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CENTRE FOR OFFSHORE FOUNDATION SYSTEMS

GEOMECHANICS GROUP, UWA

SAFEBUCK JOINT INDUSTRY PROJECT


PIPE-SOIL INTERACTION MODELS
FOR LATERAL BUCKLING DESIGN
PHASE IIA DATA REVIEW SANDY SOILS

Report to AtkinsBoreas and the SAFEBUCK JIP


By

D.J. WHITE

CONFIDENTIAL
This report is issued subject to the confidentiality and ownership clauses
of the SAFEBUCK JIP Participation Agreement

October 2010

GEO: 10520v2

SAFEBUCK JIP. Pipe-soil models for lateral buckling design. Phase IIA data review sandy soils
GEO 10520v2

DJW
October 2010

Document information summary

Item

Description

Client name

AtkinsBoreas

Client contact

David Bruton
AtkinsBoreas
6 Golden Square
AB10 1RD, Aberdeen
Ph: +44 (0) 1224 620202
Fax: +44 (0)1224 620457
david.bruton@atkinsglobal.com

Client reference

SAFEBUCK Phase II Addendum Data Review Sandy Soils

Purchase order
Date of issue

08/06/2010

Report title

SAFEBUCK JIP
Pipe-soil models for lateral buckling design
Phase IIA data review sandy soils

Report number
Version

GEO 10520
Date of

Prepared

Verified

Comments

issue
V0

16/04/2010

DW

For review by AtkinsBoreas

V1

08/06/2010

DW

Following review by AtkinsBoreas


(David Bruton)

V2

30/10/2010

DW

Following review by Shell (Ralf Peek)

CONFIDENTIAL
This report is issued subject to the confidentiality and ownership clauses
of the SAFEBUCK JIP Participation Agreement

Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems


The University of Western Australia

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 8
1.1

Background .....................................................................................................................8

1.2

Current SAFEBUCK guidelines for pipe-soil behaviour on sandy soils ........................8

1.2.1

Background ............................................................................................................. 8

1.2.2

Embedment.............................................................................................................. 9

1.2.3

Lateral breakout resistance...................................................................................... 9

1.2.4

Large amplitude residual lateral resistance ........................................................... 10

1.2.5

Limitations of existing guidance ........................................................................... 11

SAFEBUCK database of model tests on sandy soils ............................................................ 11


2.1

Original SAFEBUCK database Peek (2006) .............................................................11

2.2

Overview of data donated to SAFEBUCK Phase II .....................................................11

Interpretation of donated results............................................................................................ 13


3.1

Typical test results.........................................................................................................13

3.2

As-laid embedment .......................................................................................................14

3.3

Breakout resistance .......................................................................................................15

3.4

First sweep residual resistance observed results ........................................................17

3.5

First sweep residual resistance comparison with Peek (2006) model ........................17

3.6

First sweep residual resistance comparison with Verley & Sotberg (1994) model ...18

3.7

Cyclic response .............................................................................................................19

Summary comments.............................................................................................................. 21

Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................... 23

References ............................................................................................................................. 24

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LIST OF TABLES

Table 1. Summary of notation......................................................................................................... 6


Table 2. Summary of donated test programme ............................................................................. 13
Table 3. Summary of key results: Sample 2.................................................................................. 14
Table 4. Summary of key results: Sample 3.................................................................................. 15

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LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1. Summary of Peek (2006) database of residual friction factor, Hres/V ........................... 26
Figure 2. The UWA geotechnical beam centrifuge....................................................................... 27
Figure 3. View of typical test pipe arrangement at UWA............................................................. 28
Figure 4. Typical results from dynamic lay simulation and breakout (test S3-T3)

(a)

Pipe trajectory (b) Applied vertical load and measured horizontal resistance ......................29
Figure 5. Typical results from large amplitude lateral sweeping simulation (test S3-T5)
(a) Pipe trajectory (b) Applied vertical load and measured horizontal resistance (sweeps
through berms at end of test shown in magenta, initial laying and breakout shown dotted) 30
Figure 6. Comparison of as-laid embedment with current SAFEBUCK model (a) All data (b)
Range V/D2 < 2................................................................................................................... 31
Figure 7. Pipe invert trajectory during first sweep (a) Sample 2 (b) Sample 3.............................32
Figure 8. Mobilised friction factor during first sweep (a) Sample 2 (b) Sample 3 ....................... 33
Figure 9. Measured breakout friction factors and calculations using Equations 2-3 (a) Variation
with embedment (b) Comparison of measured and calculated .............................................34
Figure 10. Measured breakout friction factors and calculations using Equation 6 (a) Variation
with embedment (b) Comparison of measured and calculated ............................................. 35
Figure 11. Measured first sweep residual friction factor ..............................................................36
Figure 12. Comparison of measured residual friction factors and calculations using Equation 4 37
Figure 13. Comparison of first sweep residual resistance data : donated results and Peek (2006)
database (a) Variation with diameter (b) Variation with normalized pipe weight................ 38
Figure 14. Comparison of measured residual embedment and calculations using the Verley &
Sotberg (1994) model............................................................................................................ 39
Figure 15. Comparison of measured residual friction factors and calculations using the Verley &
Sotberg (1994) model............................................................................................................ 40
Figure 16. Accumulation of mid-sweep embedment during cyclic lateral sweeps....................... 41
Figure 15. Variation in mid-sweep and berm friction factor during cyclic lateral sweeps ........... 42
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Table 1. Summary of notation


Notation

Quantity

Apipe

Cross-sectional area of pipeline

Pipe diameter

Kp

Empirical parameter related to passive pipe-soil resistance

Horizontal displacement from initial position

Pipe invert embedment below original mudline

Horizontal pipe-soil contact force (per unit length)

Hbrk

Horizontal breakout resistance (per unit length)

Hres

Horizontal residual resistance (per unit length)

Hmid

Horizontal mid-sweep resistance (per unit length)

Hberm

Horizontal berm resistance (per unit length)

Vertical pipe-soil contact force (per unit length)

Soil effective unit weight

Empirical parameter related to frictional pipe-soil resistance

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SAFEBUCK JIP
PIPE-SOIL MODELS FOR LATERAL BUCKLING DESIGN
PHASE IIA DATA REVIEW SANDY SOILS

Report to AtkinsBoreas and the SAFEBUCK JIP


D.J. White
Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, University of Western Australia

Summary
This report describes a review of model test data of large-amplitude lateral pipe-soil interaction
on sandy soils, in relation to the design of on-bottom pipelines for lateral buckling. This review
was conducted as an addendum to Phase II of the SAFEBUCK JIP. A database comprising of 15
high quality model test results for sandy calcareous soils was donated to the JIP. These results
have been compared with the existing calculation methods within the SAFEBUCK guideline,
and the previous model test data from siliceous sands that was used to derive these methods.
The resulting database of measurements reveal aspects of pipe-soil behaviour on sandy soils that
had not previously been quantified. The results also show that the current SAFEBUCK
recommendations which were not developed for calcareous soils provide poor predictions of
the response. This is not unexpected since the recommended calculations have no soil properties
as input parameters (apart from soil weight). The discrepancies between the results and the
calculations are not simply a consistent over- or under-prediction of the pipe-soil resistance. The
results also show that certain trends encapsulated within the guidance are not evident in the
parametric model test studies. This suggests that improved recommendations for both siliceous
and calcareous sands should be based on a re-evaluation of the controlling mechanisms rather
than simply a recalibration of the empirical parameters in the current guidance.
The report also highlights future aspects of research that will serve to reduce the uncertainty
associated with pipe-soil interaction forces on sandy soils. The presented results also highlight
the form of site-specific information about pipe-soil interaction that can be derived from
centrifuge model testing.
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SAFEBUCK JIP
PIPE-SOIL MODELS FOR LATERAL BUCKLING DESIGN
PHASE IIA DATA REVIEW SANDY SOILS
Report to AtkinsBoreas and the SAFEBUCK JIP
D.J. White
Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, University of Western Australia
1

INTRODUCTION

1.1

Background

This report describes a review of centrifuge model test data related to lateral pipe-soil interaction
on sandy soils. This review was undertaken as an addendum to Phase II of the SAFEBUCK Joint
Industry Project, and uses data that was donated to the JIP by a Participant.
The SAFEBUCK JIP is concerned with the development of techniques and guidelines for the
design of seabed pipelines under thermal and pressure-induced loading, which can lead to
buckling and walking. The SAFEBUCK guideline (AtkinsBoreas 2008) is widely used by
industry.
The pipe-soil force-displacement response is the largest uncertainty in the design of such systems
(Bruton et al. 2007). To accurately assess the pipe-soil resistance forces during the in-service life
of a pipeline that is designed with controlled lateral buckling, it is necessary to understand the
pipe-soil behaviour during laying, and then during large lateral movements over many cycles of
startup and shutdown. The lateral resistance on the pipe during cycles of large-amplitude motion
must be assessed.
1.2
1.2.1

Current SAFEBUCK guidelines for pipe-soil behaviour on sandy soils


Background

The guidance for pipe-soil behaviour on sandy soils provided in the SAFEBUCK guideline has
been drawn from previous studies focussed on on-bottom stability. In the guideline, the term
non-cohesive is used to differentiate guidance for sandy soils from guidance related to clayey
soils, which are referred to as cohesive. A more desirable taxonomy that would be preferred by
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most geotechnical specialists is coarse-grained and fine-grained soils, or non-plastic and


plastic soils. The distinction is made principally to differentiate between calculation methods
that are based on undrained and drained analyses. A more correct approach (which would be
consistent with modern foundation design codes) would be to present the calculation methods as
drained and undrained and leave the designer to elect which approach was relevant for the soil
type and loading condition under consideration. However, such an approach would make the
SAFEBUCK guidance more difficult to apply for non geotechnical engineers.
1.2.2

Embedment

The current SAFEBUCK guideline (AtkinsBoreas 2008) includes the following expression for
the embedment of a pipeline into sandy soil, which is from the model proposed by Verley and
Sotberg (1994):

V
w
= 0.037
2
D
'D

2/3

[1]

where w is the pipe invert embedment below the original soil surface, D is the pipe diameter, V
is the vertical pipe-soil contact force (per unit length) and is the soil submerged weight. This
calculation does not account for dynamic lay effects, which are to be considered separately.
1.2.3

