Environmental Hydraulics

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Wave Power

Wave Power Machine

Wave Power Machine

Seabed Object Interaction

Phil Mulhearn

Jiaxue (Jessie) Wu (Tongji University)

Sea floor

A number of studies are underway of the way various objects interact with the seabed either on impact, when they are laid from a ship or aircraft, or subsequently due to the effects of various processes. Examples include:

  • Modelling the extent to which objects will bury on impact. This is relevant to burial of explosive sea mines and of large mooring and anchoring devices.
  • The rate and extent of burial of three-dimensional objects by scour under the action of waves and tidal currents, which is important for the same reasons.
  • The physics of free-fall penetrometer impacts and the relation between sediment shear strength and impact dynamics. A number of free-fall penetrometers have been under development with the aim of being able to rapidly survey seabed properties. These are desirable for both military and for offshore engineering purposes.

A compact automated vane-shear apparatus is also under development for obtaining in-situ seabed shear-strength data from small boats. Current equipment is both heavy and unwieldy and requires the use of vessels of a reasonable size.

Scour around a cube under wave action

Scour around a cube under wave action


An example of a free-fall penetrometer, the STING.

Bouyant plumes

River plumes

Tabeta, S, I S F Jones and M L Heron (2002) Modelling and observation of tropical river inflow to the coastal ocean. OCEANS2002, Vol. 4, 2025-2030.

Dr S Tabeta

Dr S Tabeta