Alternative Title

NCKRI Symposium 2: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst



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Publication Date

May 2013


pg(s) 13-21 Installation of underground pipelines through unpopulated land situated over pinnacled carbonate bedrock can lead to the development of sinkholes. The formation of sinkholes beneath buried pipelines has the potential of damaging the pipeline and more importantly causing hazardous environmental incidents. This paper presents a case history at a site where significant sinkholes developed within and adjacent to a 400 foot (112 meters) long section of high pressure petroleum pipeline right-of-way that crosses under a local creek in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. Various geophysical investigation techniques consisting of microgravity, multi-channel analysis of surface waves (MASW), and two dimensional electrical resistivity testing were performed in addition to confirmatory testing borings to effectively evaluate the subsurface conditions at the site. Three options were considered as a solution to the active sinkholes present within the pipeline right-of-way. These options include: 1) subsurface grouting within the right-of-way 2) structurally supporting the pipeline on a deep foundation system or 3) relocating the pipeline to a less sinkhole prone portion of an adjacent property. Following the investigation process, relocating the pipeline in conjunction with pre-installation ground improvements via subsurface grouting represented the most cost-effective, lowest risk solution at the site. Open Access - Permission by Publisher See Extended description for more information.


Conference Proceeding


University of South Florida





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