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Seismic Design of Buried and Offshore Pipelines

by M.J. O'Rourke and (Jack) X. Liu

An update to Response of Buried Pipelines Subject to Earthquake Effects, published in 1999

The earthquake safety of buried pipelines has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years. These pipeline systems are commonly used to transport water, sewage, oil, natural gas and other materials. They are often referred to as “lifelines” since they carry materials essential to the support of life in modern communities.

Many new research developments as well as observations following significant earthquakes around the world have impacted the current state-of-the-art on the seismic design of buried pipelines since the 1999 version of this monograph was published. Offshore pipelines have been added to the current version because of their importance in addressing the world’s energy needs. Thus, there was a need to update the monograph. A summary of the current chapters, highlighting new and revised information is as follows:

About the Authors

Michael O’Rourke, Ph.D., P.E., has been a Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at Rensselaer since 1974. The seismic behavior and design of buried pipeline is one of his main research areas. He has authored over two dozen professional journal papers as well as over five dozen conference papers on the topic. He has participated in post-earthquake reconnaissance for events in Mexico; Costa Rica; Landers, California; San Fernando, California; and Taiwan. Funding for his research has come primarily from the National Science Foundation, through the RANN, PFR, NCEER and NEESR programs. He is the 2001 recipient of the ASCE C. Martin Duke Lifeline Earthquake Engineering Award.

(Jack) X. Liu, P.hD., P.E., has 20 years of experience in both pipeline research and engineering. His engineering experience extends from onshore to offshore, and from shallow water to deepwater. He has conducted extensive research on pipe response to earthquakes, pipe-soil interaction forces, strain criteria, cryogenic pipelines and HTHP pipelines. He is the inventor of the Relaxing LNG Transfer System, and an author/coauthor of over a dozen of technical articles. He has been a principal consultant of Liu Advanced Engineering, LLC since 2008. He holds a BS from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and Ph.D from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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