Tunneling-Induced Ground Movement Effects on Pipelines

Project: Research

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The underground space in urban areas is frequently congested with utilities, including pipelines and conduits, which are affected by underground construction, e.g., tunnelling. Tunnelling-induced ground movements cause pipeline deformation that may disrupt the conveyance of important services and resources (e.g., water, electric power, and telecommunications) and threaten the safety and security of urban inhabitants (e.g., flooding and leakage of combustible gas from ruptured or leaking mains).This project will provide a comprehensive assessment of tunnelling-induced ground movement effects on pipelines. The major research components include finite element simulations, centrifuge modelling, and the collection and synthesis of field observations. The numerical modelling and centrifuge tests will help to characterize ground movement patterns and clarify the mechanics of soil-pipeline interactions that result from tunnelling-induced displacements. The numerical and centrifuge test results will be validated against data and observations from actual tunnelling projects. The combined results will be used to develop design charts and pipeline safety criteria to predict pipeline performance during future tunnelling. The research will quantify the risks of tunnelling on existing pipeline performance and will be applicable to the evaluation of many tunnelling projects and pipeline systems around the world.


Project number9041260
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/0816/02/12