Simulation of Wave-Plus-Current Scour beneath Submarine Pipelines

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    A fully coupled hydrodynamic and morphologic numerical model was utilized for the simulation of wave-plus-current scour beneath submarine pipelines. The model was based on incompressible Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations, coupled with k-ω turbulence closure, with additional bed and suspended load descriptions forming the basis for seabed morphology. The model was successfully validated against experimental measurements involving scour development and eventual equilibrium in pure-current flows over a range of Shields parameters characteristic of both clear-water and live-bed regimes. This validation complements previously demonstrated accuracy for the same model in simulating pipeline scour processes in pure-wave environments. The model was subsequently utilized to simulate combined wave-plus-current scour over a wide range of combined Keulegan–Carpenter numbers and relative current strengths. The resulting equilibrium scour depths and trends were shown to be in accordance with existing experimentally based expressions from the literature. The variety of scour profile types emerging under various flow conditions is detailed and reconciled with experimental observations. The resulting matrix of scour depth time series was systematically analyzed, resulting in a new generalized expression for the scour time scale in combined wave-plus-current flow environments. This expression is fully consistent with existing experimentally based relations at both pure-current and pure-wave limits and is appropriate for engineering use.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number04016003
    JournalJournal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering
    Issue number5
    Number of pages14
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Scour
    • Pipelines
    • Sediment transport
    • Morphology
    • Combined waves and current
    • Timescale
    • Turbulence modeling
    • k-v model


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