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Breakwaters
What is breakwater ?
• Breakwaters are structures constructed on coasts as part of
coastal defense or to protect an anchorage from the effects
of both weather and long shore drift.
• A structure protecting a shore area, harbor, anchorage or
basin from wave disturbance.
• A barrier that breaks the force of waves, as before a harbor.
• Breakwater are the structures constructed to enclose the
harbours to protect them from the effect of wind
generated waves by reflecting and dissipating their force or
energy. Such a construction makes it possible to use the
area thus enclosed as a safe anchorage for ships and to
facilitate loading and unloading of water by means of wave
breakers.
What’s the Need of Breakwater?
• Breakwaters are built to provide shelter from waves to manipulate
the littoral/sand transport conditions and thereby to trap some
sand entrance inside the Anchorage Area
• A breakwater is a large pile of rocks built parallel to the shore. It is
designed to block the waves and the surf. Some breakwaters are
below the water's surface (a submerged breakwater).
• Breakwaters are usually built to provide calm waters for harbors
and artificial marinas.
• Submerged breakwaters are built to reduce beach erosion. These
may also be referred to as artificial "reefs."
• A breakwater can be offshore, underwater or connected to the
land. As with groins and jetties, when the longshore current is
interrupted, a breakwater will dramatically change the profile of the
beach. Over time, sand will accumulate towards a breakwater.
Downdrift sand will erode.
• A breakwater can cause millions of dollars in beach erosion in the
decades after it is built.
Types of Breakwaters
-Detached breakwater
(breakwaters can completely isolated from the shore)
-Head land breakwaters
-Nearshore breakwaters
-Attached breakwater
(Breakwaters can be connected to the shore line)
low crested structure
High crested strucure
Rubble mound strucure
Composite structure
*Using mass ( caissons )
*Using arevetment slope
(e.g with rock or concrete armor units )
-Emerged breakwaters
-Submerged breakwaters
-Floating breakwaters
DETACHED Breakwater
breakwaters without any constructed connection to the shore. This type of system
detached breakwaters are constructed away from the shoreline, usually a slight
distance offshore .they are designed to promote beach deposition on their
leeside.appropriate in areas of large sediment transport
Head land breakwaters(HB)
a series of breakwaters constructed in an “Attached” fashion to
the shoreline & angled in the direction of predominant waves -
the shoreline behind the structures evolves into a natural
“crenulate” or log spiral embayment.
Nearshore Breakwaters
• Nearshore breakwaters are detached, generally shore-parallel
• structures that reduce the amount of wave energy reaching a
protected area. They are similar to natural bars,reefs or
nearshore islands that dissipate wave energy. The reduction in
wave energy slows the littoral drift, produces sediment
deposition and a shoreline bulge or salient feature in the
sheltered area behind the breakwater. Some longshore
sediment transport may continue along the coast behind the
nearshore breakwater
Rubble mound breakwater
• Rubble mounds are frequently used structures.
• Rubble mound breakwater consists of armour layer, a filter layer &
core.
• It is a structure, built up of core of quarry run rock overlain by one or
two layers of large rocks. Armour stone or precast elements are used
for outer armour layer to protect the structure against wave attack.
Crown wall is constructed on top of mound to prevent or to reduce
wave
• A breakwater constructed by a heterogeneous assemblage of natural
rubble or undressed stone.
• When water depths are large RBW may be uneconomical in view of
huge volume of rocks required.
• Built upto water depth of 50m.
• Not suitable when space is a problem. If the harbor side may have to
be used for berthing of ships, the RBW with its sloping faces is no
suitable for berthing.
• These type of breakwaters dissipate the incident wave energy by
forcing them to break on a slope and thus do not produce appreciable
reflection.
layout of rubble mound breakwater
ADVANTAGES OF RMBW
• Use of natural material
• Reduces material cost
• Use of small construction equipment
• Less environmental impact
• Easy to construct
• Failure is mainly due to poor interlocking
capacity between individual blocks
• Unavailability of large size natural rocks leads to
artificial armour blocks .
Disadvantages of RMBW
• Needs a considerable amount of construction
materials.
• Continuous maintenance is required.
• Sometimes there are difficulties in erection,
as the rock weight increases with the
increase of wave heights.
