Development of an assessment method for seismic damage to gravity waste water pipes. (2019)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Thesis DisciplineCivil Engineering
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
AuthorsTang, Yifeishow all
This thesis documents the development and demonstration of an assessment method for analysing earthquake-related damage to concrete waste water gravity pipes in Christchurch, New Zealand, following the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence (CES). The method is intended to be internationally adaptable to assist territorial local authorities with improving lifelines infrastructure disaster impact assessment and improvements in resilience. This is achieved through the provision of high-resolution, localised damage data, which demonstrate earthquake impacts along the pipe length. The insights gained will assist decision making and the prioritisation of resources following earthquake events to quickly and efficiently restore network function and reduce community impacts.
The method involved obtaining a selection of 55 reinforced concrete gravity waste water pipes with available Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) inspection footage filmed before and after the CES. The pipes were assessed by reviewing the recordings, and damage was mapped to the nearest metre along the pipe length using Geographic Information Systems. An established, systematic coding process was used for reporting the nature and severity of the observed damage, and to differentiate between pre-existing and new damage resulting from the CES. The damage items were overlaid with geospatial data such as Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)-derived ground deformation data, Liquefaction Resistance Index data and seismic ground motion data (Peak Ground acceleration and Peak Ground Velocity) to identify potential relationships between these parameters and pipe performance.
Initial assessment outcomes for the pipe selection revealed that main pipe joints and lateral connections were more vulnerable than the pipe body during a seismic event. Smaller diameter pipes may also be more vulnerable than larger pipes during a seismic event. Obvious differential ground movement resulted in increased local damage observations in many cases, however this was not obvious for all pipes. Pipes with older installation ages exhibited more overall damage prior to a seismic event, which is likely attributable to increased chemical and biological deterioration. However, no evidence was found relating pipe age to performance during a seismic event. No evidence was found linking levels of pre-CES damage in a pipe with subsequent seismic performance, and seismic performance with liquefaction resistance or magnitude of seismic ground motion.
The results reported are of limited application due to the small demonstration sample size, but reveal the additional level of detail and insight possible using the method presented in this thesis over existing assessment methods, especially in relation to high resolution variations along the length of the pipe such as localised ground deformations evidenced by LiDAR.
The results may be improved by studying a larger and more diverse sample pool, automating data collection and input processes in order to improve efficiency and consider additional input such as pipe dip and cumulative damage over a large distance.
The method is dependent on comprehensive and accurate pre-event CCTV assessments and LIDAR data so that post-event data could be compared. It is proposed that local territorial authorities should prioritise acquiring this information as a first important step towards improving the seismic resilience of a gravity waste water pipe network.