Chapter 10
Seismic Evaluation of Buried Pipelines, Tunnels and Vaults


Buried pipeline systems are commonly used to transport water necessary for heat removal and fire protection safety function for hazardous facilities. In some instances they may also conduct radioactive or other toxic and pathogenic fluids.

Safety-related cables such as emergency power supply and instrumentation and control lines between buildings are often routed in buried reinforced-concrete tunnels or vaults. All these types of structures are referred to in this chapter as buried systems.

These buried systems are often required to remain functional in case of an earthquake not exceeding a design-basis earthquake. This means that failure modes are considered that may induce large deformation in the pipes, tunnels or vaults; or that may produce pipe, tunnel or vault support failure; or that may produce tunnel or vault wall or roof collapse over the pipes or cables.

  • 10.1 Wave Propagation
  • 10.1.1 Effective Propagation Velocity—Body Waves
  • 10.1.2 Effective Propagation Velocity—Surface Waves
  • 10.2 Ground Strain and Curvature due to Wave Propagation
  • 10.3 Simplified Approaches to Assess the Strain and Curvature of a Straight Continuous Buried System due to Wave Propagation
  • 10.3.1 Newmark Approach
  • 10.3.2 M. O'Rourke and EL Hmadi Approach (Applicable to Pipe)
  • 10.4 Friction Strain Model Ground Strains and Displacements Developed Along the Buried System
  • 10.4.1 Straight Continuous Buried Systems—Cross-Section Resultant Forces and Moments
  • 10.4.2 Buried System Bends and Tees — Cross-Section Resultant Forces and Moments
  • 10.5 Finite-Element Approach to Evaluate Sectional Forces Acting on Buried Systems
  • 10.5.1 Load-Deformation Relations at Buried System Soil Interface
  • 10.5.2 Longitudinal Movement
  • 10.5.3 Horizontal Transverse Movement
  • 10.5.4 Vertical Transverse Movement, Upward Direction
  • 10.5.5 Vertical Transverse Movement, Downward Direction
  • 10.6 Acceptance Criteria
  • 10.6.1 Straight Continuous Pipeline
  • 10.6.2 Acceptance Criteria—Pipeline Bends and Tees
  • 10.6.3 Buckling Failure Criteria of Pipelines
  • Local Buckling
  • Beam Buckling
  • 10.7 Acceptance Criteria—Concrete Pipe Tunnels and Vaults
  • 10.8 References

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