THE DESIGN CONCEPT OF DUAL BREAKWATERS AND ITS APPLICATION TO TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA

W. Bremner, D.N. Foster, C.A. Miller, B.C. Wallace

Abstract


In Central and North Queensland the coastline is protected by the Great Barrier Reef over a length of some 1900km from Gladstone in the south to the tip of Cape York (Fig. 1). The fetch distance from the reef to the coastline is very variable from about 15km to 140km. Hence the coastal areas north of Gladstone have moderate to low wave climates except during abnormal weather events such as cyclones or long time interval bands of strong winds. In these events larger storm waves of significant wave heights of 10m may be superimposed, in the case of cyclones, on storm surges several metres in height. The design of breakwaters and shoreline structures for protection against all except cyclonic and strong wind band effects requires, in the main, readily available sizes of armour rock and relatively low crest elevations. To offer similar protection against cyclonic weather events often requires the use of artificial armour units of concrete and a substantial increase in crest heights. The resulting increase in costs makes many of the small projects uneconomic. In this paper the concept of using an offshore breakwater which is designed to fail under extreme wave conditions to protect an inner breakwater or revetment is examined and the results applied to Townsville Harbour where cost savings of the order of 40 percent were achieved over a conventional design.

Keywords


dual breakwaters; breakwater design; Townsville, Australia

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