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Response of armour rock-scour protection to earthquake-induced liquefaction for offshore wind applications

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Diarmid, Xu 
Abadie, Christelle 
Madabhushi, Gopal 
Harris, John 
Whitehouse, Richard 


Offshore wind is an abundant and indispensable source of renewable energy which recently has seen rapid expansion in East Asia and North America. Soil profiles in East Asia can typically include shallow layers of loose, liquefiable sand overlying competent soil strata which may impact the stability of both the foundation and the scour protection during an earthquake. When employed, scour protection is key to the stability and long-term operation of the wind turbine, and typically consists of graded rocks placed around the foundation to prevent the localised erosion of the soil and any degradation in the foundation behaviour that scour may cause. However, there is limited data currently available on the behaviour of scour protection on liquefiable soils. This paper presents the results of a saturated dynamic centrifuge test that explores the behaviour of large armour rock scour protection on liquefiable soils during seismic events. The use of a combination of sensors and particle image velocimetry enable the recording of rock settlements, accelerations and in particular interstitial pore pressure. The results show that the rock protection prevents the soil beneath it from reaching full liquefaction, but nevertheless, sustains significant settlement during small to medium input motions. The results form the basis for further research into the behaviour of rock protection under dynamic cyclic loading to ensure robust design in seismically active zones.



Journal Title

Physical Modelling in Geotechnics

Conference Name

10th International Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics

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Publisher DOI

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EPSRC (2434693)