Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

Acoustic Characteristics of Liquid Hydrocarbon Releases From Buried Pipelines: An Experimental Evaluation

[+] Author Affiliations
Fernando Castellanos, Mirko van der Baan

University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Mathew Bussiere, Mark Stephens

C-FER Technologies (1999), Inc., Edmonton, AB, Canada

Paper No. IPC2018-78244, pp. V003T04A009; 8 pages
  • 2018 12th International Pipeline Conference
  • Volume 3: Operations, Monitoring, and Maintenance; Materials and Joining
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 24–28, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: Pipeline Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5188-3
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


Characterizing the acoustic energy associated with small pipeline leaks is of particular interest to pipeline operators who are considering deployment of acoustic based External Leak Detection (ELD) systems along their pipelines. Small leaks are defined here as product leaks having release rates and/or release volumes that fall below the detection threshold currently associated with conventional or traditional leak detection technologies, including but not limited to Computation Pipeline Monitoring (CPM) systems. Characterization of such acoustic energy could be used to predict and evaluate the performance of acoustic based ELD systems in a variety of candidate deployment locations. It could also be used to optimize system performance of existing or future deployed acoustic based ELD systems. This study focuses on investigating the transmission of acoustic energy caused by pressurized fluid releases through two different soil mediums (a dry soil and a saturated soil). Specifically, signal attenuation and frequency content as a function of sensor location from the release source were investigated. To accomplish this, geophones were placed within a large soil filled tank to listen passively to controlled releases of hydrocarbon liquids from a buried pipe segment. These releases were driven through circular shaped orifices ranging in diameter from 0.79 to 4 mm and by pressures ranging from 50 to 500 psi. Signal attenuation was observed in both the longitudinal and radial directions however the effect was more significant in the radial direction. This does not necessarily imply that anisotropic effects exist, but rather a possible explanation is that the acoustic waves traveling along the pipe walls (i.e. in the longitudinal direction) are less attenuated and can therefore carry the acoustic energy further in that direction. In addition, it was found that the dominant bandwidth of the leak signals (which is approximately 600 Hz but it can be as high as 1200 Hz) is inversely proportional to orifice diameter and proportional to the release pressure. Also, the dominant frequency was found to be slightly higher in the saturated soil environment. This study provides insights into expected acoustics characteristics of small liquid leaks, which can help in the selection and placement of appropriate acoustic based ELD systems.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Topics: Acoustics , Pipelines



Interactive Graphics


Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In