Earthquake faulting effects on buried pipelines - Case history and centrifuge study

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 (PGD) is one of the most damaging hazards for continuous buried lifelines. This hazard is especially severe when the PGD results in net compression in the pipe. In that case, buckling of pipe material can occur. If buckling is moderate, deformation of the pipe cross-section can lead to flow restriction and high friction losses, and eventually require line replacement. If buckling is severe, high localized strains can lead to pipe rupture, loss of contents, and possible pollution of surrounding soil. In this article, centrifuge tests of buried pipelines subject to abrupt ground failure in the form of surface faulting are presented. The fault movement results in mostly compression in the pipe. The test results are compared with a case history of pipe failure in the 1999 Izmit, Turkey earthquake and also with the results from the centrifuge tests which result in net tension in the pipe. The experimental setup, procedures, and instrumentation are described in detail. Suggestions for design practice are offered based on the analysis of results from both the 1999 Izmit case history and the centrifuge modeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)646-669
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Earthquake Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Buckling
  • Buried Pipeline
  • Case History
  • Centrifuge
  • Earthquake Faulting
  • PGD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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