Severe foundation scour may occur around monopile foundations of offshore wind turbines due to currents and waves. The so-called p-y curves method is suggested in the existing design recommendations to determine the behavior of monopiles unprotected against scour and the reduction of effective soil stress is accounted for by the extreme scour depth. This conservative design approach does not consider the geometry of the scour hole and the effect of pile diameter on the soil resistance. An underestimated foundation stiffness would be obtained, thereby influencing the predicted overall response of the support structure of an offshore wind turbine. In this study, we calculated the load-deformation response and foundation stiffness of a monopile when scour occurred. The influence of pile diameter on the initial modulus of subgrade reaction, and the modification of the ultimate soil resistance of a monopile subject to scour are evaluated. The commercial software BLADED was used to simulate the dynamic response of the reference offshore wind turbine with monopile unprotected against scour at Chang-Bin offshore wind farm in Taiwan Strait. The results showed that when the p-y curve suggested by existing design regulation was used to calculate the load-deformation response, the foundation stiffness was underestimated where the scour depth was greater than the pile diameter, but the foundation stiffness was overestimated when the scour depth was less than the pile diameter.
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