For offshore pipelines located in ice environments, the mitigation of ice gouge hazards presents a significant technical challenge. A traditional strategy is to establish minimum burial depth requirements that meet technical and economic criteria. A probabilistic based approach to optimize burial depth requirements based on equivalent stress and compressive strain limit state criteria is presented. The basic methodology is to define ice gouge hazards on a statistical basis, to develop numerical algorithms that model ice gouge mechanisms and pipeline/soil interaction events, to define failure criteria, limit states and target reliability levels and to conduct a probabilistic assessment of pipeline burial depth requirements. Application of the probabilistic design methodology for a generic pipeline design scenario subject to ice gouge hazards is presented. Implications on pipeline design and future applied research initiatives are discussed.

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