Date of Award

Summer 8-23-2019

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering


Aaron Gallant

Second Committee Member

Melissa Landon

Third Committee Member

Kimberly Huguenard


Aquaculture in Maine is an important industry with expected growth in the coming years to provide food in an ecological and environmentally sustainable way. Accommodating such growth, farmers need more reliable engineering solutions, such as improving their anchoring systems. Current anchoring methods include deadweights (concrete blocks) or drag embedment anchors, which are of relatively simple construction and installation. However, in the challenge of accommodating larger loads, farmers have used larger sizes of the current anchors rising safety issues and costs during installation and decommissioning. Helical anchors are a foundation type extensively used onshore with the potential of adjusting the aquaculture growth demand, though research understanding their lateral and inclined capacity needs to be performed first. This study addresses such topic by performing 3D finite element simulations of helical anchors and studies their reliability for offshore aquaculture farming. Results obtained in this research indicate that the helical anchors capacity could be related to either pure vertical or horizontal resistances, depending on the load inclination angle. Reliability evaluation of helical anchors for inclined loading demand from an oyster aquaculture farm using the Hasoferd-Lind method, indicated these anchors are feasible for operational aquaculture loads.