Artificial reef helps to save our shores

Scientists at the University of Berlin are using CFD software Star-CD from Computational Dynamics for simulation of artificial reefs.

Artificial reefs serve to reduce wave transmission and reflection before waves break along the shore. Because of their high efficiency, well designed reefs can be very close to the shoreline so shipping channels are not adversely affected. Typically, they comprise three barely submerged porous filter banks oriented parallel to each other and perpendicular to the prevailing wave motion.

The processes that lead to dissipation of the wave energy can be understood from the computer simulations. The parameters optimised were porosity, height, number, separation, and the wave height and period. The model included free surface analysis, using the volume of liquid method. The simulations showed that recirculation of the flow trapped between filters made a major contribution to wave energy dissipation. Jet flow between filter components also helped energy loss.

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