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Ocean Systems Engineering
  Volume 5, Number 4, December 2015 , pages 261-277

Numerical modeling of internal waves within a coupled analysis framework and their influence on spar platforms
Nishu V. Kurup, Shan Shi, Lei Jiang and M.H. Kim

    Internal solitary waves occur due to density stratification and are nonlinear in nature. These waves have been observed in many parts of the world including the South China Sea, Andaman Sea and Sulu Sea. Their effect on floating systems has been an emerging field of interest and recent offshore developments in the South China Sea where several offshore oil and gas discoveries are located have confirmed adverse effects including large platform motions and riser system damage. A valid numerical model conforming to the physics of internal waves is implemented in this paper and the effect on a spar platform is studied. The physics of internal waves is modeled by the Korteweg-de Vries (KdV) equation, which has a general solution involving Jacobian elliptical functions. The effects of vertical density stratification are captured by solving the Taylor Goldstein equation. Fully coupled time domain analyses are conducted to estimate the effect of internal waves on a typical truss spar, which is configured to South China Sea development requirements and environmental conditions. The hull, moorings and risers are considered as an integrated system and the platform global motions are analyzed. The study could be useful for future guidance and development of offshore systems in the South China Sea and other areas where the internal wave phenomenon is prominent.
Key Words
    internal waves; KdV equation; coupled analysis; spar platforms; mooring tension; offset
Nishu V. Kurup, Shan Shi, Lei Jiang: Offshore Dynamics, Inc. 16225 Park Ten Place Drive, Suite 500, Houston, TX, 77084, USA
M.H. Kim: Department of Ocean/Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 77843, USA

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