Effects of Flow Shielding and Channeling
on Tsunami-Induced Loading of Coastal Structures

August 5, 2020 | 11am - 12pm PST


Prior efforts to numerically model the complex fluid-structure interactions that occur as tsunami inundations pass through coastal communities have failed to consistently reproduce experimentally-measured flow velocities and depths. These deficiencies have led to inaccurate estimates of the forces and pressures acting on individual structures due to shielding and channeling effects caused by neighboring structures, which tend to reduce and increase structural demands, respectively.

To address these shortcomings, the primary goals of this research were to produce an experimental data set for a range of neighboring structure configurations from which shielding and channeling effects on force demands were identified as well as to develop an experimentally-validated computational fluid dynamics model that was capable of accurately reproducing the observed effects. Additionally, a parametric study that varied neighboring structure locations was conducted using the validated CFD model in order to develop a streamwise force-prediction design equation, which improves upon the methods provided in the ASCE 7-16 design provisions used to estimate force amplifications due to neighboring structures.


Andrew Winter is a Seattle area native currently working as a STAR-CCM+ CFD application support engineer for Siemens PLM Software. Prior to joining Siemens, Dr. Winter held a post-doctoral scholar position numerically-modeling the wave-structure interaction of oscillating wave surge energy converters using OpenFOAM at the University of Washington as a member of the Pacific Marine Energy Center. Also while at the UW, he completed his Ph.D. in Aug. 2019, which focused on experimental and OpenFOAM modeling of tsunami impact loads on coastal structures.

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