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Ref:

Basic Coastal Engineering, R.M. Sorensen, 1997

Coastal Engineering Handbook, J.B. Herbich, 1991

EM 1110-2-2904, Design of Breakwaters and Jetties, USACE, 1986

Breakwaters, Jetties, Bulkheads and Seawalls, Pile Buck, 1992

Coastal, Estuarial and Harbour Engineers' Reference Book, M.B. Abbot and W.A. Price,

1994, (Chapter 29)

Coastal Engineering, K. Horikawa, 1978

Coastal Engineering Manual (VI-5), USACE, 2003

Topics

Composite/Vertical Wall Breakwater Design

Wave Force Calculations

Caisson Width

Sliding and Overturning Stability

Soil Bearing Capacity Calculations

Summary of Design Procedure

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Composite/Vertical Wall Breakwater Design

Wave Force Calculations

A characteristic of vertical wall breakwaters is that the kinetic energy of the wave is stopped

suddenly at the wall face. The energy is then reflected or translated by vertical motion of the

water along the wall face. The upward component of this can cause the wave crests to rise to

double their deep water height (non-breaking case). The downward component causes very high

velocities at the base of the wall and horizontally away from the wall for of a wavelength, thus

causing erosion and scour.

Many analytical and laboratory studies and field observations have been undertaken to

understand the wave pressure and develop wave pressure formulas. However, most of the

formulas are based on monochromatic regular wave of constant height and period.

Wave-generated pressures on structures are complicated functions of the wave conditions and

geometry of the structure. For this reason laboratory model tests should be performed as part of

the final design of important structures. For preliminary designs the formulae presented in this

section can be used within the stated parameter limitations and with consideration of the

uncertainties.

Two-dimensional wave forces on vertical walls.

Non-breaking waves incident on smooth, impermeable vertical walls are completely

reflected by the wall giving a reflection coefficient of 1.0. Where wales, tiebacks, or other

structural elements increase the wall surface roughness and retard the vertical water

motion at the wall, the reflection coefficient will be slightly reduced. Vertical walls built

on rubble bases will also have a reduced reflection coefficient.

The total hydrodynamic pressure distribution on a vertical wall consists of two timevarying components: the hydrostatic pressure component due to the instantaneous water

depth at the wall, and the dynamic pressure component due to the accelerations of the

water particles. Over a wave cycle, the force found from integrating the pressure

distribution on the wall varies between a minimum value when a wave trough is at the

wall to a maximum values when a wave crest is at the wall as illustrated below for the

case of non-overtopped walls or caissons.

Pressure distributions for a non-breaking wave

The resulting total hydrodynamic load when the wave trough is at the vertical wall is less

than the hydrostatic loading if waves were not present and the water was at rest. For

bulkheads and seawalls this may be a critical design loading because saturated backfill

soils could cause the wall to fail in the seaward direction. Therefore, water level is a

crucial design parameter for calculating forces and moments on vertical walls.

Pressure distribution on an overtopped wall

Wave overtopping of vertical walls provides a reduction in the total force and moment

because the pressure distribution is truncated as shown schematically above. Engineers

should consider the effect overtopping might have on land-based vertical structures by

creating seaward pressure on the wall caused by saturated backfill or ponding water.

1) Non-breaking Waves

2) Breaking (plunging) waves with almost vertical fronts

3) Breaking (plunging) waves with large air pockets

1) Non-breaking waves: Waves do not trap an air pocket against the wall. The pressure at the

wall has a gentle variation in time and is almost in phase with the wave elevation. Wave

loads of this type are called pulsating or quasi-static loads because the period is much larger

than the natural period of oscillation of the structures. (For conventional caisson breakwaters

the period is approximately one order of magnitude larger.) Consequently, the wave load can

be treated like a static load in stability calculations. Special considerations are required if the

caisson is placed on fine soils where pore pressure may build up, resulting in significant

weakening of the soil.

Non-Breaking Waves - assumes forces are essentially hydrostatic

Linear Wave Theory

standing wave (known as the "clapotis")

total reflection crest to trough excursion of the water surface = 2H

H

cosh kh

H cosh k (h + z )

, z = 0 at surface;

cosh kh

2) Breaking (plunging) waves with almost vertical fronts: Waves that break in a plunging mode

develop an almost vertical front before they curl over (see Figure VI-5-57b). If this almost

vertical front occurs just prior to the contact with the wall, then very high pressures are

generated having extremely short durations. Only a negligible amount of air is entrapped,

resulting in a very large single peaked force followed by very small force oscillations. The

duration of the pressure peak is on the order of hundredths of a second.

