Developing sound methods to evaluate risk of seabed mobility and alteration of sediment transport patterns in the near-shore coastal regions due to the presence of Offshore Wind (OW) infrastructure is critical to project planning, permitting, and operations. OW systems may include seafloor foundations, cabling, floating structures with gravity anchors, or a combination of several of these systems. Installation of these structures may affect the integrity of the sediment bed, thus affecting seabed dynamics and stability. It is therefore necessary to evaluate hydrodynamics and seabed dynamics and the effects of OW subsea foundations and cables on sediment transport.
A methodology is presented here to map a site's sediment (seabed) stability and can in turn support the evaluation of the potential for these processes to affect OW deployments and the local ecology. Sediment stability risk maps are developed for a site offshore of Central Oregon. A combination of geophysical site characterization, metocean analysis, and numerical modeling is used to develop a quantitative assessment of local scour and overall seabed stability. The findings generally show the presence of structures reduces the sediment transport in the lee area of the array by altering current and wave fields. The results illustrate how the overall regional patterns of currents and waves influence local scour near pilings and cables.