The nature of scour development and scour protection at offshore windfarm foundations

Mar Pollut Bull. 2011 Jan;62(1):73-88. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.09.007. Epub 2010 Nov 1.


Analysis and interpretation of monitoring data for the seabed bathymetry local to offshore windfarm foundations has shown how the scour develops in time and highlighted variations between sites with different seabed sediment characteristics, i.e. sands and clays. Results from European offshore windfarms have generated a unique dataset for comparison with previously published data. Where surficial sediment is underlain by a marine clay the scour (to date) has been limited, whilst those with unconstrained depths of sandy sediments show scour as deep as 1.38 times the monopile diameter. Scour protection has been installed at some sites for structural stability of the foundation or for cable protection. The flow interaction with the protection causes edge scour or secondary scour in the seabed around the protection. In some cases this scour is deeper than the unprotected case. The analysis has resulted in an improved evidence base for scour in the marine environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum Silicates / chemistry
  • Clay
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Geologic Sediments / chemistry*
  • Geological Phenomena*
  • Oceans and Seas
  • Power Plants*
  • Water Movements
  • Wind*


  • Aluminum Silicates
  • Clay