• Can’t be used for ship berthing
VERTICAL BREAKWATER
• A breakwater formed by the construction in a regular and
systematic manner of a vertical wall of masonry concrete
blocks or mass concrete, with vertical and seaward face.
• Reflect the incident waves without dissipating much wave
energy.
• Wave protection in port/channel
• Protection from siltation, currents
• Tsunami protection
• Berthing facilities
• Access/transport facility
• Normally it is constructed in locations where the depth of
the sea is greater than twice the design wave height.
Vertical Wall Breakwaters - Types
(breakwaters with vertical and inclined concrete walls)
Conventional type
The caisson is placed on a relatively thin stone
bedding.
Advantage of this type is the minimum use of natural
rock (in case scarce)
Wave walls are generally placed on shore connected
caissons (reduce overtopping)
Vertical composite type
The caisson is placed on a high rubble
foundation
This type is economic in deep waters, but
requires substantial volumes of (small size) rock
fill for foundation
Horizontal composite type
The front slope of the caisson is covered by armour units
This type is used in shallow water. The mound reduces wave
reflection, wave impact and wave overtopping
Repair of displaced vertical breakwaters
Used when a (deep) quay is required at the inside of rubble
mound breakwater
Block type
this type of breakwater needs to be placed on rock
sea beds or on very strong soils due to very high
foundation loads and sensitivity to differential
settlements
Piled breakwater with concrete wall
Piled breakwaters consist of an inclined or
vertical curtain wall mounted on pile work.
The type is applicable in less severe wave
climates on site with weak and soft subsoils with
very thick layers.
Manfredonia New Port
(Italy)
Sloping top
The upper part of the front slope above still
water level is given a slope to reduce wave
forces and improve the direction of the wave
forces on the sloping front.
Overtopping is larger than for a vertical wall
with equal level.
Perforated front wall
The front wall is perforated by holes or slots
with a wave chamber behind.
Due to the dissipation of energy both the wave
forces on the caisson and the wave reflection
are reduced
Semi-circular caisson
Well suited for shallow water situations with
intensive wave breaking
Due to the dissipation of energy both the wave
forces on the caisson and the wave reflection
are reduced
Dual cylindrical caisson
Outer permeable and inner impermeable
cylinder.
Low reflection and low permeable
Centre chamber and lower ring chamber fills
with sand
Combi-caisson
Disadvantages of vertical wall
breakwaters
• Sea bottom has to be leveled and prepared for
placements of large blocks or caissons.
• Foundations made of fine sand may cause erosion and
settlement.
• Erosion may cause tilting or displacement of large
monoliths.
• Difficult and expensive to repair.
• Building of caissons and launching or towing them into
position require special land and water areas beside
involvement of heavy construction equipments.
• Require form work, quality concrete, skilled labour,
batching plants and floating crafts.
PARAMETERS
FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A BREAKWATER
When a breakwater is to be built at a certain
location, and the environmental impact of such a
structure has already been evaluated and deemed
environmentally feasible, the following parameters
are required before construction can commence:
• a detailed hydrographic survey of the site;
• a geotechnical investigation of the sea bed;
• a wave height investigation or hindcasting;
• a material needs assessment; and
• the cross-sectional design of the structure.
Geotechnical investigation
A geotechnical investigation of the sea bed is required to
determine the type of founding material and its extent.
The results of this investigation will have a direct bearing
on the type of cross-section of the breakwater. In
addition, it is essential to determine what the coastline
consists of, for example:
• soft or hard rock (like coral reefs or granite);
• sand (as found on beaches);
• clay (as in some mangrove areas); and
• soft to very soft clay, silt or mud (as found along
some river banks, mangroves and other tidal areas).
Basic geotechnical investigations
Basic geotechnical investigations normally suffice for small or
artisanal projects, especially when the project site is remote
and access poor. A basic geotechnical investigation should be
carried out or supervised by an experienced engineer or
geologist familiar with the local soil conditions.
The following activities may be carried out in a basic
investigation using only portable equipment:
• retrieval of bottom sediments for laboratory analysis;
• measurement of bottom layer (loose sediment) thickness;
• approximate estimation of bearing capacity of the sea
bed
The equipment required to carry out the above
mentioned activities consists of :-
A stable floating platform (a single canoe is not
stable enough, but two canoes tied together to
form a catamaran are excellent)
Diving equipment
A Van Veen bottom sampler (may be rented
from a national or university laboratory)
A 20 mm diameter steel pricking rod and a
water lance (a 20 mm diameter steel pipe
connected to a gasoline-powered water pump).
