Response-based reliability contours for complex marine systems considering short and long-term variability

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Evaluating marine system reliability requires considering the interaction of a limit state with the stochastic ocean excitation. Given a range of operational profiles, a relevant question is which sea states lead to the worst-case system responses, considering the effects of short and long-term variability. If the identified subset of operational profiles indeed leads to the worst-case system responses, it is possible to assess lifetime system performance without unnecessary computational effort via this directed set of conditions. Environmental contour methods identify rare sea states assumed to excite rare responses but generally do not include response dynamics when choosing these sea states. For systems with limit states involving combined loading or with multiple failure modes, rare environmental conditions may not exclusively lead to rare responses. In this case, the response cannot be severed from the identification of relevant sea conditions but should instead drive that identification. This paper illustrates a way to construct response-based reliability contours that identify sea states most relevant for analyzing rare responses of marine systems. These sea states are compared with sea states identified by environmental contours, showing the effect on perceived system risk levels when system dynamics, short-term response variability, and long-term environmental variability are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102332
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Ocean Research
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Combined loading
  • Environmental contours
  • Long-term environmental variability
  • Rare responses
  • Reliability
  • Response contours
  • Short-term response variability
  • Stiffened ship panel collapse


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