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Proceedings of the ASME 2016 35 International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
OMAE2016
June 19 - 24, 2016, Busan, Korea

OMAE2016-54431

## A COMPARISON OF SIMPLIFIED ENGINEERING AND FEM METHODS FOR ON-

BOTTOM STABILITY ANALYSIS OF SUBSEA PIPELINES

Guomin Ji Lanjing Li
MARINTEK University of Stavanger
NO-7450, Trondheim, Norway NO-4036, Stavanger, Norway

## Muk Chen Ong

University of Stavanger
NO-4036, Stavanger, Norway

## Keywords: On-bottom stability, simplified method,

ABSTRACT
This paper presents a comparison between simplified
engineering and FEM (Finite Element Method) methods for on-
INTRODUCTION
bottom stability analysis of a subsea pipeline. The simplified
engineering method is first used to assess the absolute on- A standard engineering task when designing subsea pipelines is
bottom stability of empty and filled pipelines under different to ensure that the pipeline is stable on the seabed under the
scenarios. The calculations of the hydrodynamic loads for action of hydrodynamic loads induced by waves and steady
three scenarios, i.e. steady current alone, regular waves alone currents. If it is too light, it will slide sideways under the action
and combined regular waves and current, are implemented in of hydrodynamic forces. If it is too heavy, it will be difficult
MATLAB code. The drag and lift coefficients are determined and expensive to construct. This movement of the pipeline will
based on Keulegan-Carpenter number, Reynolds number and cause bending stresses on the pipe, which may then cause the
surface roughness of the pipelines. Only the friction force is pipe to fatigue and fail. Simultaneously, it may cause damage to
considered in the simplified methods. In order to achieve the the coatings, for example, cracking of concrete. Conventionally
absolute stability, the vertical (lift force/submerged weight<1) a subsea pipeline has been considered stable if it has got
and horizontal (in-line force/friction force<1) criteria need to be sufficient submerged weight so the lateral soil resistance is
fulfilled at same time. Time-domain dynamic on-bottom sufficiently high to restrain the pipeline from deflecting
stability analysis is performed by PONDUS for the same cases. sideways.
The results of water particle velocity, hydrodynamic force, lift
force and soil resistance force are compared between the On-bottom stability calculations are performed to establish
simplified engineering and advanced FEM methods. Their requirements for pipeline submerged mass. The required
results are in good agreement for the cases, which fulfills the pipeline submerged mass will have a direct impact on the
absolute on-bottom stability criterion. For the cases which the required pipe-lay tensions, installation stresses and the pipe
pipelines will move under the combined wave and current configuration on the sea bottom. Subsea pipeline stability is
loadings, the soil resistance force predicted by the simplified governed by the fundamental balance of forces between loads
engineering method is different from that of the FEM method. and resistances. From the installation viewpoint, especially
The study shows that for engineering purpose the simplified where spans are not a concern, the priority is to minimize the
engineering method could be used to check the absolute on- required pipeline submerged weight .
bottom stability of the pipeline, whereas the more advanced
FEM method needs be performed when the pipeline is allowed The general on-bottom stability analysis involves the following
to move within a limited distance. procedures :
Step 1: Data gathering for the 1-year and 100-year
environmental conditions, which includes:

## 1 Copyright 2016 by ASME

Water depth Table 1 Pipe and soil data
Wave spectrum
Current characteristics
Soil properties
Seabed condition
Step 2: Determination of the hydrodynamic coefficients for the
traditional analysis: drag (CD), lift (CL) and inertia (CM)
coefficients. These coefficients may be adjusted for Reynolds
Number, Keulegan Number, steady current to wave ratio, and
embedment.
Step 3: Calculation of the hydrodynamic forces, i.e. drag (FD),
lift (FL) and inertia (FI) forces. Table 2 Material properties
Step 4: Performing static force balance at time step increments
and assessing stability and calculating the concrete coating
thickness for the worst combination of the hydrodynamic
forces.

