You are on page 1of 2

From Figure 18 it can also be seen that the energy source varies from one that will give

a fairly uniform diffracted wave height at all angles for an opening of half a wavelength, to one that will give a diffracted wave height which is strongly dependent on for an opening of more than one wavelength. One result of this effect is that the building of a second breakwater arm to reduce the entrance width can increase wave heights at some positions inside the harbour. It is clear from Figure 18, however, that the diffracted wave height at positions immediately opposite the entrance ( = 90) will be diminished when the width of opening is reduced. 29.2.4 Currents induced by wave diffraction. A secondary effect of wave diffraction at harbour entrances is the induction of currents in the lee of the breakwaters. From the contours of the diffraction coefficient shown in Figure 17(a) it can be seen that a gradient in wave height exists along a wave crest on the sheltered side of a breakwater. At a harbour boundary along which this wave crest breaks the orbital movement of water particles is converted into an up-rush of water by the breaking process. This causes a local rise in the mean water level which is maintained by successive waves breaking. This mechanism, known as wave set-up, will increase as the wave height increases so that the diffraction pattern in Figure 17(a) will lead to a set-up which decreases along the harbour boundary in the direction of the shelter of the breakwater and which will generate a flow of water towards the sheltered side and induce a return current travelling from the tip of the breakwater towards the boundary opposite the entrance. Thus, large eddies can be formed on the sheltered sides of breakwaters; these currents can be expected to be of the order of 0.5 m/s to 1 m/s (1 knot to 2 knots) when the incident wave height is large (see 14.3.1). 29.3 Ray methods of wave diffraction and refraction. In many cases the water depth varies within a harbour so that the diffraction patterns given in 29.2 for a flat seabed will be modified by wave reflection within the harbour. One approximate method of combining the two effects is to use the diffraction solution for a flat bed within the harbour over a distance of 3 to 4 wavelengths from the entrance and then to send out rays that obey Snell s law (see 23.2.1) over the remainder of the harbour area. Clearly, the wave height and direction at the starting point of each ray should be chosen to be consistent with the results of the diffraction solution. The above types of approximation is inadequate where significant depth changes occur inside the harbour within 3 to 4 wavelengths of the entrance. In these situations it may be better to start a regular fan of rays from the centre of the harbour entrance thereby describing refraction over the entire

harbour area. The diffraction effect may then be included by assuming that the energy flux of the waves in the fan at the entrance is the same as that which would be obtained after diffraction for a flat seabed. By combining the expressions developed for that case (see 29.2.2) with those developed for refraction and shoaling (see 23.2.1), the following expression may be derived for wave height at the arrival points of the rays inside the harbour: Ha = Hinc (lD() Lvcg /vcga ba) where Similar approximations can be made for the case of a single breakwater arm. Solutions of the types discussed above are approximate and so will produce only rough estimates of the combined effects of refraction and diffraction. 29.4 Harbour resonance. As described in 29.1, harbour resonance can occur when reflections of certain wavelengths reinforce and amplify the incident wave pattern.