Boundary Element Analysis of Non-Linear Wave Forces on Buried Pipelines

  • J. M. Niedzwecki
  • J. A. Earles
Conference paper


In water depths up to 61m offshore pipelines are buried in excavated trenches to minimize their impact on the local environment and to reduce the possibility of accidental damage. For many practical reasons it is not unusual to have several pipelines buried in very close proximity to one another. A two-dimensional boundary element method which can be used to predict the seabed pressure field and the surface wave induced forces on a single buried pipe or any cluster configuration is presented. Of particular interest for design practice is the introduction of non-linear stream function wave theory into the formulation. A comparison of the boundary element model predictions with the analytical solution for a single buried pipeline, and a finite element model, which was validated using small scale laboratory tests is presented and discussed. The use of linear and non-linear ocean surface wave theories is examined and predictions of wave induced forces on several cluster configurations is presented. The two-dimensional boundary element approach is shown to be efficient and very suitable for this type of offshore application.


Boundary Element Discrete Element Method Wave Theory Wave Force Finite Difference Model 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Niedzwecki
    • 1
  • J. A. Earles
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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