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Numerical analysis of temperature fields around the buried arctic gas pipeline in permafrost regions

Based on one planned arctic natural gas pipeline engineering which will cross continuous, discontinuous, sporadic and non-permafrost areas from north to south, with different pipeline temperatures set, a thermal model of the interaction between pipeline and permafrost is established to investigate the influence of pipelines on the freezing and thawing of frozen soil around pipeline and thermal stability of permafrost. The results show that different pipeline temperatures influence the permafrost table greatly. Especially in discontinuous permafrost areas the permafrost table is influenced in both positive temperature and negative temperature. The warm gas pipeline of 5ºC could decrease the value of permafrost table about 1 to 3 times pipe diameter and aggravate the degradation of permafrost around pipeline; -1ºC and -5ºC chilled gas pipeline can effectively improve the permafrost table and maintain the temperature stability of frozen soil , but the temperature of soils below pipeline of -5ºC decreases obviously, which may lead to frost heave hazards. In terms of thermal stability around pipeline, it is advised that transporting temperature of -1ºC is adopted in continuous permafrost area; in discontinuous permafrost area pipeline could operate above freezing in the summer months with the station discharge temperature trending the ambient air temperature, but the discharge temperature must be maintained as -1ºC throughout the winter months; in seasonal freezing soil area chilled pipeline may cause frost heave, therefore pipeline should run in positive temperature without extra temperature cooling control.
PAPER REVISED: 2020-07-02
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2020-07-10
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