Tsunami Research in Coastal Engineering Publications

Recent tsunami research supported by PEER has been issued in the following publications.

“SPH Modeling of Dynamic Impact of Tsunami Bore on Bridge Piers”,
written by Zhangping Wei, Robert A. Dalrymple, Alexis Herault, Giuseppe Bilotta, Eugenio Rustico, Harry Yeh, was published in Coastal Engineering, Vol.104 (p.26-42), October 2015.

Abstract:  The Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) method is applied to investigate the impact of a tsunami bore on simplified bridge piers in this study. This work was motivated by observations of bridge damage during several recent tsunami events, and its aim is to further the understanding of the dynamic interaction between a tsunami bore and a bridge pier. This study is carried out by simulating a well-conducted physical experiment on a tsunami bore impingement on vertical columns with an SPH model, GPUSPH. The influences of bridge pier shape and ori-entation on free surface evolution and hydrodynamic loading are carefully examined. Furthermore, the unsteady flow field that is around and in the wake of the bridge pier is analyzed. Finally, GPUSPH is applied to explore the hydrodynamic force caused by the bridge pier blockage, the wave impact on structures, and the bed shear stress around a bridge pier due to a strong tsunami bore.

“Tsunami Loadings on Structures, Review and Analysis”, written by Harry Yeh, Andre R. Barbosa, Harrison Ko, and Jessica G. Cawley was published in Coastal Engineering Proceedings Vol. 34, June 2014.

Abstract: The 2011 Great East Japan Tsunami has altered our traditional concepts for estimating loadings on structures. Prior to this event, we generally understood that reinforced concrete structures – those often used for critical coastal facilities – could withstand tsunami actions. This is no longer the case. Many concrete buildings and coastal protective structures (seawalls, coastal dykes and the like) failed due to the 2011 Tsunami. In this paper, the existing design guidelines are reviewed. We point out that some of the force-estimation methods recommended in the guidelines are rational, while others are not. Then we introduce a methodology to evaluate building’s global stability emphasizing the effect of buoyant force. Buoyancy reduces the net structural body force; thereby reducing the restoring forces to resist sliding and overturning failures. Buoyancy force is an upward pressure force under the building, which is caused by an increase of pore-water pressure in the soil by excess water weight on the ground surface; therefore it takes a finite time to build up. We demonstrate that the effect of buoyancy force depends on 1) duration and depth of tsunami inundation, and 2) burial depth of the building. We also note that if and when a building interior is flooded (due to breakaway walls or windows), the flooded water increases the effective body force (weight); hence producing a stabilizing effect. Example calculations are given to demonstrate the importance of the delayed action of buoyancy force and breakaway walls and windows.