SIMPLIFIED METHOD
The forces acting on the pipe are shown in Figure 1. U is the
flow velocity acting on the pipeline, FL is the lifting force,
Finline is the in-line force, F is the friction between the The environment data applied in the analysis is presented in
pipeline and the seabed, and Fg is the submerged weight with Table 3.
buoyancy taken into account.
Table 3 Environment data
Environment data Return period
1 year 10 year 100 year
Wave height H (m) 10.3 12.6 14.8
Wave period T (s) 13.2 14.7 15.9
Current velocity (m/s) 0.36 0.51 0.66
(1m above seabed)
Water depth (m) 104

## As the current velocity ( ) is given at 1m above the

seabed, the mean perpendicular current velocity over a pipe
Figure 1 Force acting on the pipe diameter is determined according to .

In order to verify stability two equations have to be fulfilled in 1 + 0 + 1 1
0
order to insure that the pipeline will not move. = ( ) ()
+ 1
Horizontal: 1.0 = 0
where
zr is the reference measurement height over sea bed.
Vertical: 1.0
Z0 is Bottom roughness parameter.
Where is the friction coefficient. D is the outer diameter of the pipe.

The pipe and soil properties used in analysis are presented in The on-bottom stability of pipeline is performed using
Table 1 and the material properties are listed in Table 2. simplified method for two conditions as following:
Empty pipe - temporary condition
Filled pipe - operation condition

The roughness of the pipeline k/D is 0.001 and only the friction
force is considered in the simplified method. Another
assumption regarding environment condition is that there is
only regular wave considered in the present study, and the
stability of the pipeline (empty and filled) under hydrodynamic

## 2 Copyright 2016 by ASME

Steady current alone o Empty (temporary) condition
Waves alone 1-year return condition for waves and 10-year return
Combined wave and current. condition for current
The calculations of the hydrodynamic loads for three scenarios 10-year return condition for waves and 1-year return
are implemented in MATLAB code. condition for current
o Filled (permanent/operation) condition:
10-year return condition for waves and 100-year return
Steady current alone condition for current
100-year return condition for waves and 10-year return
For steady current alone only Reynolds number is calculated to condition for current
determine the drag and lift coefficient and this number tells
which flow regime the pipe is in, describing the water flow The flow velocity U is the sum of current velocity Uc and wave
around a cylindrical shaped object. Keulegan-Carpenter number velocity Uw:
(KC number) is zero. = +
The in-line and lift force:
= 1
= || +
- Kinematic viscosity of salt water at 20 degrees 2
1 2
=
The drag and lift force is calculated by: 2
1 The Re is calculated by maximum flow velocity and KC is
= 2 calculated by maximum wave induced velocity.
2
1 =
= 2
2
=
Wave alone
is maximum flow velocity.
A cylinder subjects to oscillatory flow may experience two
kinds of forces: the in-line force and the lift force. Analysis results
The in-line force per unit length of the cylinder is calculated by
the Morison equation:
1 Empty pipe
= | | +
2
The force consists of two parts: drag force and hydrodynamic The calculated results from MATLAB code for empty pipe are
mass force. shown in Table 4 and Table 5. The horizontal stability is not
is wave induced velocity. fulfilled for case 4 and after the thickness of concrete coating is
is the inertia coefficient. increased from 55 mm to 75 mm in case 5 the absolute
A is the cross-sectional area of the cylinder. stability of the pipe is fulfilled.

The lift force is calculated by: The velocity and force components acting on the empty pipe
1 under 10-y wave alone and combined 1-y current and 10-y
= 2 wave are shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3. The drag force is
2
proportional to the flow velocity square and changes direction
The drag, Inertia and lift coefficient is dependent on KC, Re with flow, and the hydrodynamic mass force is proportional to
and surface roughness . the flow acceleration and changes direction with acceleration.
The lift force is proportional to flow velocity square and is
=
always upwards.

