Experiments and computations of solitary-wave forces on a coastal-bridge deck. Part I: Flat Plate

Betsy R. Seiffert, Masoud Hayatdavoodi, R. Cengiz Ertekin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

197 Citations (Scopus)


Horizontal and vertical forces acting on a two-dimensional horizontal plate due to solitary waves are investigated by conducting a series of laboratory experiments as well as CFD calculations. A total of 133 cases were tested, including four water depths, four submergence depths and three elevations above the SWL, and five wave amplitudes. Following the experiments, computational results obtained by the CFD package OpenFOAM are presented for both vertical and horizontal forces. The comparisons made with the calculations show that OpenFOAM's InterFoam solver, that we specialized to Euler's equations here, can successfully simulate the data in many cases. With the wave force data presented here, it will now be possible to compare numerical predictions of various shallow-water wave equations with the experiments. The data will also be useful to estimate the tsunami loads on submerged structures, such as breakwaters, and elevated structures, such as coastal-bridge decks. The case of the flat plate, either submerged or elevated, is considered in this paper (Part I), while the case of a plate with girders will be discussed in a companion paper under the same title (Part II).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-209
Number of pages16
JournalCoastal Engineering
Early online date5 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • Coastal bridge
  • Experiments
  • Horizontal plate
  • OpenFOAM
  • Solitary wave
  • Wave force

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering


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