The seabed environment has always posed unique challenges for offshore developers, whether in pursuit of O&G reserves, renewable energy, or marine minerals. The build-out of safe and sustainable offshore infrastructure is fundamentally reliant on robust geotechnical analysis of seabed soil and bedrock conditions. While initially born out of onshore geotechnical practices, today, offshore geotechnics is a standalone discipline governed by independent codes and technical standards. After all, offshore assets—which typically tower hundreds of meters above their foundations—are subject to greater environmental lateral loads (moment loading relative to structure weight caused by wind, waves, and currents) and a wider range of location-specific geohazards than their land-based counterparts.
Protection of subsea cables or pipelines is an essential part of any offshore development project, and one of the principal methods of protection is burial using a trenching machine. Survey work is an intrinsic part of any trenching project, both offshore and onshore.