Parametric Analysis Of Wave-Induced Forces And Overtopping On Composite Vertical Breakwaters With Retreated Crown Wall


  • MATTEO CENTORAMI Roma Tre University, Engineering Department, Rome 00146, Italy
  • ALESSANDRO ROMANO Roma Tre University, Engineering Department, Rome 00146
  • CLAUDIA CECIONI Roma Tre University, Engineering Department, Rome 00146, Italy
  • LEOPOLDO FRANCO Roma Tre University, Engineering Department, Rome 00146, Italy
  • GIORGIO BELLOTTI Roma Tre University, Engineering Department, Rome 00146, Italy



Vertical breakwater, Physical model tests, Retreated crown wall, Wave-induced forces, Wave overtopping


Composite vertical breakwaters are monolithic structures often used to protect port basins, especially in deep-water conditions. At present, the design of these structures is mainly based on Goda's formulae (Goda, 2010) or on the probabilistic design tools (PROVERBS) proposed by Oumeraci et al. (2001), while their hydraulic performance in terms of overtopping can be predicted by using the tools described in the EurOtop Manual (EurOtop Manual, 2018).

Due to the size of these structures, the optimization and the improvement of the hydraulic performances (e.g. reduction of wave loads, wave overtopping, etc.) of these breakwaters can lead to significant economic saving. Typically, designers try to make small geometric changes without modifying the main geometrical dimensions of these structures. One of these technical solutions consists in placing the cast-in-situ concrete crown wall at a retreated position with respect to the front caisson face. It is assumed that the retreat of the crown wall, for geometric reasons, induces a time lag between the loads acting on the lower front external seawall face and on the crown wall of the caisson; furthermore, this could introduce a change in the pulsating nature of the loads, introducing also turbulent dissipations, consequently reducing the reflection coefficient and modifying the wave overtopping. To the best authors’ knowledge, in the literature there is a lack of guidelines to consider the effects of crown wall retreat in terms of wave actions and hydraulic performance of the structure. Recently, Romano & Bellotti (2023), based on physical model tests, provided a first experimental insight on the increase/reduction of the wave loads acting on deep water vertical breakwaters with retreated crown wall.




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