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Scour and scour protection around offshore gravity based foundations

Tavouktsoglou, NS; (2018) Scour and scour protection around offshore gravity based foundations. Doctoral thesis (Eng.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The prediction of seabed scour around offshore gravity based foundations with complex geometries is currently a significant barrier to optimising and providing cost effective foundation designs. A significant aspect that has the potential to reduce the uncertainty and costs related to the design of these foundations is the understanding of the effect the structural geometry of the foundation has on scour. This thesis focuses on an experimental investigation of the scour and scour protection around complex structure geometries. The first part of this research considers scour under clear water conditions. During this study different foundation geometries were subjected to a range of different hydrodynamic forcings which enabled a better understanding of the scour process for these foundations. The second part of the research encompasses the design and execution of a series of experiments which investigated stability of the scour protection around such structures. The structures were tested against different combinations of wave and current conditions to determine the bed shear stress required to initiate sediment motion around each structure. This research has led to a number of novel results. The experimental investigation on scour around complex geometries showed that the scour depth around cylindrical structures (with both uniform and complex cross-sections) is linked to the depth averaged pressure gradient. Following a dimensional analysis, the controlling parameters were found to be the depth averaged Euler number, pile Reynolds number, Froude number, sediment mobility number and the non-dimensional flow depth. Based on this finding a new scour prediction equation was developed which shows good agreement with experimental and prototype scour measurements. The scour protection tests indicated that under wave dominated conditions the amplification of the bed shear stress around these structures does not exceed the value of 2. In the case of current dominated flow conditions the amplification of the bed shear stress is a function of the structure type and the Keulegan–Carpenter number. The results of these experiments were used to develop a “Shields type” diagram that can guide designers to select the appropriate rock armour size that will be stable for a certain set of flow conditions. The study also revealed that the long term persistence of flow conditions that just lead to incipient motion of the scour protection material can eventually lead to complete failure of the scour protection. The study provides a set of new design techniques that can allow designers to predict the scour depth around cylindrical and complex foundation geometries and also select the appropriate stone size for their scour protection system. Together, these techniques may allow for the reduction of costs associated with the scour protection of offshore and coastal structures.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Eng.D
Title: Scour and scour protection around offshore gravity based foundations
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Chemical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10044922
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