=
The in-line force is a combination of the drag and inertia forces.
is maximum wave induced water particle velocity. Due to the 90 degree of phase difference between water particle
velocity and acceleration in regular wave the occurrence of
Combined wave and current maximum force of drag and inertial force has 90 degree phase
different. The hydrodynamic force consists obviously of more
Two load combinations for both empty and filled conditions are than one harmonic component. The amplitude ratio between
analyzed according to DNV RP-109. drag and inertia forces varies significantly depending on the

## 3 Copyright 2016 by ASME

wave frequency and the current to wave-induced velocity ratio;
and the inertia becomes more important for small waves and a
weak current. For the cases with combined current and wave
current.

## Table 4 Re and KC (Empty pipe)

Description H T Re
No. D KC Uc Umw Um
Current Wave (m) (s) (e5)
1 10-year - 0.73 - - 3.09 - 0.44 - 0.44

## 2 - 10-year 0.73 12.6 14.7 5.12 14.8 - 0.74 0.74

3 10-year 1-year 0.73 10.3 13.2 6.08 7.8 0.44 0.43 0.87

4 1-year 10-year 0.73 12.6 14.7 7.3 14.8 0.31 0.74 1.05

5 1-year 10-year 0.77 12.6 14.7 7.7 14.8 0.31 0.74 1.05

## Table 5 Calculated results from MATLAB code (Empty

pipe)
No. CM CD CL Fin-line FL F Fg Vertical Horizontal

## 4 3 1.5 3.4 714.8 1408 336.7 1970 0.72 2.12

Figure 3 Velocity and forces acting on the empty pipe with
1-y current and 10-y wave (case 4).
5 3 1.5 3.2 767 1403 878.6 2868 0.49 0.87

Filled pipe

The calculated results from MATLAB code for filled pipe are
shown in Table 6 and Table 7. The horizontal stability is not
fulfilled for case 9 and after the thickness of concrete coating is
increased from 55 mm to 75 mm in case 10 the absolute
stability of the pipe is fulfilled.

## Table 6 Re and KC (Filled pipe)

Description H T Re
No. D KC Uc Umw Um
Current Wave (m) (s) (e5)
6 100-year - 0.73 - - 3.99 - 0.57 - 0.57

## 7 - 100-year 0.73 14.8 15.9 7.23 22.6 - 1.04 1.04

8 100-year 10-year 0.73 12.6 14.7 9.11 14.8 0.57 0.74 1.31

9 10-year 100-year 0.73 14.8 15.9 10.3 22.6 0.44 1.04 1.48

10 10-year 100-year 0.77 14.8 15.9 10.8 21.8 0.44 1.04 1.48

## Table 7 Calculated results from MATLAB code (Filled pipe)

No. CM CD CL Fin-line FL F Fg Vertical Horizontal
6 - 0.32 0.83 745.5 102.9 2329.1 3984.8 0.03 0.02

## 7 3.3 1.4 2.5 718.2 1016 1781.3 3984.8 0.25 0.43

Figure 2 Velocity and forces acting on the empty pipe with 8 3 1.5 3 1044 1938 1228.3 3984.8 0.49 0.85
10-y wave (case2). 9 3.3 1.4 2.5 1263 2070 1149.1 3984.8 0.52 1.10

## 4 Copyright 2016 by ASME

The velocity and force components acting on the empty pipe FINITE ELEMENT METHOD
under 10-y wave alone and combined 1-y current and 10-y
wave are shown in Figure 4 and Figure 5. The force PONDUS developed by MARINTEK is software focusing
components show same characteristic as those for empty pipe. specifically on the dynamic lateral response of offshore pipeline
subject to a combined action of wave and current on a
horizontal seabed.

## The Main features of PONDUS software is listed below:

Calculates the wave kinematics from 3-D irregular waves
for medium and deep water
Calculates the hydrodynamic force by load models
Morrison
Database force model 
Combination of Morrison and Database force
model
Uses 2-D beam elements with small deflection theory in
the finite element formulation
Calculates the soil resistance forces by soil model
Sand soil 
Clay soil 
Computes the dynamic response of pipeline subjected to
wave and current in time domain for pipeline on
horizontal seabed

relevant in real sea and case 4 and 5 for empty pipe and case 9
and 10 for filled pipe are analyzed by PONDUS. The same
Figure 4 Velocity and forces acting on the empty pipe with
drag, inertial and lift coefficient are applied in the PONDUS
100-y wave (case 7).
analysis.

