Riser-soil interactions have significant influence on the fatigue assessment of steel catenary risers (SCRs) near the touch down zones (TDZs), and can be critical in realizing a competitive SCR design and in extending a SCR design life. The motivation of the paper is to share the proprietary model test data and research/ design experience accumulated over the past three decades on the riser-soil interactions with the riser engineering community in order to deepen the understanding of this complex problem and to realize economical SCR designs. The objectives are (i) to present a fully nonlinear hysteresis model that captures the loading history of the riser-soil interactions at TDZs in the vertical direction for SCRs, and (ii) to propose a simplified equivalent linear elastic vertical stiffness for SCRs at TDZs for quick fatigue assessments. The paper begins with the mathematical formulation of the nonlinear model and the equivalent linear model for riser-soil interactions. Then the proposed model is verified through the consistent predictions from time-domain and frequency-domain simulations of an SCR from a Tension Leg Platform (TLP), the close agreement between the proposed model predictions and small scale pipe-soil interaction model test results, reduced scale sectional SCR model test results, and the latest study in the literature.

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