Numerical investigation of wave-plus-current induced scour beneath two submarine pipelines in tandem

Yuzhu Li, Muk Chen Ong*, David R. Fuhrman, Bjarke Eltard Larsen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Two-dimensional (2D) local scour beneath two submarine pipelines in tandem under wave-plus-current conditions is investigated numerically. A fully-coupled hydrodynamic and morphologic model based on unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) equations with the k−ω turbulence closure is applied. The model is validated against existing experimental measurements involving live-bed scour beneath a single pipeline and beneath two pipelines in tandem, respectively. The model is then employed to simulate scour beneath two tandem pipelines under wave-plus-current conditions for a variety of Keulegan-Carpenter (KC) numbers and relative current strengths. Horizontal gap ratios (the horizontal gap distance between two pipelines divided by the pipeline diameter) ranging from 1 to 4 are modelled. It is found that for conditions involving waves plus a low-strength current, the scour pattern beneath two pipelines behaves like that in the pure-wave condition. Conversely, when the current has equal strength to the wave-induced flow, the scour pattern beneath two pipelines resembles that in the pure-current condition. It is also observed that in the pure-wave condition the equilibrium scour depth beneath each pipeline is affected by both KC and the horizontal gap ratio, except for KC=5.6. For such a small KC, the horizontal gap ratio has insignificant influence on the equilibrium scour depth, since vortex shedding does not occur. When the current strength relative to the waves is low, the scour development beneath the upstream and the downstream pipelines are similar. However, when the current has equal strength to the waves, the scour development beneath the downstream pipeline has a different pattern to that upstream. Namely, smaller horizontal gap ratios result in delayed scour beneath the downstream pipeline.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103619
JournalCoastal engineering
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Pipelines in tandem
  • Scour
  • Turbulence modeling
  • Wave and current

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