Performance of rubble mound breakwaters under tsunami attack, a case study: Haydarpasa Port, Istanbul, Turkey

GÜLER H. G., Arikawa T., Oei T., YALÇINER A. C.

COASTAL ENGINEERING, vol.104, pp.43-53, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 104
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2015.07.007
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.43-53
  • Keywords: Rubble mound breakwaters, Tsunami attack, Solitary wave, Tsunami overflow experiments
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Ports are one of the most vulnerable coastal utilities in case of marine natural hazards such as tsunamis and need to be protected against their devastating effects. Thus, studying the effects of tsunamis on protective structures such as breakwaters is critical. The Sea of Marmara is a part of an active earthquake zone that has generated tsunamis in the history. In terms of population density, coastal utilization, and economic potential, Marmara coastline seems most vulnerable to marine hazards. The availability of natural stones allows for wide use of rubble mound breakwaters as coastal protective structures in Turkey. The stability of these types of structures under the attack of storm waves has already been studied. However, their stability and performance under the effect of long waves and tsunami attacks have not yet been studied experimentally. The present study is a case study focusing on Haydarpasa Port, located at the southern entrance of Istanbul Bosphorus Strait (North coast of the Sea of Marmara). It aims to investigate the performance level of the port in case of tsunami attack. Physical model experiments were conducted in the 105-m long wave flume in the Port and Airport Research Institute (PARI), Japan, with a Froude-type length scale of 1/30. The experiments conducted to test the stability of rubble mound breakwater were twofold: (i) solitary wave experiments and (ii) tsunami overflow experiments. The heights of incoming tsunami waves were selected from results of simulations were conducted in the same region (Oyo Int. Co., 2007; Ayca, 2012; Yalciner et al., 2014; Guler et al., 2014; Aytore, 2015). First, the incoming solitary wave heights were selected as 5, 7.5, and 10 cm. Using the overflow heights obtained from solitary wave experiments, i.e., wave height at the top of crown wall when the solitary waves are overtopping the crown wall, tsunami overflow experiments were conducted ranging from an overflow height of 1.1 cm to 4.6 cm. Results of these experiments showed that Haydarpasa Breakwater, especially the crown wall of the breakwater, is not stable under a moderate tsunami attack. Therefore, an improved cross section was also tested under the same conditions, and the improvement proved successful. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.