Probability of unsatisfactory performance of monopile foundations for offshore wind turbines considering variations in seabed properties

Orakci O., Huvaj N., François S., Anoyatis G.

Ocean Engineering, vol.277, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 277
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.oceaneng.2023.114335
  • Journal Name: Ocean Engineering
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, Environment Index, ICONDA Bibliographic, INSPEC, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Monopiles, Offshore wind turbines, Probabilistic, Sand, Uncertainty
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Safe design of monopiles for Offshore Wind Turbines (OWT) requires an accurate estimation of the foundation soil material properties. Uncertainty in soils is mainly due to their inherent variability which involves various spatial and temporal processes they have been exposed to over their natural geological process. The limited amount of information from geotechnical investigations in the seabed, considering the size of OWT farms, adds to the uncertainty. Commonly used deterministic design approaches idealize soil layers by assigning average values to the mechanical soil properties and make use of empirical correlations that can significantly differ from offshore conditions. Probabilistic design approaches have been suggested in the literature to account for the effect of uncertainties on the foundation's performance by applying a coefficient of variation (COV) to soil properties. Such methods include theoretical investigations by applying selected COV values to predetermined mean CPT profiles for sands and undrained shear strength for clays. This study calculates the probability of unsatisfactory performance, Pfsys, of monopiles in sands by implementing variation in friction angle and unit weight using current API and DNV-GL design guidelines. Monte Carlo Simulation is employed to generate random fields using lognormal, normal, and uniform distributions. Pfsys is presented for a case study found in the literature and a design exercise for which local COV for the Belgian coast is also proposed.