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Fiber Optic Method for Buried Pipelines Health Assessment after Earthquake-Induced Ground Movement



Real-time, automatic or on-demand assessment of damage to pipelines after the earthquake is essential for early emergency response, efficient preparation of rescue plans, and mitigation of the disastrous consequences. This paper presents a method for buried pipelines health assessment based on distributed fiber optic sensors, which are sensitive to strain at every point along their lengths. For the method validation purposes a thirteen-meter long real-size concrete pipeline was tested. The sensors were both installed onto the pipeline and embedded in the soil, in proximity of the pipeline. Earthquake induced ground movement was simulated by an imposed displacement of the movable part of the basin and it induced the damage to the pipeline by crushing the joints between the pipe segments. The sensor installed on the pipe successfully detected and localized the damage at the joints. The sensor installed in the soil detected and localized the ground movement. The results of the test validated general principles of the method.

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