Understanding the effect of soil-pipeline interactions in the event of large ground movement is an important consideration for the pipeline designer. Both experimental investigation and computational analyses play significant roles in soil-pipeline research. As part of this effort, a framework incorporating continuum soil mechanics and advanced finite element approach (i.e., ALE and SPH method) for modeling soil pipe interaction was constructed. The overall objective of this work is to develop, validate and apply 3D continuum modeling techniques to assess the performance of pipeline systems subjected to large soil displacements. The numerical models produced may subsequently be used to predict the wrinkle formation and post formation behavior of the pipeline considering the effect of the soil confinement. The aim is to develop a comprehensive wrinkle integrity assessment process. This is the first paper (Part I) in a series of two papers. In this paper a three-dimensional Continuum models using MM-ALE (Multi-material Arbitrary Eulerian Lagrangian) and SPH (smooth particle hydrodynamics) approaches are developed and employed using LS-DYNA. The results are compared with published experimental data of large-scale tests to verify the numerical analysis methods. In the second paper (Part II) the effects of soil restraint on the response of the pipe/soil systems (e.g., pipeline wrinkle and buckle, strain demand) are discussed.

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