Meaning of HARBOURS AND SEA WORKS in English


harbour also spelled harbor, any part of a body of water and the manmade structures surrounding it that sufficiently shelters a vessel from wind, waves, and currents, enabling safe anchorage or the discharge and loading of cargo and passengers. The construction of harbours and sea works offers some of the most unusual problems and challenges in civil engineering. The continuous and immediate presence of the sea provides the engineer with an adversary certain to discover any weakness in the structure built to resist it. Additional reading Wolfgang Rudolph, Harbor and Town: A Maritime Cultural History (1980; originally published in German, 1980), includes treatments of port anatomy and historical development. Books on engineering aspects include F.M. Du-Plat-Taylor, The Design, Construction, and Maintenance of Docks, Wharves & Piers, 3rd ed., rev. and enlarged (1949); John F. Brahtz (ed.), Ocean Engineering: Goals, Environment, Technology (1968); A.M. Muir Wood and C.A. Fleming, Coastal Hydraulics, 2nd ed. (1981); Hans Agershou, Helge Lundgren, and Torben Srensen, Planning and Design of Ports and Marine Terminals (1983); Gregory P. Tsinker, Floating Ports: Design and Construction Practices (1986); Per Bruun, Port Engineering, 4th ed., 2 vol. (198990), covering topics such as harbour planning, breakwaters, fishing ports, sediment transport, and geomorphology; Kenneth M. Childs, Jr. (ed.), Ports '89 (1989), conference papers; and Richard Silvester and John R.C. Hsu, Coastal Stabilization: Innovative Concepts (1993). The Dock and Harbour Authority (monthly), is devoted to problems of dock and harbour operation and construction in Great Britain. John Holmes Jellett The Editors of the Encyclopdia Britannica Sea works for reclamation and conservancy An indispensable item of equipment over a wide range of the maritime civil engineer's activities is the dredge with its ancillary units, such as hopper barges, tugs, reclamation units, and servicing craft. There are few navigable harbours or harbour approaches that do not require, at varying intervals of time, removal of deposits of unwanted material, the continuing accumulation of which can ultimately obstruct navigation. With the current trend toward larger ships, dredging is especially important. Extensive research has been devoted to the development of dredging equipment. Through more sophisticated techniquesincluding, in some cases, permanent profile modification of the harbours and waterwaysefforts are made to keep the need for dredging to a minimum. Model studies, mentioned earlier, can be of the greatest assistance. Dredging The material to be removed by dredging operations is usually derived from one of two sources or from a combination of both. In harbours at the mouths of rivers, quantities of silt are carried down in suspension and tend, partly because of the deceleration of the flow in the increased waterway available and partly because of the effects of increasing salinity, to be deposited at the mouth, usually the site of harbour works. This process has produced areas of marked agricultural fertility, such as the Nile delta in Egypt. While over a large time span the action is one of great benefit, in the short term it is generally a considerable inconvenience. The skillful employment of modern dredging equipment, however, has indicated possibilities of getting the best of both worlds. The other source of deposited material likely to obstruct navigation is littoral (coastal) drift, especially in areas where there is a sizable tidal range. The incoming tide frequently brings suspended material, some proportion of which settles to the bottom around the turn of the tide when the movement of water is at a minimum. In the absence of any countervailing tendency, an accumulation takes place, which again requires dredging. For many years the workhorse of many of the world's dredging fleets has been the bucket-ladder dredge, operating a continually moving chain of open-ended shovels or scoops. At the bottom of the ladder the scoops are pushed into the face of the material and empty themselves as they turn over at the top, the material falling into chutes that divert it into hopper barges for removal. A four-point mooring system enables the craft, and with it the bucket ladder, to be held up to the working face and, at the same time, swung sideways across it in either direction. By this means, an often remarkably level bed to the sea bottom can be closely controlled by adjusting the position of the ladder under the dredge's bottom. The positive action in filling the buckets enables such a dredge to tackle material of considerable stiffness, thereby extending its use to works of dredging and harbour development in which soils other than recently deposited silt or sand have to be excavated. Even some of the softer rocks can be removed in this way if the buckets are provided with hardened and stiffened edges and ripping teeth. The principal disadvantage of the bucket-ladder dredge is the need for an elaborate system of fixed moorings. The area that can be covered by one placing of the moorings is limited. Continuous lifting and replacing