Experimental assessment of the relationship between rainfall intensity and sinkholes caused by damaged sewer pipes

Kwak, Tae-Young; Woo, Sang-Inn; Chung, Choong-Ki; Kim, Joonyoung

In several countries, the rising occurrence of sinkholes has led to severe social and economic damage. Based on the mechanism of sinkhole development, researchers have investigated the correlation between rainfall intensity and sinkholes caused by damaged sewer pipes. In this study, the effect of rainfall intensity on the formation of eroded zones, as well as the occurrence of sinkholes caused by soil erosion due to groundwater infiltration through pipe defects, has been analyzed through model tests. The ground materials in Seoul were represented by weathered granite soil, which is generally used for backfill sewer pipes, and groundwater levels corresponding to three different rainfall intensity conditions were considered. The ground level changes and ground displacements were measured continuously, and the particle image velocimetry (PIV) algorithm was applied to measure the displacement at each position of the model ground. The results indicate that impeding the excessive rise in groundwater levels by securing sufficient sewage treatment facilities can effectively prevent the development of sinkholes caused by pipe defects.

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Kwak, Tae-Young / Woo, Sang-Inn / Chung, Choong-Ki / et al: Experimental assessment of the relationship between rainfall intensity and sinkholes caused by damaged sewer pipes. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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