LI Yanlong, HU Gaowei, WU Nengyou, LIU Changling, CHEN Qiang, LI Chen’an. Undrained shear strength evaluation for hydrate-bearing sediment overlying strata in the Shenhu area, northern South China Sea[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2019, 38(3): 114-123. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1404-8
Citation: LI Yanlong, HU Gaowei, WU Nengyou, LIU Changling, CHEN Qiang, LI Chen’an. Undrained shear strength evaluation for hydrate-bearing sediment overlying strata in the Shenhu area, northern South China Sea[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2019, 38(3): 114-123. doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1404-8

Undrained shear strength evaluation for hydrate-bearing sediment overlying strata in the Shenhu area, northern South China Sea

doi: 10.1007/s13131-019-1404-8
  • Received Date: 2018-01-10
  • The undrained shear strength of shallow strata is a critical parameter for safety design in deep-water operations. In situ piezocone penetration tests (CPTU) and laboratory experiments are performed at Site W18-19 in the Shenhu area, northern South China Sea, where China's first marine hydrate exploitation operation is due to be located. The validation of the undrained shear strength prediction model based on CPTU parameters. Different laboratory tests, including pocket penetrometer, torvane, miniature vane and unconsolidated undrained triaxial tests, are employed to solve empirical cone coefficients by statistical and mathematical methods. Finally, an optimized model is proposed to describe the longitudinal distribution of undrained shear strength in calcareous clay strata in the Shenhu area. Research results reveal that average empirical cone coefficients based on total cone resistance, effective resistance, and excess-pore pressure are 13.8, 4.2 and 14.4, respectively. The undrained shear strength prediction model shows a good fit with the laboratory results only within specific intervals based on their compaction degree and gas-bearing conditions. The optimized prediction model in piecewise function format can be used to describe the longitudinal distribution of the undrained shear strength for calcareous clay within all depth intervals from the mud-line to the upper boundary of hydrate-bearing sediments (HBS). The optimized prediction result indicates that the effective cone resistance model is suitable for very soft to firm calcareous clays, the excess-pore pressure model can depict the undrained shear strength for firm to very stiff but gas-free clays, while the total cone resistance model is advantageous for evaluating the undrained shear strength for very stiff and gassy clays. The optimized model in piecewise function format can considerably improve the adaptability of empirical models for calcareous clay in the Shenhu area. These results are significant for safety evaluations of proposed hydrate exploitation projects.
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