A key metocean hazard is solitons which are ubiquitous in the global ocean and impose hazardous hydrodynamic loading on offshore facilities. On the North West Shelf of Western Australia, for example, internal waves are generated twice daily by the tide pushing stratified water up and down the continental slope which induces intense current bursts typically lasting one hour. Predicting the location and intensity of this hazard is particularly challenging and existing methods are highly conservative. The original aim of this project was to quantify the soliton hazard in the North West Shelf by using field observations to evaluate a detailed numerical model which will allow for better prediction of total design current at any location in the study area. This will allow for improved design of both floating systems and subsea facilities.
You can read about the key outcomes from Project One in the OFFshore ITRH Research Compendium.