Use of impulses to determine the reaction force of a hydraulic structure with an overhang due to wave impact

Xuexue Chen*, Bas Hofland, Wilfred Molenaar, Alex Capel, Marcel R.A. Van Gent

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


This paper describes a method of determining the reaction forces of a vertical structure with an overhang to impulsive wave impacts. The aim is to develop a method to design a hydraulic structure exposed to the impulsive wave impact. At present, there is a lack of guidelines on the designing and verification with such a purpose. The impulse of the impact is taken as the primary design variable to estimate the impulsive reaction force instead of peak impact forces. By using extreme value analysis (EVA), the characteristic impulse (e.g., I im,0.1% ) can be determined. Then a simple structure model is used for obtaining reaction forces to the characteristic impact impulse. The sum of the impulsive reaction force and the quasi-steady wave force could represent the total reaction force, which can be used as a design load on the structure. The advantage of using the impact impulse could give an approach in which several aspects of the impulsive wave impact force can be incorporated better, like determining the exceedance probability of a certain load, incorporating the flexibility of the structure and correcting possible scale effects in small scale hydraulic models. The proposed method based on the characteristic value of the I im,0.1% is applied to forces measured in a small scale model of the Afsluitdijk discharge sluice, and compared well to a full-time domain solution. The results indicate the initial assumption that using the impact impulse of the impact as the primary design variable, it is possible to estimate the dynamic response of the structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-88
Number of pages14
JournalCoastal Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • Dynamic response
  • Impact impulse
  • Vertical structure with an overhang
  • Wave impact


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