Lateral breakout resistance

The current SAFEBUCK guideline also uses correlations derived by Verley and Sotberg (1994)
as the basis for assessments of breakout resistance. The Verley & Sotberg model was developed
from full scale model tests performed using siliceous sand, and is suggested within the DNV
F109 (2007) code as the basis for assessing pipeline on-bottom stability on siliceous sandy soils.
The Verley & Sotberg (1994) model is believed to have been used in the FE studies that form the
database underlying the generalised method of on-bottom stability design within DNV F109.
In the Verley & Sotberg model, the breakout resistance (per unit length), Hbrk, is divided into
frictional and passive components, although the passive component varies with the pipe weight
for higher values of V/D2:

H brk = V + Fpassive

[2]

where is a friction coefficient and the passive component is defined as

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V
If
0.05
' D2
V
< 0.05
If
' D2

Fpassive

0.15 w
= 'D 5

V / ' D2 D

Fpassive

w
= 2 ' D
D

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October 2010

1.25

[3]

1.25

A value of 0.6 is adopted by Verley & Sotberg (1994) for the friction coefficient, .
1.2.4

Large amplitude residual lateral resistance

The recommended approach in the SAFEBUCK guideline for assessing the large amplitude
lateral resistance is based on a report donated to the SAFEBUCK JIP by Peek (2006), which
collated and interpreted data from model tests and field tests. This report is provided in
Appendix A, with some test identifiers removed to suit data confidentiality requirements.
The median (50%) value of residual lateral friction factor, Hres/V, is calculated as:

V
H res
0.71
=

V 50%
' A pipe

0.12

D ref

0.18

[4]

where Apipe is the cross-sectional area of the pipe (D2/4), Dref is a reference diameter, taken as
508 mm (20 inches). The two bracketed terms have only a small effect. The first term raises
Hres/V by less than 10% as the pipeline specific gravity (SG) increases from 1 to 2. The latter
term has a slightly greater influence, raising Hres/V by 22% over the diameter range 750 250
mm; the smaller the pipe, the greater the residual friction factor.
Peek (2006) also provides upper and lower bound values of Hres/V, based on 2.3% and 97.7%
percentiles (i.e. 2 standard deviations from the mean) of the distribution of Hres/V, which are:

H res
V

H res
V

H
= 0.05 + 0.70 res

2.3%
V 50%

H
= 0.18 + 1.15 res

97.7%
V 50%

[5]

This recommendation assumes that the residual value is independent of the initial embedment,
which is in contrast to the guidance in Verley and Sotberg (1994). They provide a method
calculating Hres/V based on the embedment prior to large movements. The latter approach is
consistent with the concept of a berm of soil being pushed ahead of the pipe, and the area of that
berm being controlled by the depth from which the pipe broke out. The Verley & Sotberg
method assumes that the residual embedment is half of the breakout value (or a slightly modified
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proportion for w/D < 0.2 at breakout). This residual embedment is then used in Equations 2 3
to assess the residual lateral resistance. Due to their differing assumptions, the Peek (2006) and
Verley & Sotberg (1994) calculation methods for residual lateral friction factor give differing
results and exhibit different trends.
1.2.5

Limitations of existing guidance

There are obvious limitations associated with the existing guidance, and contradictions between
the adopted Peek (2006) method for residual lateral friction factor and the Verley & Sotberg
(1994) method (which is favoured by the DNV F109 (2007) on-bottom stability code). There are
no characteristics of the soil represented in Equations 1 5 except for the unit weight. The
friction angle, relative density, and other mechanical properties are not included, nor is the
roughness of the pipe-soil interface. The Verley and Sotberg (1994) study did include results
from tests on sands at multiple relative densities, and the fitted parameters were optimised across
this range (see also Verley & Reed 1990).
There are no calculation methods provided within the current SAFEBUCK guideline that tackle
cyclic lateral pipe-soil interaction on sandy soils. The recommendations in Equations 4 and 5 are
only provided in the SAFEBUCK guideline to cover monotonic lateral movements. Large
amplitude cyclic movements of the pipe result in the growth of berms at the extremities of the
movement which provide greater lateral resistance.
2
2.1

SAFEBUCK DATABASE OF MODEL TESTS ON SANDY SOILS


Original SAFEBUCK database Peek (2006)

A database of measurements of residual lateral resistance on sand was provided to the


SAFEBUCK JIP by Peek (2006). A total of 26 values of Hres/V were assembled from
experimental studies performed over the period 1973 2002. These values are reproduced in
Figure 1. The legend is based on the Peek (2006) notation, and shows the data from each study
within the database. The trends with normalised pipe weight (V/Apipe) and diameter (D) that are
captured by the bracketed terms in Equation 4 are evident. These trends are not found within any
individual set of data, only in the combined database.
2.2

Overview of data donated to SAFEBUCK Phase II

Data was donated to Phase II of the SAFEBUCK JIP by a Participant, from studies undertaken
for Project D. This data comprised of centrifuge model tests undertaken at the University of
Western Australia using two sandy carbonate soils. These are referred to as Samples 2 and 3
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(Sample 1 was a fine-grained soil, which was included in a separate review, White & Cheuk
2010). The characteristics of this test programme are summarised in Table 2. The key results are
provided in Table 3 and Table 4.
It is important to note that the donated tests used carbonate soils (carbonate content >85%),
which have significantly different characteristics than the siliceous soils that are generally found
in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea, and on which the Verley & Sotberg (1994) and Peek
(2006) recommendations were based. Overviews of the engineering response of calcareous
sediments are presented by Coop (1990) and by Jewell & Khorshid (1988).
The sediments in Australias oil and gas producing regions are composed almost entirely of
calcareous sediments and these soils are also commonly encountered in oil-producing regions of
the Middle East and off the coast of Brazil in the Campos Basin. These soils are principally
composed of decomposed marine fauna. In contrast, the terrigenous sandy sediments which are
found in North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, are principally composed of siliceous material that
has been eroded and transported from land.
The grains of a calcareous soil are shelly fragments, which can vary from gravel to clay-sized
particles, and which are highly angular with intra-particle voids and rough surfaces. When laid
down as sediment they form a highly open structure, with a larger voids ratio than is found for
siliceous soils. This structure and the shape and crushability of the grains results in a highly
compressible, but also highly frictional response, with internal friction angles that generally
exceed siliceous sand, but which also vary significantly with stress level. When loaded
cyclically, the structure tends to collapse, and the response is generally less dilatant than
siliceous soils. Cementation can often be present, although not in the samples tested here.
Two centrifuge samples were prepared; one of each soil type. For each soil type, all of the pipe
tests were performed in the same sample. Both samples were characterised by miniature cone
penetrometer tests prior to the pipe-soil tests being executed. The general procedure of each
pipe-soil test involved the following stages:
1. Embedment of the pipe (either by monotonic vertical displacement, or by some form of
dynamic motion aimed at representing the lay process)
2. Simulation of hydrotesting (through a temporary increase in the pipe weight)
3. Lateral breakout of the pipeline under a constant simulated pipe weight (allowing the
pipeline to rise or fall whilst moving laterally)
4. Cycles of large-amplitude lateral motion (only in certain tests)
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The UWA centrifuge is shown in Figure 2 and the general arrangement of these tests is shown in
Figure 3. The soil samples were prepared in a centrifuge strongbox, 650 390 mm in plan, and
had a depth of up to 150 mm. The model pipes were 10 32 mm in diameter, at model scale, and
had a lightly sand-blasted finish. These model pipes were fixed to a two-directional actuator that
imposes specified loads or displacements. The control system can impose a predetermined
sequence of movements or loads, which may be regular cycles or a random series. This feature
allows oscillations that represent the dynamic pipe movement during the lay process to be
simulated. The UWA beam centrifuge can operate continuously without being manned, and
some of the longer cyclic sweeping tests ran overnight.
A pore pressure transducer was located at the invert of the 20 mm diameter pipe. The measured
excess pore pressure was generally negligible, and always less than 2 kPa throughout all tests,
suggesting that fully drained conditions can be assumed.
Table 2. Summary of donated test programme
Sample 2

Sample 3

Carbonate Silty SAND

Carbonate SAND

D10 (m)

20

100

D50 (m)

210

300

Average cone penetration resistance gradient


(using 10 mm model CPT) (kPa/m)

1350

3100

Soil submerged unit weight (kN/m3)

Centrifuge acceleration level (g)

33

33

Number of pipe tests

(number with large amplitude sweeps)

(4)

(3)

330/10 (2), 660/20 (6)

660/20 (4), 1066/32.3 (3)

Soil type
Particle sizes

Pipe diameters tested


(prototype/model scale) (mm)

3
3.1

INTERPRETATION OF DONATED RESULTS


Typical test results

The results from a typical test are shown in Figure 4 and Figure 5. The programme of tests
included various forms of dynamic lay effect, aimed at simulating the pipe motion through the
touchdown zone. In general, the vertical load was controlled in a stepwise manner, reaching a
peak then decaying, whilst continuous cycles of horizontal motion were imposed. The amplitude
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of the horizontal cycles was programmed to decay as the embedment increased, reflecting the
constraint imposed by the seabed. Various ranges of lateral movement and numbers of
oscillations were adopted, to reflect the anticipated lay rate and conditions.
In the tests that included large amplitude lateral sweeping, a total of 50 cycles were performed,
with the pipe moving between displacement limits outside any zone affected by dynamic laying.
After these cycles, the pipe was pushed through the berms that had grown at the limits of the
cyclic movement, whilst the simulated pipe weight was maintained.
Table 3. Summary of key results: Sample 2
Test

Pipe diameter, D (proto. scale) (m)

0.66

0.66

0.33

0.33

0.66

0.66

0.66

0.66

Dynamic lay effect

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Maximum V during laying (kN/m)

4.88

41.8

1.29

58.3

3.06

3.06

2.31

3.06

As-laid embedment, w/D

0.41

0.091

0.32

0.37

0.26

0.22

0.032

0.21

Hydrotest V (kN/m)

4.82

1.43

3.79

3.79

3.79

Post-hydrotest embedment, w/D

0.42

0.34

0.26

0.23

0.22

V during breakout & cycles (kN/m)

3.50

3.50

1.45

1.45

2.31

2.31

2.31

2.31

Hbrk/V

1.17

0.55

1.14

0.74

2.1

1.11

0.62

1.1

Hres/V

0.61

0.56

0.63

0.48

0.62

0.50

0.58

0.57

Embedment response

Response during first lateral sweep

Response during cyclic lateral sweeping

3.2

Total number of cycles

50

50

50

Amplitude of lateral cycles, u/D

Mid-sweep embedment response

See Figure 16

Mid-sweep friction response

See Figure 17a

Cyclic berm response

See Figure 17b

As-laid embedment

The measured values of as-laid embedment are listed in Table 3 and Table 4. These can be
grouped into two sets with and without a dynamic lay simulation. The measured values are
compared with Equation 1 in Figure 6. The embedment in the absence of lay effects is generally

