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TECHNICAL PAPERS

CFD Analysis of Current-Induced Loads on Large Caisson at Supercritical Reynolds Number

[+] Author and Article Information
Subrata K. Chakrabarti

 Offshore Structure Analysis, Inc., 13613 Capista Drive, Plainfield, IL 60544

Kristian K. Debus, Jonathan Berkoe, Brigette Rosendall

 Bechtel National Inc., 50 Beale Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 127(2), 104-111 (Nov 23, 2004) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1894409 History: Received June 16, 2004; Revised November 23, 2004

The newly constructed Tacoma Narrows Bridge Piers represent large concrete floating caissons during their construction. For designing their mooring system the current force applied on the caissons in the Narrows must be known. The flow field around the caisson is highly complex and the calculation of the current load on the caisson by analytical means is difficult. On the other hand, model tests suffer from the distortion in the Reynolds number. Therefore, a two-prong approach was undertaken. Besides the fixed model test of the caissons for current forces, a CFD analysis of the flow around the caisson is chosen. A three-dimensional CFD approach is considered more appropriate than a two-dimensional one, since the bottom contour at the site is irregular and water depth is rather shallow. This paper discusses the CFD method and the results obtained from such analysis. The numerical analysis was carried out in both ebb and flood flow of the tidal current in the basin. One of the difficulties of the computational method is the very high Reynolds number encountered by the large current and large size of the caisson. The analysis is performed in both model and full scales so that the difference in the results may be investigated. Also, since the model test data are available, comparisons are made between the CFD and model test results on the drag and lift forces on the caisson.

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Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 13

CFD vs HRW force spectra—123 ft (36.6 m) caisson in 7 kts (3.6 m/s) ebb

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Figure 12

CFD vs HRW force time history—123 ft (37.5 m) caisson in 7 kts (3.6 m/s) ebb

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Figure 11

CFD vs HRW force spectra—143 ft (43.6 m) caisson in 9 kts (4.6 m/s) flood

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Figure 10

CFD vs HRW force time history—143 ft (43.6 m) caisson in 9 kts (4.6 m/s) flood

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Figure 9

Time history of Y forces for model and prototype flood case

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Figure 8

Time history of X forces for model and prototype flood case

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Figure 7

Time history of Y forces for model and prototype ebb case

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Figure 6

Time history of X forces for model and prototype ebb case

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Figure 5

Y force on the new caisson of 120 ft (36.6 m) draft in 7 knot (3.6 m/s) ebb flow

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Figure 4

X force on the new caisson of 120 ft (36.6 m) draft in 7 knot (3.6 m/s) ebb flow

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Figure 3

Flow visualization by CFD for west caisson flood case at 25 h

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Figure 2

Computational mesh with prismatic elements on the caisson and pier

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Figure 1

Computational domain for the west side with bathymetry and pier/caisson configuration

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