Published in Ocean Engineering, Volume 251, 110818, 2022
Excessive erosion of sand beaches defines a serious problem worldwide and is particularly pronounced in the Mediterranean region. One of the typical measures for alleviating this erosion consists in building rigid breakwaters in the vicinity of the coast for diminishing sand transport. This solution, however, is often accompanied by undesirable alteration of the coastline. In this work we address the viability of using conceptually new structures with inflatable elements striving to improve the control over the sediment transport. The aim of the inflatable element is to adapt the breakwater configuration to the sea state. A preliminary design is proposed and tested in a number of storm scenarios using an in-house finite element/level set model. Influence of various breakwater design parameters upon its functionality is studied. Transmission coefficients and maximum pressures exerted upon the breakwater are estimated. Numerical study performed shows that for the considered range of storm scenarios the proposed design is characterized by transmission coefficients below 0.5. It is also shown that the use of inflatable elements facilitates adaptation of the breakwater functionality to a given sea state.
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