GREAT LAKES WAVE INFORMATION

D.T. Resio, L.W. Hiipakka

Abstract


The lack of reliable Great Lakes wave information has long been a problem for the Corps of Engineers and others involved in planning and design along Great Lakes coasts. In recent years this need has been accentuated by increased water levels and increased demand for coastal land use. The Corps need for wave information became critical with the passage of the River and Harbor Act of 1970 (Public- Law 91-611) Section 123 of this legislation authorized design and construction of contained spoil disposal facilities having a ten-year capacity to hold polluted dredged material. The North Central Division of the Corps of Engineers (NCD) is responsible for dredging 117 navigation projects and connecting channels in the Great Lakes. Of these, 59 are considered polluted, necessitating construction of 41 diked disposal sites at an estimated cost of over $300,000,000. With a program of this magnitude, it was apparent that unnecessary conservatism in design had to be minimized through development of the best wave information base that the state-of-the-art could provide. A project was initiated at the Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station (WES) under the sponsorship of NCD to supply design wave information. After a review of all possible sources of available wave information and the potential for obtaining additional gage data, it was determined that a wave hindcast program might best meet the immediate needs of NCD. The actual study has been divided into four phases: a. The estimation of over-lake winds, b. The establishment of a wave hindcast technique, c. The analysis of waves from model outputs, and d. The evaluation of errors in Phases a, b, and c.

Keywords


Great Lakes; wave information

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