The evaluation of wave-induced pore pressures and effective stresses in a porous seabed near a breakwater head is important for coastal engineers involved in the design of marine structures. Most previous studies have been limited to two-dimensional (213) or three-dimensional (313) cases in front of a breakwater. In this study, we focus on the problem near breakwater heads that consists of incident, reflected and diffracted waves. Both wave-induced oscillatory and residual liquefactions will be considered in our new models. The mistake in the previous work [Jeng, D.-S., 1996. Wave-induced liquefaction potential at the tip of a breakwater. Applied Ocean Research 18(5), 229-241] for oscillatory mechanism is corrected, while a new 3D boundary value problem describing residual mechanism is established. A parametric study is conducted to investigate the influences of several wave and soil parameters on wave-induced oscillatory and residual liquefactions around breakwater heads. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.