RESEARCH PAPERS: Offshore Mechanics

A Submerged Compliant Breakwater

[+] Author and Article Information
A. N. Williams

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-4791

P. T. Geiger

Brown & Root Inc., Houston, TX 77210-4574

W. G. McDougal

Department of Civil Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-2302

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 114(2), 83-90 (May 01, 1992) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2919963 History: Received October 01, 1991; Revised January 24, 1992; Online June 12, 2008


A numerical technique is utilized to investigate the dynamics of a submerged compliant breakwater consisting of a flexible, beamlike structure anchored to the seabed and kept under tension by a small buoyancy chamber at the tip. The fluid motion is idealized as linearized, two-dimensional potential flow and the equation of motion of the breakwater is taken to be that of a one-dimensional beam of uniform flexural rigidity and mass per unit length subjected to a constant axial force. The boundary integral equation method is applied to the fluid domain, modifications are made to the basic formulation to account for the zero thickness of the idealized structure and the singularity in the fluid velocity which occurs at the breakwater tip. The dynamic behavior of the breakwater is described through an appropriate Green function. Numerical results are presented which illustrate the global influence of the tip singularity on the solution and the effects of the various wave and structural parameters on the efficiency of the breakwater as a barrier to wave action. Small-scale physical model tests were also carried out to validate the foregoing theory. In general, the agreement between experimental and numerical results was reasonable, but with considerable scatter.

Copyright © 1992 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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