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over-predicted, often by a factor of 2. There is significant scatter, which suggests that alternative
normalisations may be appropriate.
With dynamic lay effects, the measured embedment is typically 5-10 times greater than predicted
by Equation 1. These observations provide an indication of the model uncertainty applicable to
for this particular soil type, and the likely influence of dynamic lay effects noting that the
particular lay effects simulated here were planned to represent the particular lay process for this
project.
Table 4. Summary of key results: Sample 3
Test

Pipe diameter, D (proto. scale) (m)

0.66

0.66

1.066

1.066

1.066

0.66

0.66

Dynamic lay effect

Yes

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Maximum V during laying (kN/m)

3.06

54.2

10.07

54.3

10.07

3.06

2.31

As-laid embedment, w/D

0.41

0.16

0.33

0.072

0.28

0.33

0.035

Hydrotest V (kN/m)

3.79

12.4

12.4

3.79

Post-hydrotest embedment, w/D

0.42

0.33

0.29

0.34

V during breakout, cycles (kN/m)

2.31

2.31

7.22

7.22

7.22

2.31

2.31

Hbrk/V

1.30

0.51

1.26

0.43

0.98

1.16

0.71

Hres/V

0.70

0.67

0.65

0.69

0.63

0.67

0.67

Total number of cycles

50

50

50

Amplitude of lateral cycles

Embedment response

Response during first lateral sweep

Response during cyclic lateral sweeping

3.3

Mid-sweep embedment response

See Figure 16

Mid-sweep friction response

See Figure 17a

Cyclic berm response

See Figure 17b

Breakout resistance

The pipe invert trajectory and the lateral response during the first 3 diameters of lateral sweeping
in all tests are shown in Figure 7 and Figure 8. The measured values of breakout friction factor,
Hbrk/V, are listed in Table 3 and Table 4. These are extracted as the peak value, or if no peak
exists then the value at 1 diameter of movement. These are compared with the as-laid
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embedment in Figure 9a, and show a general trend of increasing breakout friction with
embedment, as would be expected. Calculated values, using Equations 2-3, are also shown on
Figure 9a, and are consistently higher than the measured values. For Sample 2, the calculated
breakout resistance is on average 1.37 times higher than the measured value, whereas for Sample
3 the ratio is 1.78 (Figure 9b). The ratios of calculated/measured Hbrk/V show no skew with
respect to normalised vertical load or pipe diameter.
A more simple form of expression for breakout resistance can be created by discarding the
bracketed term in Equation 3 and removing the dependency of the passive term on the pipe
diameter:

1
H brk = V + K p ' w 2
2

[6]

where Kp is a fitting coefficient linked to the passive resistance. For this report, Equation 6 has
been calibrated based on the donated centrifuge test data, and it has been found that values of
= 0.5, Kp = 5 provides an average ratio of measured to predicted resistance of 1.0 (Figure 10).
However, other combinations of and Kp can also provide the same average accuracy.
Significant scatter remains, and a more sophisticated approach is needed to reduce this. The
frictional and passive components are not actually separate mechanisms, despite being
independent terms in Equations 2-4. Failure envelope approaches (e.g. Zhang & Erbrich (2005)
provide a more robust treatment of the combined bearing-sliding response capturing in an
integrated way the influences of load ratio, H/V and embedment, w/D.
Although Equation 6 has been used in a specific calibration for this new data set, the original
Verley and Sotberg (1994) model (Equations 2-3) could equally be recalibrated to better fit this
data. It is worth noting, however, that the parameters within either form of expression require
different values to suit the Verley and Sotberg (1994) siliceous sand database, and the carbonate
sand results shown here. Even within the carbonate sand data, there are systematic differences in
response evident between the two samples (as discussed further in Section 3.4).
From a theoretical standpoint including analogies with retaining wall behaviour or inclined
bearing capacity the breakout resistance of a shallowly-embedded pipeline depends on the
friction angle and dilatancy of the soil around the pipe, as well as its unit weight and the interface
friction between the pipe and the soil. Since these parameters are not explicitly included within
simple correlations such as Equation 2-3 and 6, significant scatter is inevitable when applying
these expressions across a database of results. A similar level of model uncertainty must be
applied when using these approaches in practice.
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First sweep residual resistance observed results

Most of the tests reached a steady residual resistance within 2 diameters of movement (Figure 8).
These steady values are listed in Table 3 and Table 4 and are compared with the as-laid
embedment in Figure 11. A consistent residual friction is observed across all tests in a given
sample, but there is a systematic difference between the two samples: in Sample 2 a range of
Hres/V = 0.56 0.1 is evident, whereas in Sample 3 the range is 0.66 0.05. There is a consistent
difference of 20% in Hres/V between the two soil types, which can be clearly identified on
account of the excellent repeatability of the measurements.
Although the residual friction is influenced by the soil type, it is not affected by the as-laid
embedment in this dataset. This observation differs from the conclusions reached by the Verley
and Sotberg (1994) study of on-bottom stability on siliceous sands. Their calculation approach
links the residual resistance to the pre-breakout embedment. This is consistent with observations
from undrained tests, in which a berm is pushed ahead of the pipe, sliding on the soil surface.
The size of this berm, and therefore the residual resistance, is controlled by the as-laid
embedment (see Dingle et al. 2008 and White & Cheuk 2010). However, the present tests
which involved drained behaviour, like the Verley and Sotberg study, but for carbonate soils
show no influence of initial embedment on residual resistance. This is a notable observation, but
should not be generalised without further data and a proper understanding of the controlling
mechanisms in drained conditions.
3.5

First sweep residual resistance comparison with Peek (2006) model

The Peek (2006) recommendation for Hres/V (given by Equation 4) is compared with the
measured data in Figure 12. The average ratio of measured to predicted resistance is 1.03 for
Sample 3 and 0.80 for Sample 2. The effect of pipe diameter included in Equation 4 does not
appear within the measurements: larger (1.066m) and smaller (0.33m) pipelines do not have
outlying values of measured residual friction factor.
Given that the residual resistance is influenced by sliding at the pipe-soil interface, it is likely
that the results would be different if the model pipe had a rougher or smoother surface. It is
important to ensure that the surface roughness of the pipeline is adequately captured in any
model tests.
A full picture of the data currently available to SAFEBUCK is given by Figure 13, which
combines the Peek (2006) database and the donated centrifuge data. This figure shows short
references to the sources of the data in the Peek database and the full details are given in Peek
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(2006). The measured values of residual friction are compared with pipe diameter (Figure 13a)
(with the centrifuge data scaled to prototype values) and normalised pipe weight (Figure 13b).
The donated data span a range of diameter and pipe weight. In both cases the general trends
evident in the Peek (2006) database cannot be discerned within the new donated data. Within a
given set of new donated data there is neither an increase in resistance with reducing diameter
nor with increasing pipe weight, despite the surrounding database showing these trends. It should
be noted, however, that the trends are small. For example the weight effect is to the power 0.12
(Equation 4). A dotted blue curve following this power is shown on Figure 13b (marked A) and
has been aligned with the mean weight and friction factor of the Sample 2 data (which spans the
largest variation in weight). The dotted curve does not appear to be matched by the experimental
data, although it is conceivable but unlikely that this is due to the experimental scatter.
Peek (2006) suggests that the diameter dependency might arise from a loose layer of soil at the
surface. The ratio between the loose layer thickness and the pipe diameter would provide a
relevant dimensionless parameter.
Alternatively, it is possible that the trend with diameter is actually related to the variation in soil
friction angle with stress level. This would explain why the centrifuge data sits close to the other
data (e.g. the Lyons large scale tests) when plotted in prototype units, rather than when plotted at
model scale because the stress level in the centrifuge model is representative of the prototype
scale case. To understand which explanation is the case, a theoretical model for the behaviour is
required.
Given that the newly donated data involves sets of tests in which the soil properties and the
experimental procedures were not varied, these new results suggest that the trends identified by
Peek (2006) within the original database are not as significant as the correlations imply and it is
possible that they are artefacts of the database. Overall, in summary, the full database shows a
variation in Hres/V by a factor of around 2 for a given pipe diameter, which is best attributed to a
characteristic of each soil tested, as well as the pipe roughness.
3.6

First sweep residual resistance comparison with Verley & Sotberg (1994) model

An additional comparison has been made between the model test data and the Verley & Sotberg
(1994) recommendations for residual lateral resistance (although these are not currently within
the SAFEBUCK guideline). The key assumption within these recommendations is that the pipe
embedment at the steady residual condition is half of the breakout value (or a slightly different
proportion at very shallow residual embedment, w/D < 0.1). Figure 14 compares the calculated
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residual embedment from this method with the observed values. It should be noted that in most
tests the embedment was still reducing slightly at the end of the lateral sweep (Figure 7) so the
measured values shown in Figure 14 are upper bounds to the final residual embedment.
The observed behaviour is for the residual embedment to be consistent between all tests in the
range 5 10% regardless of the initial embedment (noting that this range is an upper bound).
The calculated values vary significantly, mirroring the as-laid embedments.
Not surprisingly, the resulting residual friction factors (derived from the calculated residual
embedment combined with Equations 2 3) also show a significant variation which contrasts
with the model test results. On average, the measured values are over-predicted by a factor of
1.67, with the ratio of calculated/measured residual friction factor varying from 1.0 to 2.3 across
the individual tests and with the larger discrepancies occurring for more deeply embedded pipes.
On this basis the Verley & Sotberg (1994) model would not provide an improved basis for the
SAFEBUCK guidelines over the Peek (2006) advice, based on this database of carbonate sand
results.
These observations may have value beyond lateral buckling analysis. Given that these results
indicate that the Verley & Sotberg (1994) model significantly overpredicts both the residual
resistance (Figure 15) and the breakout resistance (Figure 9b) in these two carbonate sands, it
appears that this model would give an unconservative indication of pipeline on-bottom stability
on these soils.
However, it should be noted that these comments are based only on a check of the Verley &
Sotberg (1994) resistance correlations, and not the cyclic embedment correlations within that
model (which are not relevant to lateral buckling). Compensating errors within these two
elements of the model might lead to coincidental accuracy in some cases, but it is clear that the
model does not correctly capture the trends within the data presented here (e.g. the observed
residual embedment is not dependent on the initial embedment in the way that the model predicts
Figure 14 and the best form of the breakout resistance expression varies between siliceous
and carbonate sands, and between the different carbonate sands Section 3.3 and Figure 10b).
3.7

