In a neat tie-up between our recent post on sharks biting cables and our mini-series on the construction of the cable itself, we are going to look at what kinds of events or objects more often damage cables.
The major events that we plan for are mostly around undersea geology. We specifically aim to avoid rocky areas or installing the cable at the bottom of slopes. We also consider the steepness of the seabed and actively plan to avoid small hills and valleys. Rapid changes in elevation can increase the risk of the cable not lying flat on the seabed at all times. Any points where the cable can get suspended in mid-air can lead to it moving (or strumming) in the ocean currents. This, in turn, leads to the rocks on either side of the suspension sawing in to the cable. Over time, this can create damage and ultimately a cable fault, or even wear through and break the cable.