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Monitoring Slope Deformation With Quadrilaterals for Pipeline Risk Management

[+] Author Affiliations
Jeffrey R. Keaton

AMEC Earth & Environmental, Anaheim, CA

Richard W. Gailing

Southern California Gas Company, Los Angeles, CA

Paper No. IPC2004-0197, pp. 269-274; 6 pages
  • 2004 International Pipeline Conference
  • 2004 International Pipeline Conference, Volumes 1, 2, and 3
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, October 4–8, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: International Petroleum Technology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4176-6 | eISBN: 0-7918-3737-8
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


Ground displacements, strains, and tilts can be calculated by repeated measurements of the lengths of six chords and relative elevations of an array of four points, known as a quadrilateral. Quadrilateral measurements allow ground-surface deformation and strain to be calculated. Typically, soil-pipeline interaction results in pipeline strain being less than ground strain. Strain gauges traditionally have been used on pipelines in landslide areas to aid in managing pipeline risk. Quadrilaterals may be economical alternatives to placing strain gauges on existing pipelines in areas of active or potential slope movements. A threshold ground deformation or strain is used to trigger more expensive means of evaluating pipeline integrity. Quadrilaterals are relatively inexpensive to install, but must be carefully located and founded deep enough to avoid seasonal shrink-swell effects of the soil. Measurements must be taken with precise instruments (tape extensometer) so that small changes can be detected with acceptable errors. Three contiguous quadrilaterals were installed in Spring 2003 in a landslide-prone area of southern California to aid in monitoring a slope between the main scarp of a recently active landslide and a pipeline bridge foundation. Engineering geologic evaluation supported a conclusion that the rate of headward crest advancement would be slow, but a method of detecting and quantifying slope deformation was needed for operational risk management.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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