Reef Breakwater Response to Wave Attack

by John P. Ahrens, US Army Engineer Waterways, Experiment Station, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Berm Breakwaters: Unconventional Rubble-Mound Breakwaters


A method of predicting stability of a class of low-crested rubble mounds referred to as reef breakwaters is presented. Findings are based on a study which included an extensive series of physical model tests conducted with irregular waves. Stability is measured in terms of reduction in crest height due to wave attack. Reduction in crest height has less scatter than damage measured by the number of stones displaced and provides a direct link between stability and primary performance characteristic of wave transmission. A stability model is developed which can accurately predict degradation of the reef from zero-damage to very severe levels and for a wide range of wave conditiions. An example is presented which illustrates the ability of the model to predict damage, which in turn is used to estimate wave transmission.

Subject Headings: Breakwaters | Coastal protection structures | Reefs and sills | Breaking waves | Water waves | Wave measurement | Power transmission | Model accuracy

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