Sediment mobility effects on seabed resistance for unburied pipelines

Fraser Bransby, Antonio Borges Rodriguez, Hongjie Zhou, Joe Tom, Han Eng Low, David White

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In order to design unburied pipelines, pipeline engineers require information about lateral and axial seabed resistances (normally known as 'friction factors') prior to and during operation. Geotechnical engineers must provide this information based on knowledge of pipeline properties, seabed conditions and metocean conditions. Accurate prediction of the seabed resistances requires accurate prediction of pipeline embedments. This paper discusses how pipeline embedments and geometries can change from the as-laid state as the result of sediment mobility around pipelines and demonstrates how these embedment changes will change the pipe-soil friction factors using a series of numerical analyses. Sediment mobility tends to cause a general trend of increasing pipe embedment, which is beneficial for hydrodynamic stability but can be onerous for thermal buckling. Recommendations are provided to accommodate these effects in design, without unnecessary levels of over-conservatism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOffshore Technology Conference Asia, OTC ASIA 2014
Subtitle of host publicationMeeting the Challenges for Asia's Growth
PublisherOffshore Technology Conference
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781632665287
ISBN (Print)9781632663870
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventOffshore Technology Conference 2014, OTC 2014 - Houston, United States
Duration: May 5 2014May 8 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Offshore Technology Conference
ISSN (Print)0160-3663


ConferenceOffshore Technology Conference 2014, OTC 2014
CountryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering

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