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A cone penetration test (CPT) approach to cable plough performance prediction based upon centrifuge model testing

Robinson, S. and Brown, M. and Matsui, H. and Brennan, A. and Augarde, C. E. and Coombs, W. M. and Cortis, M. (2021) 'A cone penetration test (CPT) approach to cable plough performance prediction based upon centrifuge model testing.', Canadian geotechnical journal., 58 (10). pp. 1466-1477.


Cable ploughing is an important technique for burying and protecting offshore cables. The ability to predict the required tow force and plough performance is essential to allow vessel selection and project programming. Existing tow force models require calibration against full-scale field testing to determine empirical parameters, which may hinder their use. In this study the factors controlling the plough resistance were investigated using a series of dry and saturated 1/50<sup>th</sup> scale model cable plough tests in sand in a geotechnical centrifuge at 50g at a range of target trench depths, sand relative densities and plough velocities. An improved model for predicting cable plough tow force which separates out the key components of resistance and allows tow force prediction without the use of field-derived empirical coefficients is presented. It is demonstrated that the key parameters in this model can be easily determined from in-situ Cone Penetration Testing (CPT), allowing it to be used offshore where site investigation techniques may be more limited compared to onshore locations. The model is validated against the centrifuge cable plough tests, demonstrating it can correctly predict both the static (dry) and rate effect (saturated) tow forces.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Date accepted:18 November 2020
Date deposited:19 November 2020
Date of first online publication:23 November 2020
Date first made open access:24 November 2021

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