Figure 1. shows Simply picking up samples from
the sea bed with a scoop or bucket disturbs the
sediment layers with the eventual loss of the finer
material and is not a recommended method.
The sediments thus collected should then be
carefully placed in wide-necked glass jars and
taken to a national or university laboratory for
analysis.
At least 10 kilograms of sediment are normally
required by the laboratory for a proper analysis
Sometimes, a good hard bottom is overlain by a layer of
loose or silty sand or mud.
In most cases this layer has to be removed by dredging
to expose the harder material underneath.
To determine the thickness of this harder layer, a water
lance is required. This consists of a length of steel tubing
(the poker), sealed at the bottom end with aconical
fitting and connected to a length of water hose at the
top end. The water hose is connected to a small
gasoline-powered water pump drawing seawater from
over the side of the platform. The conical end has four 3
mm diameter holes drilled into it.
.
The diver simply pokes the steel tube into the sediment while water
is pumped into it from above until the poker stops penetrating. The
diver then measures the penetration. This method, also known as
pricking, works very well in silty and muddy deposits up to 2 to 3
metres thick. It is not very effective in very coarse sand with large
pebbles
Wave hindcasting:
The height of wave incident on a breakwater generally
determines the size and behaviour of the breakwater. It
is hence of the utmost importance to obtain realistic
values of the waves expected in a particular area.
Behaviour of water waves is one of the most intriguing
of nature’s phenomena. Waves manifest themselves by
curved undulations of the surface of the water
occurring at periodic intervals. They are generated by
the action of wind moving over a waterbody; the
stronger the wind blows, the higher the waves
generated. They may vary in size from ripples on a pond
to large ocean waves as high as 10 metres.
Wave disturbance is also felt to a considerable depth and,
therefore, the depth of water has an effect on the character of
the wave. As the sea bed rises towards the shore, waves
eventually break. The precise nature of the types of wave
incident on a particular stretch of shoreline, also known as wave
hindcasting, may be investigated by three different methods:
• Method 1 – On-the-spot measurement by special electronic
equipment, such as a wave rider buoy, which may be hired for a
set time from private companies or government laboratories;
• Method 2 – Prediction by statistical methods on a computer
statistical hindcast models may be performed on the computer
if wind data or satellite wave data are available for the area; and
• Method 3 – On-the-spot observation by simple optical
instruments – the theodolite.
Methods 1 and 2 give very accurate results but are expensive, especially the
hire of the wave rider buoys; they are usually reserved for big projects
where precise wave data gathered over a period of time is of the utmost
importance.
In Method 1, the observer is an electronic instrument capable of recording
continuously on a 24-hour basis far out at sea where the waves are not yet
influenced by the coastline (depth of water). Hiring a wave rider buoy and
installing it may take anywhere up to six months, depending on the method
of procurement and water depth and weather conditions at the site. A
minimum of one year’s observations is required but generally three to five
years provide more accurate data.
Method 2 is currently the standard worldwide method of
establishing the wave climate along most coastlines. The huge
amount of wind and wave data gathered by specialist agencies
worldwide now enables most computer models to zero-in on most
sites. Offshore wave climate data is nowadays compiled from
hindcasting methods using detailed wind records available for most
areas from weather information agencies.
Method 3 is not accurate but is cheaper and lies more within the
scope of artisanal projects. It differs from Method 1 in one
respect only, in that the observer is a normal surveyor with a the
odolite placed at a secure vantage point observing waves close to
the shoreline, Figure 6. This method, however, suffers from the
following drawbacks:
• The wave heights thus recorded will already be distorted by the
water depths close to the shoreline.
• A human observer can only see waves during daylight hours,
effectively reducing observation time by a half.
• In very bad weather, strong winds and rain drastically reduce
visibility making it difficult to keep the buoy under observation
continuously.
• The presence of swell is very difficult to detect, especially
during a local storm, due to the very long time (period) between
peaks, typically 15 seconds or more.
