Mechanics of Drag Embedment Anchors in a Soft Seabed Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper presents an analysis of the load capacity and trajectory of a drag embedment anchor in a soft seabed. Anchor capacity relationships are developed for an idealized anchor comprising a rectangular fluke and a cylindrical shank. Geometric variables considered for the anchor include fluke length, fluke thickness, shank length, angle between fluke and shank, and shank thickness. Parametric studies are presented investigating the effect of these variables on anchor capacity and performance. A method of anchor trajectory prediction during drag embedment is developed by considering anchor behavior in conjunction with the mechanics of the anchor line. The anchor trajectory simulations indicate that an equilibrium condition rapidly develops during embedment in which the rate of anchor rotation is identical to the rate of change in the anchor line uplift angle at the shackle point. At the equilibrium state, the anchor load capacity normalized by soil strength remains constant and the anchor is in a state of incipient rotation. The anchor line angle at the seabed also influences anchor trajectory. This angle varies throughout embedment according to the mechanics of the anchor line in both the seabed and the water column. 2010 ASCE.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Aubeny, C. P., & Chi, C.

citation count

  • 45

complete list of authors

  • Aubeny, CP||Chi, C

publication date

  • January 2010