Peterhead bay physical modelling

Computational wave modelling was carried out to determine extreme wave conditions at the entrance to the harbour. From this a new outer breakwater was designed to resist a 1 in 200 year storm. The cross section of the breakwater was tested in a wave flume and in a 3D wave basin.
Tags: Coastal Engineering, Ports and Harbours

Peterhead Bay harbour is situated on the northeast coast of Scotland. It consists of a semi-circular shaped bay of about 40ha, protected on its seaward side by two vertical faced breakwaters, 700m and 400m long respectively. There is a wide entrance between the breakwater arms and in storms this allows waves to enter the bay from easterly directions. The proposed wave calming scheme would involve the construction of a new outer breakwater, linked to the existing North Breakwater and aim to provide calm conditions in the southern part of the harbour and improved conditions elsewhere.

For Peterhead Bay Authority, Peter Fraenkel Maritime Ltd undertook extensive engineering studies to derive a scheme for reducing wave activity within the Bay. In 2000-2001, HR Wallingford tested the recommended scheme in a 1 in 100 scale physical model of the bay. The testing programme was specified and supervised by the firm.

Computational wave modelling was carried out to determine extreme wave conditions offshore and corresponding near-shore conditions at the existing entrance to the harbour and at the new entrance to be constructed. Four wave paddle locations were used, corresponding to critical directions for waves and swell approaching the entrance to the harbour. Wave probes were deployed at suitable locations in the model to measure wave heights at berths and within the bay generally. The use of correctly scaled moored vessels enabled ship movements and mooring forces to be measured and operational downtime assessed.

The comprehensive model-testing programme that was carried out produced a wealth of data, which allowed the layout of the outer breakwater to be optimised, combining effective calming with ease of navigation through the entrance.

At the Danish Hydraulics Institute in 2002, further physical modelling was performed that examined the structural integrity and overtopping of the proposed outer breakwater, both under normal and oblique attack by extreme waves.

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