3) Breaking (plunging) waves with large air pockets: If a large amount of air is entrapped in a

pocket, a double peaked force is produced followed by pronounced force oscillations as

shown in Figure VI-5-57c. The first and largest peak is induced by the wave crest hitting the

structure at point A, and it is similar to a hammer shock. The second peak is induced by the

subsequent maximum compression of the air pocket at point B, and is it is referred to as

compression shock, (Lundgren 1969). In the literature this wave loading is often called the

Bagnold type. The force oscillations are due to the pulsation of the air pocket. The double

peaks have typical spacing in the range of milliseconds to hundredths of a second. The period

of the force oscillations is in the range 0.2-1.0 sec.

Formula

Sainflou formula (modified by

Miche-Rundgen, 1958)

Wave Type

Standing

Structure Type

Impermeable vertical wall

CEM Table

VI-5-52

Goda formula

Goda formula (modified by

Takahashi, Tanimoto, and

Shimosako 1994)

Goda formula forces and

moments

Goda formula (modifed by

Tanimoto and Kimura 1985)

Goda formula (modified by

Takahashi and Hosoyamada

1994)

Goda formula (modified by

Takahashi, Tanimoto, and

Shimosako 1990)

Goda formula (modifed by

Takahashi, Tanimoto, and

Shimosako 1994)

2-D oblique

Provoked

breaking

Impermeable vertical wall

VI-5-53

VI-5-54

Provoked

breaking

2-D head-on

VI-5-55

VI-5-56

2-D head-on

VI-5-57

2-D head-on

VI-5-58

3-D head-on

VI-5-59

CEM Table VI-5-52 through VI-5-59 provide formulae for estimating pressure distributions

and corresponding forces and overturning moments on vertical walls due to non-breaking and

breaking waves.

o Wave pressure distributions for breaking waves are estimated using Table VI-5-54,

o corresponding forces and moments are calculated from Table VI-5-55.

Minikin's Method:

o Older breaking wave forces method of Minikin (Shore Protection Manual, 1984)

o can result in very high estimates of wave force, as much as 15 to 18 times those

calculated for non-breaking waves.

o These estimates are too conservative in most cases and could result in costly

structures. There may be rare circumstances where waves could break in just the right

manner to create very high impulsive loads of short duration, and these cases may not

be covered by the range of experiment parameters used to develop the guidance given

in Table VI-5-54.

o In addition, scaled laboratory models do not correctly reproduce the force loading

where pockets of air are trapped between the wave and wall (CEM Figure VI-5-57).

o For these reasons, it may be advisable to design vertical-front structures serving

critical functions according to Minikin's method.

Most of the methodology is based on the method presented by Goda (1974) and extended by

others to cover a variety of conditions. These formulae provide a unified design approach to

estimating design loads on vertical walls and caissons.

NOTE: All of the methods calculate the pressure distribution and resulting forces and

moments for only the wave portion of the hydrodynamic loading. The hydrostatic pressure

distribution from the SWL to the bottom is excluded.

o For a caisson structure (with water on both sides), the SWL hydrostatic forces would

exactly cancel (i.e. hydrostatic pressure on the seaside would be opposed by the

pressure on the lee-side);

o however, it will be necessary to include the effect of the SWL hydrodynamic pressure

for vertical walls tied into the shoreline or an embankment.

Non-Breaking Waves:

Sainflou's Formula (1928) modified by Miche-Rundgren (1944, 1958)

(CEM Table VI-5-52, p. VI-5-138)

Derived theoretically for regular, non-breaking waves and a vertical wall, but may be

applied to irregular waves

Uses 2nd order wave theory

Assumes linear depth-dependent pressure distribution below the water line (assumes

force is essentially hydrostatic)

cannot be used for breaking waves or overtopping

p1 = (p 2 + w h s )

p2 =

H + o

h s + H + o

wH

cosh kh s

p3 = w (H o )

Radiation stress considerations show the reflected wave causes a set-up (o) at the

vertical wall

H 2

2

o =

coth kh s , k =

L

L

Simplified formula assumes a linear pressure distribution below the water level

(conservative assumption, see reflected wave diagram)

1+ wH

p1 =

2 cosh kh s

where = wave reflection coefficient (1.0 for vertical wall with total reflection)

Breaking Waves:

Goda (1974) (CEM Table VI-5-53, p. VI-5-139)

based on model tests

design against single largest wave force in design sea state, uses highest wave in

wave group

Hdesign is estimated at a distance of 5Hs seaward of breakwater (Hdesign = 1.8Hs)

hb = water depth at 5Hs seaward of breakwater

L (or k) is calculated at hb using Ts = 1.1Tm (Tm is the average period)

modified to incorporate random wave breaking model

assumes trapezoidal shape for pressure distribution along front

Caisson is imbedded into the rubble mound

Uplift pressure distribution is assumed triangular

Note: hs

includes

wave setup

exerted:

