DRP #4: Breakwaters
January 3, 2010 at 1:53 pm #9067
Maybe it is time that we let go the idea of a breakwater as a single rigd piece of engineering – like a concrete wall – that stops waves completly in a single step. Nature has done a lot of breakwater development work in the last couple of million years and we should have a look at that.
A) There are mangroves
A irregular grid of relative weak roots (below arm thick) that breaks waves by dividing them into small currents and turbulence that cancel out – so a mangrove jungle just sucks a wave up like a sponge. It is highly flexible and repairs qickly if it gets some damage in exceptional storms.
B) There is Kelp: (already mentioned but not sufficient discussed on this forum)
Kelp works with even weaker “structural elements” than mangroves – just floating like a tissue on the surface – a wave goes into a kelp field but is goes not very deep into it – although a kelp plant is a “ridiculous weak thing to break the oceans mayor force” there is no doubt that kelp is a excellent coastal protection.
C) Coral Reefs – solid submerged breakwater – that do not extend to the surface – breaking waves without getting hit directly by their force.
D) Beaches – breaking waves with “very small loose elements” allowed to move and arrange freely between two land tips.
E) Ice – a thin solid layer floating in pieces on surface
It is of essence to note that non of natures solutions is a rigid wall going from below the surface to surface withstanding wave forces by engineerd rigid strength – natural wave breaking solutions are highly flexible or submerged. They tend to dampen waves over a certain distance in a “flexible response” instead of “breaking them” on a specific spot.
Some of the technical approaches to simulate nature have unfortunatly been discussed on threads that where not exactly “wavebreaking threads” so i will try to give a kind of follow up.
Seastar grid / tissue seasteading / flexible seasteading
Vegetation patch islands
Floating breakwaters pearl chain model , floating marina walkways,
Oil spill (oil on surface dampenes wave movements)
A ” ice like” paraffin or plastic sheet layer – hold together by an “oil barrier like” string.
The floating islands of the Uru
European Submarine Structures AB
Useful links in this discussion:January 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm #9068
There are volcanic eruptions that create floating pumice rafts of 19 miles diameter floating in open ocean – at the end currents dissipate that raft. But what happens if we assist mother nature by holding it together by an oil barrier like containment long enough for growing mangroves and plants on it that will hold it together permanently – much like floating vegetation islands on Lakes.
Maybe we can assist in casting “marina walkway like floating concrete containments” arround it – a few structural beams throuh it -. and it becomes floating land. Similar to bottle island and plastic patch island – where getting enough material is the core problem – the pumice breakwater / Island may take advantage that mother nature provides most of the material in a concentrated form naturally doing the hard job.
At the low end can we take pumice (and plastic bottles) to just fill the grid in Seastar Platforms and create Land almost like a floating Landfill ? If we would see it as a platform, a breakwater, a island, – would just be a matter of size and wording – it would work as any of those.
If we can not get enough natural pumice – what about floating mineral products like light weight concrete agregates – they do float – what else beside plastic, trash, pumice, vegetation, does float and can be filled in.
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Written by Wayne-Gramlich