This paper is concerned with the difficulties in model testing deepwater structures at reasonable scales. An overview of recent research efforts to tackle this challenge is given first, introducing the concept of line truncation. Passive truncation has traditionally been the preferred method by industry; however, these techniques tend to suffer in capturing accurately line dynamic response and so reproducing peak tensions. In an attempt to improve credibility of model test data the proposed truncation procedure sets up the truncated model, based on line dynamic response rather than quasi-static system stiffness. Vibration decay of transverse elastic waves due to fluid drag forces is assessed and it is found that below a certain length criterion, the transverse vibrational characteristics for each line are inertia driven, hence with respect to these motions the truncated model can assume a linear damper whose coefficient depends on the local line properties and vibration frequency. Initially a simplified taut string model is assumed for which the line is submerged in still water, one end fixed at the bottom the other assumed to follow the vessel response, which can be harmonic or random. A dimensional analysis, supported by exact benchmark numerical solutions, has shown that it is possible to produce a general guideline for the truncation length criterion, which is suitable for any kind of line with any top motion. The focus of this paper is to extend this work to a more complex line configuration of a conventional deepwater mooring line and so enhance the generality of the truncation guideline. The paper will close with an example case study of a spread mooring system, applying this method to create an equivalent numerical model at a reduced depth that replicates exactly the static and dynamic characteristics of the full depth system.

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