pipeline

response in light of the simplications introduced in the analytical solution. The rst focus is on the pipeline deformed shape and

the reactions applied to the pipeline from the backll in the axial

and vertical directions in the vicinity of the edge of the heave

zone. It can be argued that the deformed shape of the pipeline is

compatible with the deformation mode of the pipeline segments

depicted in Fig. 2b, while the vertical reaction forces along parts

AB and BC of the pipeline are in agreement with the shape and

magnitude assumed for loads qAB and qBC. It is also clear that the

assumption of a uniform friction resistance developing along the

full unanchored length of the pipeline is, as discussed earlier, not

totally accurate, as the friction forces diminish to zero at the

middle of the heave zone.

Published by NRC Research Press

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Fig. 13. Variation of axial, maximum, and minimum pipeline strains developing for vertical ground heave z/D = 1.0, with the half-width of

the heave zone Ls/2.

bending strains coincides, as implied in step 4 of the methodology. At this point the axial strains need to increase locally, so that

the integral of the longitudinal strains remains equal to the axial

force. A more detailed discussion of this effect is provided by

Karamitros et al. (2011), as well as by ORourke and Liu (2012).

Given this agreement in capturing the elements of the pipeline

response, it is no surprise that the proposed analytical method is

able to provide accurate estimates of the pipeline strains, compared to those from the benchmark nonlinear nite element

model. This comparison is illustrated in Fig. 11. Further to that,

Fig. 11 provides additional evidence that both the settlement and

heave cases essentially result in the same maximum pipeline

strains, though in different locations along the pipeline route.

To support the hypothesis that the proposed methodology

will provide accurate results when the half-width of the settling or

heaving zone Ls/2 is larger than the length of the beam BC plus the

attenuation length La, Ls/2 > LBC + La, parametric analysis was

performed where the half-width of the heave zone was decreased

gradually from Ls/2 = 20 m (40D) to Ls/2 = 1 m (2D). The results of

this parametric analysis are presented in Fig. 12, using the same

format as in Fig. 11. The analytically calculated strains match the

results of the nite element analyses, except for the case of the

narrowest heave zone width Ls/22D. This can be explained by

means of Fig. 13. When the half-width of the ground offset zone

becomes less than the length of the beam BC LBC, the highcurvature areas formed at the two edges of the heave zone (Fig. 10)

overlap. This effect, which results in a substantial increase in

bending strain, is not taken into consideration by the proposed

methodology and the corresponding analytical predictions become nonconservative. On the other hand, it is worth noting that

the analytical results match the numerical values fairly well in the

intermediate cases where LBC + La > Ls/2 > LBC, even though the

theoretical boundary conditions considered for the analysis of

segment CC= in step 1 are violated.

The method presented provides an attractive alternative to

more rigorous (and complex) numerical analyses of pipelines that

are subjected to permanent ground settlement and heave, offering ease-of-use and a quick estimation of pipeline internal forces

and strains. The simplications introduced have a negligible

effect on the accuracy of the solution, at least for the realistic

vertical ground surface offsets examined here. Although the comparison with the benchmark analyses was limited to a pipeline

made of high-strength steel, the methodology is applicable to

HPDE, cast iron or concrete pipelines, as it provides versatility in

terms of the material model and direct estimates of both the

strains and internal forces. Nevertheless, appropriate tting of

the bilinear constitutive relation to the actual pipeline material

stressstrain behaviour is required to obtain realistic results.

Note, however, that it is not necessary for the bilinear t to capture the whole extent of the pipeline materials stressstrain relationship: as the proposed methodology is intended for practical

materials behaviour within the region of the acceptable design

limits is deemed sufcient.

It must be stated, however, that the approach does not account

for the possibility of local buckling, due to excessive compressive

strains, which may cause early failure of the pipeline. For that

aspect, the pipeline designer must compute a limiting compressive strain that the pipeline section can sustain, which is a function of the pipeline geometry (see, e.g., EN 1998-4 (CEN 2006)).

Furthermore, longitudinal strains due to internal pressure and

thermal effects were omitted from the analysis, as customarily

they are expected to be an order of magnitude lower than the

strains induced by permanent ground deformation. The methodology is applicable to straight, continuous pipelines, and to

settlement or heave zones that are wider than the curved length

of the pipeline, where bending strains develop. Unanchored

length estimates may be used to decide whether a more detailed

analysis is required to take into account the restraint on the pipeline axial deformation that is imposed by the existence of pipe

bends in the vicinity of the settlement or heave zone (these will

lead to development of additional strains near the bends).

References

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