= direction of waves with respect to

breakwater normal (for waves approaching

normal to breakwater, = 0)

p1 = 0.5(1 + cos )(1 + cos 2 )H design

h c

p for > h c

1

p 2 = 1

0

for h c

p3 = 3p1

Buoyancy and Uplift Pressure

2

2khs

1 = 0.6 + 0.5

sinh

2

kh

s

(*) Increase in wave pressure due to shallow mound

2

= 2 = minimum of

h b d H de sin

2d

or

3h b d

H design

h hc

1

1

3 = 1 w

h s cosh kh s

Decrease in Pressure from Hydrostatic under Wave Trough

: 0.5H design z < 0

z

p=

: z < 0.5H design

0.5H design

Tanimoto etal. (1976) added structure type modification factors (1, 2, 3) which are one for a

vertical wall (1 = 2 = 3 = 1)

= 0.75(1 + cos )1H design

h c

p for > h c

1

p 2 = 1

0

for h c

Takahashi, Tanimoto and Shimosako (1994) Table VI-5-54 modified the shallow mound

coefficient (*) for head-on breaking waves

Takahashi, Tanimoto and Shimosaka (1994) Table VI-5-54 modified the shallow mound

coefficient (*) for head-on breaking waves

Tanimoto and Kimura (1985) Table VI-5-56 updated the 3 modification factor to account for

inclined walls

Takahashi and Hosoyamada (1994) Table VI-5-57 developed corrections to p1, p2, p3 to account

for a structure with a sloped portion beginning just below the waterline

Takahashi, Tanimoto and Shimosako (1990) Table VI-5-58 updated the structure type

modification factors (1, 2, 3) to account for a vertical wall structure protected by a

rubble mound

Tanimoto, Takahashi and Kitatani (1981) and Takahashi, Shimosako and Sakaki (1991) Table

VI-5-59 updated the structure type modification factors (1, 2, 3) to account for

caissons with vertical slit fronts faces and open wave chambers

Basic Calculation (refer to Sainflou), forces and moments are per unit length of structure

B

FG = FB - W

p1

FH

dh

hw

hs

FB

p2

pu

FU

bu

FG = [ c h w (h s + H + o )]B

FH = 12 w h s (H + o ) + 12 p 2 (h s + H + o )

=

1

2

(p 2 + w h s )(h s + H + o ) 12 w h s2

FU = 12 p u B

where pu = p2 for Sainflou (conservative) and c is the specific weight of the caisson

Overturning moments is then:

M H = FH d h

= 16 w h s (h s + H + o ) + 16 p 2 (h s + H + o ) 16 w h 3s and

2

1

6

(p 2 + w h s )(h s + H + o )2 16 w h 3s

M U = Fu ( 23 B) = 13 p u B2

Similar calculations can be made for the pressure distribution under the wave trough

Table VI-5-55, p VI-5-141 has the formulae for the Goda equations which include

biasing and uncertainty corrections

Proposed Publishing Date: 30 Apr 03

Table VI-5-55

Resulting Wave Induced Forces and Moments, and Related Uncertainties and Bias When Calculated From Wave Load

Equations by Goda and Takahashi

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Fundamentals of Design

VI-5-141

Based on wave pressure records and shock press. work by Bagnold

pressure distribution with peak pressure at or near the still-water level

vertical breakwater resting on rubble mound

impact pressure decreases parabolically to zero at z = - H

generally overestimates pressures (15-18)

Dynamic Pressure:

p max = 101d(1 + d h ) H b L h

combined

2z

, z H 2

p m = p max 1

Hb

Hydrostatic Pressure:

p d = (d + 12 H b )

pmax = max dynamic pressure at SWL

pm = dynamic pressure

z = vertical distance from SWL

h = the depth of water a distance L from the

wall, h = d + Ldm

Ld = the wavelength at depth d

Lh = the wavelength at depth h

Hb = breaker height

m

1

Overturning Moment from the dynamic force: M m = 13 p max H b d

adding the hydrostatic force and moments to these gives:

2

Ftotal = 13 p max H b + 12 (d + 1 2 H b )

total force:

total overturningmoment:

M total = 13 p max H b d + 16 (d + 1 2 H b )

ps

pmax

Dynamic Pressure

0.5H

0.5H

dH

p max = 101d1 + b

h Lh

2

2z

, z 12 H b

p m = p max 1

H

b

Static Pressure

1 2z

0 z < 12 H b

H1

p s = 2 H b

1

z<0

2 H b z

Minikin's Method for a wall with top below the design breaker crest

using reduction factors (rm and a) from plots below

Hb

Fm ' = rm ( 13 p max H b )

b'

