Dynamic response of a buried pipeline, under the action of the fall of rocks on the soil
Safety assessment of a buried pipeline potentially subject to rockfalls
Oil or gas pipelines that cover long distances pose complex design challenges. Every environment the pipeline crosses is characterized by different potential geohazards. One of the most dangerous for a pipeline is a rockfall. This specific geological hazard, therefore, requires detailed analysis, particularly for the design of onshore pipelines. The virtual representation of the phenomenon has to be as realistic as possible; it is best approached with Finite Element Analysis which allows engineers to accurately analyse problems with high-speed, highly nonlinear dynamics. This article describes how the engineers simulated different types and impacts of rockfalls to measure their effect on different configurations of the soil and the buried pipeline below it to find the optimal burial depth and composition for the backfill soil to ensure the pipeline’s safety.