During wave height observations, the following
additional information should also be recorded:
• direction of both the incoming waves and wind
using the hand-held compass;
• the time difference between each successive wave
peak, also known as wave period using the second
hand on a watch;
• the exact position of the buoy with respect to the
coastline; and
• time of the year when each storm was recorded.
Material needs assessment
Given that most breakwaters consist of either rock or
concrete or a mixture of both, it is evident that if these
primary construction materials are not available in the
required volume in the vicinity of the project site, then
either the materials have to be shipped in from another
source (by sea or by road) or the harbour design has to
be changed to allow for the removal of the breakwater
(the site may have to be moved elsewhere).
To calculate the volume of material required to build a
rock breakwater, for example, equidistant cross
sections are required. Each cross-section consists of
theproposed structure outline superimposed on a
cross-section of the sea bed.
Figure 7 shows a grid map with five cross-sections. Figure 7
(middle) also shows cross-section number 2 of the sea bed,
with the breakwater cross-section superimposed on it. Each
cross-section may then be divided into known geometric
subdivisions, like triangles (A and F) and trapezia (B, C, D and
E), whose areas are given by standard formula.
In this way, area 2 is given by the sum of areas A + B + C + D +
E + F. Similarly, areas 1, 3, 4, 5, etc. may be calculated from
the hydrographic chart. The volume of material required is
then the sum of volume 1 + volume 2 + volume 3 + volume 4,
etc., as shown in Figure 7. Each segment of breakwater, say
volume 1, is given by the average of the sum of (area 1 + area
2) multiplied by the distance between sections 1 and 2, in
this case, 5 or 10 metres. Mathematically, this can be
expressed as 1/2 [area 1 + area 2] x 5 metres.
Once the volume of rock has been determined,
the most likely source has to be investigated for:
• supply (must be large enough to supply all the
rock);
• quality (not all rock is suitable for a breakwater);
• environmental impact (removing rock from the
source must not cause negative impact there);
• mining methods (depending on the type of rock,
it may have to be blasted, ripped
or broken); and
• means of transport (if roads do not exist
between source and project site, then other
means of transport are required).
Cross-sectional design
A suitable cross-sectional design for the breakwater has to be
produced taking into consideration all the previous data, for
example:
• water depths (in deep water, solid vertical sides are preferred
to save on material);
• type of foundation (if ground is soft and likely to settle, then a
rubble breakwater is recommended);
• height of waves (rubble breakwaters are more suitable than
solid ones in the presence of larger waves); and
• availability of materials (if no rock quarries are available in the
vicinity of the project, then rubble breakwaters cannot be
economically justified).
The following rules of thumb may be applied to very small projects
with water depths not exceeding 3.0 metres For rubble mound or
rock breakwaters:
• Unaided breakwater design should not be attempted in waters
deeper than 3 metres.
• If the foundation material is very soft and thick, then a geotextile
filter mat should be placed under the rock to prevent it from
sinking and disappearing into the mud (Figure 8).
• If a thin layer of loose or soft material exists above a hard layer,
then this should be removed to expose the hard interface and the
breakwater built on this surface.
• The material grading should be in the range of 1 to 500
kilograms for the fine core, 500 to 1 000 kilograms for the
underlayer and 1 000 to 3000 kilograms for the main armour layer,
Figure 9.
• Dust and fine particles should not be placed in the core as these
will wash away and cause the breakwater top to settle unevenly.
• The outer slope should not be steeper than 1 on 2 and the inner
or harbour side slope not steeper than 1 on 1.5 (Figure 8).
• In general, rock breakwaters absorb most of the wave energy
that falls on them and reflect very little disturbance back from the
sloping surface.
For solid or vertical breakwaters:
• Unaided vertical solid breakwater design should not be
attempted in waters deeper than 2 metres and exposed to
strong wave action, Figure 10.
• Vertical solid breakwaters are only suitable when the
foundation is a firm surface (rock, stiff clay, coral reef);
thick sand deposits may also be suitable under certain
conditions.
• In the presence of thick sand deposits, a rubble
foundation with adequate scour protection as shown in
Figure 10 is recommended lest strong tidal streams, water
currents or wave turbulence scour away the sand
underneath the foundation.
• The core of a solid breakwater should be cast in
concrete; not more than 50 percent of this concrete may
be replaced by pieces of rock or “plums”.
Great care should be exercised when deciding the position
of a solid breakwater.
