University of Michigan NEESR
NEESR-SG: Damage Detection and Health Monitoring of Buried Pipelines after Earthquake-Induced Ground Movement
This proposed research is an outcome of the National Science Foundation 07-506 program solicitation "George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Research" competition. This project is led by the University of Michigan and includes subawards to Merrimack College and Purdue University. This project will utilize the NEES lifeline experimental facilities at Cornell University. The assessment of damage to lifelines after natural disasters, such as earthquakes, is a crucial component of emergency response and rescue efforts. Of particular importance is the water supply system, as water is an important survival resource. Even minor damage to water pipelines can result in contamination and epidemic outbreaks. Water is transmitted in concrete and metal pipes, which are vulnerable to damage caused by ground motions; it is proposed that damage detection methods be devised for both kinds of pipes. Quick assessment of the integrity of these pipelines is necessary for first planning the recovery mission and subsequent infrastructure reconstruction. The long-term monitoring of the structural health of pipelines is also an important component of infrastructure maintenance. A challenge in damage assessment to lifelines is in the fact that most pipelines are buried in soil. This proposal will develop methods for the detection of damage to concrete and metal pipelines caused by permanent ground displacement. It is envisioned that future lifelines will be smart structures built of materials with self-sensing capabilities, and wireless techniques will be used to transmit the information-carrying signal to the ground surface. The research proposed has three components: soil-structure interaction of pipelines subjected to ground movement, material research and design (particularly self-sensing concrete), and information technology focused on data gathering, processing and transfer. The broad impacts of this research on society will come through increased capabilities of damage assessment to lifelines after natural disasters, and through better long-term health monitoring methods. A unique aspect of this project is the involvement of the project team in an outreach program through the Hands-On Museum in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Sciencenter in Ithaca, New York, where a young audience can be directly reached and educated on the issues of engineering and the nation's infrastructure. Data from this project will be made available through the NEES data repository (http://www.nees.org).
For more information click here.