Impermeable recurve seawalls to reduce wave overtopping

Schoonees, Talia (2014-04)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Sea-level rise due to climate change results in deeper water next to existing coastal structures, which in turn enables higher waves to reach these structures. Wave overtopping occurs when wave action discharges water over the crest of a coastal structure. Therefore, the higher waves reaching existing structures will cause higher wave overtopping rates. One possible solution to address increasing overtopping, is to raise the crest level of existing coastal structures. However, raising the crest level of a seawall at the back of a beach, will possibly obstruct the view to the ocean from inland. Alternatively, recurves can be incorporated into the design of both existing and new seawalls. The recurve wall reduces overtopping by deflecting uprushing water seawards as waves impact with the wall. The main advantage of seawalls with recurves is that their crest height can be lower, but still allow for the same wave overtopping rate as vertical seawalls without recurves. This project investigates the use of recurve seawalls at the back of a beach to reduce overtopping and thereby reducing the required wall height. The objectives of the project are twofold, namely: (1) to compare overtopping rates of a vertical seawall without a recurve and seawalls with recurves; and (2) to determine the influence that the length of the recurve overhang has on the overtopping rates. To achieve these objectives, physical model tests were performed in a glass flume equipped with a piston type wave paddle that is capable of active wave absorption. These tests were performed on three different seawall profiles: the vertical wall and a recurve section with a short and a long seaward overhang, denoted as Recurve 1 and Recurve 2 respectively. Tests were performed with 5 different water-levels, while the wall height, wave height and period, and seabed slope remained constant. Both breaking and non-breaking waves were simulated. A comparison of test results proves that the two recurve seawalls are more effective in reducing overtopping than the vertical seawall. The reduction of overtopping can be as high as 100%, depending on the freeboard and wave conditions. Recurve 2 proves to be the most efficient in reducing overtopping. However, in the case of a high freeboard (low water-level at the toe of the structure), the reduction in overtopping for Recurve 1 and Recurve 2 was almost equally effective. This is because all water from the breaking waves is reflected. Even for the simulated lower relative freeboard cases, the recurve walls offer a significant reduction in overtopping compared with the vertical wall. A graph is presented which shows that the length of the seaward overhang influences the overtopping performance of the seawall. As the seaward overhang length increases, the wave overtopping rate decreases. However, for high freeboard cases the length of the seaward overhang becomes less important. The graph gives designers an indication of how recurves can be designed to reduce seawall height while retaining low overtopping. It is recommended that further model tests be performed for additional overhang lengths. Incorporation of recurves into seawall design represents an adaptation to problems of sea-level rise due to global warming

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Stygende seevlak as gevolg van klimaatverandering, veroorsaak dat dieper water langs bestaande kusstrukture voorkom. Gevolglik kan hoër golwe hierdie strukture bereik. Golfoorslag vind plaas wanneer water oor die kruin van ‘n kusstruktuur, hoofsaaklik deur golfaksie, spat of vloei. Dus sal hoër golfhoogtes tot verhoogde golfoorslag lei. Een moontlike oplossing vir hierdie verhoogde golfoorslag is om die kruinhoogte van bestaande kusstrukture te verhoog. In die geval van ‘n seemuur aan die agterkant van ‘n strand, kan hoër strukture egter die see-uitsig na die see vanaf die land belemmer. Om hierdie probleem te vermy, kan terugkaatsmure in die ontwerp van bestaande en nuwe seemure ingesluit word. Terugkaatsmure verminder golfoorslag deurdat opspattende water, afkomstig van invallende golwe terug, na die see gekaats word. Die grootste voordeel van ‘n terugkaatsmuur is dat hierdie tipe muur ‘n laer kruinhoogte as die vertikale seemuur sonder ‘n terugkaatsbalk, vir dieselfde golfoorslagtempo kan hê. Hierdie projek ondersoek dus die gebruik van terugkaatsmure aan die agterkant van ‘n strand met die doel om golfoorslag te verminder en sodoende die vereiste muurhoogte te verminder. Die doelwit vir die projek is tweeledig: (1) om die golfoorslagtempo van terugkaatsmure te vergelyk met dié van ‘n vertikale muur sonder ‘n terugkaatsbalk; en (2) om die invloed van die terugkaatsmuur se oorhanglengte op die golfoorslagtempo te bepaal. Om bogenoemde doelwitte te bereik, is fisiese modeltoetse in ‘n golfkanaal, wat met ‘n suiertipe golfopwekker toegerus is en wat aktiewe golfabsorbering toepas, uitgevoer. Hierdie toetse is op drie verskillende seemuurprofiele, naamlik ‘n vertikale muur en ‘n terugkaatsmuur met ‘n kort en lang oorhang, genaamd “Recurve 1” en “Recurve 2” onderskeidelik, uitgevoer. Die muurhoogte, die seebodemhelling asook die golfhoogte en –periode is tydens al die toetse konstant gehou. Vir elke profiel is toetse by 5 verskillende watervlakke vir beide brekende en ongebreekte golwe uitgevoer. Uit die toetsresultate is dit duidelik dat terugkaatsmure meer effektief as vertikale mure is om golfoorslag te beperk. Die vermindering van golfoorslag kan tot 100% wees, afhangende van die vryboord en golftoestande. Daar is bevind dat “Recurve 2” golfoorslag die effektiefste verminder. In die geval van hoë vryboord (lae watervlak by die toon van die struktuur) is daar egter gevind dat “Recurve 1” en “Recurve 2” die golfoorslag feitlik ewe goed beperk. Dit is die geval aangesien alle water van die brekende golwe weerkaats word. In die geval van ‘n lae vryboord, word die voordeel van die terugkaatsmuur teengewerk deurdat daar ‘n kleiner verskil in golfoorslagtempo’s tussen die drie profiele is. ‘n Grafiek is voorgelê wat wys dat die lengte van die terugkaatsmuur se oorhang golfoorslag beperk. ‘n Groter oorhanglengte van die terugslagmuur veroorsaak ‘n groter vermindering in golfoorslag. Vir gevalle met ‘n hoë vryboord, is daar egter gevind dat die oorhanglengte van die terugslagmuur minder belangrik is. Hierdie grafiek gee ontwerpers ‘n aanduiding van hoe terugslagmure ontwerp kan word met ‘n lae hoogte terwyl ‘n lae oorslagtempo behou word. Die gebruik van terugslagmure bied ‘n aanpassing vir die probleme van seevlakstyging, as gevolg van klimaatverandering.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86369
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