Melville S. Priest, Joel W. Pugh, Rameshwar Singh


For several years, some coastal engineers have been aware that the seaward face of rubble mound breakwaters of the common trapezoidal cross-section is conducive to relatively severe wave action and possible damage to the breakwaters. Further, it has been suggested that a preferable seaward profile would be that composed of three straight lines, with the middle line at a relatively small angle with the horizontal, to form what might be thought of as abroad berm. In order to arrive at a more realistic knowledge of seaward profiles for which wave intensity and likelihood of breakwater damage are minimal, a laboratory study of shallow-water wave action on rubble breakwaters was initiated at Auburn University, It is hoped that such knowledge will lead to design procedures which will result in (a) less violent wave action, (b) less structural damage, and (c) the possible use of smaller stones. Thus far, the study has been devoted to shallow-water waves of two types, steep, smooth waves and spilling breakers, acting, with normal incidence, upon breakwaters constructed of various materials and having an initial seaward slope of 1 on if. For each set of conditions, the stable seaward profile was determined. Through dimensional analysis and curve fitting, an effort was made to describe the stable seaward profiles in terms of physical quantities which influence the profiles. It is the authors1 belief that the results of this study will be useful in leading to more rational design procedures.


rubble mound breakwater; breakwater profile; breakwater design

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