Solid vertical breakwaters do not absorb wave energy
incident on them and reflect everything back, usually
causing other parts of a harbour to experience “choppy-
sea” conditions.
Breakwater Structures Explained in 40 Characters

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Breakwater Structures Explained in 40 Characters

  • 2. What is breakwater ? • Breakwaters are structures constructed on coasts as part of coastal defense or to protect an anchorage from the effects of both weather and long shore drift. • A structure protecting a shore area, harbor, anchorage or basin from wave disturbance. • A barrier that breaks the force of waves, as before a harbor. • Breakwater are the structures constructed to enclose the harbours to protect them from the effect of wind generated waves by reflecting and dissipating their force or energy. Such a construction makes it possible to use the area thus enclosed as a safe anchorage for ships and to facilitate loading and unloading of water by means of wave breakers.
  • 3. What’s the Need of Breakwater? • Breakwaters are built to provide shelter from waves to manipulate the littoral/sand transport conditions and thereby to trap some sand entrance inside the Anchorage Area • A breakwater is a large pile of rocks built parallel to the shore. It is designed to block the waves and the surf. Some breakwaters are below the water's surface (a submerged breakwater). • Breakwaters are usually built to provide calm waters for harbors and artificial marinas. • Submerged breakwaters are built to reduce beach erosion. These may also be referred to as artificial "reefs." • A breakwater can be offshore, underwater or connected to the land. As with groins and jetties, when the longshore current is interrupted, a breakwater will dramatically change the profile of the beach. Over time, sand will accumulate towards a breakwater. Downdrift sand will erode. • A breakwater can cause millions of dollars in beach erosion in the decades after it is built.
  • 4. Types of Breakwaters -Detached breakwater (breakwaters can completely isolated from the shore) -Head land breakwaters -Nearshore breakwaters -Attached breakwater (Breakwaters can be connected to the shore line) low crested structure High crested strucure Rubble mound strucure Composite structure *Using mass ( caissons ) *Using arevetment slope (e.g with rock or concrete armor units ) -Emerged breakwaters -Submerged breakwaters -Floating breakwaters
  • 5. DETACHED Breakwater breakwaters without any constructed connection to the shore. This type of system detached breakwaters are constructed away from the shoreline, usually a slight distance offshore .they are designed to promote beach deposition on their leeside.appropriate in areas of large sediment transport
  • 6. Head land breakwaters(HB) a series of breakwaters constructed in an “Attached” fashion to the shoreline & angled in the direction of predominant waves - the shoreline behind the structures evolves into a natural “crenulate” or log spiral embayment.
  • 7. Nearshore Breakwaters • Nearshore breakwaters are detached, generally shore-parallel • structures that reduce the amount of wave energy reaching a protected area. They are similar to natural bars,reefs or nearshore islands that dissipate wave energy. The reduction in wave energy slows the littoral drift, produces sediment deposition and a shoreline bulge or salient feature in the sheltered area behind the breakwater. Some longshore sediment transport may continue along the coast behind the nearshore breakwater
  • 8. Rubble mound breakwater • Rubble mounds are frequently used structures. • Rubble mound breakwater consists of armour layer, a filter layer & core. • It is a structure, built up of core of quarry run rock overlain by one or two layers of large rocks. Armour stone or precast elements are used for outer armour layer to protect the structure against wave attack. Crown wall is constructed on top of mound to prevent or to reduce wave • A breakwater constructed by a heterogeneous assemblage of natural rubble or undressed stone. • When water depths are large RBW may be uneconomical in view of huge volume of rocks required. • Built upto water depth of 50m. • Not suitable when space is a problem. If the harbor side may have to be used for berthing of ships, the RBW with its sloping faces is no suitable for berthing. • These type of breakwaters dissipate the incident wave energy by forcing them to break on a slope and thus do not produce appreciable reflection.
  • 9. layout of rubble mound breakwater
  • 10. ADVANTAGES OF RMBW • Use of natural material • Reduces material cost • Use of small construction equipment • Less environmental impact • Easy to construct • Failure is mainly due to poor interlocking capacity between individual blocks • Unavailability of large size natural rocks leads to artificial armour blocks .
