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Ocean Systems Engineering
  Volume 3, Number 1, March 2013 , pages 9-34

A scientific approach to estimate the safe depth of burial of submarine pipelines against wave forces for different marine soil conditions
S. Neelamani and K. Al-Banaa

    Submarine pipelines encounter significant wave forces in shallow coastal waters due to the action of waves. In order to reduce such forces (also to protect the pipe against anchors and dropped objects) they are buried below the seabed. The wave force variation due to burial depends on the engineering characteristics of the sub soil like hydraulic conductivity and porosity, apart from the design environmental conditions. For a given wave condition, in certain type of soil, the wave force can reduce drastically with increased burial and in certain other type of soil, it may not. It is hence essential to understand how the wave forces vary in soils of different hydraulic conductivity. Based on physical model study, the wave forces on the buried pipeline model is assessed for a wide range of wave conditions, for different burial depths and for four types of cohesion-less soils, covering hydraulic conductivity in the range of 0.286 to 1.84 mm/s. It is found that for all the four soil types, the horizontal wave force reduces with increase in depth of burial, whereas the vertical force is high for half buried condition. Among the soils, well graded one is better for half buried case, since the least vertical force is experienced for this situation. It is found that uniformly graded and low hydraulic conductivity soil attracts the maximum vertical force for half buried case. A case study analysis is carried out and is reported. The results of this study are useful for submarine buried pipeline design.
Key Words
    submarine pipeline; wave forces; safe burial depth; hydraulic conductivity; cohesionless soil; crude oil pipe
S. Neelamani and K. Al-Banaa : Coastal Management Program, Environmental and Urban Development Division,
Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, P.O. Box: 24885, 13109 SAFAT, KUWAIT

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