New insights into the failure mechanisms of horizontal plate anchors in clay during pull-out

Soroosh Jalilvand, Kenneth Gavin, Vinayagamoothy Sivakumar, Robert B. Gilbert, Aaron Bradshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


Offshore wind developments are moving towards deep-water regions where energy is abundant, visual impact is minimised and the larger turbine sizes can make the energy production more cost-effective. One of the key challenges facing the industry is the development of reliable substructures. While fixed foundation systems are widely used for shallow-water (<60 m) developments, permanent anchors are seen as one of the most viable mooring solutions for floating structures in deep water. In the current study, the pull-out behaviour of square plate anchors in clay was investigated using large-displacement finite-element analysis. The anchor capacity and failure mechanism were considered for a range of embedment ratios and undrained shear strengths. Three distinct modes of anchor failure identified in previous studies were examined through the analysis of four descriptors including: the pull-out capacity of the anchor, the pull-out displacement required to mobilise this capacity, the energy absorbed by the anchor during pull-out and the variation of the pull-out capacity with respect to a normalised overburden pressure. The findings of the study are presented in the form of a series of charts that can aid design through understanding of the factors controlling the development of anchor failure modes, in addition to identifying the transition point between different failure mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-199
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • anchors & anchorages
  • finite-element modelling
  • offshore engineering


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