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Stability of Bottom Armoring Under the Attack of Solitary Waves


Naheer, Ehud (1976) Stability of Bottom Armoring Under the Attack of Solitary Waves. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/TMPB-2078.


An empirical relationship is presented for the incipient motion of bottom material under solitary waves. Two special cases of bottom material are considered: particles of arbitrary shape, and isolated sphere resting on top of a bed of tightly packed spheres.

The amount of motion in the bed of particles of arbitrary shape is shown to depend on a dimensionless shear stress, similar to the Shields parameter. The mean resistance coefficient used in estimating this parameter is derived from considerations of energy dissipation, and is obtained from measurements of the attenuation of waves along a channel. A theoretical expression for the mean resistance coefficient is developed for the case of laminar flow from the linearized boundary layer equations and is verified by experiments.

For the case of a single sphere resting on top of a bed of spheres, the analysis is based on the hypothesis that at incipient motion the hydrodynamic moments which tend to remove the sphere are equal to the restoring moment due to gravity which tends to keep it in its place. It is shown that the estimation of the hydrodynamic forces, based on an approach similar to the so-called "Morison's formula", in which the drag, lift, and inertia coefficients are independent of each other, is inaccurate. Alternatively, a single coefficient incorporating both drag, inertia, and lift effects is employed. Approximate values of this coefficient are described by an empirical relationship which is obtained from the experimental results.

A review of existing theories of the solitary wave is presented and an experimental study is conducted in order to determine which theory should be used in the theoretical analysis of the incipient motion of bottom material.

Experiments were conducted in the laboratory in order to determine the mean resistance coefficient of the bottom under solitary waves, and in order to obtain a relationship defining the incipient motion of bottom material. All the experiments were conducted in a wave tank 40 m long, 110 cm wide with water depths varying from 7 cm to 42 cm. The mean resistance coefficient was obtained from measurements of the attenuation of waves along an 18 m section of the wave tank. Experiments were conducted with a smooth bottom and with the bottom roughened with a layer of rock. The incipient motion of particles of arbitrary shape was studied by measuring the amount of motion in a 91 cm x 50 cm section covered with a 15.9 mm thick layer of material. The materials used had different densities and mean diameters. The incipient motion of spheres was observed for spheres of different diameters and densities placed on a bed of tightly packed spheres. The experiments were conducted with various water depths, and with wave height-to-water depth ratios varying from small values up to that for breaking of the wave.

It was found that: (a) The theories of Boussinesq (1872) and McCowan (1891) describe the solitary wave fairly accurately. However, the differences between these theories are large when used to predict the forces which are exerted on objects on the bottom, and it was not established which theory describes these forces better. (b) The mean resistance coefficient for a rough turbulent flow under solitary waves can be described as a function of Ds, h, and H, where Ds is the mean diameter of the roughness particles, h is the water depth, and H is the wave height. (c) Small errors in the determination of the dimensionless shear stress for incipient motion of rocks result in large errors in the evaluation of the diameter of the rock required for incipient motion. However, it was found that the empirical relationship for the incipient motion of spheres can be used to determine the size of rock of arbitrary shape for incipient motion under a given wave, provided the angle of friction of the rock can be determined accurately.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Civil Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Civil Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Raichlen, Fredric (advisor)
  • Vanoni, Vito A. (co-advisor)
  • Brooks, Norman H. (co-advisor)
  • Eagleson, Peter S. (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:5 May 1976
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Humanities Fund, Inc.UNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:02232017-105808087
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:10064
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:24 Feb 2017 16:19
Last Modified:09 Nov 2022 19:20

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