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Hydrodynamics and risk analysis of iceberg impacts with offshore structures McTaggart, Kevin Andrew


The evaluation of design iceberg impact loads for offshore structures and the influence of hydrodynamic effects on impact loads are examined. Important hydrodynamic effects include iceberg added mass, wave-induced oscillatory iceberg motions, and the influence of a large structure on the surrounding flow field and subsequent velocities of approaching icebergs. The significance of these phenomena has been investigated using a two-body numerical diffraction model and through a series of experiments modelling the drift of various sized icebergs driven by waves and currents approaching a large offshore structure. Relevant findings from the hydrodynamic studies have been incorporated into two probabilistic models which can be used to determine design iceberg collision events with a structure based on either iceberg kinetic energy upon impact or global sliding force acting on the structure. Load exceedence probabilities from the kinetic energy and sliding force models are evaluated using the second-order reliability method. Output from the probabilistic models can be used to determine design collision parameters and to assess whether more sophisticated modelling of various impact processes is required. The influence of the structure on velocities of approaching icebergs is shown to be significant when the structure horizontal dimension is greater than twice the iceberg dimension. As expected, wave-induced oscillatory motions dominate the collision velocity for smaller icebergs but have a negligible effect on velocity for larger icebergs.

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