Coupled stability of offshore wind monopile foundations and submarine slopes under periodic loads

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Long-term cyclic loading on offshore wind monopiles will lead to a decrease in the mechanical properties of the seabed near the monopile's foundation, therefore, causing instability of the submarine slope and the monopile foundation. To capture the accumulation strain caused by high cycle numbers and plastic deformation of seabed sands, the high cycle accumulation (HCA) model is complied with Mohr-Coulomb constitutive models. The shear strength reduction (SSR) method is used to obtain the safety factor of submarine slopes. The coupled numerical model simulates a 6 MW offshore monopile foundation with a single periodic lateral load applied on the monopile at the sea level, which represents concentrated wind and wave loads in storm conditions. The results show that the plastic zones begin to form at the monopile foundation, then extends towards the slope toe and slope top, and eventually across the entire slope, leading to slope instability. In this process, the safety factor of the slope is significantly reduced with each stage of the process. It was found that both the sharp changes of load amplitude and large average load also decreases the safety factors. Moreover, at the beginning of the monopile installation, the safety factor will increase by nearly 10%, but it will drop by nearly 30% due to long-term periodic lateral loads. Therefore, these have important implications for the installation of monopile foundations for offshore wind turbines (OWTs) since the slopes we consider are within the range of slopes at planned sites for OWTs. An increase in monopile diameter and embedded depth can enhance the overall slope stability. However, an increase in embedded depth could potentially instigate more extensive seabed landslides despite enhancing overall stability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103714
JournalApplied Ocean Research
Early online date21 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • High cycle accumulation model
  • Monopile foundation
  • Offshore wind power
  • Submarine landslides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ocean Engineering

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