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The performance of a model floating breakwater for embankment protection
Proceedings of the 2020 Mississippi Water Resources Conference
Year: 2020 Authors: Rossell W., Ozeren Y., Wren D.
Wave erosion is a costly problem for many farmers that own irrigation reservoirs located in the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Floodplain (Delta). Breakwaters are commonly used for shoreline protection in coastal areas. Fixed breakwaters, such as rubble mounds, are expensive to construct and maintain. A relatively cost-effective method for embankment protection is the use of a floating breakwater. This study utilized a 1:3 scale, model cylindrical floating breakwater that was subjected to waves of varying height, period, and still water depth in a laboratory wave tank. The results of this study will be used to design a prototype scale floating breakwater at a pilot reservoir in the Delta. The experiments were carried out at the USDA-ARS, National Sedimentation Laboratory in Oxford, MS. The model breakwater was made of a 69 cm long High Density polyethylene (HDPE) corrugated pipe section, filled with water and moored using steel wires attached to the floor of the flume. The resulting draft was approximately 90% of the outer diameter. The model was subjected to regular waves generated by a piston type wavemaker. Waves were measured using capacitance type wave staffs located both upwave and downwave of the breakwater. The resulting forces in the mooring cables were measured using a force gauge. This paper presents some of the key observations during these laboratory experiments.