In standard diffraction theory it is assumed that the water depth is constant and that the seabed is infinitely large. To account for a local varying bathymetry in shallow water (as it can occur for offshore LNG terminals) it is sometimes considered to introduce a second fixed body on the seabed representing this bathymetry in diffraction theory. Based on the results presented in this paper it can be concluded that this is (without special measures) not possible. The refraction and interference effects are too strong and affect the wave exciting forces on the LNG carrier in an incorrect way. A large size of the second body and smoother edges of this body do not improve the situation. However, a second body in diffraction theory, when chosen properly with respect to size and shape, can contribute to the correct calculation of the added mass and damping of vessels on sloped seabeds as this varies with the local water depth over the length of the vessel. This will clearly affect the motion response of the vessel. This can be seen for instance in the pitch-heave coupling. This will influence the motions of the ship in waves, as well as the resulting drift forces and related mooring loads.
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