The influence of the wave height distribution on the stability of single layer concrete armour units
The dimensions of single layer concrete armour units (interlocking armour units) are calculated with a similar stability relation as the stability relation for quarry stone. In these design formulas an 'average/significant' wave load is used (Hs). Since quarry stone gains its stability only from gravity, this type of armour unit is constructed in a double layer and therefore some damage development is allowed. Interlocking armour units are constructed in a single layer and the design should be based on zero damage.
This research investigates whether this different approach to damage leads to a different characteristic design wave load which will increase the accuracy of the design method for interlocking armour units. It is focussed on the influence of the wave height distribution on the stability of single layer concrete armour units in general and Xbloc in particular.
For Xbloc, zero damage is defined as a criterion for rocking of the armour units: during design conditions "not more than 2% of the units are allowed to move during more than 2% of the waves". To find a stability relation based on this criterion, the stability of Xbloc is investigated according to rocking of armour units contrary to the conventionally approach to stability based on the number of displaced units from the armour layer.
To find the relation between waves and rocking, physical model tests are performed. In these tests a model breakwater is loaded by wave series with different wave height distributions, wave steepness and groupiness. It resulted that every wave has a certain probability of causing rocking of an armour unit. This probability of rocking is mainly dependent on the height of individual waves and to a lesser extent on the groupiness of the wave series. The steepness of the waves appeared to have a negligible small influence.
When the found rocking probability relation is combined with the criterion for rocking, it appears that H2% is mathematically a better fitting parameter for a stability relation according to rocking. A new stability relation for Xbloc is derived based on H2%.
Additionally, it is found that very extreme wave heights can dislodge an armour unit in such a way that this armour unit does not interlock anymore. Because it is undesirable that armour units do not interlock anymore, dislodgement of armour units should be accounted for in the stability calculations. Therefore, also a stability relation based on dislodgement of units is provided.