Monopile is the most commonly used foundation type for offshore wind turbines. The local scour at a monopile foundation generated by the incoming shear flow has significant influence on both quasi-static lateral responses and dynamic responses of the monopile. This chapter focuses particularly on characterizing the local scour in both spatial and temporal scales and revealing the scour mechanisms associated with the flow field around a monopile. The predicting methods for the equilibrium scour depth and the time scale of scour are detailed under various representative flow conditions in the marine environment. The scale effect while extrapolating the results of model tests to prototype conditions is highlighted. The local scour imposes significant influence not only on the deformation and stiffness of the monopile foundation, but also on the natural frequency and fatigue life of the structure system. Monopiles with diameters up to 10 m have become a feasible option as the industry is currently advancing into deeper waters. More meticulous considerations for monopile design associated with the scour depth prediction and evaluation of scour effects are still in need to efficiently minimize the cost while remaining safety simultaneously.
Part of the book: Geotechnical Engineering