The present tests are conducted in the new Québec Coastal Physics Laboratory, Canada. The flume has a depth and a width of 5 m and is 120 m long.
This paper presents large scale experiments of water wave impact on a vertical wall following wave runup on a mixed sand-gravel-cobble beach. This present study is concerned with advancing knowledge on rapidly varying pressure magnitude and distributions on different types of sea/river/harbor walls. Protection against extreme events and subsequent coastal erosion is a key theme of application. Herein is presented preliminary test series which has focus on forces on vertical walls. Specifically, 27 pressure sensors are mounted on the vertical wall with a total test area of 1.2 m wide and 2.4 m high and is a stiffened aluminum plate. The outer regions of the wall are made of steel to span the entire width of the tank. The wall is designed to behave as a rigid plate. The geometric model to full scale is about 1:4.
The incoming waves evolve on a flat bed to climb the final 25 m on a beach with slope with constant slope of 1:10. A small regular wave train forms the basis for investigations of force patterns on the wall. Herein, our preliminary findings reported are based on selected 6 test series (18 impacts out of 150 impacts). In general, wall pressures greater than 1 MPa and 10 m run-up are easily developed even with moderate amplitude waves at the inlet. We will discuss some details of the underlying mechanism of various types of breaking and impact on the wall. The peak pressure identified on the wall with the mixed gravel beach surface was 1.23 million N/m2 occurring in 0.2 milli seconds. It was cuased by a plunging breaker with a relatively large air pocket (∼0.11 m2). It was further identified that the maximum pressure on the wall does not necessarily give the maximum jet velocity (equivalent to vertical force considered in design of on parapets). They are independent quantities in these very random rapid processes. The maximum jet velocity was in the order of 35 m/s but could higher on a different beach surface. Further, it was found that the maximum waves are not necessarily the most critical ones as the waves break and therefore dissipates its energy before reaching the wall. A plunging breaker with a relatively large airpocket with a crest tip located at the top part of the wall resulted in max. peak wall pressure. One impact case caused a near simultaneous double peak pressure generated by a plunging breaker with two relatively small airpockets (0.003 m2 and 0.01 m2). This was the impact case responsible for the max. vertical jet velocity. We further found that the max. peak water pressure of the plunging breakers had a similar order of magnitude as the max. pressure within an air pocket.