## Assume the pipe length is 250 meters. The pipe is divided to 50

elements in the model, and the boundary condition is defined as
fellow:
Fixed in translation and rotation at the left end.
Fixed in rotation at the right end.
The response of pipe are taken from the right end (node 51),
and the simulation time is set as 2400 seconds.

## Figure 6 Illustration of PONDUS model

Analysis results

Empty pipe

Figure 5 Velocity and forces acting on the empty pipe with For case 4 the maximum pipe displacement occurs at node 51
10-y current and 100-y wave (case 9). and it reaches about 4.5 m after 1000s. The requirement for
absolute stability is obvious not fulfilled and the lateral

## 5 Copyright 2016 by ASME

displacement may meet the requirement of the maximum
allowed displacement 10D.

## The results of water velocity, hydrodynamic force, lift force and

soil friction force during first 100 seconds are shown in Figure
8 to Figure 11. The maximum value of water velocity,
hydrodynamic force, lift force and soil friction force are
presented in Table 8.

(case 4)

## Table 8 Empty pipe

No. Um (m/s) Fin-line, max FL, max F, max
4 1.05 715 1410 660
Figure 8 Water velocity (case 4) 5 1.05 770 1400 880

Filled pipe

## The pipe displacement keeps increasing in the whole 2400

seconds, which indicates a considerably instability. The
maximum value of water velocity, hydrodynamic force, lift
force and soil friction force are presented in Table 9.

## 6 Copyright 2016 by ASME

REFERENCES
1. Andrew C. Palmer and Roger A. King, Subsea Pipeline
Engineering. PennWell Corporation, Oklahoma, 2008.

Pipelines, 2010.

## 3. Guo, B. Y., Song S. H., Chacko J., and Ghalambor A..

Offshore Pipelines. Gulf Professional Publishing,
Burlington, USA, 2005.

## 5. PONDUS Theory Manual. SINTEF, Norway.

Figure 12 Displacement at node 51 (case 9) 6. R. Verley and K. Reed: Use of Laboratory Force Data in
Pipeline response Simulations, OMAE, The Hague, The
Netherlands, 1989.
Table 9 Filled pipe
No. Um (m/s) Fin-line, max FL, max F, max 7. R. Verley and K. M. Lund: A Soil Resistance Model for
9 1.5 1340 2070 1300 Pipelines Placed on Clay Soils, OMAE Volume 5, 1995.
10 1.5 1330 2250 1450
8. R. Verley and T. Sotberg: A Soil Resistance Model for
Pipelines Placed on Sandy Soils, OMAE Volume 5-A,
COMPARISON BETWEEN THE RESULTS OF 1992.
SIMPLIFIED AND FEM METHOD
9. Sumer, B. M. and Fredse, J. (2006). Hydrodynamic
The results from FEM method and simplified method are around cylindrical structures. World Scientific Publishing,
compared. The maximum of the water velocity, lift force and Singapore.
hydrodynamic force from simplified engineering calculation
and FEM simulation have good agreement with each other.

## The comparison of the soil force is more complicated, for cases

5 and 10 which pipe is absolutely stable the friction forces have
good agreement between simplified and FEM method. For the
and it shows that the soil friction forces are different for
simplified and FEM method. The deviation is likely due to that
the minimum friction force is used in the simplified engineering
calculation to obtain the safety factor, while friction force
actually varies by time in PONDUS simulation when the pipe is
in an unstable state.

CONCLUSIONS

## The study shows that for engineering purpose the simplified

engineering method could be used to check the absolute on-
bottom stability of the pipeline, whereas the more advanced
FEM method needs be performed when the pipeline is allowed
to move within a limited distance. PONDUS simulation
provides the transient variance of the friction force on the pipe
in its unstable state.