Offshore steel catenary riser-seabed interaction is complex with uncertainty in design for riser fatigue and longevity of the riser system. A numerical finite element tool was developed to capture the non-linear, hysteretic behaviour of riser-seabed interaction capturing trench formation with successive riser motions. The design and centrifuge testing of a three axis (translational degrees of freedom) actuator are also presented. This paper presents finite element analysis comparisons to physical test data as well as the influence the trench formation has on altering riser bending moment in the touchdown zone.

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