  • 11. Disadvantages of RMBW • Needs a considerable amount of construction materials. • Continuous maintenance is required. • Sometimes there are difficulties in erection, as the rock weight increases with the increase of wave heights. • Can’t be used for ship berthing
  • 12. VERTICAL BREAKWATER • A breakwater formed by the construction in a regular and systematic manner of a vertical wall of masonry concrete blocks or mass concrete, with vertical and seaward face. • Reflect the incident waves without dissipating much wave energy. • Wave protection in port/channel • Protection from siltation, currents • Tsunami protection • Berthing facilities • Access/transport facility • Normally it is constructed in locations where the depth of the sea is greater than twice the design wave height.
  • 13. Vertical Wall Breakwaters - Types (breakwaters with vertical and inclined concrete walls) Conventional type The caisson is placed on a relatively thin stone bedding. Advantage of this type is the minimum use of natural rock (in case scarce) Wave walls are generally placed on shore connected caissons (reduce overtopping)
  • 14. Vertical composite type The caisson is placed on a high rubble foundation This type is economic in deep waters, but requires substantial volumes of (small size) rock fill for foundation
  • 15. Horizontal composite type The front slope of the caisson is covered by armour units This type is used in shallow water. The mound reduces wave reflection, wave impact and wave overtopping Repair of displaced vertical breakwaters Used when a (deep) quay is required at the inside of rubble mound breakwater
  • 16. Block type this type of breakwater needs to be placed on rock sea beds or on very strong soils due to very high foundation loads and sensitivity to differential settlements
  • 17. Piled breakwater with concrete wall Piled breakwaters consist of an inclined or vertical curtain wall mounted on pile work. The type is applicable in less severe wave climates on site with weak and soft subsoils with very thick layers. Manfredonia New Port (Italy)
  • 18. Sloping top The upper part of the front slope above still water level is given a slope to reduce wave forces and improve the direction of the wave forces on the sloping front. Overtopping is larger than for a vertical wall with equal level.
  • 19. Perforated front wall The front wall is perforated by holes or slots with a wave chamber behind. Due to the dissipation of energy both the wave forces on the caisson and the wave reflection are reduced
  • 20. Semi-circular caisson Well suited for shallow water situations with intensive wave breaking Due to the dissipation of energy both the wave forces on the caisson and the wave reflection are reduced
  • 21. Dual cylindrical caisson Outer permeable and inner impermeable cylinder. Low reflection and low permeable Centre chamber and lower ring chamber fills with sand
  • 23. Disadvantages of vertical wall breakwaters • Sea bottom has to be leveled and prepared for placements of large blocks or caissons. • Foundations made of fine sand may cause erosion and settlement. • Erosion may cause tilting or displacement of large monoliths. • Difficult and expensive to repair. • Building of caissons and launching or towing them into position require special land and water areas beside involvement of heavy construction equipments. • Require form work, quality concrete, skilled labour, batching plants and floating crafts.
  • 24. PARAMETERS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A BREAKWATER When a breakwater is to be built at a certain location, and the environmental impact of such a structure has already been evaluated and deemed environmentally feasible, the following parameters are required before construction can commence: • a detailed hydrographic survey of the site; • a geotechnical investigation of the sea bed; • a wave height investigation or hindcasting; • a material needs assessment; and • the cross-sectional design of the structure.
  • 25. Geotechnical investigation A geotechnical investigation of the sea bed is required to determine the type of founding material and its extent. The results of this investigation will have a direct bearing on the type of cross-section of the breakwater. In addition, it is essential to determine what the coastline consists of, for example: • soft or hard rock (like coral reefs or granite); • sand (as found on beaches); • clay (as in some mangrove areas); and • soft to very soft clay, silt or mud (as found along some river banks, mangroves and other tidal areas).
  • 26. Basic geotechnical investigations Basic geotechnical investigations normally suffice for small or artisanal projects, especially when the project site is remote and access poor. A basic geotechnical investigation should be carried out or supervised by an experienced engineer or geologist familiar with the local soil conditions. The following activities may be carried out in a basic investigation using only portable equipment: • retrieval of bottom sediments for laboratory analysis; • measurement of bottom layer (loose sediment) thickness; • approximate estimation of bearing capacity of the sea bed
  • 27. The equipment required to carry out the above mentioned activities consists of :- A stable floating platform (a single canoe is not stable enough, but two canoes tied together to form a catamaran are excellent) Diving equipment A Van Veen bottom sampler (may be rented from a national or university laboratory) A 20 mm diameter steel pricking rod and a water lance (a 20 mm diameter steel pipe connected to a gasoline-powered water pump).
