Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2019, Vol. 11 ›› Issue (6): 419-427.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2019.00419.


Relationship between ponding and topographic factors along the China-Russia Crude Oil Pipeline in permafrost regions

MingTang Chai1,YanHu Mu1(),GuoYu Li1,Wei Ma1,Fei Wang1,2   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2019-07-11 Accepted:2019-09-27 Online:2019-12-31 Published:2020-01-07
  • Contact: YanHu Mu


The original landform along the China-Russia Crude Oil Pipeline (CRCOP, line 2) was disturbed during installation of pavement for the pipeline. Forest and vegetation coverage is dense, and runoff develops along the pipe. Since the operation of the CRCOP (line 2) began in 2018, ponding has appeared on both sides of the pipeline. If there is no drainage, ponding can hardly dissipate, due to the low permeability of the permafrost layer. With the supply of surface flow and the transportation of oil at positive temperatures, ponding promotes an increase in temperature and changes the boundary thermal conditions of the pipeline. Meanwhile, when the ponding freezes and thaws, frost heave threatens operational safety of the pipeline. Furthermore, the ponding can affect the thermal condition of line 1. In this paper, the distribution of ponding along the CRCOP was obtained by field investigation. The type and cause of ponding were summarized, and the catchment and stream order were extracted by the Digital Elevation Model (DEM). According to the statistical results in attributes for topographic factors, it is known that ponding along the pipeline is relative to elevation, slope, aspect, and the Topographic Wetness Index (TWI). Water easily accumulates at altitudes of 300-450 m, slopes within 3°-5°, aspect in the northeast or south, TWI within 13-16, flow direction in north-east-south, and flow length within 90-150 km. This paper proposes a theoretical basis for the cause and characteristics of ponding along the pipeline.

Key words: permafrost, Digital Elevation Model (DEM), Topographic Wetness Index (TWI), pipeline, ponding

Figure 1

River distribution in the study area (Figure 1a, Shi and Mi, 1988)"

Figure 2

Flow direction of grid"

Figure 3

Extraction of river-network level (a, grid elevation; b, flow direction; and c, river network level)"

Figure 4

Distribution of ponding: (a) K23, (b) K121, and (c) K193"

Figure 5

Results of hydrological analysis: (a) river-network level, (b) watershed, (c) catchment, and (d) TWI"

Figure 6

Statistical results of attributes in elevation (a) and slope (b) between ponding and the study region along the pipeline"

Figure 7

Statistical results of attributes in aspect (a) and flow direction (b) between ponding and the study region along the pipeline"

Figure 8

Statistical results of attributes in flow length (a) and the TWI (b) between ponding and study region along the pipeline"

Table 1

Correlation index of attributes, between ponding and the whole pipeline"

Attribute Altitude Slope Aspect Flow direction Flow length TWI
Correlation Index 0.889 0.957 0.913 0.711 0.933 0.800
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