Probabilistic Assessment of Windblown Sand Accumulation Around Railways
New ultra-long transnational railway megaprojects are currently being planned or under construction. Along their route, they increasingly cross arid and desert regions. In these regions, railways are vulnerable to windblown sand. Several failure cases recently occurred, e.g. along the Linhai-Ceke railway in China, or the Aus-Lüderitz railway in Namibia. We consider windblown sand as an environmental key factor, analogously to wind or snow drift. We categorize its effects into Sand Ultimate Limit States and Sand Serviceability Limit States. In the design perspective, the quantitative prediction of the windblown sand sedimented along the railway is mandatory. We propose a probabilistic approach to sedimented windblown sand modelling because of the inborn variability of the phenomenon. The proposed method allows evaluating the design value of the accumulated windblown sand volume for a given site.
KeywordsWindblown sand Sand limit states Railway Monte Carlo
The study has been developed in the framework of the Windblown Sand Modeling and Mitigation (WSMM) joint research, development and consulting group established between Politecnico di Torino and Optiflow Company. The authors wish to thank the other members of the WSMM group for the helpful discussions about the topics of the paper.
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