Pipelines are one of the safest ways of transporting hazardous liquids, such as crude oil, gasoline, kerosene and diesel oil. However, few models exist that predict the spread of a liquid over a general topography following accidental release from a pipeline. The methodology presented in this paper allows the route taken by an accidental release of liquid from a pipeline to be predicted. The porosity of the ground is included to enable the extent of spread of the liquid and the proportion of the release reaching an important location, such as a river, to be established. The resulting flow for any given release and topography is determined by interpolation between data contained in a series of tables constructed from simulations using liquid spread software. The methodology has been applied to a release and subsequent fire, which occurred in Bellingham, Washington, in 1999. The extents of the pipeline, which, should a release occur, would result in the spill reaching sensitive areas, have been established. The results obtained are of the correct order of magnitude and are realistic. However, more data on the case studies would be required to quantitatively assess the accuracy of the methodology.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.