Centrifuge modeling of earthquake effects on buried high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipelines crossing fault zones

Da Ha, Tarek H. Abdoun, Michael J. O'Rourke, Michael D. Symans, Thomas D. O'Rourke, Michael C. Palmer, Harry E. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Permanent ground deformation is a severe hazard for continuous buried pipelines. This technical paper presents results from four centrifuge tests designed to investigate the influence of pipe-fault orientation on pipe behavior under earthquake faulting. The experimental setup and procedures are described, and the test results are presented. The test results show that, as expected, pipe axial strain is strongly influenced by the pipe-fault orientation angle, whereas the influence of pipe-fault orientation angle on pipe bending strain is minor. The measured pipe strains were shown to follow the trend predicted by the Kennedy model. Also, through a parametric study using the Kennedy model, the experimental data were extrapolated for cases of pipeline with longer unanchored length. By combing the data from strain gauges and tactile pressure sensors, transverse force-deformation relations or p-y relations for the pipe were determined. The data indicates that the underlying p-y relationship varies along the length of the pipe with a stiffer p-y relationship at points closer to the fault and a softer p-y relationship at points farther away. The stiffer p-y relationship, appropriate for locations moderately close to the fault, was compared with the ASCE Guidelines in 1984 and Turner's recommendation in 2004 for moist sand. It was found that the force level for the plastic p-y behavior in the centrifuge tests compared favorably with that in the ASCE Guidelines (1984).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1501-1515
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2008


  • Centrifuge models
  • Earthquakes
  • Pipelines
  • Soil deformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


Dive into the research topics of 'Centrifuge modeling of earthquake effects on buried high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipelines crossing fault zones'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this