Experimental investigations are carried out on wave-induced pressures and uplift forces on a submarine pipeline (exposed, half buried and fully buried) in clayey soil of different consistency index both in regular and random waves. A study on scour under the pipeline resting on the clay bed is also carried out. It is found that the uplift force can be reduced by about 70%, if the pipeline is just buried in clay soil. The equilibrium scour depth below the pipeline is estimated as 42% of the pipe diameter for consistency index of 0.17 and is 34% of the pipe diameter for consistency index of 0.23. The results of the present investigations are compared with the results on sandy soil by Cheng and Liu (Appl. Ocean Res., 8(1986) 22) to acknowledge the benefit of cohesive soil in reducing the high pore pressure on buried pipeline compared to cohesionless soil. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.