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Experimental Studies of Pipeline Uplift Resistance in Frozen Ground

[+] Author Affiliations
Bill Liu, Jack Crooks

Golder Associates Ltd., Calgary, AB, Canada

J. F. (Derick) Nixon

Nixon Geotech Ltd., Calgary, AB, Canada

Joe Zhou

TransCanada PipeLines Limited, Calgary, AB, Canada

Paper No. IPC2004-0133, pp. 2407-2413; 7 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


A buried pipeline is subject to a variety of internal and external loads, one of which is the load induced by relative movements between the pipeline and the surrounding soils. Frost heave is one of the potential mechanisms that induce the relative movement for buried pipelines of chilled gas. The magnitude of the loads due to frost heave depends upon the amount of heaving and the load-displacement characteristics of the surrounding frozen soils, i.e., the uplift resistance of the frozen soils. Under the sponsorship of Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI), laboratory uplift tests have been carried out to study the load-displacement characteristics of a frozen soil and to assess the impact of loading rate, ice content and freezing direction. In addition to the measurements of the load and displacement of the pipe, deformations of the soil surface were also monitored at various locations. Parallel to the uplift tests, a series of laboratory geo-mechanical tests were conducted to define stiffness, tensile strain limits and time-dependent behavior of the frozen soil. Examples of the uplift test results are presented in the paper, together with detailed descriptions of soil material and test conditions. It is noted that quantitative data on uplift resistance are considered proprietary and will not be presented in this paper; however, detailed data may be obtained from technical publications of PRCI. Observations during the test with respect to the development of cracks in the frozen soil will be discussed. The load-displacement relationships measured in the uplift tests, together with the geo-mechanical properties of the frozen soil, will be used to the development and calibration of a numerical model, which will be presented in a separate technical paper to IPC2004.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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