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The effect of waves on rubble-mound structures

Raichlen, Fredric (1975) The effect of waves on rubble-mound structures. Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 7 . pp. 327-356. ISSN 0066-4189.

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For thousands of years breakwaters have been built at or near the coast to protect harbors or coastlines from wave attack. One of the earliest known harbor protection schemes was devised in about 2000 B.C. for the Port of Pharos on the open coast of Egypt; it had a rubble-mound breakwater approximately 8500 ft long composed of large blocks of stone with smaller stone filling the spaces between blocks (Savile 1940). Until the development of experimental laboratory techniques to investigate the effect of waves on breakwaters, these structures were designed primarily from experience gained from other similar structures. It is the purpose of this review to discuss various aspects of the hydrodynamics of wave attack on such structures and the relation of certain analytic considerations and experimental results to the design of a rubble-mound. A breakwater built as a rubble-mound is constructed by placing material of various sizes layer by layer (or unit by unit) until the desired cross-section shape is achieved. Generally, the units are not structurally connected, so that the integrity of the rubble-mound depends on features such as the weight of the material, the interlocking nature of the material, and the cross section of the structure. Usually the structure is built with material graded from smaller sizes in the core to larger material armoring the face against wave attack. The armor layer may be composed of quarry-stone, if it is available in the required sizes and is economically feasible to use. When these conditions are not met, specially designed concrete units for armoring the face of the rubble-mound have been developed that tend to interlock better than rock when properly placed; hence, it may be possible to use armor units lighter than the required quarry-stone. Over the years numerous geometric shapes have been developed for such armor units, with each shape generally introduced in an attempt to improve on the interlocking characteristics of its predecessors. To mention only a few, various names used for different units are: tribars, tetrapods, quadripods, and dolosse. A brief description of two of these is presented; for a more detailed discussion of shape along with drawings of the units the interested reader is directed to CERC (1966) and Hudson(1974). Tribars, which consist basically of three circular cylinders connected by a yoke of three cylinders, are usually placed in a uniform geometric pattern on the face of the rubble-mound. Dolosse are shaped like the letter "H" with the vertical legs rotated 90° to each other, and are generally placed randomly on a rubble-mound face. It is the effective interlocking of dolosse that leads to the use of random placement techniques. Obviously an important aspect in the design of a rubble-mound is its stability under wave attack. This subject is discussed in detail, along with descriptions of the basis for certain design approaches currently used. The support of these design criteria as well as their limitations are discussed with reference to available experimental data. Three other aspects of the effect of waves on rubble-mounds are treated in this review: wave run-up, transmission, and overtopping. Run-up is defined as the vertical height above still water level to which waves incident upon a structure can be expected to travel up the face of the structure. Wave run-up is important in defining both the amount of wave energy transmitted over and through permeable rubble-mounds and also the quantity of water that may be expected to overtop the structure. In each of the following sections the discussion is directed toward understanding the fluid-mechanic aspects of the various problems and the features and the shortcomings of analytical and experimental models used in connection with the design of breakwaters constructed as rubble-mounds.

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Additional Information:"Reprinted, with permission, from the Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, Volume 7 copyright 1975 by Annual Reviews,"
Group:W. M. Keck Laboratory of Hydraulics and Water Resources
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ID Code:315
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Deposited On:24 May 2005
Last Modified:02 Oct 2019 22:32

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