John Dorrington Mettam


In March 1972 the author's firm in association with two Portuguese firms of consulting engineers, Consulmar and Lusotecna, were appointed by the Portuguese Government agency Gabinete da Area de Sines to prepare designs for the construction of a new harbour at Sines on the west coast of Portugal. The location is shown in Figure 1. The main breakwater, which is the subject of this paper, is probably the largest breakwater yet built, being 2 km long and in depths of water of up to 50 m. It is exposed to the North Atlantic and has been designed for a significant wave height of 11 m. Dolos units invented by Merrifield (ref. 1) form the main armour. The project programme required that studies be first made of a wide range of alternative layouts for the harbour. After the client had decided on the layout to be adopted, documents were to be prepared to enable tenders for construction to be invited in January 1973. This allowed little time for the design to be developed and only one series of flume tests, using regular waves, was completed during this period. Further tests in the regular flume were completed during the tender period and a thorough programme of testing with irregular waves was commenced later in the year, continuing until August 1974 when the root of the breakwater was complete and the construction of the main cross-section was about to start. The model tests, which were carried out at the Laboratorio Nacional de Engenharia Civil in Lisbon, were reported by Morals in a paper presented to the 14th International Coastal Engineering Conference in 1974. (ref. 2)


breakwater; Sines Harbor; breakwater design

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