Wave transformation across impermeable and porous artificial reefs

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Porous artificial reefs can function as nature-based solutions for coastal protection, due to their ability to dissipate wave energy while providing habitat for marine species. However, due to the lack of quantitative understanding of wave interactions with porous artificial reefs, there is uncertainty in how to optimize design for coastal protection applications. To address this gap, physical modelling experiments were conducted in a wave flume to investigate wave transformation across both porous and impermeable artificial reefs exposed to a range of regular wave conditions and submergence depths. The results highlight how key changes to wave kinematics (e.g., wave celerity, wave breaking) and wave energy (through reflection, dissipation and transmission) differ considerably between impermeable and porous artificial reefs. These differences in wave kinematic properties and energy balances across each reef can be well characterized by consideration of the effective crest depth (i.e., the total height of water at a point on the reef, including that in the voids) that accounts for the porosity of the reef structure, rather than the actual depth of the reef crest. The ratio of the effective crest depth to the incident wave height, termed the ‘relative effective crest depth’, was used to develop robust formulations to accurately predict wave reflection and transmission coefficients across both reefs over the range of wave and water depth conditions. The new formulations were also compared to other datasets reported in the literature, and were found to provide accurate predictions of both wave reflection and transmission for the broad range of submerged porous coastal structures considered (including artificial reefs and submerged breakwaters).
Original languageEnglish
Article number104488
JournalCoastal Engineering
Issue numberC
Early online date24 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


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