Diffraction of Water Waves by Isolated Structures

by Volker W. Harms, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; State Univ. of New York, Buffalo, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Waterway Port Coastal and Ocean Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 2, Pg. 131-147

Document Type: Journal Paper


A diffraction theory based upon the method of Green functions is presented and compared to existing exact solutions and an approximate one. The solution is obtained by approximating an integral equation for the wave potential by a set of linear equations. Wave-height distributions have been analyzed in order to determine the affect of structure geometry upon the diffraction process. The wave-height topography in the wave-lee of four separate, geometrically-different cylinders (of the same size) has been calculated and compared to laboratory measurements. The distance is established beyond which the wave-height topography is independent of the geometrical features of the wave-diffracting obstacle. Laboratory measurements were performed in the wave-lee region from 1/2 to 20 wavelengths from the structure. At large distances from the structure experimental wave heights are significantly greater than indicated by theory.

Subject Headings: Water waves | Wave height | Geometrics | Wave diffraction | Wave equations | Topography | Wave measurement | Greens function

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