Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 86–92 | Cite as

Post-Event Site Investigation, Monitoring, Stability Analysis, and Modeling of a Gas Pipeline Explosion

  • Gianfranco Totani
  • Ferdinando Totani
  • Daniele Celli
  • Davide Pasquali
  • Marcello Di Risio
Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


This paper describes the results of site investigations, monitoring, stability analyses, and soil-pipe interaction modeling of a built-up slope located near Pineto (Abruzzo Province, Central Italy), where a gas pipeline exploded on March 6th, 2015, due to heavy rains inducing slope movements. The slope is formed by OC clay, covered with an upper 10- to 14-m-thick clayey-sandy silt colluvial layer. The explosion in the upper portion of the slope caused extensive damage to existing buildings and threatened human lives. Soon after the event, a site investigation and monitoring program was carried out. A detailed topographic survey and hydrological data were analyzed in order to characterize possible critical rainfall events. The stability of the slope was analyzed both in pre- and in post-explosion conditions. The profiles of the DMT horizontal stress index K D helped to identify multiple slip surfaces. Then, the results of the site investigation and stability analyses were used to implement a simplified finite element model aimed to describe the soil-pipeline interaction, taking into account the role of the observed wrinkle in the pipeline. The numerical simulations reveal the crucial role played by the slope movements, and by the wrinkle as well, in inducing the collapse of the pipe.


Gas pipeline Explosion Stability analysis Built-up slope Pipe analysis 


  1. 1.
    C. Alexander, K. Brownlee, Methodology for assessing the effects of plain dents, wrinkle bends and mechanical damage on pipeline integrity. In: NACE International Corrosion 2007 Conference & Expo, Nashville (Tennessee) (2007)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    C. Alexander, S. Kulkarni, Evaluating the effects of wrinkle bends on pipeline integrity. In: 7th International Pipeline Conference, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, pp. 61–74 (2008)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Authority, Abruzzo-Sangro Basin. Piano Stralcio di Bacino per l’Assetto Idrogeologico dei Bacini di Rilievo Regionale Abruzzesi e del Bacino del Fiume Sangro, LR 18:1989 (2005) (in Italian)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    V.T. Chow, D.R. Maidment, L.W. Mays, V.T. Chow, D.R. Maidment, L.W. Mays, Applied Hydrology, McGraw-Hill Series in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, vol. 572 (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1988)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    S. Coles, J. Bawa, L. Trenner, P. Dorazio, An Introduction to Statistical Modeling of Extreme Values, vol. 208 (Springer, London, 2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    S. Das, J.J.R. Cheng, D.W. Murray, Prediction of the fracture life of a wrinkled steel pipe subject to low cycle fatigue load. Can. J. Civ. Eng. 34(9), 1131–1139 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Q. Deng, D. Zhu, Z. Han, L. Wang, Stress and deformation analysis of pipeline when piping routing is parallel to sliding direction of landslide. Electron. J. Geotech. Eng. 19, 8677–8689 (2014)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    X. Luo, J. Ma, J. Zheng, J. Shi, Finite element analysis of buried polyethylene pipe subjected to seismic landslide. J. Pressure Vessel Technol. 136(3), 031801 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    S. Marchetti, In situ tests by flat dilatometer. J. Geotech. Eng. Div. 106(GT3), 299–321 (1988)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    A. Rosi, T. Peternel, M. Jemec-Auflič, M. Komac, S. Segoni, N. Casagli, Rainfall thresholds for rainfall-induced landslides in Slovenia. Landslides (2016). doi: 10.1007/s10346-016-0733-3
  11. 11.
    Totani, G., M. Calabrese, S. Marchetti, P. Monaco, Use of in situ flat dilatometer (DMT) for ground characterization in the stability analysis of slopes. In: Proceedings of the XIV ICSMFE, Hamburg, vol. 1, pp. 607–610 (1997)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    L. Zhang, Z. Liang, J. Zhang, Mechanical response of a buried pipeline to explosion loading. J. Fail. Anal. Prev. 16(4), 576–582 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil, Construction-Architectural and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of L’AquilaL’AquilaItaly
  2. 2.Free lance EngineerL’AquilaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Civil, Environmental, Territory, Building and Chemical EngineeringTechnical University of BariBariItaly

Personalised recommendations