The Evolution of Breakwater Design

by Billy L. Edge, Texas A&M Univ, College Station, United States,
Orville T. Magoon, Texas A&M Univ, College Station, United States,
William F. Baird, Texas A&M Univ, College Station, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Ocean Wave Measurement and Analysis


The purpose of this paper is to present a view of the evolution of both the rubble mound and vertical faced breakwaters from the earliest design through the Iribarren and Hudson era. Determining the design wave for a mound structure sited in a water depth so that unbroken waves reach the structure is still an art inspite of the theoretical accomplishments made be engineers and statisticians. The derived maximum wave and the design waves (regardless of the spectral shape and distribution used) contain considerable uncertainties. Additionally, if concrete armour units or armour layer and if so, how is that single largest wave to be calculated. Although the design of breakwaters has advanced significantly from the earliest days of the Phoenicians, there are still questions which remain today and new questions which arise as engineers push the limits of design beyond the questions which have already been answered.

Subject Headings: Hydraulic design | Coastal protection structures | Breakwaters | Structural design | Hydraulic structures | Concrete structures | Wave spectrum

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