Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence Geotechnical Science and Engineering



Dynamically penetrating anchors in calcareous silt


Dynamically penetrating anchors (DPAs) are a recent type of mooring technology that has been shown to provide a cost-effective alternative to other forms of anchoring system in deep waters. They are released from a designated height, falling freely through the water column and penetrating to a target depth in the seabed.

The project involves advanced centrifuge testing to model DPAs impacting the seafloor, embedding into the sediment, and rotating to align with the mooring line upon pull-out. Calcareous silts, collected directly from various sites on Australia’s North-West Shelf, will be used in the centrifuge tests. A suit of standard laboratory tests will be carried out to understand the properties of Australia’s predominant calcareous silt. 3D large deformation finite element models will also be developed, which are capable of capturing the high strain rate at the soil anchor interface and the characteristics of calcareous silt.

Why my research is important

The application of DPAs, particularly in Australia’s calcareous sediments, remains limited due to a lack of understanding of their performance during dynamic installation and monotonic pull-out and because there are no robust models to simulate these processes. The aim of this research project is to develop automated design approaches and guidelines to aid in the design of DPAs in deep water sediments for various mooring configurations.