Exploring structural stability of old blockwork breakwaters

Exploring structural stability of old blockwork breakwaters.
Pearson, A.and Allsop, W.
In: ICE Coasts, Marine Structures and Breakwaters 2017, Liverpool, UK, 5-7 September 2017. (2017)

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Abstract:Many old coastal harbours in the UK are protected by blockwork breakwaters, but the original streams of income for maintaining or refurbishing these structures have largely diminished. Foundation settlement, loss of mortar, missing blocks, and voiding behind walls or under decks all tend to destabilise these breakwaters, and have in some cases led to localised or complete failures. Those who manage these assets may benefit from an answer to the question: what happens if they fall down? This paper presents results from an exploratory study of these structures’ strength, stability, collapse mechanisms, and collapsed form. Construction details and dimensions are extracted from historical documents and an analytical spreadsheet model is used to guide the design of physical model tests in the flume. These tests show sensible collapse mechanisms, despite challenges of scale and model effects. Profile measurements are plotted over the test series, showing the progression of front and rear wall failure, and the collapsed crest level. The companion paper by Allsop et al (2017) presents and discusses the residual wave protection offered by these failed breakwaters.
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects:Coasts > General
ID Code:1413
Deposited On:18 Jul 2017 06:22
Last Modified:05 Oct 2017 07:06

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