Abstract

Subsea pipelines operating under high pressures and temperatures are typically buried to protect from the environmental impacts and to prevent the instigation of global buckling. As the seabed profile is generally uneven, certain initial imperfections generally exist along the pipeline. As the pipe traverses in shallow waters, the seabed can be subjected to hydrodynamic loads caused by surface gravity waves. The hydrodynamic pressure, which typically depends on the wave height and water depth, leads to the development of pore pressures within the soil medium. This gradient of the pore pressures can cause significant uplift forces on the pipe, which may initiate the buckling in the vicinity of the imperfection. This study focuses on understanding the influence of these wave induced uplift forces on the buckling of the initial imperfect pipelines. Four typical imperfection profiles are considered in the study. The influence of imperfection shape on the buckling behavior is compared for surface laid and buried pipelines. Thereafter buckling behavior of the considered imperfect pipelines is studied with and without consideration of wave loads for a range of wave particulars and burial depths. The wave forces on the pipeline are estimated by solving Biot’s consolidation equations using finite element software COMSOL and the buckling studies are carried out using ABAQUS.

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