This paper addresses the response of seabed sands subjected to underlying normal fault movement. This problem is relevant to the design of overlying offshore structures and subsea oil/gas pipelines connecting offshore platforms to the shoreline. The propagation of the faulting offset in seabed sediments is explored using 2D finite element modeling. Abaqus© is used as a numerical platform in modeling this complex problem, while accounting for nonlinear soil behavior with strain softening. Different dip angles and vertical fault displacements of up to 10% of the soil layer thickness were considered. The results include the effect of the relative density of the seabed sands on the extent and magnitude of ground surface deformations. The required bedrock displacement/offset for the rupture to reach the surface and the length and location of the distorted zone are also reported. The results show that the cases of loose sands and larger soil layer thicknesses result in larger distorted zones and that larger bedrock displacements are required for the fault base rupture to propagate to the surface. At low dip angles, graben formation is observed at small bedrock displacements. Based on the parametric analyses and results presented in this paper, observations related to the potential magnitudes and extents of surface deformations for various conditions of seabed densities and thicknesses are provided. These would be of importance in determining likely effects of distortion/loading on pipelines and offshore structures crossing the fault zone.



The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research, the Masri Institute, and the University Research Board at the American University of Beirut for supporting the research of the geotechnical group in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lama Thebian
    • 1
    Email author
  • Salah Sadek
    • 1
  • Shadi Najjar
    • 1
  • Mounir Mabsout
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon

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