Cyclic response

During the fixed-amplitude cycles of lateral motion, the response followed the general pattern
evident in Figure 5. The pipe moved approximately horizontally during the first few sweeps,
settling slightly after each change in direction. During later cycles the pipe rose at the end of
each sweep, to almost the previous elevation, as it approached the fixed berms growing at the
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extremities of the sweeping range. The shape of the trenches created by the shorter sweeps (3D
in length) progressively changed from U-shaped to V-shaped as the centre of the trench grew
deeper, and the edges became steeper. For the longer sweeps, the centre of the trench remained
horizontal. After 50 cycles, the trench sides typically sloped at a gradient of 1 in 5 to 1 in 4 (10
15).
The berms of soil pushed ahead of the pipe during each sweep were small, and never led to soil
flowing over the top of the pipe. Visual comparison of the berm and trench sizes suggests that
volumetric compression had occurred as the soil was disturbed, since the trenches were larger
than the berms. Also, the soil at the base of the trench appeared to have been broken into finer
particles than the material on the undisturbed soil surface.
The resistance remained approximately constant during the middle part of each sweep, rising
slightly through the sweep. This rise was concurrent with a change in the inclination of pipe
movement as the pipe descended into the evolving trench then rose upwards towards the far
berm. As the pipe reached close to berms at the extremities of the movement , a sharper rise in
resistance was observed.
The cyclic response can be summarised by three key values the mid-sweep embedment,
wmid/D, the mid-sweep resistance, Hmid/V, and the mobilised berm resistance, Hberm/V. These
values have been extracted for each cycle of the 6 tests that included large-amplitude sweeping,
and are presented in Figure 16 and Figure 17. Note that the mid-sweep resistance is not
necessarily a steady value as is clear in Figure 5b due to the bowl-shaped trench that
develops. It is therefore not directly comparable to the first sweep Hres/V values.
The mid-sweep embedment increased rapidly during the first few sweeps, and then at a reducing
rate as a bowl-shaped trench forms (Figure 16a). The rate of embedment was greater in the sand
than the silty sand (for the same pipe weight and diameter), even though the sand had a higher
cone penetration resistance.
The mid-sweep friction factor decreased with cycles (Figure 16b), and it should be noted that
this is not a steady value, but is a point on the steadily-increasing response (see Figure 5). Only
the first few cycles showed a steady residual resistance throughout the sweep. After the first few
sweeps it appears that the geometry of the trench, and any berm that evolves in front of the pipe,
led to a response characterised by initially very low resistance, with a steady increase throughout
the sweep.
A more rapid rise in resistance was encountered at the end of each sweep, as the pipe approached
the berms of soil at the edges of the trench. The mobilised berm resistance increased rapidly at
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first, then at a reducing rate (Figure 17), mirroring the accumulation of embedment (and
therefore the growth of the berms) compare Figure 16 and Figure 17b. At the end of each test
the pipe was first pushed through one berm, then lifted back over the trench and lowered back in
the centre of the trench, before being pushed through the other berm (under the original constant
vertical load see the magenta line in Figure 5). The disturbance of the soil during the lowering
process appears to alter the response so that the resistance pushing through the second berm was
sometimes lower than the resistance mobilised against the berm in the previous cycle.
The resistance during the pushes through the berms is shown by the single points in Figure 17.
These values are only slightly higher than the resistance mobilised in the fixed-amplitude
sweeps. This contrasts with observations from undrained conditions, when a push through an
established berm generally mobilises significantly higher resistance than the repeated sweeps to
a fixed position that created the berm.
After 10 cycles the mobilised berm resistance ranged from Hberm/V = 0.8 1.5 and by the 50th
cycle the range had increased to 1.25 2.5. No calculation method has been developed during
the SAFEBUCK JIP to capture this behaviour. The range of responses observed here will be
affected by the pipe diameters, weights and interface conditions as well as the soil properties. So,
although these cyclic results provide an indication of the cyclic behaviour and the governing
mechanisms, values of pipe-soil resistance that lie outside of these ranges are likely to be
observed in other conditions.
It is important to note that the design life of most pipelines that have engineered lateral buckles
will far exceed the number of cycles undertaken within these tests possibly by an order of
magnitude. Until further studies are undertaken, it is necessary in design to extrapolate far
beyond the data presented here, and there may be a deviation from the trends shown in this data
at higher numbers of cycles.
4

SUMMARY COMMENTS

In summary, a set of centrifuge model tests of pipe embedment, breakout and large-amplitude
sweeping has been donated to the SAFEBUCK JIP. This data has been interpreted, and
compared with the current recommendations in the SAFEBUCK guideline. These current
recommendations are based on aspects of the Verley & Sotberg (1994) model for pipe-soil
interaction on siliceous sands and a study provided by Peek (2006), using collated data, also
from siliceous sands. The donated tests used a carbonate sand and a carbonate silty sand. These
sands have higher friction angles than siliceous sands, as well as a significantly different
volumetric response, so differences in behaviour are expected between the two. Based on
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measurements of excess pore pressure at the pipe invert, drained conditions appeared to prevail
throughout the donated tests.
The following conclusions can be drawn:

Some of the donated tests simulated the dynamic laying process, which was found to lead
to significantly higher embedment that purely monotonic penetration by up to an order
of magnitude, depending on the form of lay effect.

The monotonic embedment tests showed a response that is generally stiffer than the
current SAFEBUCK recommendation.

The breakout response was poorly fitted by the current recommendations (from Verley &
Sotberg 1994), with the measured breakout friction being significantly lower (by a factor
of up to 2) than the calculated value. Across all tests the mean ratio of calculated to
measured breakout resistance was 1.54. The discrepancy varies between the two soil
types, indicating that a feature of the soil response influences the behaviour, but is not
captured within the calculation model.

A simplified expression for the breakout resistance, based on analogy with the passive
resistance on a retaining wall, was calibrated to give a better performance on average.
Significant scatter remained, which is to be expected by these simple friction + passive
models, since they decouple the continuous failure mechanism ahead of the pipe into two
independent components. Also, the results for the two soils showed systematic
differences which could not be captured by a single set of model parameters.

The measured values of residual resistance were extremely consistent between all tests in
each soil, with a standard deviation of less than 0.1. The mean values in each soil
differed, indicating the influence of the soil properties and/or the pipe-soil interface
roughness.

The residual resistance was independent of the initial embedment, which contrasts with
(i) the behaviour seen in undrained conditions and (ii) the assumptions within the Verley
& Sotberg (1994) model.

The Peek (2006) model for residual friction has a weak dependency on pipe diameter and
normalised weight but no dependency on the initial embedment. These trends were
identified from the Peek (2006) database as a whole, although they are not obvious within
any single set of data. The donated centrifuge test data spanned a range of pipe diameters
and normalised weights and no systematic variation in residual resistance was evident for

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either of the soil types. However, the diameter and weight effects within the Peek (2006)
model are small, and the method provided reasonably accurate predictions across the test
database, with values of measured/predicted residual friction factor ranging from 0.6
1.1, with an average of 0.9.

The Verley & Sotberg (1994) model for residual friction has a strong dependency on the
initial embedment, which is not evident in these results. On average, this model overpredicted the measured residual friction factors by a ratio of 1.65, with a range of 1.0
2.3 across the individual tests.

The new data shows that the current calculation methods in the SAFEBUCK guideline give poor
predictions of the response observed in the carbonate sands and silty sands used in the donated
data set. The analysis in this report highlights the caution and conservatism that should be used if
these methods are applied to carbonate sands. Equally, the results are a cautionary warning that
trends encapsulated within the current SAFEBUCK recommendations may not apply in siliceous
soils beyond the original studies of Verley & Sotberg (1994) and Peek (2006).
Since systematic differences in behaviour were observed between the two sands, it is important
to note that the quantitative conclusions are not necessarily applicable across all calcareous soils,
although they do provide the most comprehensive advice currently available to the SAFEBUCK
JIP.
The systematic differences in the response of the sand and the silty sand cannot be captured even
by recalibrations of the current empirical recommendations, since these do not include soil
properties (except unit weight) as input parameters. There is a clear long term research need to
establish (i) what soil (and pipe-soil) properties control these differences and (ii) how best to
identify these properties for design, noting that undisturbed sampling of sandy soil is difficult,
and the measurement of near-surface soil characteristics is also a relatively undeveloped area of
site investigation technology.
5

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This report was commissioned by the SAFEBUCK JIP, as an addendum to Phase II. The support
of the JIP Participants is acknowledged. The centrifuge model tests were performed at the
University of Western Australia in 2007 and were donated to the JIP by a Participant.
This work forms part of the activities of the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems (COFS), at
the University of Western Australia. COFS was established under the Australian Research
Councils Research Centres Program and now supported by the State Government of Western
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Australia through the Centres of Excellence in Science and Innovation program. The author is
supported by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (grant FT0991816).
The valuable review comments provided by Ralf Peek of Shell and David Bruton of
AtkinsBoreas are acknowledged.
6

REFERENCES

AtkinsBoreas (2008). SAFEBUCK JIP: Safe design of pipelines with lateral buckling. Design
Guideline, Rev C. BR02050/SAFEBUCK/C 15 December 2008
Bruton D., Carr M. and White D.J. (2007). The influence of pipe-soil interaction on lateral
buckling and walking of pipelines: the SAFEBUCK JIP. Proc. 6th Int. Conf. on Offshore Site
Investigation and Geotechnics, London. 133-150.

Coop, M.R. (1990). The mechanics of uncemented carbonate sands. Gotechnique 40(4):607626
Dingle, H. R. C., White, D. J. and Gaudin, C. (2008). Mechanisms of pipe embedment and
lateral breakout on soft clay. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 45, 636-652.
DNV (2007). Recommended Practice DNV RP-F109, On-bottom Stability Design of Submarine
Pipelines. (with amendments, April 2009). Det Norske Veritas,
Jewell, R.J. and Khorshid, M. (1988) Proc. 1st International Conference on Engineering for
Calcareous Sediments. Perth, Balkema.
Peek, R. (2006). Pipeline on Sand Resistance to Lateral Movements. Note to SAFEBUCK JIP.
9th January 2006. 15 pp.
Verley, R.L.P. and Sotberg, T. (1994). A soil resistance model for pipelines placed on sandy
soils. J. Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering, ASME, 116(3):145-153.
Verley, R.L.P. and Reed, K. (1989) Response of pipelines on various soils for realistic
hydrodynamic loading. Proc., 8th Offshore Mechanics and Polar Engng. Conf., 5:149156.
White D.J. & Cheuk C.Y. (2010). SAFEBUCK JIP: Pipe-soil interaction models for lateral
buckling design: Phase IIA data review. Report to AtkinsBoreas and the SAFEBUCK JIP,
UWA report GEO 09497r2.
Zhang, J. and Erbrich, C.T. (2005). Stability design of untrenched pipelines geotechnical
aspects. Int. Symp. on Frontiers in Offshore Geotechnics, ISFOG 2005, Perth, 623-628.

