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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/Y00132X/1
Title: Submarine mass movements and their interaction with critical offshore infrastructure
Principal Investigator: Leonardi, Dr A
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
British Geological Survey Geowynd
Department: Civil and Structural Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 December 2023 Ends: 31 May 2025 Value (£): 164,877
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Coastal & Waterway Engineering Ground Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
24 May 2023 ECR International Collaboration Grants Panel 2 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The expansion of the current domestic wind power capacity is key to hit the energy security targets of the UK. It is also a significant contributor to the reduction of our dependency on fossil fuels, and to the achievement of net zero emissions by 2050. Wind power relies on infrastructure such as offshore foundations, pipelines, and power cables, all of which are exposed to hazard from ground instabilities. In particular, submarine landslides have the potential of disrupting services by cutting power cables, leading to operational disruptions and costly repairs. In order to ensure that engineers provide effective and efficient power transmission systems, predictive models of landslide-infrastructure interaction need to be developed.

Available geotechnical approaches for estimating the impact of a submarine landslide on infrastructure rely on the application of scaled laboratory models, placed within a geotechnical centrifuge. However, uncertainties in the relevant centrifuge scaling laws make applications of test data to wider engineering practice problematic. This project aims to address this knowledge gap by combining the development of a numerical model with experimental work at a world-leading facility at Delft Institute of Technology (the Netherlands). Direct measurements of velocity, pore water pressure, and structure deformation will be performed the in experiments. The measurements will be compared with the results of simulations at different scales, thus allowing the isolation of scaling effects.

This project aims to expand the use of the geotechnical centrifuge to encompass problems of interaction between submerged landslides and flexible power cables. Such an expansion, it is envisaged, will foster the next generation of hazard assessment strategies. Engineers will be able to make a better judgement on whether their designs are resilient, and to design more appropriate and effective mitigation systems.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk