Pipelines Buried Conduits and Ducts

Thermal disturbances from buried pipelines can cause significant problems (e.g. Burgess and Smith, 2003; Huang et al., 2004; Palmer and Williams, 2003; Tart and Ferrell, 2002). Chilled pipelines may induce frost heave due to ice segregation and ice lens growth (Konrad, 1994), whereas warm pipelines induce additional thaw around the pipe, which results in thaw consolidation and settlement. In addition, deformation processes on steep slopes, such as creep or solifluction, may cause structural damage to pipelines (Tart, 2003). In order to minimise thermal disturbances, insulation systems are required for any buried structure to be built into permafrost containing ice as well as frost susceptible soils in an alpine environment. Only if no deformations are expected, can pipes without insulation be used. However, possible freeze up mechanisms within the pipe must be considered and modelled. Pipelines that are only used temporarily (e.g. water and sewage pipes in ski areas) should be emptied with dry, high pressurised air whenever possible. Flexible sleeves must be used at the joints.

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