Ocean Wave Force Instrumentation

by Thomas L. Russell,
Volkmar Schoettle,
Robert G. Chown,

Serial Information: Journal of the Waterways and Harbors Division, 1966, Vol. 92, Issue 4, Pg. 1-16

Document Type: Journal Paper


The need for improved design data for use in design of offshore structures resulted in the design, construction, and operation of instrumentation for measuring forces exerted by large ocean waves on structural members. The resulting equipment, installation, and calibration techniques are described along with brief comments on developmental philosophy and history of operations. Specifically, the self-contained portable instrument package was developed to measure and record ocean waveheights and waveforces acting at eight elevations on a 3-ft-diam platform leg. The completely self-actuating instrument system was installed in a platform 19 miles off Louisiana in a water depth of approximately 100 ft. Installation took place during the summer of 1960, and the system was operated successfully through the fall of 1963. During this period, data were recorded during some 30 storms including Hurricane Carla in 1961, during which wave heights ranged to 40 ft.

Subject Headings: Ocean waves | Wave forces | Instrumentation | Offshore structures | Offshore construction | Structural design | Wave measurement | Calibration | Louisiana | United States

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