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Texas Tower 4: Lessons for Design of Offshore Structures

[+] Author Affiliations
Robert G. Bea

University of California, Berkeley, CA

Zhaohui Jin

Global Maritime, Inc., Houston, TX

Paper No. OMAE2002-28194, pp. 425-436; 12 pages
  • ASME 2002 21st International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering
  • 21st International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering, Volume 1
  • Oslo, Norway, June 23–28, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3611-8 | eISBN: 0-7918-3599-5
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


The Texas Towers were a series of platforms installed off the U.S. East coast in the 1950’s to support early warning radar facilities. Texas Tower 4 (TT4) was installed in a record setting water depth of 185 feet in 1957. At this time, TT4 was heralded as an ‘engineering marvel’; a major innovative ocean engineering accomplishment. In December 1960, the decision was made to decommission TT4, but before this could be done the platform failed during a storm in January 1961 with the loss of the lives of all personnel that were onboard. A satisfactory explanation was never developed that detailed exactly how the structure failed. In 1999, a study was commissioned by the American Bureau of Shipping to study the failure of TT4. The objective of this study was to see if with modern ocean engineering technology (storm forces, structure capacities), the details of failure of the structure could be re-created. This paper summarizes the results from this study.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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