Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Influence of macro-roughness on tsunami runup & forces

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  • This thesis is comprised of a manuscript based on a laboratory experiment run in the Tsunami Wave Basin as part of a research project funded by the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation called Housesmash. The purpose of the experiment was to better understand the role of the urban environment, represented by macro-roughness, in changing tsunami flow during inundation on land. An instrumented specimen was suspended from a truss at the end (landward side) of the basin and many runs of 10s and 15s error function waves were conducted to form a baseline to which the macro-roughness setups could be compared. The instrumentation on the specimen included pressure sensors, wire resistance run up gages and a load cell. Within the basin, wire resistance wave gages, ultrasonic wave gages and acoustic Doppler velocimeters recorded the wave as it progressed through the tank. Eight different setups of macro-roughness were placed between the specimen and the beach slope to analyze the effect on the tsunami as measured by the specimen. Argus and web-enabled cameras in the ceiling of the tsunami wave basin were used to aid in interpreting the in-situ measurements and specimen response. The setups were categorized into three groups, the first group to observe the effect of increasing the number of macro-roughness elements in front of the specimen, the second group to observe the effect of increasing the spacing between a pair of macro-roughness elements and the final group to observe the effect of varying the locations of a set number of macro-roughness elements. Each group was run at incrementally increasing distance between the specimen and back edge of the macro-roughness and for the 10s and 15s error function wave. Variations in the grouping of macro-roughness elements were shown to affect the specimen response; in particular, increasing the alongshore spacing between a pair of macro-roughness elements caused the force and runup on the specimen to exceed the baseline values in several groupings. These results suggest that the relative spacing of neighboring buildings could have substantial influence on the tsunami inundation forces further inland.
  • Keywords: urban waterfront, macro-roughness, tsunami inundation
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