AbstractExtreme coastal events such as the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami as well as the 2005 Katrina and 2012 Sandy hurricanes demonstrated that, hydrodynamic loading aside, debris loading represents a major factor in the extreme loading conditions experienced by inland infrastructure. While extreme hydrodynamic loading due to coastal flooding events has been the object of intense research over the past decade, few studies dealing with debris impact due to coastal flooding have been conducted. Post-tsunami forensic engineering field investigations conducted by the authors (Nistor et al. 2005; Shibayama et al., 2006; Nistor et al. 2010) or other researchers (Chock et al. 2012, Sato et al. 2014;) revealed that debris loading and debris damming have a significant effect on the structural integrity of buildings and infrastructure in general, especially in high-density urban areas. Current design guidelines (FEMA P-55, 2011; FEMA P-646, 2012) and the new ASCE-7 Chapter 6 - Tsunami Effects and Loads suggest conservative estimations of the debris spatial spreading based on limited sets of field data to assess debris impact potential (Chock et al., 2012; Naito et al., 2014). The primary objective of this study was to investigate the spatial and temporal displacement of floating debris due to rapid coastal flooding in a built-in port environment using two novel different measuring techniques: (1) high-accuracy video debris detection and tracking system and (2) a real-time locating "smart† sensor-tracking system. Results are compared with prescriptions of the ASCE7 Chapter 6 pertaining to debris motion.
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