E. Loewy, K.G. Witthaus, L. Summers, R.J. Maddrell


Modern design concepts for coastal engineering" works make increasingly, heavy demands in respect of the number of variables to be investigated, of the accuracy of the field measurements and of subsequent methods of analysis. In general the larger the projects the greater the demand for accurate site data but frequently, whatever the field data requirement might be, environmental conditions impose severe limitations upon the quality and quantity of the obtainable information. Before field measurements commenced on the two projects reported in this paper (see Figures 1 and 2) careful consideration was given to the relation between the probable status of the data, the level of statistical analysis to be applied and the constraints the results might impose upon research objectives or upon projected works. Such appraisal was specially relevant since the projects drew upon results from both physical and mathematical models and, in one case, involved assessments of extreme sea conditions related to nuclear safety. This approach provided sufficient flexibility to adjust the method or extent of data collection to take advantage of optimum conditions in the field and changing requirements for input to models and designs. The time and energy expended in obtaining data of the correct order of confidence was justified by its direct applicability to alternative designs in the face of rapidly inflating construction costs. It was considered essential that the planning and control of data collection be co-ordinated by the design engineer for relating individual items to the project as a whole. It was found equally important that the hydrograpnic surveyors and oceanographers, familiar with the physical aspects involved, understood how their results were to be applied and hence appreciated the necessity of achieving appropriate tolerances for different parts of the work.


data collection; data analysis; coastal project

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