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Vulnerability of natural gas pipelines under axial ground displacements due to landslides

Chatzidakis Dionysios

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Year 2015
Type of Item Master Thesis
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Hydrocarbons are undoubtedly the energy source of the 21st century. The distance between the deposits and the urban and industrial areas can be overcome with high pressure onshore and/or offshore pipelines. Natural gas can be transferred through pipelines for thousands of kilometers in gaseous state, thus, it can be immediately used. Such pipelines already exist, or are being constructed planed in Europe and East Mediterranean, leading also to geopolitical conflicts between states and big companies.Such pipelines are very important and any potential damage can cause devastating problems to the society, the economy and the environment. Earthquakes and the resulting Permanent Ground Deformation (PGD) is one of the most important geohazards that a pipeline needs to endure. During the last decades, several international and national design standards have been developed for seismic design of pipelines, such as ISO, Eurocode 8 and American Lifelines Alliance (ALA). Perhaps, the safest way to avoid a possible failure of a pipeline due to earthquake geohazards is to avoid critical areas. If that is not feasible and techno-economically viable, then other techniques have to be used, such as soil strengthening, usage of better materials, isolating the pipe, etc. Finite Element Method (FEM) is a very useful tool for simulating a pipeline under PGD and possible alternative solutions for its protection based on standards such as ALA. The objective of the current study is the simulation of a pipeline when it is imposed in a landslide parallel to its axis. The pipeline is considered as buried onshore and is investigated for infinite and finite sloping areas several angles, material properties, internal pressures and diameter to thickness ratios. Additionally, the potential beneficial role of a double sigmoid curvature in different positions along the landslide zone is investigated as an alternative mitigation measure.

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