  • 28. Figure 1. shows Simply picking up samples from the sea bed with a scoop or bucket disturbs the sediment layers with the eventual loss of the finer material and is not a recommended method. The sediments thus collected should then be carefully placed in wide-necked glass jars and taken to a national or university laboratory for analysis. At least 10 kilograms of sediment are normally required by the laboratory for a proper analysis
  • 29.
  • 30. Sometimes, a good hard bottom is overlain by a layer of loose or silty sand or mud. In most cases this layer has to be removed by dredging to expose the harder material underneath. To determine the thickness of this harder layer, a water lance is required. This consists of a length of steel tubing (the poker), sealed at the bottom end with aconical fitting and connected to a length of water hose at the top end. The water hose is connected to a small gasoline-powered water pump drawing seawater from over the side of the platform. The conical end has four 3 mm diameter holes drilled into it. .
  • 31. The diver simply pokes the steel tube into the sediment while water is pumped into it from above until the poker stops penetrating. The diver then measures the penetration. This method, also known as pricking, works very well in silty and muddy deposits up to 2 to 3 metres thick. It is not very effective in very coarse sand with large pebbles
  • 32. Wave hindcasting: The height of wave incident on a breakwater generally determines the size and behaviour of the breakwater. It is hence of the utmost importance to obtain realistic values of the waves expected in a particular area. Behaviour of water waves is one of the most intriguing of nature’s phenomena. Waves manifest themselves by curved undulations of the surface of the water occurring at periodic intervals. They are generated by the action of wind moving over a waterbody; the stronger the wind blows, the higher the waves generated. They may vary in size from ripples on a pond to large ocean waves as high as 10 metres.
  • 33. Wave disturbance is also felt to a considerable depth and, therefore, the depth of water has an effect on the character of the wave. As the sea bed rises towards the shore, waves eventually break. The precise nature of the types of wave incident on a particular stretch of shoreline, also known as wave hindcasting, may be investigated by three different methods: • Method 1 – On-the-spot measurement by special electronic equipment, such as a wave rider buoy, which may be hired for a set time from private companies or government laboratories; • Method 2 – Prediction by statistical methods on a computer statistical hindcast models may be performed on the computer if wind data or satellite wave data are available for the area; and • Method 3 – On-the-spot observation by simple optical instruments – the theodolite.
  • 34. Methods 1 and 2 give very accurate results but are expensive, especially the hire of the wave rider buoys; they are usually reserved for big projects where precise wave data gathered over a period of time is of the utmost importance. In Method 1, the observer is an electronic instrument capable of recording continuously on a 24-hour basis far out at sea where the waves are not yet influenced by the coastline (depth of water). Hiring a wave rider buoy and installing it may take anywhere up to six months, depending on the method of procurement and water depth and weather conditions at the site. A minimum of one year’s observations is required but generally three to five years provide more accurate data. Method 2 is currently the standard worldwide method of establishing the wave climate along most coastlines. The huge amount of wind and wave data gathered by specialist agencies worldwide now enables most computer models to zero-in on most sites. Offshore wave climate data is nowadays compiled from hindcasting methods using detailed wind records available for most areas from weather information agencies.
  • 35. Method 3 is not accurate but is cheaper and lies more within the scope of artisanal projects. It differs from Method 1 in one respect only, in that the observer is a normal surveyor with a the odolite placed at a secure vantage point observing waves close to the shoreline, Figure 6. This method, however, suffers from the following drawbacks: • The wave heights thus recorded will already be distorted by the water depths close to the shoreline. • A human observer can only see waves during daylight hours, effectively reducing observation time by a half. • In very bad weather, strong winds and rain drastically reduce visibility making it difficult to keep the buoy under observation continuously. • The presence of swell is very difficult to detect, especially during a local storm, due to the very long time (period) between peaks, typically 15 seconds or more.
  • 36.
  • 37. During wave height observations, the following additional information should also be recorded: • direction of both the incoming waves and wind using the hand-held compass; • the time difference between each successive wave peak, also known as wave period using the second hand on a watch; • the exact position of the buoy with respect to the coastline; and • time of the year when each storm was recorded.
