Physical Modeling of Debris Load in Extreme Hydrodynamic Conditions

Recent natural disasters, such as the 2005 Hurricane Katrina and the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami, have increased focus on the resilient design of coastal communities to these devastating large-scale hydraulic events. The loads from these events can be separated into hydraulic and debris loads. Debris loads, in particular, are difficult to evaluate in the field and numerically, therefore generally are evaluated in an experimental setting. To this point, the focus of debris load research has been on single debris impacts on structures. Debris damming loads, which occurs when debris accumulates at the front of a structure, resulting in increased drag forces as well as other hazards, has largely been ignored within the coastal engineering community. The proposed research project aims to evaluate debris damming in an experimental setting using the innovative Tsunami Wave Basin at Waseda University. The objectives of the research are to determine the loads associated with debris damming in extreme coastal events and provide recommendations for design loads to be included within future building standards for coastal communities.

Faculty Supervisor:

Ioan Nistor


Jacob Stolle



Engineering - civil



University of Ottawa


Globalink Research Award

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