Mechanism Studies on Soil Erosion around Defective Sewer Pipes

Sinkhole and ground surface collapse frequently occur in urban areas such as highway, roads or around buildings. Usually the failure process in rather sudden without much evidence or obvious signs. This catches people by surprise and results in accidents, injuries or even death in some cases. From current studies and case analysis, most of the sinkholes in urban area are attributed to leaking of water supply lines or sewer pipes. The mechanism is summarized as the soil loss around defective sewer pipes, and this erosion void further evolved to the ground collapse or sinkhole. Through both numerical and experimental modelling, this study will be conducted to investigate the detailed mechanism of soil loss around defective sewer pipes and the quantitative effects of various factors on the sinkhole formation. Therefore the sinkhole or ground collapse can be predicted based on the combination of various influencing factors, which can provide guidelines for the practical remediation and detection.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dave Chan


Yao Tang



Environmental sciences



University of Alberta



Current openings

Find the perfect opportunity to put your academic skills and knowledge into practice!

Find Projects