  • 38. Material needs assessment Given that most breakwaters consist of either rock or concrete or a mixture of both, it is evident that if these primary construction materials are not available in the required volume in the vicinity of the project site, then either the materials have to be shipped in from another source (by sea or by road) or the harbour design has to be changed to allow for the removal of the breakwater (the site may have to be moved elsewhere). To calculate the volume of material required to build a rock breakwater, for example, equidistant cross sections are required. Each cross-section consists of theproposed structure outline superimposed on a cross-section of the sea bed.
  • 39. Figure 7 shows a grid map with five cross-sections. Figure 7 (middle) also shows cross-section number 2 of the sea bed, with the breakwater cross-section superimposed on it. Each cross-section may then be divided into known geometric subdivisions, like triangles (A and F) and trapezia (B, C, D and E), whose areas are given by standard formula. In this way, area 2 is given by the sum of areas A + B + C + D + E + F. Similarly, areas 1, 3, 4, 5, etc. may be calculated from the hydrographic chart. The volume of material required is then the sum of volume 1 + volume 2 + volume 3 + volume 4, etc., as shown in Figure 7. Each segment of breakwater, say volume 1, is given by the average of the sum of (area 1 + area 2) multiplied by the distance between sections 1 and 2, in this case, 5 or 10 metres. Mathematically, this can be expressed as 1/2 [area 1 + area 2] x 5 metres.
  • 40.
  • 41. Once the volume of rock has been determined, the most likely source has to be investigated for: • supply (must be large enough to supply all the rock); • quality (not all rock is suitable for a breakwater); • environmental impact (removing rock from the source must not cause negative impact there); • mining methods (depending on the type of rock, it may have to be blasted, ripped or broken); and • means of transport (if roads do not exist between source and project site, then other means of transport are required).
  • 42. Cross-sectional design A suitable cross-sectional design for the breakwater has to be produced taking into consideration all the previous data, for example: • water depths (in deep water, solid vertical sides are preferred to save on material); • type of foundation (if ground is soft and likely to settle, then a rubble breakwater is recommended); • height of waves (rubble breakwaters are more suitable than solid ones in the presence of larger waves); and • availability of materials (if no rock quarries are available in the vicinity of the project, then rubble breakwaters cannot be economically justified).
  • 43. The following rules of thumb may be applied to very small projects with water depths not exceeding 3.0 metres For rubble mound or rock breakwaters: • Unaided breakwater design should not be attempted in waters deeper than 3 metres. • If the foundation material is very soft and thick, then a geotextile filter mat should be placed under the rock to prevent it from sinking and disappearing into the mud (Figure 8). • If a thin layer of loose or soft material exists above a hard layer, then this should be removed to expose the hard interface and the breakwater built on this surface.
  • 44. • The material grading should be in the range of 1 to 500 kilograms for the fine core, 500 to 1 000 kilograms for the underlayer and 1 000 to 3000 kilograms for the main armour layer, Figure 9. • Dust and fine particles should not be placed in the core as these will wash away and cause the breakwater top to settle unevenly. • The outer slope should not be steeper than 1 on 2 and the inner or harbour side slope not steeper than 1 on 1.5 (Figure 8). • In general, rock breakwaters absorb most of the wave energy that falls on them and reflect very little disturbance back from the sloping surface.
  • 45. For solid or vertical breakwaters: • Unaided vertical solid breakwater design should not be attempted in waters deeper than 2 metres and exposed to strong wave action, Figure 10. • Vertical solid breakwaters are only suitable when the foundation is a firm surface (rock, stiff clay, coral reef); thick sand deposits may also be suitable under certain conditions. • In the presence of thick sand deposits, a rubble foundation with adequate scour protection as shown in Figure 10 is recommended lest strong tidal streams, water currents or wave turbulence scour away the sand underneath the foundation. • The core of a solid breakwater should be cast in concrete; not more than 50 percent of this concrete may be replaced by pieces of rock or “plums”.
  • 46. Great care should be exercised when deciding the position of a solid breakwater. Solid vertical breakwaters do not absorb wave energy incident on them and reflect everything back, usually causing other parts of a harbour to experience “choppy- sea” conditions.