A limit states design approach for onshore pipelines has been developed as part of a multi-year joint industry project (JIP). As part of this project, reliability-based design rules were developed for geotechnical loads, including landslides, slope creep, seismic loads, frost heave and thaw settlement. In consideration of the modelling complexity of the soil movement mechanisms and pipe-soil interaction, and to allow for flexibility to incorporate future model developments, the design rule formulation is directly based on the distribution parameters of the strain demand and capacity of the pipeline.

This paper describes the approach used to develop the strain demand and capacity distributions that are required to apply the design rules, as well as the applicable range of distribution parameters. Slope creep was selected as a basis for demonstrating the proposed process, as this loading mechanism occurs more frequently and the data to characterize the necessary uncertainties is available. General guidance related to the development of the strain demand distribution parameters for other geotechnical loads is also provided.

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