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FIGURES

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Residual lateral resistance, H res/V .

1.6
1.4
1.2
1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2

TRG

Ly73ss

Ly73ls

GVV

PENt

0
0

0.5

1.5

Normalised pipe weight, V/'Apipe

(a)

Residual lateral resistance, H res/V .

1.6
TRG

Ly73ss

Ly73ls

GVV

1.4
1.2

PENt

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
0

100

200

300

400

500

Pipe diameter, D (mm)

(b)
Figure 1. Summary of Peek (2006) database of residual friction factor, Hres/V

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Figure 2. The UWA geotechnical beam centrifuge

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Figure 3. View of typical test pipe arrangement at UWA

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Normalised vertical displacement, w/D (-)

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25

0.3

0.35
-0.5

0.5
1
Normalised horizontal displacement, u/D (-)

1.5

(a)

Vertical load, V; Horizontal load, H (kN/m)

15

10

-5

-10
V
H
-15
-0.5

0.5
1
Normalised horizontal displacement, u/D (-)

1.5

(b)
Figure 4. Typical results from dynamic lay simulation and breakout (test S3-T3)
(a) Pipe trajectory (b) Applied vertical load and measured horizontal resistance

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Normalised vertical displacement, w/D (-)

-0.6

-0.4

-0.2

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8
-1

1
2
3
4
Normalised horizontal displacement, u/D (-)

(a)
20

Vertical load, V; Horizontal load, H (kN/m)

15
10
5
0
-5
-10
-15
-20
-25
-1

V
H
0

1
2
3
4
Normalised horizontal displacement, u/D (-)

(b)
Figure 5. Typical results from large amplitude lateral sweeping simulation (test S3-T5)
(a) Pipe trajectory (b) Applied vertical load and measured horizontal resistance (sweeps
through berms at end of test shown in magenta, initial laying and breakout shown dotted)
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Vertical pipe-soil load, V/ 'D


0

20

40

60

80

Normalised embedment, w/D

0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4

Tests with
dynamic lay
effects

0.5

Equation 1

0.6

(a)
2

Vertical pipe-soil load, V/'D


0

0.5

1.5

Normalised embedment, w/D

0
0.1

10

Equation 1
Tests with
dynamic lay
effects

0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6

(b)
Figure 6. Comparison of as-laid embedment with current SAFEBUCK model (a) All data
(b) Range V/D2 < 2
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Normalised vertical embedment, w/D (-)

0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25

S2-T1
S2-T2
S2-T3
S2-T4
S2-T5
S2-T6
S2-T7
S2-T8

0.3
0.35
0.4
0.45

0.5

1
1.5
2
2.5
Normalised horizontal displacement, u/D (-)

(a)
0

Normalised vertical embedment, w/D (-)

0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
S3-T1
S3-T2
S3-T3
S3-T4
S3-T5
S3-T6
S3-T7

0.3
0.35
0.4
0.45

0.5

1
1.5
2
2.5
Normalised horizontal displacement, u/D (-)

(b)
Figure 7. Pipe invert trajectory during first sweep (a) Sample 2 (b) Sample 3
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2.5
S2-T1
S2-T2
S2-T3
S2-T4
S2-T5
S2-T6
S2-T7
S2-T8

'Friction factor', H/V (-)

1.5

0.5

-0.5
-0.5

0.5
1
1.5
2
Normalised horizontal displacement, u/D (-)

2.5

(a)

1.2

'Friction factor', H/V (-)

0.8

0.6
S3-T1
S3-T2
S3-T3
S3-T4
S3-T5
S3-T6
S3-T7

0.4

0.2

0
0

0.5
1
1.5
2
Normalised horizontal displacement, u/D (-)

2.5

(b)
Figure 8. Mobilised friction factor during first sweep (a) Sample 2 (b) Sample 3
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Breakout friction factor, Hbrk /V


0

0.5

1.5

2.5

3.5

As-laid normalised embedment, w/D

0
0.1
Sample 2

0.2

Sample 3
0.3
0.4
0.5

Closed symbols - measured


Open symbols - calculated from Equations 2-3

0.6

(a)

Predicted breakout friction factor, H brk/V.

3.5
Measured =
0.5 Predicted

3
2.5

Parity
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
0

0.5

1.5

2.5

3.5

Measured breakout friction factor, Hbrk /V

(b)
Figure 9. Measured breakout friction factors and calculations using Equations 2-3 (a)
Variation with embedment (b) Comparison of measured and calculated

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Breakout friction factor, Hbrk /V


0

0.5

1.5

2.5

3.5

As-laid normalised embedment, w/D

0
0.1
Sample 2

0.2

Sample 3
0.3
0.4
0.5

Closed symbols - measured


Open symbols - calculated from Equation 6

0.6

(a)

Predicted breakout friction factor, H brk/V.

3.5
3
2.5
Parity
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
0

0.5

1.5

2.5

3.5

Measured breakout friction factor, Hbrk/V


(b)
Figure 10. Measured breakout friction factors and calculations using Equation 6 (a)
Variation with embedment (b) Comparison of measured and calculated

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Measured residual friction factor, Hres/V .

0.8
Sample 3
0.7
0.6
0.5
Sample 2
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

As-laid normalised embedment, w/D

Figure 11. Measured first sweep residual friction factor

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Predicted residual friction factor, Hres/V.

1
D = 0.33 m

0.9
0.8
0.7

Parity

0.6
0.5

D = 1.066 m

0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0
0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

Measured residual friction factor, Hres/V

Figure 12. Comparison of measured residual friction factors and calculations using
Equation 4

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Measured residual friction factor, Hres/V .

1.6
Lyons (1973) - small scale, 1g
1.4

Taylor et al. (1985) - 1g


Craig (2002) - 1g
Lyons (1973) - large scale, 1g

1.2
1
0.8
0.6
0.4

Sample 3 - centrifuge
Sample 2 - centrifuge
Gulhati et al. (19??) - 1g

0.2
0
0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.2

Pipe diameter, D (m)

(a)

Measured residual friction factor, Hres/V .

1.6

Lyons (1973) - small scale, 1g

Taylor et al.
(1985) - 1g

1.4
1.2

Craig (2002) - 1g

1
Sample 3 - centrifuge

0.8
0.6

0.4
Lyons (1973) - large scale, 1g
0.2

Gulhati et al. (19??) - 1g

Sample 2 centrifuge

0
0

0.5

1.5

2.5

Normalised pipe weight, V/'Apipe


(b)
Figure 13. Comparison of first sweep residual resistance data : donated results and Peek
(2006) database (a) Variation with diameter (b) Variation with normalized pipe weight

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Predicted residual embedment (Verley), (w/D)res.

0.25

0.2

Rising rapidly (S2-T4)

0.15

0.1
Note that in most cases the
embedment in the model test
was still reducing at the end
of the movement (see Figure
7), so the measured values
shown are upper bounds.

0.05

0
0

0.05

0.1

0.15

0.2

0.25

Measured residual embedment, (w/D)res

Figure 14. Comparison of measured residual embedment and calculations using the Verley
& Sotberg (1994) model

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Predicted residual friction factor (Verley), Hres/V.

2
1.8
1.6
1.4

Parity

Measured =
0.5 Predicted

1.2
1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

Measured residual friction factor, Hres/V

Figure 15. Comparison of measured residual friction factors and calculations using the
Verley & Sotberg (1994) model

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Lateral sweeping cycle

Normalised mid-sweep embedment, w mid/D .

10

20

30

40

50

60

0
S2-T6

S2-T7

0.1

S2-T8

S3-T5

0.2

S3-T6

S3-T7

0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8

Pairs of lines for


+ve and -ve sweeps

Figure 16. Accumulation of mid-sweep embedment during cyclic lateral sweeps

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Mid-sweep friction factor, H

mid/V

0.8
Pairs of lines for +ve and -ve sweeps

0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2

S2-T7
S2-T6
S3-T6

0.1

S2-T8
S3-T5
S3-T7

0
0

10

20
30
40
Lateral sweeping cycle

50

60

(a)

Berm friction factor, H berm/V .

3.5
S2-T6
S2-T8
S3-T6

3
2.5

S2-T7
S3-T5
S3-T7

Pairs of lines for +ve


and -ve sweeps

2
1.5
1
0.5

Maximum value during push through berm

0
0

10

20
30
40
Lateral sweeping cycle

50

60

(b)
Figure 17. Variation in mid-sweep and berm friction factor during cyclic lateral sweeps

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Appendix A
Peek, R. (2006). Pipeline on Sand Resistance to Lateral Movements. Note to
SAFEBUCK JIP. 9th January 2006. 15 pp. Updated 8 June 2010 to remove
restricted information

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Note
Pipeline on Sand Resistance to Lateral Movements
by R. Peek, SIEP EPT-PER
9th January 2006
updated 8 June 2010 (to remove restricted information)

Purpose
During lateral buckling of pipelines on a sandy soil, the resistance to lateral movements is controlled not
only by frictional effects between the pipeline coating and the sand, but also by the formation of soil berms
that are pushed along by the pipeline, as shown in Fig. 1. The purpose of this note is to estimate an
effective friction factor that includes the effect of berm formation for use in lateral buckling calculations.
This friction coefficient is defined as the ratio of the lateral force to maintain steady-state lateral movement
to the submerged weight of the pipe.
Although lateral buckling may at first occur dynamically, the buckles will subsequently grow under further
increases in temperature. It is during this subsequent, quasi-static response that the largest pipe stresses and
strains develop. It is for this part of the response that the effective friction coefficients are estimated here.

Recommendation
The median value of the friction factor may be calculated from
50% = 0.71 0.12 (Dref/D)0.18

(1)

where
= W/( D2/4)

(2)

is the normalised pipe weight, and the other the symbols used are defined in the notation section below.
Lower and upper bounds the friction factor may be calculated from
2.3% = 0.05 + 0.7 50%

(3)

97.7% = 0.18 + 1.15 50%

(4)

These are not bounds in the strict sense of the word. The estimated probability that the actual value falls
outside the bounds is 2.3% on either side.
These results apply for typical sand deposits. Conditions that could result in exceptionally loose deposits,
such as shallow gas, or artesian water are excluded. Also excluded are any conditions that would result in a
value of 50% of less than 0.5. (For this case the upper bound could still be calculated from Eq. 4 using
50%=0.5.)
Whereas the relative density and the variation of relative density with depth seems to be important, the
effect of relative density is not well understood and the upper bound estimate has been raised slightly based
on engineering judgmenent rather than statistical theory to account for this. Additional effective lateral
friction data, coupled with careful measurements of the relative density could be used in furture to reduce
reduce the uncertainty, possibly enabling narrower bounds to be justified.
Often conditions are encountered in which a veneer of sand overlies a stiffer substrate. If the thickness of
the sand layer is less than half a pipe diameter, then some reduction in the friction coefficients may be
appropriate. In any case the upper bound may be used as a conservative value no matter how thin the sand
layer may be.

