Geotechnical Features of Fur Seal Island Design

by Ulrich Luscher, Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Walnut, Creek, CA, USA,
M. Radwan Akky, Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Walnut, Creek, CA, USA,
John A. Egan, Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Walnut, Creek, CA, USA,
Robert R. Youngs, Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Walnut, Creek, CA, USA,
John Sheets, Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Walnut, Creek, CA, USA,



Document Type: Editorial

Abstract: In summer 1983, Texaco made plans to construct an artificial island in Harrison Bay of the Beaufort Sea to serve as a platform for exploratory drilling. Fur Seal Island is to be located about 4. 4 miles southeast of Mukluk Island. Its design is similar to Mukluk's except for the following significant differences: winter construction using ice road (compared to summer construction using barges), and apparently weaker shallow subseafloor soil conditions. Significant design problems due to relatively large anticipated thaw settlement and low shear strength of expected loose winter-placed fill, and relatively low shear strength of shallow ocean bottom soils, were presented that had to be overcome. Innovative approaches were used to characterize the shallow soil's shear strength and to assess stability. The available strength, combined with the 44-foot water depth, resulted in an as-designed island slope slightly flatter than previously used and a possible limitation on temporary construction slopes.

Subject Headings: Islands | Shear strength | Soil strength | Offshore construction | Offshore structures | Underwater construction | Cold region construction | Soil settlement | Arctic | Beaufort Sea

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