M m ' = 13 p max H b [d (d + a )(1 rm )]

0.9

0.9

0.8

0.8

0.7

0.7

0.6

0.6

2a/Hb

rm

= 13 p max H b [rm (d + a ) a ]

0.5

0.5

0.4

0.4

0.3

0.3

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.1

0

0

0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

b'/H b

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

b'/H b

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

Caisson width:

General guidance: B = 1.7 to 2.6 H1/3 for reflective to breaking waves

Wave transmission is of primary concern.

hc

d

h

~ 5m

key stone

(scour protection)

General guide: hc = 0.5 to 0.75 H1/3 , however design requirement become more

important:

allowed overtopping specifications

Overtopping is less critical for structurally integrity compared to rubble

mound breakwaters (i.e. there is no armor layer vulnerable to wave attack).

However, a shorter caisson will have a shorter moment arm (see overturning

stability discussion below).

Mound Crest Elevation:

General guidance: d/h < 0.6 for breaking waves.

Scour at the base of the caisson is still a concern, especially in a breaking

wave environment. Therefore, the height of the rubble mound should be limited.

However, as seen below in the soil bearing capacity discussion, higher mounds

distribute the load more and enhance the ability of the soil to support the more

concentrated weight of the caisson. Large key stones may be placed at the base of

the caisson to reduce scour problems.

Sliding and Overturning Stability

To assess the sliding and overturning stability of the upright section, the weight

(W), buoyancy (B), the horizontal wave induced force (Fh) and uplift force (U) must be

considered. Buoyancy is the weight of the water displaced by the submerged volume of

the upright section. The dynamic uplift pressure is assumed to vary linearly from the

seaside to the lee-side.

Fh

Slip circles

dh

bu

(1) For sliding, the friction due to the net downward forces opposes the horizontal wave

induced force

S .F . = (W B U ) Fh ,

where is the coefficient of friction between the upright section and the rubble

mound (or the bottom). For a new installation 0.5. After the initial

shakedown, 0.6.

(2) For overturning, moments are calculated about the lee-side toe

S .F . = (M W M u ) M p

for a symmetric section with no eccentricity:

M W = 0.5(W B )

M U = buU = 2 / 3U

M p = d h Fh

In designing breakwaters for harbor protection, safety factors are taken as 1.2 or higher.

"The overturning of a caisson implies very high pressures on the point of rotation.

The bearing capacity of the stone underlayer will be exceeded and the crushing of stones

at the caisson heel will take place. In reality the bearing capacity of the underlayer and

the sea-bed sets the limiting conditions. The soil mechanics methods of analyzing the

bearing capacity of a foundation when exposed to eccentric inclined loads should be

applied, i.e. slip failure or the use of bearing capacity diagrams." (Abbott and Price, p.

422)

B

distribute the load more

sand key

sand

Sand Key

clay

clay

sand

Generally, a rubble mound will distribute the weight of the caisson according to

its friction angle. Higher base mounds will distribute the load over a wider area and

reduce the load on the soil. Weak soil may also be replaced with a sand key which will

further distribute the load.

Guideline (D = depth of top sand layer or sand key):

2B > D > 1.5B use combined strength by spreading the load

D 1.5B use clay load, sand may still be added to (1) increase drainage,

(2) help distribute load, (3) give better, more even surface

e

te

Fh

W-B-U

analysis must equal or exceed the actual load. The eccentricity (e) can be

calculated from the angle of the resultant force. Since the soil cannot support a

tension stress, the load must be corrected as follows:

For e 16 B :

6e W

p1 = 1 + ,

BB

For e > 16 B :

p1 =

2W

,

3 te

6e W

p 2 = 1

BB

p 2 = 0 ; where t e =

B

e

2

Soil cannot

support tension

Load on soil

p2

B'

p1

qa = allowable load

qa

1

2

( p1 + p2 )

cannot support tension

p1

1. Specify design conditions: design wave, water levels, etc.

2. Set rubble mound dimensions

3. Compute external wave loading

4. Perform stability analysis

a. Sliding stability

b. Overturning stability

c. Slip stability: local, translational and global

5. Perform a bearing capacity analysis

a. At mound level (i.e. at the toe of the caisson)

b. At the foundation level

6. Determine caisson stability under towing conditions and during the installation phase

7. Stress configurations

a. During towing and installation

i. Side

ii. Bottom

iii. Internal panel

b. Post installation

i. Side

ii. Bottom

iii. Internal panel

8. Structural Detailing

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