During the design and operation of an offshore lifeline, such as a pipeline or a cable, the existing or the expected geohazards at the bed of a sea or a lake constitute a crucial issue. The problems may be more challenging and demanding in offshore areas characterized by earthquake-related geohazards, such as active seismic faults, earthquake-triggered landslides and seabed liquefaction. According to the current state of practice, the aim of engineers and geoscientists is to avoid the problematic areas or at least to examine the lifeline against the anticipated Permanent Ground Displacements (PGDs) and the resulting structural distress. It is evident that the application of mitigation measures, either to reduce the PGDs or to isolate the lifeline from their actions, are limited to very shallow water areas. The current paper tries to propose the concept of "offshore suspended lifeline" as an efficient alternative design option in order to avoid highly problematic areas. After a brief literature review on the existing offshore suspended lifelines worldwide, the paper focuses on some areas in the Mediterranean Sea where the application of a suspended lifeline could be the only safe solution against earthquake-related geohazards. Finally, an indicative case study is presented.
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