The assessment of the pipe-soil interaction is an area of continuous research, either by the application of small- and full-scale tests in the attempt to reproduce accurately the interaction of the pipelines and the soil, or by the development of sophisticated numerical simulation models accounting for different sources of nonlinearities.

Motivated to investigate the interaction between subsea pipelines and the soil, with focus in the response under lateral loading, 2-D finite element numerical simulations have been developed applying soil plasticity mechanisms through the extended maximum distortion strain energy criteria [1] and critical state concept [2]. The modified-cam-clay MCC model has been adopted to simulate the soil behavior in large deformations, aiming to numerically reproduce site conditions for selected pipelines ranging from 12 in to 18 in.

The results are presented in terms of the lateral force-displacement curves for numerically representative drained and undrained cases. For the simulations investigated in this work, the agreement of the numerical results with the analytical breakout lateral resistances obtained from the SAFEBUCK guideline [3] formulations have been confirmed for cases where the ratio of initial pipe embedment and pipe diameter is below 0.4.

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