The paper describes different strategies for establishing current design profiles from sea bed to water surface, for use in analysis of subsea installation activities, e.g. during a pipe laying process or for dynamic analysis of risers. Measured data covering a period of 3–4 years for more than 20 measurement depths are used in the study. We investigate 4 strategies for depth profiles: General Purpose Profile: an envelope of the set of n-year speeds for individual depths, with unidirectional current at all depths. Empirical Event Profile: essentially a measured current profile which is deemed to be “serious,” i.e. potentially governing for design, scaled to adequately reflect a required return period. Whether a profile is “serious” or not would depend on the application. Response Based Profile: defined as the most probable profile causing an extreme response. It is obtained from design point current speeds from a reliability analysis of a selected response, while applying a detailed stochastic current model. Alternatively, an envelope of most probable profiles might be used.

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