Finite Element Modeling of Iceberg Interaction with Subsea Protection Structures

Drover, E. (Memorial University) | Kenny, S. (Memorial University)


Although subsea fields have been developed in ice gouge environments, such as the Grand Banks, consideration of alternative methods for protecting subsea infrastructure is of great importance. A more in-depth understanding of ice feature mechanical behavior and interaction with subsea infrastructure is required. For various iceberg shapes and loading conditions, the finite element models presented in this paper examine the interaction of free-floating ice features with protective structures located above or partially above the mudline. A preliminary assessment of an interaction scenario involving a gouging iceberg keel with a buried protection structure is also presented. The outcome of this study enhances understanding of the primary factors to be considered for the design of protection structures in ice environments and highlights some of the technical issues associated with the development and calibration of advanced simulation tools. Introduction For conventional design scenarios, protection schemes have been developed for pipelines and subsea wellheads that include rock placement, mattresses, and structural frames comprised of steel or concrete (e.g.