Our unique world is constantly changing. Natural phenomena, such as landslides, or accidental third-party actions, such as impact by excavation machinery, threaten pipeline integrity. In fact, third-party interference is widely documented as being a major cause of damage to buried pipelines.

Geometric Changes

The operational performance of a pipeline is highly dependent on its internal and external geometry. During its lifetime, the original design shape of a pipeline may change due to external and human interference, such as construction work. Changes in the shape of a pipeline include local features such as pipeline dents, ovalities and wrinkles, as well as pipeline bending. While pipelines are very tolerant of deformation damage due to the inherent ductility and toughness of steel, the high stresses and strains caused by these features can compromise integrity and result in failures, particularly when they are combined with other anomalies like gouges, corrosion or weld flaws. Severe deformation can also result in flow restrictions or prevent the passage of cleaning and inspection tools. Therefore, reliable means for identifying, locating, quantifying and assessing these changes in shape are critical for all pipeline operators.

Pipeline depth of cover can change over time due to natural erosion of soils, natural shrinkage of soils, human activity, or failure of anti-buoyancy systems. Apart from routine surveillance, maintaining a minimum depth of cover is recognized as a key means of mitigation against third-party interference.


Current techniques available for measuring depth of cover on buried pipes require significant in-field effort. ROSEN’s depth of cover assessments combine ground elevation data and high-resolution RoGeo XYZ mapping data to enable operators to proactively protect their pipelines from third-party damage. In the event of damage, ROSEN identifies the severity of the geometric anomalies, including coincident features, and evaluates the remaining life of the pipeline.


ROSEN combines state-of-the-art inspection technology, software and in-depth expertise to support operators with the detection and assessment of pipeline third-party damage and to avoid deformation-related failures. Learn more: Pipeline Mapping