Why do we not have a Consistent Design Method for Rubble Mound Breakwaters: On the Reliability of Rubble Mound Breakwater Design Parameters

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Abstract

The title of my lecture might be a surprise to many professional engineers. Is it really possible that we do not have a consistent design method – after several hundred years of breakwater design and construction and also intensive research for the last 20 years? The answer is yes. The state of the art and the design tools are not satisfactory compared to those available in other branches of civil engineering such as for example structural engineering.
I shall try to explain the difficulties e are facing in breakwater engineering, especially for rubble mound breakwaters, by summarizing some of the uncertainties we have to deal with in the design process. A good overview of the uncertainties and the related consequences is of paramount importance to the designer. Without such knowledge it is impossible to evaluate the safety of a structure – a situation hat is unacceptable for a professional engineer.
It is important to point out that the damage to a breakwater never depends on one single parameter such as for example the wave height. Moreover, the time history (duration) of the impact is of importance. This means that a discussion of uncertainties in breakwater design really should be based on the joint probability density functions of the involved parameters supplied with statistical information on the related persistance.
The following presentation is not in accordance with this since each parameter is treated separately. This is done of the sake of simplicity and also because it will still serve the main object of the presentation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date1985
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 1985
EventOrgaan voor postacademish onderwijs in de technische wetenschappen. Sectie Civiele Techniek en Geodesie. Cursus Golfbrekers - , Netherlands
Duration: 24 Sep 198524 Sep 1985

Course

CourseOrgaan voor postacademish onderwijs in de technische wetenschappen. Sectie Civiele Techniek en Geodesie. Cursus Golfbrekers
CountryNetherlands
Period24/09/198524/09/1985

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Keywords

  • Rubble Mound Breakwater
  • Design Method
  • Design Parameters

Cite this

Burcharth, H. F. (1985). Why do we not have a Consistent Design Method for Rubble Mound Breakwaters: On the Reliability of Rubble Mound Breakwater Design Parameters. Paper presented at Orgaan voor postacademish onderwijs in de technische wetenschappen. Sectie Civiele Techniek en Geodesie. Cursus Golfbrekers, Netherlands.