Inner Harbor Wave Conditions due to Breakwater Overtopping

by Fredric Raichlen, California Inst of Technology, Pasadena, United States,
Jack C. Cox, California Inst of Technology, Pasadena, United States,
Jerald D. Ramsden, California Inst of Technology, Pasadena, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Engineering Practice


The results of this study have important application to the design of small boat marinas protected from incident waves by breakwaters that may be overtopped during extreme wave events. This overtopping results in transmitted waves with significantly different characteristics than the incident waves. Experiments were conducted with two different breakwater sections, regular and irregular waves, and with several depths representing storm surge effects. It was found that the spectra of the transmitted waves are generally quite different in total energy and in the frequency-wise distribution of the energy compared to the incident wave spectra. The important frequencies associated with the transmitted wave are up to twice that of the incident waves. The transmission characteristics for both regular and irregular incident waves are best defined by the root mean square of the wave amplitudes.

Subject Headings: Wave overtopping | Water waves | Wave spectrum | Ports and harbors | Coastal protection structures | Breakwaters | Power transmission

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