True estimation of soil response during pipeline upheaval buckling is a key parameter in the safe design of subsea buried pipeline. In this paper the effects of sea mean water level over the buried pipeline and the effects of pipe burial depth on the soil response during vertical buckling are investigated. For that purpose a numerical modeling of pipeline upheaval buckling in clayey backfill has been conducted. Different sea mean water levels are considered to simulate the pipeline shore approach. In addition, various pipeline burial depths are considered to predict the soil uplift resistance and the soil failure mechanism. In order to model the large penetration of pipeline into the soft clay, Arbitrary Eulerian Lagrangian (ALE) method is employed. The results reveal that in the shallow water the sea mean water level may have considerable effects on the soil failure mechanism and soil uplift resistance. In addition, as the sea mean water level and pipe burial depth increases, a new transitional failure mechanism can be observed. The mechanism is a combination of vertical sliding block mechanism and the flow-around mechanism.

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