CFD-Based Framework for Analysis of Soil–Pipeline Interaction in Reconsolidating Liquefied Sand

F. Pisano, Massimiliano Cremonesi, Francesco Cecinato, Gabriele Della Vecchia

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Submarine buried pipelines interact with shallow soil layers that are often loose and prone to fluidization/liquefaction. Such occurrence is a possible consequence of pore pressure build-up induced by hydrodynamic loading, earthquakes, and/or structural vibrations. When liquefaction is triggered in sand, the soil tends to behave as a viscous solid–fluid mixture of negligible shear strength, possibly unable to constrain pipeline movements. Therefore, pipelines may experience excessive displacement, for instance, in the form of vertical flotation or sinking. To date, there are no well-established methods to predict pipe displacement in the event of liquefaction. To fill such a gap, this work proposes a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) framework enriched with soil mechanics principles. It is shown that the interaction between pipe and liquefied sand can be successfully analyzed via one-phase Bingham fluid modeling of the soil. Postliquefaction enhancement of rheological properties, viscosity, and yield stress can also be accounted for by linking soil–pipe CFD simulations to a separate analysis of the pore pressure dissipation. The proposed approach is thoroughly validated against the results of small-scale pipe flotation and pipe dragging tests from the literature.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0001846
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Engineering Mechanics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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