The environmental contour concept is often applied in marine structural design in conjunction with the Inverse First Order Reliability Method (IFORM). It allows for the great advantage of considering the environmental loads independently of the structural response. In this way, design sea states may be identified along the contour and time consuming response calculations are only needed for a limited set of design sea states. The traditional way of establishing such environmental contour lines is by applying the Rosenblatt transformation and identify the circle (in two dimensions) with radius equal to the reliability index βr The points along this circle are then transformed back to the original environmental space, specifying the closed contour. In this paper, an alternative approach for establishing the environmental contour lines in the original environmental space is proposed, eliminating the need for any transformations. This approach utilizes Monte Carlo simulations of the joint environmental model and is generally found to perform well. Advantages are that it yields a more precise interpretation and allows for more flexible modelling of the environmental parameters. This makes it easier to modify the environmental models to account for effects such as climate change if this is desired. In addition, possible over- or underestimation of failure probabilities due to the Rosenblatt transformation inherent in the traditional approach can be avoided with the proposed method.

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