Nonlinear Flow of Wave Crests Past a Thin Pile

by Robert J. Hallermeier, Oceanographer; Coastal Processes Branch, Research Div., U.S. Coastal Engrg. Research Center, Fort Belvoir, Va.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Waterways, Harbors and Coastal Engineering Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 4, Pg. 365-377

Document Type: Journal Paper


The measured pattern of peak water line around a vertical circular pile in periodic wave action can disagree with wave-scattering theory, showing a nonlinear dependence on incident wave height when the pile radius is very small compared to the wavelength. The peak water line was measured around piles of several diameters in relatively shallow water with various incident laboratory waves. Features of the patterns indicate that a disturbance like a ship's bow wave forms during peak crest flow when a certain Froude number, incident crest velocity head divided by pile radius, becomes large, on the order of 0.1 - 1.0. The laboratory tests shoudl reproduce basic flow effects in situations of coastal and ocean engineering interest, because field and lab situations have the same Froude number, implying geometric flow similarity.

Subject Headings: Nonlinear waves | Wave crest | Piles | Wave measurement | Wave velocity | Flow patterns | Froude number | Pile tests

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