Simplified modelling of continous buried pipelines subject to earthquake fault rupture

  • Paolucci, Roberto (Department of Structural Engineering, Politecnico di Milano) ;
  • Griffini, Stefano (SOIL srl) ;
  • Mariani, Stefano (Department of Structural Engineering, Politecnico di Milano)
  • Received : 2010.03.30
  • Accepted : 2010.07.14
  • Published : 2010.09.25


A novel simple approach is presented for the seismic analysis of continuous buried pipelines subject to fault ruptures. The method is based on the minimization of the total dissipated energy during faulting, taking into account the basic factors that affect the problem, namely: a) the pipe yielding under axial and bending load, through the formation of plastic hinges and axial slip; b) the longitudinal friction across the pipe-soil interface; c) the lateral resistance of soil. The advantages and drawbacks of the proposed method are highlighted through a comparison with previous approaches, as well as with finite element calculations accounting for the 3D kinematics of the pipe-soil-fault systems under large deformations. Parametric analyses are also provided to assess the relative influence of the various parameters affecting the problem.


buried pipeline;fault rupture;seismic design;finite element simulations


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