Chapter 5. Experimental Study of Tsunami Loads on a Simplified Bridge Superstructure


Foo Siong Koon¹,², MEng, Tze Liang Lau¹, PhD, and Wei Chek Moon¹,³, PhD
¹School of Civil Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Nibong Tebal, Penang, Malaysia
²School of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
³Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, MAHSA University, Jenjarom, Selangor, Malaysia

Part of the book: Tsunamis: Detection Technologies, Response Efforts and Harmful Effects


The annihilation power of tsunamis can be seen from past disastrous tsunami events (i.e., 2004 Indian Ocean and 2011 Tohoku Tsunami), as evidenced by a number of damaged bridge superstructures. In this chapter, wave flume experiments were presented for estimating the tsunami-induced loads on bridge superstructures. A typical bridge superstructure was simplified as a box-shaped model and tested at various deck clearances at a scale of 1:100. The experimental results revealed that the nature of wave attack on the bridge superstructure model depended on the relationship between deck clearances and nominal wave heights. Time histories of pressures and forces acting on bridge superstructure models in the horizontal and vertical directions were measured. From the analysis for stability against sliding, the bridge superstructure models were found not to resist the horizontal force under both dry and wet conditions. The preliminary findings from this chapter provide practical information for the design of a tsunami-resilient coastal bridge.

Keywords: bridge, deck clearance, tsunami force, wave pressure


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