ABSTRACT

This paper summarizes the compilation of information on physical simulations of seabed scouring by ice keels, and the resulting database. Physical simulations are critical for a proper understanding of ice scouring phenomena. A total of 487 scour simulations from twenty-eight studies are reported. General information about test facility, soil, keel type, model pipeline, test conditions and results are outlined. The database can be used as a tool to identify knowledge gaps and guide future testing programs, to generate empirical relationships between the parameters involved during this interaction, or to validate numerical models.

INTRODUCTION

Subsea pipelines (and related facilities) are currently seen as an effective means of managing and transporting hydrocarbons in cold oceans. These structures, however, are at risk of being damaged by scouring icebergs and deformed sea ice features. To protect the pipeline against seabed scouring by ice keels, it needs to be buried to a given depth below the seafloor (for some background, see e.g. Abdalla et al., 2008, Barrette, 2011, King, 2011). Stakeholders will want to know that a safe and cost-effective depth would be achieved over the full span of the pipe in offshore areas where scouring is expected to occur. In the Beaufort Sea for instance, seabed disturbance from ice keel action takes place to water depths of about 40-50 m, representing distances exceeding 30 km (Héquette et al., 1995, Blasco et al., 1998). Clearly, successful deployment of pipeline-related structures relies on an adequate knowledge of the processes involved during a scouring event. Physical simulations of these events have been an effective method to generate information on this issue, and considerable resources have been expended over the past four decades for that purpose. This paper offers a glimpse of the state of knowledge on seabed scour, with a particular emphasis on physical simulations. A summary of the available literature on physical simulations of seabed scour, i.e. journal articles, conference proceeding papers, reports and university theses, is presented.

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