July 3, 2023

The Wave… Flume of the Future

A wave flume is a priceless piece of equipment in the structural design of coastal works. CEAC Solutions Company Limited (CEAC) owns and operates an 8-meter wave flume in Jamaica that we use to investigate irregular waves.

CEAC’s wave flume is an integral part of the coastal design process as physical scale modeling allows us to see how durable various sections of our coastal  structures are and therefore guiding designs and/ or recommendations. For example, photogrammetric scanning of damage of groins and breakwaters frequently shows up vulnerable parts of the tips of the groins or crest of the breakwaters.

A typical study takes 3 to 4 weeks, and frequently results in the most stable configuration s and economical designs, by strengthening the vulnerable areas and avoiding over designs in other areas.

Several designs have been produced using the data gathered from CEAC’s flume, two such designs are the Palisadoes Rehabilitation and Shoreline Protection, which included 3,585 metres of harbour side revetment designed to a 100-year return period, and the Silver Sands Jetty Rehabilitation which included an armour design of the jetty was guided by numerical modelling paired with physical modelling conducted in CEAC’s wave flume.

Civil and Coastal Engineers employed at CEAC are trained in the operation of the wave flume, a skill that will help revolutionize the process of preparing coastal designs. Both local and regional projects will continue to benefit from the granular and invaluable information from physical models.

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