James R. Ayers


Since the days of the Phoenicians and Egyptians, men have struggled to build harbor works capable of standing against the forces of the sea. Although the remains of Roman works have endured to the modern era, little progress in design was made until the early part of the last century. Modern developments have led to a better knowledge of wave pressures, but the principal source of guidance is still to be found by studying the causes underlying the disasters of the past. This paper includes a brief outline of the principal structural types which have been built with varying degrees of success, a description of the results of certain model tests on a rubble mound breakwater, and a resume of some of the most important lessons learned from the many failures which have occurred.


coastal structure; cross section; model tests

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