The occurrence of subharmonic responses in compliant structures including nonlinear coupling between the wave force and the structural motion is studied using simplified models of a cylinder submerged in waves. In particular, the existence and sensitivity of subharmonics in the responses are evaluated by varying the mathematical model for wave force, the structure/wave frequency ratio, the drag coefficient and the wave height. It is concluded that subharmonic bifurcation of order 1/2 can be a common phenomenon in compliant structural systems, especially if the system has a low ratio of drag force to inertia force.

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