Potential geo-hazards to floating offshore wind farms in the us pacific

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



To help the selection of suitable sites for development of offshore wind projects in the US on the coasts of California, Oregon and Hawaii, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) funded this study to assess the potential geo-hazards in this region. First, a comprehensive review of potential threats to the sites based on historic events is provided. The geospatial indexing for the call areas are then calculated based on weights associated with inputs, consisting of: sea floor slope, soil type, and seismicity (peak ground acceleration data of 500 year event). Finally, suitability indices are provided for each region. To perform a suitability analysis using geospatial indexing, all input factors are first standardized into a common scale, then a weighted overlay function is applied. Each of the criteria in the analysis is multiplied by the weights defined based on their importance in the region and then added together and suitability maps for each lease block are developed. Comprehensive maps of geohazards and geological data, suitability index maps and suitability rankings for the area of interest are being generated and presented online. This paper focuses on the floating windfarm call areas offshore California, including Humboldt, Morro Bay and Diablo Canyon, and presents the new approach for evaluating, integrating and indexing geospatial geohazard data for offshore windfarms, and the state-of-the-art suitability analysis approach. This new method can be also beneficial in the other parts of the world (e.g. East Asia), and similar concept can be implemented to evaluate the suitability of sites, based on the hazards in the area of interest.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the ASME 2021 3rd International Offshore Wind Technical Conference, IOWTC 2021