Author(s): Jacob Stolle, Ioan Nistor, Nils Goseberg, Emil Petriu
Keywords: Debris; Probabilistic Design; Floods; Tsunami; Storm Surge;
Abstract: Forensic engineering surveys of extreme hydraulic events, such as the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami and the 2012 Hurricane Katrina, demonstrated the importance of considering debris in the estimation of loading on structures. Building standards have historically addressed debris loading through a deterministic approach. The study presented here examines a physical model addressing debris impact forces in extreme hydrodynamic conditions. The study examines the probabilistic properties of debris impact velocity and orientation, contrasting the experimental results to current methods of estimating these parameters used in design standards. The orientation of debris impacts was shown to be approximately estimated using a uniform distribution. Combining model of estimating debris impact velocity and orientation showed that the experimental impact forces were substantially overestimated. Due to uncertainties in predicting these parameters currently, the conservative estimation is likely necessary, however, as hazard assessment methods continue to improve, debris impact conditions will need to be addressed.