Pipeline on-bottom stability and thermal expansion management: The interaction of sediment transport, geotechnics and structural behaviour.
In an effort to help reduce conservatism while maintaining pipeline reliability, my research aims to advance knowledge on the effect of scour and sediment transport on the on-bottom stability and thermal expansion behaviour of offshore pipelines.
I am reviewing and summarising data from real offshore pipelines and comparing my observations against existing scour theory (which is almost exclusively based on physical and numerical models).
Why my research is important
At present a lack of detailed knowledge concerning the influence of scour and sediment transport on the embedment of offshore pipelines has restricted efforts to account for these effects in design. This can lead to either overly conservative (and costly) design for stability, or non-conservative design, depending on the approach adopted by the designer. The same lack of understanding can lead to non-conservative pipeline design when accommodating thermal expansion of the pipeline.