Tension Analysis of Submarine Cables during Laying Operations

N. Yang1, D-S Jeng*, 1, 2, X. L. Zhou1
1 Center for Marine Geotechnical Engineering Research, Department of Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong Univer-sity, Shanghai 200240, China
2 Griffith School of Engineering, Griffith University Gold Coast Campus, Queensland, QLD 4222, Australia

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© 2013 Yang et al;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Griffith School of Engineering, Griffith University Gold Coast Campus, Queensland, 4222, Australia; Tel: +61(07) 55528590; Fax: +61(07) 55528065; E-mail:


This paper presents a semi-analytical approximation for a two-dimensional (2D) tension analysis of submarine cables during laying operations. In the analysis, based on geometric compatibility relations and equilibrium equations, a set of non-linear differential equations are obtained. The present model considers effects of ocean currents, cable ship motion, pay-out rate, water depth and material properties on submarine cable behavior in water, which are crucial during laying operations. As shown in numerical examples, with consideration of currents and cable ship motion, the cable tension appears to be smaller and cable configuration curve tends to be fatter than the conventional catenary theory.

Keywords: Submarine cable, Cable tension, Cable configuration.