Ocean-structure-seabed interaction: O-tube modelling of pipeline stability

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    Abstract

    A key facility used by researchers in the Centre for Geotechnical Science and Engineering is the set of O-tube flumes established at UWA. These flumes are a unique concept that have been developed at UWA to allow simulation of ocean-structure-seabed interactions using realistic metocean and geotechnical conditions. The large, small and mini 0-tube flumes allow seabed flows to be simulated at a range of scales, including full scale modelling of small subsea pipelines. Interactions between mobile sediments and infrastructure can be monitored. This paper describes the O-tube facilities and uses example results to illustrate the range of problems that can be tackled. A key outcome from the 0-tube research program has been a new methodology to assess the stability of pipelines on mobile seabeds, which is a common design requirement offshore Australia. This methodology is allowing more efficient and cost-effective design of the pipelines that are the vital arteries of Australia's offshore oil and gas infrastructure.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)157-164
    JournalAustralian Geomechanics Journal
    Volume49
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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