Improvement of Seabed Cable Plough Tow Force Prediction Models

Scott Robinson, Michael J. Brown, Andrew J. Brennan, Michael Cortis, Charles E. Augarde, William M. Coombs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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As the use of offshore renewable energy sources such as wind and wave energy systems expands, they repre-sent an increasing portion of the energy mix. Subsea cables connecting these resources are subject to many hazards, making cable burial using cable ploughing an important tool in preventing unplanned outages and downtime. This represents a significant installation cost for offshore renewables and there is a need to im-prove the accuracy of both tow force, plough speed predictions and final burial depth of the cable. These are currently made using semi-empirical models as the large soil displacements involved cause instabilities in the finite element analysis. This paper provides an overview of work to develop new material point method numerical software to allow cable ploughing to be analysed and optimised. The focus of this paper is the physical modelling carried out to provide validation of the software, which includes both 1g and centrifuge testing, as well as considering interim ways to improve the existing semi-empirical models.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOffshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics: Smarter Solutions for Future Offshore Developments
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 8th International Conference, held 12–14 September 2017 at the Royal Geographical Society, London
PublisherSociety for Underwater Technology
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780906940570 (hbk) Volume 1, 9780906940587 (hbk) Volume 2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2017
Event8th Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics International Conference: ‘Smarter Solutions for Future Offshore Developments’ - Royal Geographical Society, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Sept 201714 Sept 2017 (Link to conference website)


Conference8th Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics International Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Cable
  • Ploughing
  • Renewable energy
  • Sand


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