In this paper the installation procedure of suction caissons is investigated by means of coupled seepage large deformation analysis performed with finite element methods. The modelling techniques employed to enable simulations of the penetration of a caisson into the soil under offshore conditions, i. e. several tens of meters below the water level. The numerical model includes a u-p-formulation, which is used to calculate the excess pore pressures and effective stresses from the total stresses. The Coupled-Eulerian-Lagrangian (CEL) approach available in conjunction with the Abaqus/Explicit solver is used. The calculation results are compared to centrifuge tests that were carried out recently at the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems (COFS). This sheds light on the potential and the limitations of the presented numerical techniques. This paper concludes with a brief discussion of alternative numerical approaches that could be capable of the simulation of caisson installation.

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