Free span resulting from unevenness of seabed or scour of current is a dangerous status for submarine pipeline. Fatigue failure caused by vortex induced vibration (VIV) is one of the main failure modes for free span. Because of the contact between soil and pipeline, the effect of soil must be considered for the fatigue analysis of free span. In this paper, aimed at one in-service submarine pipeline, the research on the VIV response of free span was investigated considering the effect of stiffness and damping of soil. Furthermore, fatigue damage and fatigue life of free span were evaluated based on the actual measured flow velocity data varied with time. The analysis results have provided support for the maintenance of free span for the submarine pipeline.

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