Experimental study on the scour around a monopile in breaking waves

Anders Wedel Nielsen, B. Mutlu Sumer, Sebastian Schjelde Ebbe, Jørgen Fredsøe

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The scour process around monopiles caused by breaking waves is studied experimentally using regular waves. The use of regular waves is conservative, which made it possible to avoid scour phenomena caused by nonbreaking waves such as scour generation and backfilling. The waves were breaking on a flat sand section after shoaling on a mildly sloping ramp. Various monopiles were exposed to plunging breakers that were breaking at various distances from the pile. It was found that the scour was caused by turbulence generated by the breaking and was diverted toward the bottom by the pile. The maximum scour depth found was approximately 0:60D. This was smaller than the scour observed around piles exposed to current; however, in some cases it was an order of magnitude larger than the scour caused by nonbreaking waves. This is apparently especially true for larger piles.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering
Issue numberNovember/december
Pages (from-to)501-506
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Scour
  • Pile foundation
  • Breaking waves
  • Wind power
  • Bars


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