It must be emphasized that these lateral friction coefficients only account for the berms that form for
monotonic steady-state lateral movements of the pipe. Cyclic movemements of the pipe could result in
larger berms and resistances to lateral movements. For instance this could occur if several operating cycles
at a lower temperature take place, before the temperature is raised to the maximum design value.
The lateral friction factors also do not account for the initial break-out resistance due to pipe embeddment,
which could develop due to cyclic movements during laying, and/or cyclic lateral wave loading.

Notation
D

= outer diameter of pipe including any coatings

D0

= reference pipe diameter, taken to be 20inches (508mm)

= permeability of the soil

= number of data points

np

= number of parameters determined from the data

= velocity for lateral movement of the pipe

= submerged weight of the pipe

= submerged unit weigh of the sand (or dry unit weight for dry tests)

= reference value for the unit weight of the sand, taken to be 9.5kN/m3

= ratio of horizontal force to keep the pipe moving over the seabed (at steady state) divided by the
weight of the pipe; referred to as the friction factor even though this parameter includes notonly frictional resistance between the pipe and the soil, but also the effect of berm formation.

2.3%

= 2.3 percentile value for ; the probability that the actual value is less is 2.3%; also referred to as
the lower bound value for ; the probability of a smaller value is the same as the probability
that a normally distributed random variable is smaller than its mean value less 2 standard
deviations.

50%

= median value for .

97.7% = 97.7 percentile value for ; the probability that the actual value is less is 97.7%; also referred to
as the upper bound value for ; the probability of exceeding this value is the same as the
probability that a normally distributed random variable exceeds the mean value plus two
standard deviations.
(.)

= cumulative distribution function for the standard normal probability distribution

-1(.)

= inverse cumulative distribution function for the standard normal probability distribution

= pipe soil effective density ratio; for a subsea pipeline this is defined by the submerged weight of
the pipe divided by the submerged weight of the same volume of soil.

Example
Consider a 30-inch (765mm) diameter steel pipe coated with 3mm of ploypropylene, and 60mm of
concrete. Based on a specific gravity of 0.1 for the pipe contants, 7.85 for the steel, 0.98 for the
polypropylene, 3.04 for the concrete, and 1.025 for the seawater, and neglecting cut-backs of the coating,
and specific gravity of the pipe of 1.40, and a submerged weight of 2.31kN/m is calculated. The pipe is
laid on sand with a submerged unit weight of 9.5kN/m3.
The outer diameter including coating is given by
D = 765 + 2*(3+60) = 891mm

From Eq. 2, the normalised pipe weight is


= W/( D2/4) = 2.31/(9.5**0.8912/4) = 0.39
From Eq. 1, the median friction factor is then
50% = 0.71 0.12 (Dref/D)0.18 = 0.71*0.390.12*(508/891)0.18 = 0.57
Finally from Eqs. 3 and 4, the lower and upper bounds are
2.3% = 0.05 + 0.7 50% = 0.84
97.7% = 0.18 + 1.15 50% = 0.45
Repeating the above calculation for various concrete coating thicknesses leads to the results shown in Fig.
9.

Basis for Recommedation


These recommendations are based on a combination of

review of the available test data,

effective friction coefficients estimated from the shapes of lateral buckles observed on the seabed
(by changing the friction factor used in analyses until the predicted buckle shape matches the
observed one, as best it can),

finite element simulations of the berm formation process, using the Arbritrary Lagrangian Eulerian
(ALE) formulation in the program ABAQUS Explicit.

For fully drained, steady-state conditions and sandy (i.e. cohesionless) soil, the effective lateral friction
factor can be expected to depend on the following parameters:
a)

the pipe/soil effective density ratio


= W/( D2/4)
also referred to as normalised pipe weight.

b) the relative density of soil


c)

the angularity of sand grains (e.g. as described by the friction angle at critical state shearing at
constant specific volume)

d) the roughness of the coating of the pipe


e)

size effects (e.g. due deformation/crushing of sand grains)

f)

pore water suction effects (berm suppression thereby)

g) thin sand layer effects where a layer of sand overlies a different material
The available lateral friction coefficient data are plotted in Fig. 2 as a function of the normalised pipe
weight and in Fig. 3 as a function of the pipe diameter. The source of the data and comments about the
test programs are included in Tables 1 and 2.
Figs. 2 & 3 suggest that the lateral friction coefficient increases with increasing normalised pipe weight ,
and decreases with increasing diameter. To quantify this apparent trend a linear relationship on a log-scale1
plot is assumed in the form
1

A simple linear relationship was also tried, but found to give less satisfactory results in terms of the
scatter between actual and predicted friction coefficients.

ln(LD) = ln(a) + b ln() + c ln(D/Dref)

(5)

where Dref is a reference diameter, taken to be 20inches (508mm), and the constants a, b, and c, are chosen
to minimise the sum of the squares of the errors in Eq. 5. (I.e. the sum of the squares of the difference
between the logarithms of the actual and predicted lateral friction coefficients is minimised.)2 This leads to
a=0.71, b=0.12, and c=-0.18, so that Eq. 5 becomes
50% = 0.71 0.12 (Dref/D)0.18

(6)

This is used as the median value3 of the friction factor. The predictions from this formula are compared
with the actual friction coefficients in Fig. 4. Therein it can be seen that the scatter in Figs. 2 and 3 has
been considerably reduced by considering the effect of the parameters and D. Indeed the logarithmic
standard deviation4 has been reduced from 0.34 to 0.15 by including the dependence on these two
parameters. If only the dependence on weight or diameter D had been included (i.e. c=0 or b=0
assumed) the logarithmic standard deviation would be 0.24 or 0.21, respectively. This is considerably
higher than 0.15, indicating that the pipe diameter, as well as the normalised pipe weight have a
significant5 effect on the lateral friction and should be included in the prediction formula, as has been done
in Eqs. 5 and 6.
The only actual friction factor that differs most from the prediction is the one from finite element analysis
[FE1]6. This seems to yield far too high a friction factor. For this reason the finite element analysis result
was excluded from the curve fitting process, and also from the calculation of the standard deviations
quoted.7

The alternative of minimising the differences between actual and predicted friction factors without
taking the logarithms was also assessed and found to give a very similar result, with
(a,b,c)=(0.705,0.114,-0.187) instead of (a,b,c)=(0.706,0.121,-0.183). The approach using logarithms
was preferred because it is consistent with a linear fit on a log-log plot. The fit then yields a geometric
average value of the data, rather than an average.

The data fitting optimisation by minimising the squares of the errors in Eq. 5 results in a geometric
average of the ratio actual/predicted friction factor of 1. Assuming a lognormal distribution for this
ratio, the geometric mean is equal to the median.

Defined as the standard deviation of the differences between the logarithms of the actual and predicted
friction factors, and calculated as ={ (differences)2/(n-np)}1/2, where n is the number of data points,
and np is the number of parameters determined from the data, e.g. np=1 when the predicted friction
coefficient is simply the geometric mean of the friction coefficients, and np=3 when the parameters a, b,
and c in Eq. 5 are determined from the data.

To assess the statistical significance one needs to know the variability of the logarithmic standard
deviations as a result of random fluctuations in the data. Based on 28 data points this is about 23% at
the 90% confidence level (i.e. 5% probability of falling outside the bound on each side). This is more
than the difference in standard deviations quoted: e.g. 0.21 is 40% greater than 0.15. Thus the
differences are statistically significant.

Taggs in square brackets refer to references in Tables 1 and 2, and are also used to tagg the results
plotted in Figs. 2-4.

Initially the FE1 result had been included in the analysis, and even then it was apparent in a plot of the
errors that this result is an outlier. Possible explanations are given in the discussion section.

A plot of the errors in Eq. 5 on normal probability paper8 is shown in Fig. 5. This is essentially a plot of the
cumulative distribution function (cdf) such that any normal distribution becomes a straight line. The fitted
normal distribution shown in Fig. 5 matches the mean and standard deviation of the data. (I.e. it is
determined by the method of moments, rather than by fitting the data as plotted in Fig. 5.) Also shown in
Fig. 5 are confidence intervals labelled 5% CI and 95% CI. Assuming the fitted distribution is the
correct one, each of the data points is expected to fall9 within these bounds. Since all the data fall within
the confidence intervals, there is no evidence to reject the assumption of a normal distribution for the errors
in Eq. 5. This assumption leads to 2.3 and 97.7 percentile values of the actual friction coefficents shown in
Fig. 4 as dashed orange lines emanating from the origin. For this assumption the variability in the actual
friction coeffcient is proportional to the predicted friction coefficient. Although there is no evidence to
reject this assumption from the statistical test preformed, this does not imply that the assumption is true.
An alternative assumption is to apply the normal distribution to the actual difference between the actual and
the predicted friction factors (i.e. without first taking logarithms). A similar statistical assessment of this
altenative assumption (using confidence intervals) leads to the conclusion that there is also no evidence to
reject it. The resulting 2.3 and 97.7 percentiles are also shown in Fig. 4 as dashed orange lines. These lines
are parallel, have a slope of 1, and do not go through the origin. For this assumption the variability in the
actual friction coefficient does not depend on the predicted value.
The 2.3 and 97.7 percentiles will also be referred to as lower and upper bounds. By examining the scatter
in the data in Fig. 4, it appears that neither of the dashed orange bounds adequately reflects the variability
as a function of the predicted friction coefficient. The variability is neither constant nor proportional to the
prediction, but rather something in between. Therefore the bounds recommended for use in design are
constructed based on engineering judgement guided by the calculated bounds from the alternative
assumptions described above. These bounds are shown in Fig. 4 as red lines labelled as 2.3%ile and
97.7%ile. These bounds are given by
2.3% = 0.05 + 0.7 50%

(7)

97.7% = 0.18 + 1.15 50%

(8)

in which 50% is the predicted friction coeffcient from Eq. 6, which can be taken to be the median friction
coefficient. In definining these bounds not only statistical uncertainty has been considered, but also other
uncertainties regarding applicability of the test data, which are further discussed in the section that follows.