of the moorings are not only time-consuming but must be carried out in such a way as to offer minimum obstruction to navigation, a requirement that sometimes involves a great number of interruptions in dredging operations. In areas in which the deposited silt is highly mobile and accumulates in considerable quantities, it can be economically removed by a suction dredge, which pumps water mixed with silt into open hoppers. By adjustment of the capacity of the hopper to the rate of flow from the pump, the water can be made to remain in the hopper long enough to deposit most of the silt. Careful design of the pumping machinery is required to assume a continuous mixture of maximum silt with minimum water. The first suction dredges generally operated from moored positions in the same way as bucket-ladder dredges, but a less elaborate system of moorings generally sufficed because the leveling of the seabed could be left to occur naturally through the mobility of the material. A marked advance was achieved by the elimination of much of the lifting and laying of moorings through the development of the trailer suction dredge. This craft has the capacity to dredge while on the move and cruises up and down the waterway or other area, sucking up silt as it goes. This operation does not eliminate all interference to navigation, because a working trailer suction dredge moves more slowly than a ship under normal steerage way, but the obstruction is markedly less. The dredge's turn at the end of each sweep is usually facilitated by the incorporation of a bow side thrust propeller. The growing tendency to use dredged material for reclamation purposes and the suitable condition for such purposes of the spoil as delivered by a suction dredge have encouraged its development. The seabeds and river bottoms in their natural state are often largely composed of relatively soft material and can be deepened by the use of suction dredges operating normally. Where rock or other hard material must be handled, conditions are favourable to the use of the suction-cutter dredge, which incorporates at the suction head a powerful rotating screw cutter that fragments the hard material. The increased dredging stresses arising from the use of a cutter require that a craft so equipped should be operated as a stationary dredge with moorings. Because such operations seldom take place in areas already under use by traffic, the obstruction problem is not often critical. Additionally, in modern equipment, the incorporation of heavy spud legs in the craft to anchor in the seabed reduces the number of separately laid moorings required. A useful ancillary piece of equipment to all the above is the grab dredge, either self-propelled or towed to the site. Grab dredges are especially suitable for dredging close up to existing quay walls or other structures with minimum risk of damage, and the grab equipment is often capable of lifting individual boulders. Not infrequently, grab dredges have value for maintenance dredging, particularly in restricted areas and with silt of sufficient mobility to level out the individual holes that are almost inevitably left behind. Although the return fall of the grab takes place with the bucket empty and is, to that extent, nonproductive, with skillful operators this element can be reduced to a minimum, and, with some large craft operating four grabs simultaneously, considerable outputs can be achieved. Dredges are characteristically designed to deliver their output either overside into attendant hopper barges or, in the case of self-propelled dredges, into hopper compartments incorporated in their own structure. These hopper compartments are essential in the case of trailing suction dredges, but their value in other cases depends on the circumstances and on the chosen method of disposal of the spoil. When a long journey to the depositing area is involved, it is obviously more economical to leave the dredge continuously at work and to remove the spoil in separate barges. When the journey is short and the spoil is to be simply dumped, for which purpose the hoppers are provided with bottoms that fall open, an economical work cycle between dredging area and spoiling ground, using one craft only, can frequently be established. A special case is the side-boom dredge, which discharges straight back overside; by making the work coincide with an appropriate state of the tidal current, this arrangement secures the removal of the dredged silt by the tide's operation. Dredged spoil is less and less often disposed of by dumping out at sea, a practice that was once almost universal; instead it is used for the reclamation of land from the sea and foreshore. This reclamation process has been stimulated by the rise in the value of the land so created and by the discovery that, in many instances, spoil taken out to sea frequently returns. This phenomenon has been investigated, both on hydraulic models and by mixing radioactive tracers with the dumped spoil in small quantities, permitting its subsequent movements to be followed with Geiger counters. A variety of procedures have been developed for the combined operation of dredging and reclamation. Where