STABILITY OF RUBBLE MOUND BREAKWATERS IN SHALLOW WATER AND SURF ZONE : AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY

Guirec Prevot, Olivier Boucher, Maryline Luck, Michel Benoit

Abstract


Rubble-mound breakwaters are often pre-designed with empirical formulae allowing the estimation of armour stone size or weight, taking into account the wave conditions (mainly a characteristic wave height and a characteristic period), the type and density of stone or block used, the slope of the mound, the acceptable level of damage, etc. In deep water conditions, the existing formulas are rather well established (e.g. Hudson and Van der Meer formulas
among others). They use as input data wave parameters that are well defined (e.g. the significant wave height H1/3 or sometimes the height H1/10) and easily accessible, from in situ measurements or from numerical wave models. In shallow water however, and in particular in breaking wave conditions (where most of the small breakwaters are built), a number of physical processes (refraction, shoaling and breaking) significantly modify the incoming waves.
They also lead to changes in the wave height distribution (which can no longer be regarded as being of Rayleightype) and in the shape of the wave spectrum. This, combined with the fact that most of the models used nowadays for nearshore wave propagation are spectral wave models (e.g. SWAN, TOMAWAC, etc.) and thus provide spectral parameters as output (typically the spectral significant wave height Hm0 and the peak period Tp or the mean energetic
period Tm-1,0) has raised the question of which characteristic wave parameter should be used in stability formulas for rubble-mound breakwaters in shallow water. This has led to the consideration of more representative wave parameters such as H2% or Tm-1,0 which are sometimes less accessible from existing wave database or numerical modelling studies. The objective of the present study is to review and compare several available methods to calculate armour stone weight in shallow waters, and to provide some insight into the applicability and limitations of these methods based on a series of wave flume experiments.

Keywords


rubble-mound breakwater; shallow water; damages

References


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