Discussion
Effect of the Pipe Diameter
For sand behaving as an ideally frictional material no scale effects are expected. Nevertheless these scale
effects are observed, with larger diameter pipes experiencing relatively lower soil resistances to lateral
movement. Possible explanations for this include the following:

To plot data x1 x2 xn on normal probability paper, the points (xi, -1((i-1/2)/n)) are ploted for
i=1,2,n. This is a essentially a plot of the estimator for the cumultive distribution function (cdf)
plotted in such a way that a normal distribution becomes a straight line. In this case the x values
represent the natural logarithm of the ratio actual/predicted lateral friction coefficient.

For any given data point there is a 5% probability that it falls outside the confidence interval on either
side. I.e. 90% probability that the data point falls within the confidence interval. These probabilities
apply assuming that the fitted distribution is the correct one, and the data are the outcomes of
probabilistically independent trials. The fact that the mean and standard deviation of the data have been
used to fit a distribution has not been considered in constructing these confidence intervals. Considering
this would tend to narrow the confidence intervals a little.

1) At a larger scale the stresses are proportionally higher. Thus deformation and crushing of the sand
grains could become significant. To account for this effect model tests are sometimes done in a
centrifuge. However here the stress levels here are generally low, even for the largest diameter pipe
considered. It seems unlikely that deformation and crushing of the sand grains would play a
significant role under these conditions.
2) There could be non-proportional frictional effects between the sand grains themselves.
3) Other scale effects, associated with non-continuum behaviour of the sand could play a role. (These
effects would not be accounted for by performing a model test in the centrifuge.)
4) Perhaps the most likely reason for the diameter effect is a change in the relative density of the soil with
depth. It is conceivable that the methods of deposition used result in a surface layer that is in a looser
state than the lower layers. The behaviour of a small diameter pipe will mostly be influenced by the
surface layer, whereas a larger diameter pipe will also be influenced by deeper layers, which typically
will be in a denser state. This suggests less berm formation for larger diameter pipes, and
consequently lower effective friction factors, as has been observed for the larger diameter test data.
To distinguish between effects 1 and 4 from the above list an additional term that is dependent on the soil
unit weight is added to the prediction equation (Eq. 5). Thus Eq. 5 becomes
ln() = ln(a) + b ln() + c ln(D/Do) + d ln( / 0 )

(9)

The effective unit weight of the soil has been added because controls the effective stress levels in the
soil for a given and D: the tests performed under dry conditions involve a higher , and therefore higher
effective stresses in the soil. Optimal fitting leads to d=0.114, and little change in the other parameters10.
Thus the lateral friction coefficient increases with increasing stress levels for a given value of and D.
(Note that for a given an increase in implies an increase in the pipe weight W.) This does not support
the first two possible explanations for the effect of the change in diameter given above.
Other scale effects (Explanation 3 above) also do not seem a likely explanation for the effect of the pipe
diameter. This leaves the variation in relative density with depth (Explanation 4) as the most likely
explanation for the diameter effect. Unfortunately of the tests reported, only those for the Penguins project
[PENt, PENt2] include information on the relative density of the soil, and none include information on the
variation of relative density with depth.
The only truly large diameter pipe result is that from the lateral buckling observations for what is referred
to here as the RG pipeline. For this, the accuracy of the lateral friction factor of 0.5 cannot be confirmed,
because only limited information was available. Also the survey accuracy (around 2m) is not sufficient to
accurately define the shape of the buckle. To check that the conclusions regarding the effect of the
diameter are not dependent on a single questionable data point, the curve fitting procedure was repeated,
excluding the [RGo] result. This did not lead to a significant change in the optimal fit parameters11. Indeed
the optimal fit for the other test data predicts a lateral friction coefficient of 0.503 for the [RGo] condition
which is very close to the observed value of 0.5. Such exceptionally close agreement is fortuitous, but it
remains that the conclusions in regard to the diameter effect do not depend on validity of the [RGo] result.

Effect of Relative Density


Looser soil leads to more berm formation and consequently higher lateral friction coefficients. Since under
Effect of the Pipe Diameter variations of relative density with depth have been identified as an important
parameter, it follows that the relative density itself is also important. Unfortunately little information is
available in regard to this parameter. The only test results for which relative density is reported are those

10

They change from (a,b,c)=(0.706, 0.121, -0.183) to (a,b,c)=(0.689, 0.110, -0.185).

11

No change if the optimal values of the parameters a, b and c are rounded to the first 3 digits after the
decimal period.

for the Penguins project [PENt, PENt2]. These do suggest an increase in lateral friction coefficient for
looser sand, as expected, but this effect is masked by a generally large scatter in those test results. The
relative density has therefore not been included as a parameter in the prediction formula. As a result
variability in relative density of the soil has no doubt contributed to the scatter of the actual friction factors
about the prediction and the upper and lower bound derived from it. Thus for looser soil, the friction
factors are likely to be closer to the upper bound value than the lower bound value. By using these upper
and lower bounds in design one is essentially assuming that the relative density is unknown for the design
condition, just as it is unknown for the test data. Implicit in this approach is the assumption that the
variability in relative density for the test data is representative of the variability for the design condition.
The validity of this should be confirmed by collecting additional information on the friction coefficient
from observations of the buckled shapes of pipelines on the seabed. In lieu of such confirmation, the
separation between upper and lower bounds have been widened based on engineering judgement. Even so
the predictions should not be used for conditions that could lead to exceptionally loose deposits.

Pore Pressure Effects


The process of berm formation and displacement involves shear deformations in the sand. Except for very
loose sands, such shear deformations require dilation of the sand. This is only possible with entrainment of
pore water12. If the permeability is reduced by the presence of fines (silt and/or clay), pore water
entrainment is inhibited, resulting in pore water suction, increased shear strength and suppression of berms.
Without berms the resistance to lateral pipe movements is reduced.
The non-dimensional parameter that controls the importance of these pore pressure effects is v/k, where v
denotes the velocity of the lateral pipe movement and k the permeability of the soil. (Although intuition
may suggest that this pore pressure effect should be diameter dependent, dimensional analysis13
demonstrates that it is not. However, for a given pipe velocity v, a larger pipe is moving at a smaller
number of pipe diameters per unit time.)
Lateral buckling typically involves a dynamic phase in which the pipeline snaps from a straight to a
laterally buckled configuration, followed by a quasi-static phase in which the amplitude of the buckle
increases slowly as the temperature continues to rise. During the dynamic phase, the velocities are large
compared to the soil permeability. Thus berm formation is suppressed during this phase. It is not the intent
here to estimate the friction coeffcient for this dynamic part of the response. The dynamic phase merely
provides an initial out-of-straightness (OOS) for the subsequent quasi-static part of the response. In most
cases initial OOS will be deliberately included in the pipeline to trigger the lateral buckles, whereby the
initial dynamic part of the response is eliminated.
Typically it takes less than 1hour for the pipe to heat up from ambient temperature to the full operating
temperature, and the total lateral displacement is typically less than 10m. Thus a typical velocity is
v=7.2m/hour (2mm/s). If this is small compared to the permeability of the soil, pore pressure effects
should be neglegible. Otherwise pore water effects could be significant, but as far is the upper bound to the
friction factor is concerened, it is conservative to neglect this.
To what extent these pore pressure effects may have affected the test results used can be investigated by
comparing the tests in air to those in water. This is done by evaluating the geometric average of the ratio of
12

Here the possibility of cavitation is not included, because this requires rather a large pore water suction,
of the order of the atmospheric pressure of 100kPa for tests performed at negligible water depth, and
even larger suction at greater water depth, e.g. 1100kPa at 100m water depth. This is of the order of 100
times more than the expected levels of pore water suction that would suppress berm formation.

13

This is based on the assumption that the sand is characterised by non-dimensional parameters only. I.e.
deformation and/or crushing of the sand grains themselves is neglected. Under such conditions the
lateral friction coefficient depends only on the non-dimensional parameters characterising the effective
stress response of the sand, and on the parameters v, k, D, , and W. By dimensional analysis the latter 5
parameters are reduced to v/k, and only.

actual/predicted lateral friction coeffcient. This is 1.03 for the dry tests, and 0.99 for the wet tests, a 4%
difference. This is not statistically convincing.14 Nevertheless pore pressure effects could well have
contributed to this difference, as could the higher effective stresses for the dry tests, as discussed above
under Effect of Pipe Diameter.

Angularity of the Sand Grains


This is reflected in the angle of internal friction of the soil at critical state. This angle typically does not
vary greatly for natural deposits, and it is therefore unlikely that variations in angularity of the grains will
significantly affect the lateral friction coefficient beyond what has been accounted for in constructing the
upper and lower bounds.

Roughness of the Pipe Coating


This parameter was investigated in [Ly73]. For his small scale tests with a 1-inch (25.4mm) diameter pipe,
he found a 26% increase in friction coefficient when the pipe was coated with 100-grit sandpaper, when
compared to the bare pipe results. However at a larger scale (9-inch diameter) he reports no appreciable
surface roughness effect when comparing concrete-coated to bare pipe.
Examining the lateral friction coefficient data collected (excluding [FE1]) it is found that 10 of the pipes
were bare, and the other 18 were coated, either with concrete or sandpaper. Comparing the geometric
averages for the ratio of actual/predicted lateral friction coeffcients, it is found that the bare pipes have on
average a 1.1% higher friction coefficient than the coated pipes. This difference is not in the expected
direction, but it is also not statistically significant. The standard deviation of this difference is 6%. Thus
the data do not show a statistically significant influence of the coating roughness.

Thin Sand Layer Effect


Both in Qatar and in the North Sea a veneer of sand often overlies a stiffer substrate. This can reasonably
be expected to reduce berm formation, and thus also reduce the lateral stiffness. However for large lateral
displacements even a thin layer can provide sufficient sand to form a berm. From the finite element
analysis [FE1], the maximum downward pipe displacement is only about 10% of the pipe diameter, and
occurs before the berm is fully formed. At steady state the pipe is roughly at the original seabed elevation,
as it must be based on conservation of the volume of sand. Similar downward displacements were obtained
in tests [PENt] for loose sand, and considerably less (by a factor of 2 or more) for dense sand. Also neither
the tests nor the FE analyses revealed any obviour deep deformation mechanisms. Although it is
conceivable that this is mere a matter of failure to oberserve such mechanisms, such mechanisms are
judged unlikely because of the increasing strength of the sand with depth due to the confinig stress from the
overburden. In view of the above, the behaviour for sand layer thickesses of half a pipe diameter or more is
expected to be independent of the actual thickness of the layer. Additional tests and/or FE analyses could
confirm this, and possibly increase the range of validity to smaller thicknesses of the sand layer.

