Abstract

Ice gouging (or scouring) events affect the seafloor in a way that needs to be understood prior to determining safe and cost-effective burial depths of subsea pipelines in cold oceans. Knowledge on seabed scour phenomena has been gained by means of numerous physical tests in a laboratory or outdoors. Nearly 500 of these tests conducted over the past few decades were compiled into a database, a form of repository that is meant to be updateable, upgradeable and verifiable. This compilation shows that two distinct test set-ups were used: one in which a pre-set gouge depth was selected and vertical loads were monitored; the other with a pre-set vertical load and where keel heaving is allowed. Soil type and normal versus high simulated gravity are two other decisive parameters in test design. The results of this compilation are summarized. Parametric analysis of variables in the database is difficult due to significant differences in test programs. A comparison is made between seabed survey field data and the ranges of gouge width and depth obtained (or targeted) in the tests. A number of significant issues and information gaps have been identified, which could be given priority in future test programs.

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