American Society of Civil Engineers

Should the U.S. Accept the Concept of Navigable Depth?

by John B. Herbich, (Texas A&M Univ, College Station, United States), Dilip Trivedi, (Texas A&M Univ, College Station, United States), Gordon Wilkinson, (Texas A&M Univ, College Station, United States), and Allen Teeter, (Texas A&M Univ, College Station, United States)

pp. 1069-1082

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Coastal Engineering Practice
Abstract: Navigable depth is defined as the maximum depth of water from the chart datum that is safe to accept as the bed of the channel, such that damage does not occur to a ship’s hull and maneuverability is not significantly affected. These criteria are directly dependent on the rheological properties of the sediment within the navigation channel. It may be possible to use the specific gravity of the material, however no single value is acceptable for use at different geographical locations. The nautical depth (or navigable depth) concept has been adopted at Europort/Rotterdam harbors, where the navigable depth has been defined as ’safe’ when the specific gravity of the soil/water mixture is 1.20. The navigable depth concept has also been accepted at many other foreign ports. A survey was conducted to evaluate the presence of fluid mud in U.S. and foreign channels. The rheological tests indicated that fluid muds form non-Newtonian fluids and several analyzed samples indicated Bingham body characteristics.

ASCE Subject Headings:
United States
Water depth

Author Keywords:
Coastal Engineering--Standards - Flow of Water--Sediment Transport - Inland Waterways--Water Level - Sedimentation--Rheology
Fluid Mud - Nautical Depths - Navigable Depths - navigation Channels - Non Newtonia Fluids