Geohazard Management and Consultancy

Inspecting, monitoring and mitigating geohazard threats

Geotechnical threats such as landslides, earthquakes, settlement, flooding, and scour can lead to pipeline damage and failure. Although steps are normally taken at design to avoid or mitigate these threats, this is not always successful. During operation, hazards may develop because they were not correctly identified at design or because of other factors such as extreme climate events, unexpected erosion or human influence on the landscape.

Robust geohazard management is necessary during the service life of a pipeline so that it can be operated safely in areas where these threats are high. Our team integrates expertise in geohazards, pipeline stress analysis, and relevant state-of-the-art inspection and monitoring technologies.

Your benefits of our geohazard management and consultancy services

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Use of measured data to identify pipe loading problems

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Systematic process to identify and address geohazard threats

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Understand how geohazards behave and develop

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Analyze pipeline response to geohazard loading

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Define pipeline and ground inspection and monitoring programs

Combining IMU based bending strain and pipeline movement analyses with available imagery (including LiDAR) provides an extremely reliable method of identifying pipeline segments that are affected by geohazards, or hydrotechnical hazards. Measurement data provides invaluable direct evidence of the pipe condition and response to loading.

The threat of geohazard loading to a pipeline depends on a range of factors including the nature of the terrain, the type of hazard, the current load state, the measured (or potential) rate of load change and the pipeline properties that influence the structural loading capacity. Threats are prioritized and linked to recommended actions to evaluate and address the loading threat.

For active threats and where loads are significant, a complete understanding of the pipeline integrity involves structural calculations of the pipe performance. Assessments are fully integrated with measured inspection data to provide reliable and validated calculations of current strain levels and predicted future strains. This requires expertise in interpreting inspection data, pipeline structural modelling, definition of appropriate operational and safety limit states (fracture, buckling, collapse, etc.), pipe to soil interaction modelling, and modelling of the ground movement.

The design and implementation of mitigation programs such as stress relief, slope stabilization, special trench designs, re-routing, river bank reinforcement, river bed stabilization or whatever other civil engineering may be needed to prevent a geohazard resulting in pipeline failure.

Active geohazard sites must be monitored to understand the nature of the movement and transfer of load to the pipeline. This can include surface movement monitoring points, inclinometers, strain gages, acoustic/vibration monitoring, and repeat internal inspection. The design and installation of a suitable monitoring system must be optimized based on the nature of the hazard and pipeline response. This is strongly linked to tracking the pipeline performance as well as evaluating the effectiveness of mitigation measures.

Our services include the following:

  • Route screening for geotechnical and hydrotechnical threats
  • Prioritization of threats and measures to control the hazards
  • Detailed evaluation of ground movement and external load sources
  • Ground movement loading analysis
  • Modelling of pipeline response to active loads
  • Specification of monitoring and mitigation measures
  • Geohazard management plans and decision frameworks for operational pipelines
  • Analysis of the effects of civil works and blasting on pipelines