Abstract

A three-dimensional, freeze-bonded, Discrete Element Method (DEM) numerical model has been developed to simulate various ice rubble/ridge interaction scenarios. The numerical model was validated against the physical tests conducted by C-CORE under the Pipeline Ice Risk Assessment and Mitigation (PIRAM) Joint Industry Project. Accurate representation of ice block geometries and sizes distributions was achieved using clumped particles, rather than the traditional DEM spheres. With the use of clumped ice blocks the numerical model was able to characterize the initial keel conditions (macro porosity and freeze bond contacts) and capture interlocking behavior between ice blocks. A DEM gravel seabed model was then introduced to the clumped ice block model to allow for better representation of soil response during the simulated experiments. The main features of these model developments are described in this paper, along with a comparison of simulated results and large scale physical test results. From this work it was concluded that: (1) clumped ice blocks give more representative ice block shapes for an ice keel than spherical ice blocks, which better capture ice block interactions and overall ridge keel properties and behavior; and (2) a DEM model of the seabed gravel provided a better representation of the seabed than was possible with a continuous stiffness plane, which had important implications for modelling the keel-seabed interactions. The development and inclusion of these two new model features were found to significantly improve the accuracy of the DEM model in reproducing physical test results, while still being sufficiently computationally efficient as to allow for simulation of interactions full-scale ice ridges.

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