This paper describes a numerical study investigating the effect of sediment transport and associated changes in the local seabed profile on the drained breakout resistance of subsea pipelines. Limit analyses were conducted assessing the breakout response of a pipeline placed on a cohesionless Mohr-Coulomb material considering different seabed profiles around the pipeline. These profiles were determined from surveys of a pipeline on an erodible seabed. The parametric study shows the relative importance of various parameters describing the seabed profile geometry, including the local pipe embedment and the adjacent slope of the seabed. Significant changes in drained resistance occur due to changes in local pipeline embedment resulting from scour induced pipeline lowering and/or sedimentation. The seabed slope local to the pipeline also has a strong impact. The assumption of a flat seabed can lead to predicted seabed resistance that differs significantly from the actual value, accounting for a more natural seabed profile.

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