ICCE 2016 Cover Image


large-scale experiments
tsunami waves
nonlinear wave-air interaction

How to Cite

Istrati, D., Buckle, I. G., Lomonaco, P., Yim, S., & Itani, A. (2017). TSUNAMI INDUCED FORCES IN BRIDGES: LARGE-SCALE EXPERIMENTS AND THE ROLE OF AIR-ENTRAPMENT. Coastal Engineering Proceedings, 1(35), structures.30. https://doi.org/10.9753/icce.v35.structures.30


In this study large scale hydraulic experiments of tsunami waves impacting a straight composite I-girder bridge were conducted in the LWF at Oregon State University. Both solitary waves and turbulent bores were tested and the experimental results revealed the existence of 4 different phases in the vertical force histories, among which is (i) a phase with a large applied moment and bridge rotation at the time of the first impact of the tsunami bore on the bridge, and (ii) a phase with a governing uplift mode of the bridge during the passage of the wave through the bridge. The first phase introduced the largest tensile forces in the offshore bearings and must be considered in order to prevent the progressive damage of bearings. In addition, the air-entrapment occurring in bridges with diaphragms was seen to (a) alter significantly the pattern of the applied pressures on the girders and below the deck in the internal chambers, (b) consistently increase the total uplift forces for all examined wave heights, and (3) cause a complex nonlinear wave-air interaction phenomenon with significant 3D effects.


Azadbakht Mohsen. 2013.Tsunami and hurricane wave loads on bridge superstructures. PhD dissertation, Oregon State University.

Bozorgnia M., J.J. Lee, & F. Raichlen. 2011. Wave structure interaction: Role of entrapped air on wave impact and uplift forces, Coastal Engineering Proceedings, 1(32), 57.

Bradner C, Schumacher T, Cox D, Higgins C. 2010: Experimental setup for a large-scale bridge superstructure model subjected to waves. Journal of waterway, port, coastal, and ocean engineering, 137(1), pp. 3-11.

Bricker JD, Nakayama A. 2014. Contribution of trapped air, deck superelevation, and nearby structures to bridge deck failure during a tsunami. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 140(5), 05014002.

Cuomo, G., Shimosako, K. I., & Takahashi, S. 2009. Wave-in-deck loads on coastal bridges and the role of air. Coastal Engineering, 56(8), 793-809.

EERI Special Earthquake Report-October 2011. Learning from Earthquakes: Bridge Performance in the Mw 9.0 Tohoku, Japan, Earthquake of March 11, 2011.

Hallquist JO (2014): LS-DYNA Theoretical Manual. Livermore Software Technology Corporation, Livermore, CA

Hayashi H. 2013. Study on tsunami wave force acting on a bridge superstructure. Proc 29th US-Japan Bridge Engineering Workshop, Tsukuba, Japan.

Hayatdavoodi, M., Seiffert, B. and Ertekin, R. C. 2014. Experiments and computations of solitary-wave forces on a coastal-bridge deck. Part II: Deck with girders,† Coastal Engineering, 88, 210-228

Hayatdavoodi M, Ertekin RC. 2015a. Wave forces on a submerged horizontal plate. Part I: Theory and modelling. J. Fluids and Structures, 54(April), pp. 566-579.

Hoshikuma J, Zhang G, Nakao H, Sumimura T. 2013. Tsunami-induced effects on girder bridges. Proc of the International Symposium for Bridge Earthquake Engineering in Honor of Retirement of Professor Kazuhiko Kawashima, Tokyo, Japan.

Hughes SA.1993. Physical models and laboratory techniques in coastal engineering. Advanced Series on Ocean Engineering, Vol. 7, World Scientific Publishing, Singapore.

Istrati D, Buckle IG. 2014. Effect of fluid-structure interaction on connection forces in bridges due to tsunami loads. Proc 30th US-Japan Bridge Engineering Workshop, Washington DC, United States.

Kataoka S, Kaneko M. 2013. Estimation of Wave Force Acting on Bridge Superstructures due to the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami. Journal of Disaster Research Vol. 8.

Kawashima K. 2012. Damage of bridges due to the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Proc Int Symp on Engineering Lessons Learned from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, March 1-4, 2012, Tokyo, Japan.

Kawashima, K. and I. Buckle, I. 2013. Structural performance of bridges in the Tohoku-Oki earthquake. Earthquake Spectra, 29(S1), pp.S315-S338.

Kosa K. 2012.Damage analysis of bridges affected by tsunami due to Great East Japan Earthquake. Proc Int Symp on Engineering Lessons Learned from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, March 1-4, 2012, Tokyo, Japan.

Lau TL, Ohmachi T, Inoue S, Lukkunaprasit P. 2011.Experimental and Numerical Modeling of Tsunami Force on Bridge Decks. DOI: 10.5772/23622.

Martinelli L, Lamberti A, Gaeta MG, Tirindelli M, Alderson J, Schimmels S.2010.Wave Loads on Exposed Jetties: Description of Large-Scale Experiments and Preliminary Results. Proc of the Int Conference on Coastal Eng; No 32.

Maruyama K, Tanaka Y, Kosa K, Hosoda A, Mizutani N, Nakamura T. 2013. Evaluation of tsunami force acted on bridges by Great East Japan Earthquake. 10 CUEE Conf Proc, Tokyo, Japan.

McPherson, R.L.2008. Hurricane induced wave and surge forces on bridge decks, PhD dissertation, Texas A&M University.

Seiffert B, Hayatdavoodi M, Ertekin, RC. 2014. Experiments and computations of solitary-wave forces on a coastal-bridge deck. Part I: flat plate. Coastal Engineering, 88, 194-209.

Seiffert, B., R. C. Ertekin, and I. N. Robertson. 2015. Effect of entrapped air on solitary wave forces on a coastal bridge deck with girders. Journal of Bridge Engineering 21.2: 04015036

Takahashi, S., K. Tanimoto, and S. Miyanaga. 1985. Uplift wave forces due to compression of enclosed air layer and their similitude low. Coastal Eng. Jpn 28 (1985): 191-206.

Xu, G., C. S. Cai, and Q. Chen. 2016. Countermeasure of Air Venting Holes in the Bridge Deck-Wave Interaction under Solitary Waves. Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities: 04016071.

Yashinski M. website: http://www.bridgeofweek.com/

Yim SC, Boon-intra S, Nimmala SB, Winston HM, Azadbakht M, Cheung, KF.2011. Development of a Guideline for Estimating Tsunami Forces on Bridge Superstructures. Oregon Dept of Transportation Report, No. OR-RD-12-03.

Authors retain copyright and grant the Proceedings right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this Proceedings.