Investigating the deep

Heather Saucier, Mark Randolph, Susan Gourvenec

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle in specialist publicationpeer-review


    Mark Randolph and Susan Gourvenec, professors at the University of Western Australia's Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, share their views about deepwater geotechnical challenges, such as complex carbonates found off the coast of Australia, and new developments for effectively exploiting deepwater. They believe that unlike areas such as the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea, which have established deepwater drilling programs, areas off the coast of Australia, India and China must deal with the complex carbonates that comprise their seabeds to effectively exploit oil and gas. According to them, as geotechnical engineers strive to better understand the makeup of the seafloor, understanding geohazards is crucial. Assessment of risk from seabed slides involves not only estimating the probability of a new slide being generated, but modeling the likely runout path of the resulting debris flow and determining whether or not it will impact subsea infrastructure. Randolph recognizes that the industry is experiencing a downturn. However, he insists that now is an ideal time to develop more economical ways to exploit deepwater fields in challenging environments. Ironically, it also is a time when funds for research are often cut.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages3
    Specialist publicationOffshore Engineer
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015


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