Field measurements of cable self-burial in a sandy marine environment

Unsworth, C. and Austin, M. and Landeghem, K. and Couldrey, A. and Whitehouse, R.J.S. and Lincoln, B. and Doole, S. and Worrall, P. (2023) Field measurements of cable self-burial in a sandy marine environment. Coastal Engineering, 184.

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The world's shallow continental shelves are currently experiencing a rapid pace of development from the growth of offshore renewable energy. The emplacement of infrastructure on the seabed can change the morphology of the bed, the nature of the flow above it and transport of sediment and so complicate the assessment of seabed stability for planning and designing offshore renewable infrastructure. To ascertain how much of an impact these natural processes have on cable stability, we present the first field observations made directly over a section of subsea cable, from two deployments in the Eastern Irish Sea at a location of current and planned offshore windfarms. Profiles of flow, turbulence and suspended sediment concentration were measured over a section of typical high voltage electricity cable. Upon deployment our observations show that sediment was deposited around the cable and self-burial occurred. The rate of deposition varied between surveys dependent on forcing and local bed conditions. Turbulence generated from the cable itself reduced as the embedment depth increased, but the relationship between bed shear stress and suspended sediment concentration was not consistent between surveys. We discuss several processes potentially responsible for the prevalence of deposition around the cable, and the difference in seabed mobility between the surveys.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Open Access
Subjects: Maritime > General
Divisions: Maritime
Depositing User: Helen Stevenson
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2023 12:37
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2024 10:44

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