Title Permafrost and cold-region environmental problems of the oil product pipeline from Golmud to Lhasa on the Qinghai- Tibet Plateau and their mitigation
Author He Ruixia; Jin Huijun
Author Affil He Ruixia, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Cold And Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Lanzhou, China
Source China-Russia crude oil pipeline in permafrost regions in northeastern China, edited by Jin Huijun, G. Gay and M.C. Brewer. Cold Regions Science and Technology, 64(3), p.279-288, . Publisher: Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ISSN: 0165-232X
Publication Date Dec. 2010
Notes In English. Based on Publisher- supplied data GeoRef Acc. No: 309505
Index Terms climatic change; corrosion; damage; environmental effects; erosion; freeze thaw cycles; frost heave; human activity; permafrost; pipelines; gas pipelines; environmental protection; safety; soils; thawing; wind erosion; China--Golmud; China-- Xizang--Lhasa China; Asia--Tibetan Plateau; Asia; China; climate change; elevation; environmental management; Far East; frost action; frost heaving; geologic hazards; Golmud China; Lhasa China; mitigation; natural hazards; periglacial environment; petroleum; protection; remediation; roads; saline composition; settlement; Tibetan Plateau; Xizang China
Abstract The 1076-km-long Golmud-Lhasa oil product pipeline is located closely parallel to the highway constructed 20 years earlier within the relatively narrow north-south engineering corridor crossing the treeless central area of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Much of the corridor is at elevations exceeding 4500 m and high-elevation, generally warm permafrost is encountered in more than one-half of the length. The pipeline, transporting mostly diesel, motor and aviation fuels at ambient temperatures, is 159 mm in diameter, has a wall thickness of 6 mm and was buried in a trench at a nominal depth of between 1.2 and 1.4 m. The soils encountered, mostly periglacial sands, silts and gravels, often have elevated saline contents and are subject to severe wind erosion and occasional monsoon flash flooding conditions. During its first quarter century of operation, the pipeline suffered at least 30 significant leaks and four pipeline ruptures. About 337 km of the pipeline was extensively rehabilitated, including relocations or replacements in major problem areas and, where feasible for an existing pipeline, improvements in pipeline protection during 2001-2004. It was supposed to safely operate for another 30 years with proper checks and needed repairs. This paper provides a review on the history of the permafrost and cold regions environmental problems of the pipeline, and their major rehabilitation, repairs and problems in the future, which might have useful implications for similar oil product pipeline at high elevations or permafrost regions.
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.coldregions.2010.01.003
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 65006602