PEER Research Project Highlight: “Tsunami Debris: Simulating Hazard and Loads”

May 8, 2018

The impact of a PEER funded research project “Tsunami Debris: Simulating Hazard and Loads” is highlighted below. The project Principal Investigator is Patrick J. Lynett, Professor of Civil Engineering, USC. The research team includes Aykut Ayca, Graduate Student Researcher, USC.

Download the Research Project Highlight which includes the abstract. (PDF)

Research Impact

Advances in this area are greatly in need, as existing approaches for debris loading (e.g. Chapter 6 of ASCE7-16) are shockingly crude and often highly conservative. Indeed, as the ASCE7 tsunami subcommittee begins to organize for ASCE7-22 revisions, early discussions indicate that the debris loading section will undergo significant revision. The research proposed here would likely be the main guide for determining how to change the section. In the short term, the ability to predict debris transport in ports, and the detachment and drifting of large vessels has immediate application. Scenario simulations will be performed at major ports along the U.S. West Coast (i.e., San Diego, LA/LB, Oakland/Richmond, and Seattle/Tacoma) to both visualize and quantify debris effects. Finally, a workshop will be organized to demonstrate the need to recognize the tsunami debris hazard, and to show stakeholders how to use the developed tools to estimate local impacts. Industry in the energy and cargo sectors, as well as the Navy, Coast Guard, and port/harbor commissions will be brought together in the workshop, and will be shown the potential of these hazards in their local ports.