Research facilitation and management for Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore industry

Project Offshore Deep Slope, Phase II

Lead PI: Vincent Morgan
Subject Category: Other

Start Date: Dec 2001
End Date: Mar 2004
Institution / Organization: C-Core

Offshore exploration and production of oil and gas is following a trend of moving further from our coastlines and into deeper water on the continental slope.  As facilities are placed on the seabed in these slope areas, the risk of subsea landslides can have a major impact on safety and the environment.  A large number of slope failures are known to have happened - both in the recent and distant past - including the 1929 Grand Banks failure that was triggered by an earthquake.  The resulting slide caused a tsunami that destroyed a number of communities in Newfoundland and severed transatlantic cables up to 1000km away.

Unlike landslides that happen on dry land, very little is known about the failure mechanisms of subsea slides due to their remoteness, size and marine characteristics.  To improve our understanding and ability to predict the risk of failures, C-CORE initiated a joint industry project, "Project Offshore Deep Slope (PODS)", with support from Petroleum Research NL.

The project is being led by Vincent Morgan of C-CORE, with technical support from a number of Canadian and US institutions.  Technical Advisor for the project is Dr. Jack Clark of C-CORE.  The Phase II workscope aimed to extend the preliminary review and analyses presented in Phase I, and add the development of a risk methodology through which slope instability can be assessed in a probabilistic manner. 

The ultimate objective of PODS is to develop an engineering analysis and risk model for the assessment of submarine slope instability to allow the forecast of instability events within a risk framework.


  • C-CORE (2005). Project Offshore Deep Slope, Phase II. C-CORE Report R-05-003-158, May 2005. [PDF]
  • Appendix A – Extended Abstract of PODS Phase I Report [PDF]
  • Appendix B – University of Calgary Report: The Role of Gas Hydrates on Submarine Slope Failures [PDF]
  • Appendix C – Geological Survey of Canada Report: Seabed Stability Factors on the Scotian Slope [PDF]

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