Stress analysis of buried steel pipelines at strike-slip fault crossings

Dimitris K. Karamitros, George D. Bouckovalas*, George P. Kouretzis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

290 Citations (Scopus)


Existing analytical methods for the stress analysis of buried steel pipelines at crossings with active strike-slip faults depend on a number of simplifications, which limit their applicability and may even lead to non-conservative results. The analytical methodology presented herein maintains the well-established assumptions of existing methodologies, but also introduces a number of refinements in order to achieve a more wide range of application without any major simplicity sacrifice. More specifically, it employs equations of equilibrium and compatibility of displacements to derive the axial force applied on the pipeline and adopts a combination of beam-on-elastic-foundation and elastic-beam theory to calculate the developing bending moment. Although indirectly, material and large-displacement non-linearities are also taken into account, while the actual distribution of stresses on the pipeline cross-section is considered for the calculation of the maximum design strain. The proposed methodology is evaluated against the results of a series of benchmark 3D nonlinear analyses with the finite element method. It is shown that fairly accurate predictions of pipeline strains may be obtained for a wide range of crossing angles and fault movement magnitudes encountered in practice. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-211
Number of pages12
JournalSoil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


  • buried steel pipelines
  • strike-slip faults
  • stress analysis
  • design


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