Numerical Modelling of Liquefaction Around Marine Structures


Dr Christian Windt / Prof Nils Goseberg, TU Braunschweig, Germany

Project Abstract

Enhanced understanding of the response of seabed in the vicinity of marine structures is essential for a more efficient exploitation of marine resources, both economically and in terms of environmental impact. Seabed liquefaction is the phenomenon by which the seabed soil can temporarily act as a liquid under certain conditions. As a results, liquefaction can cause catastrophic failure of marine structures (e.g. sinking of foundations, floatation of buried pipelines), as well as excessive displacement of marine structures (e.g. stepwise failure under breaking wave impact). Therefore, accurate and efficient numerical models of wave-seabed and wave-structure-seabed interaction are necessary for an optimum development of marine infrastructure.

The NuLIMAS project hence aims at developing an accurate virtual laboratory of fluid-structure-soil interaction (FSSI) for marine structures, considering a close coupling between the hydrodynamic, structural, and geotechnical processes. To study the FSSI of marine structures and acquire calibration and validation date for the numerical model development, several small-scale physical model experiments are planned. These will help to isolate the basic mechanisms of seabed liquefaction and fill knowledge gaps needed for the development of an accurate predictive numerical toolbox. Moreover, the applicability of the numerical model to realistic conditions will be examined by reproducing large-scale physical model tests of a general-purpose floating marine platform with a gravity anchor. Ultimately, the numerical model will assist the development of simplified models for preliminary use in practical applications.

NuLIMAS builds upon earlier experiences and efforts to investigate seabed liquefaction on national as well as transnational levels. The project consortium includes partners on the forefront of scientific and technological developments in seabed liquefaction. The numerical model, as well as the results of all physical tests, will be documented and published open-access online for future use by interested professionals.

NuLIMAS is funded by the MarTERA partners German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK) and Polish National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR).

Project Start

September 2020

36 months
Project Budget

Total Cost: 1.6 M€
Funding: 1.4 M€