A vertical two-dimensional (2D) numerical model for time dependent local scour below offshore pipelines subject to unidirectional steady flow is developed. The governing equations for the flow and sediment transport are solved by using finite difference method in a general curvilinear coordinate system. The performance of two turbulence models, the standard k-epsilon model and Smagorinsky subgrid scale (SGS) model, on modeling time dependent scour processes is examined. Both suspended load and bed load are considered in the scour model. The suspended-load model is verified against two channel sediment transport cases. The change of bed level is calculated from the continuity equation of total sediment transport. A new time marching scheme and a sand slide scheme are proposed for the scour calculation. It is found that the proposed time marching scheme and sand slide model work well for both clear-water and live-bed scour situations and the standard k-epsilon turbulence closure is more preferable than the SGS model in the 2D scour model developed in this study. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.