All About Offshore Geotechnical Engineering


Geotechnical engineering refers to the design of the foundations for man-made structures which are in the ocean, located off of the coastline of the land. Examples of such structures would include oil rigs, pipelines which have been laid underneath the ocean and artificial islands. There are, naturally, significant differences in terms of what must be done in regards to geotechnical engineering when done offshore versus when it is performed on land. Not the least of which is the need for ground improvement and investigation of the actual location itself. There are also more hazards that geotechnical engineering Seattle is faced with due to the tumultuousness of the ocean itself and the financial risks are greater in the event of failure.

When geotechnical engineering is done in a subsea environment, the materials which make up the seabed are considered two different materials, these being the minerals and rock which make up the bed of the ocean and the water itself. The structures which are built can be one of-of either two options. They can be fixed into place directly into the bed of the ocean or they may also be structures that float but that are also anchored in a relative fashion to a pre-determined location on the surface.

Oil platforms are a prime example of engineered structures which must be moored into place by advanced geotechnical means. The mooring systems used are generally either tension-leg or catenary loose systems. The tension legs provide moments of large restoring when the waters pitch and roll. The catenary loose systems do not provide such stiffness when the tension is low.

Due to the rigors that offshore geotechnical structures face on a daily basis, their serviceability and lifespan are much shorter than that of those which are located exclusively on land.

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