Finite Element Analysis Results


The finite element analysis results [FE1] were calculated using ABAQUS Explicit, and an Aribtrary
Lagrangian Eulerian (ALE) formulation. This means that the mesh need not deform with the soil. Instead
the soil can flow through the mesh, and the deformations of the mesh are chosen independently as a
function of changes in geometry, to maintain a good shape of the elements, and refinement of the mesh
where needed.

14

Based on only 6 dry tests and 22 wet tests, the standard deviation of the difference is 6%. I.e. the 4%
difference represents only 0.7 standard deviations, which could easily be the the result in random chance
rather than a physical underlying phenomenon.

A typical result from [FE1] is shown in Fig. 6. It shows the berm and the velocity field within the berm as
seen from an observer moving with the pipe. Even though the probem is analysed as a 2-dimensional plane
strain problem, and a simple non-dilational Drucker-Prager constitutive model is used for the soil, the
computations turned out to be particularly challenging, and it was necessary to introduce some artifical
stabilisation (in the form of viscosity, and and a kind of surface tension that is introduced when the slope of
the berm becomes too steep). In some simulations the berm would formed and would then disappear again
for some reason, possibly because of the surface tension that was introduced when the berm became too
steep. (From elementary slope stability considerations, the slope of the berm cannot exceed the angle of
internal friction of the soil.)
In addition to the difficulty of obtaining a coverged solution for a given soil consistutive model, there is the
difficulty of constructing a constitutive model that represents the true behaviour of the sand. Typical
relationships between shear strain and dilation in a drained triaxial compression test are shown in Fig. 7.
Sand tends to dialate under shear deformation. This is especially true at the low confining pressures
present where these shear deformations occur. Eventually a critical state condition is reached at which the
sand continues to deform in shear without further dilation. There is also increased resistance to shear
deformation during the dilation phase, which gives rise to a peak in the stress-strain curve for dense sand.
In the Drucker-Prage constintutive model used neither dilation, nor the peak in the stress-strain curve is
included. The parameters of the model have been chosen such that under plane strain conditions the model
is equivalent to a Mohr-Coulomb model. Plastic deformations occur as soon as the shear stresses on some
plane exceed tan() of the normal effective compressive stress, where is take to be the critical state angle
of internal friction for which =32 is used in [FE1]. The plastic deformations then occur without strain
hardening according to a non-associated flow rule with zero dilation. The only other constitutive model
parameters are those governing elastic deformations of the soil, for which E=1MPa is used for Youngs
modulus, and =0.3 for Poissons ratio.
Without dilation or a peak in the stress-strain curve the constitutive model represents loose sand. As such it
is not surprising that a considerable berm forms in the [FE1] results, leading to a high resistance to lateral
movement. What was not expected, however, is that the FE result would fall considerably outside a band
including all test resuts.
A factor that contributes to the high friction factor in [FE1] is the use of the peak lateral resistance, since a
clear steady state was never reached, as can be seen from Fig. 815. If the small plateau in the time range
from 30s to 40s in Fig. 8 where used instead of the peak, the lateral friction factor drops from 1.2 to about
1.15. This is still outside the range of the test data. For this reason it was decided not to use the finite
element predictions.

15

The pipe first diggs itself in, then rises above the original seabed level (which corresponds to zero
vertical displacement in Fig. 8). The highes lateral resistance approximately when the pipe has risen to
the original seabed level. Then for some reason the berm diminishes, possibly due to the surface tension
stabilisation applied when the slope of the berm exceeded tan( 1.05 ).

Tables
Ref.
Tag
TRG

Reference

Comments

Taylor, N., Richardson, D., and


Gan, A.B., "On Submarine
Pipeline Frictional
Characteristics in the Presence
of Buckling," 4th Int. Offshore
Mechanics and Arctic
Engineering Symposium, Vol. 1,
pp. 508-515.

Ly73

Lyons, C.G., (1973), "Soil


Resistance to Lateral Sliding of
Marine Pipelines," Offshore
Technology Conference,
American Inst of Mining,
Metallurgical, and Petroleum
Engineers, Inc., Paper No. OTC
1876.

GVV

Gulhati, S.K., Venkatapparao,


G., Varadarajan, A., "Positional
Stability of Submarine
Pipelines."
Peek, R., Matheson, I., Carr, M.,
Saunders, P., and George, N.,
"Thermal Expansion by Lateral
Buckling - Structural Reliability
Analysis for the Penguins
Flowline," Proc. 23rd Int. Conf.
on Offshore Mechanics and
Arctic Engineering, June 20-25,
2004, Vancouver, Canada,
Paper No. OMAE 2004-51199.
Craig, W.H., "Model Tests for
Pipe-Soil Interactions, Penguin
Production Pipeline," Report to
KW Limited by Flowscience Ltd.,
April 2002.

* Maximum load reached at about 180mm displ. No


evidence of drop in resistance thereafter.
* Berm "gradually growing in height. Full
mobilisation was preceeded by pipe rising over the
[Berm]"
* D50 ~ 0.25mm, range 0.1mm to 1mm (rep North
Sea), "medium to find sand"
* Dry Testing. Only grading curve provided for soil.
* Each test 4 times, average recorded.
* Assumed "overhang" is on both sides. Pipe weight
per unit length in contact with soil is taken as (1/0.7)
the pipe weight per unit length given in the paper.
* Pipes pulled at an slope of 3v:4h (break out)
* Only "ultimate" data used. Lift subtracted from
weight, but full weight may have caused
embeddment.
* Test in water.
* At "ultimate" pipe "suddenly began to slide" i.e.
peak resistance.
* Small scale tests on 1-inch diameter
pipes(Ly73ss).
* Large scale tests on 9-inch & 16-inch diameter
pipes (Ly73ls).
* Only tests in soil 1 (sand) included here.
* Tests assumed to be in water, even though this
appears not to be explicitly stated (affects nondimensional weight only).
* Based on test data logonormal distribution with
median of 0.85 and logarithmic standard deviation of
0.172 estimated.
* 3 Data points for plotting are generated from the
estimated distribution, such that
F(xi) = (i-0.5)/n
where n=number of data=3, F(x) = normsdist(
ln(x/0.85)/0.172 )

PENt

PENt2

Table 1:

* Test report for PENt.


* 1.768kg/m3 / 1.393kg/m3 = max/min dry density
* 4.5mm sieve to remove larger components
* 22% rel density for advancing slope, 90% "Kango"
vibrating hammer.
* Plexiglass models FBE coating on pipe.

Sources of test data for lateral friction coefficients.

10

Ref.
Tag
FE1

PENo

RGo

Table 2:

Reference

Comments

Schalkwijk, R., and Witasse, R.,


2D Finite Element analysis of
Lateral Movement of a Pipeline
on Non-Dilational Sand,
December 2005.
Matheson, I., Telecom regarding
on-bottom behaviour of
Penguins flowline, November
2005.
Effective Lateral Friction
Coefficients from Observed
Lateral buckling behaviour of a
subsea pipeline.

* 20-inch diameter pipe


* Durcker-Prager soil model, phi=32deg, psi=0,
E=1MPa, v=0.3.
* Models loose sand under conditions of perfect
drainage.
A friction coeffcient of around 0.8 gives the best
agreement between observed and predicted lateral
buckling response.
* Friction coefficient of 0.5 to fit FE results to
observations.
* Soil though to have been silty, but this could not be
confirmed during the workshop (siltiness can
suppress berm formation).
* Few details provided at presentation. Cannot
confirm or judge accuracy of estimate.

Data sources for lateral friction coeffcients estimated by matching predicted to observed buckle
shapes, and from finite element (FE) analysis of a pipe dragged along the seafloor, as a plane
strain problem.

11

Figures
D
Imposed Lateral
Displacement, u

Pipe Submerged Weight, W


H

L
Fig. 1:

Illustration of berms formation during lateral buckling.

1.6
1.4

Lateral Friction Coefficient

1.2
1
0.8
0.6
0.4

TRG

Ly73ss

Ly73ls

GVV

PENt

PENo

RGo

FE1

0.2
0
0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.2

1.4

1.6

1.8

Normalised Pipe Weight

Fig. 2:

Lateral friction coefficients as a function of the normalised pipe weight =W/( D2/4). (See
Tables 1 & 2 for references to sources of test data.)

12

1.6
1.4

Lateral Friction Coefficient

1.2

TRG

Ly73ss

Ly73ls

GVV

PENt

PENo

RGo

FE1

1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
0

200

400

600

800

1000

1200

Pipe Diameter (mm)

Fig. 3:

Lateral friction coefficients as a function of the pipe diameter, D.

1.5

TRG
Ly73ss
Ly73ls
GVV
PENt
PENo
RGo
FE1
97.7%ile
2.3%ile

Actual Lateral Friction Factor, mua

1.25

mua = 0.18 + 1.15 mup

mua = 0.05 + 0.7 mup

0.75

0.5

0.25

0
0

0.25

0.5

0.75

Predicted Lateral Friction Factor, mup

Fig. 4:

Comparison between actual and predicted lateral friction factors .

13

1.25

1.5

2.5
2
1.5
Standard Normal Variable, Z

Lognormal fit
1
0.5

Data

0
-0.3

-0.2

-0.1

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

-0.5

5% CI

The 5% and 95% confidence intervals (CI)


represent the expected spread for the data
assuming that the fitted distribution is the
correct distribution. I.e. data outside the
confidence interval would be evidence to
reject the fitted distribution.

-1
-1.5
95% CI

-2

-2.5
ln(Actual/Predicted) Lateral Friction Factor

Distribution of differences between actual and predicted lateral friction coefficients. These are
ploted such that the lognormal distribution is represented by a straight line.

Fig. 6:

Velocity field within the berm as seen from an observer moving with the pipe, from [FE1]
Dilation
(% change in Volume)

Fig. 5:

Dense

Medium
Dense

Shear Strain
Loose

Fig. 7:

Typical dilation behaviour of sand.

14

Vertical Displacement, m

Lateral Force (N)

Time (s) at Velocity v=0.13m/s (0.25 pipe diameters per second)


Fig. 8:

Additional results from [FE1]: lateral force and vertical displacement as a function of time. (The
lateral displacement of the pipe is specified at a constant velocity of 0.13m/s. The pipe weight is
638N, and the diameter 0.508m.)

1
0.9
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4

Pipe Spec Gravity - 1


LB Frict Coefficient
Median Frict Coeff
Upper Bound Frict Coeff

0.3
0.2
0.1
0
0

50

100

Concrete Thickness (mm)

Fig. 9:

Results for Example Problem with varying thickness of concrete coating.

15

150