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Sediment Attractors: Seabed Shear Stress Shadows Around Subsea Pipelines Cause Net Sediment Accretion

[+] Author Affiliations
Fuyu Zhao, Terry Griffiths, Wenwen Shen, Daniel Carneiro

Wood Group Kenny, Perth, WA, Australia

Scott Draper, Hongwei An, Jeremy Leggoe

The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia

Paper No. OMAE2015-41651, pp. V05AT04A015; 13 pages
  • ASME 2015 34th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 5A: Pipeline and Riser Technology
  • St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, May 31–June 5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5651-2
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


This paper presents interpretation of the results of 2D CFD modelling using ANSYS Fluent, which has been undertaken for a parametric range of over 200 cases, including over 60 different seabed geometries, pipe diameters and seabed roughnesses as well as a range of steady current, wave and combined wave / current cases. Through analysis of the results including evaluation of seabed shear stress amplification factors compared to far-field ambient values, integration across the seabed of seabed shear stresses and bedload transport potential, the conditions under which sedimentation can be expected are predicted.

The results have relevance to improving our understanding of sedimentation (backfilling) around subsea pipelines under live bed conditions, since the presence of shear-stress deficits or shadows leads to enhanced accretion of sediment in the region of a pipeline, even where there is localised amplification of shear stress right next to the pipe. The results are expected to enable better approaches design of subsea pipeline stability on erodible seabeds, or on impermeable rocky beds where veneers of mobile sediment are present.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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