Geometry Monitoring of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline

An important aspect of the ongoing operation of the buried sections of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) is the curvature imposed on the pipeline by differential settlement of the surrounding soil as a result of thawing of ice-rich subsurface soils. High pipe curvature is a source of concern since it can potentially lead to wrinkling of the pipe wall and/or tensile fracture of the pipe at girth welds. Alyeska Pipeline Service Company has monitored pipeline settlement using different techniques since start up of the line in 1977. This paper provides a brief historical overview of how the techniques used to monitor pipe settlement have evolved over the life of TAPS. The paper also provides a discussion of the how the pipe geometry is currently monitored using the BJ Pipeline Inspection Services (BJ) Geopig® "smart" pig. The discussion includes a brief description of the Geopig measurements which are numerically processed to obtain the three-dimensional pipeline displacement and curvature (bending strain) profiles. Several illustrations of this technology are presented. The paper concludes with a summary of how Alyeska's state-of-the art pipeline geometry monitoring program is used to help make decisions related to maintaining the structural integrity of TAPS.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Pagination: pp 110-121
  • Monograph Title: Cold Regions Engineering: Cold Regions Impacts on Transportation and Infrastructure

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01881275
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784406212
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Apr 26 2023 9:18AM