- Torpedo anchors are a viable approach for mooring marine hydrokinetic (MHK) energy devices to the seafloor. These anchors can serve to maintain station and to provide the reaction force for an MHK device. The ability of the anchor to perform these duties is a strong function of its penetration depth during installation. This is a large-strain problem not amenable to typical continuum numerical approaches. In the current work, we propose that the discrete element method (DEM) is a more appropriate tool to investigate the shallow penetration of torpedo anchors in sands. The effects of anchor mass, impact velocity, and soil interparticle friction are considered in the DEM simulations. The relative maximum penetration depths for different penetration conditions are quantified and presented. Granular material response at the microscale during penetration are used to provide insight into system response. Energy dissipation in the assembly by both friction and collision at the particle scale are considered. Results show that anchor penetration increases approximately linearly with an increase in impact velocity or anchor weight. Penetration decreases with an increase in interparticle friction (i.e., soil strength). Observations of microscale behaviors and energy calculations are used to provide insight into overall system response.