AbstractRegarding offshore constructions, there is still a lack in knowledge of scour progression for complex structures like foundations for offshore wind energy converters at present, which is however necessary for its dimensioning. As an example of such complex structure types, tripod foundations are constructed in German offshore wind farms at present. In order to describe physical processes and influencing factors on scour progression from a scientific point of view, comprehensive investigations on the scouring phenomena for tripod foundations have been carried out and will be partly presented here. The overall investigation method consists of a combination of 1:40 small and 1:12 large scale physical model tests in wave flumes, numerical simulations using CFD methods and in-situ measured scour data. For the numerical modeling part, a sediment transport model formulation has been implemented into OpenFOAM software code. The results show a general variability of scour depending on the load boundary conditions and structural parameters. Scours occur both at the foundation piles and directly under the structure, which in this form could not be predicted using standard approaches, but which has to be taken into account when regarding the soil mechanical stability and the final dimensioning of the foundations.
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