Reef Breakwater Design for Burns Waterway Harbor, Indiana, U.S.A.


  • Robert D. Carver
  • Robert R. Bottin, Jr.


breakwater stability, hydraulic models, coastal structures, engineering research, physical modeling, coastal engineering, reef breakwater, wave transmission


A two-dimensional model study of a proposed reef breakwater for protection of the existing, damage-prone, rubble-mound breakwater at Bums Waterway Harbor was conducted. Sufficient 1:36-scale undistorted flume tests were conducted such that an optimum submerged reef could be selected. Specifically, it was desired to quantify performance (stability/transmission response) in terms of structure height and width, location relative to existing breakwater, and stone size and gradation. Seven Improvement plans were considered, which all significantly improved stability of the existing breakwater and reduced transmitted wave heights to some extent. In addition, a three-dimensional model study was conducted at a 1:75-scale to determine the optimum layout (width, length, and spacing of each segment of the reef breakwater as well as the distance between the toes of the existing and proposed reef structures). Five improvement plans were considered before an optimum plan (considering wave protection and costs) was selected. This paper describes tests and results of these model investigations.