the area to be dredged and the area to be reclaimed are in close proximity, as sometimes happens, the whole operation can be carried out by a single suction dredge pumping ashore through a floating pipeline. When, as is more often the case, there is a considerable distance between the two sites, transport in hopper barges is more economical. At the reclamation site, the barges either can be pumped out by a suction reclamation unit or occasionally can dump their loads on the bottom; from there the material can be pumped ashore by the unit acting as a stationary suction dredge. The layout of reclamation areas is a matter to which adequate scientific investigation should be devoted, covering such aspects as the adequacy and subsequent maintenance of any navigable waterways it is intended to provide through them, the design of the banks required to contain the pump spoil while the solids settle, and the relative positions of delivery and runoff points to obtain the maximum recovery of solid matter. Such schemes for reclamation, carried out in this way, can simultaneously ensure more valuable new land and improve navigation facilities. Sea works for transportation Classical harbour works Improvements to natural harbours and construction of artificial harbours were undertaken in very ancient times. There is no conclusive evidence for the date or locality of the first artificial harbour construction, but it is known that the Phoenicians built harbours at Sidon and Tyre in the 13th century BC. The engineers of those days either knew or thought little about conservancy even as applied to the ports they constructed. Evidence is to be seen in the once thriving ports around the shores of the Mediterranean that now are not merely silent ruins but seem so far from even sight of the sea that it is difficult to imagine the presence of seagoing ships at the wharves, the alignment of which can occasionally be traced in the fertile alluvial land now occupying the site. Ephesus, Priene, and Miletus, on the Aegean shores of Asia Minor, are examples of this type of harbour disappearance, the destructive agent in each of these cases being the picturesque Meander (now the Menderes) River, whose creation of new land from the sea is readily perceivable from high ground adjacent to the river mouth. The formation of further bars is proceeding visiblyand, as there is currently no port in the vicinity whose livelihood can be threatened, it is interesting to speculate how far out to sea this process will ultimately continue in the course of the next millennium or so. At Side, facing the island of Cyprus, the remains of an ancient breakwater, built to protect the anchorage, can still be seen, but the area enclosed between it and the advancing shoreline is now not a stone's throw wide. In this case, not only the river in the vicinity but also littoral drift, (the movement of sediments by a current parallel to the coast), which produces and maintains extensive beaches to the east and the west, must be held partly responsible for the scale of siltation. Of many of the ancient port structures, no physical trace remains, but knowledge of the fact that they existed and even a measure of technical description has come down through the written word. With these descriptions and the monuments that still remain, some picture may be formed of the work undertaken by the maritime civil engineers of ancient times. Given the frailty of the craft for which they were providing, shelter from the weather was the prime consideration; and much effort was devoted to the construction of breakwaters, moles, and similar enclosing structures. Cheap labour was abundant, and the principal material used was natural stone. Surviving structures built in this way are likely to give an appearance of indestructibility, which occasionally attracts favourable comparison with the lighter, more rapidly depreciating modern structures. It is not, however, necessary to credit the engineers of antiquity with a conscious intention to build forever. Given the materials they had to use and the purposes they were implementing, they could do little else; moreover, because there was no rapid pace of advance in the development of ships or land transport, they were undisturbed by the shadow of obsolescence. In the 20th century, far from wanting to build forever, the port engineer has to be careful to avoid saddling posterity with structures that may long outlast their usefulness and turn into liabilities. The modern balance between excessive durability and dangerous frailty is one that the ancients never had to strike. Aided by the characteristics of the material they employed, the ancients constructed maritime works on a scale that is certainly remarkable to this day. Interesting technical practices included the use by the Romans of the semicircular arch in constructing moles or breakwaters, an arrangement that allowed a measure of ingress and egress by the sea to produce a beneficial scouring action in the harbour. The Romans underpinned their structures with timber piling and frequently resorted to the construction of cofferdams (watertight enclosures) that they could dewater by the employment of Archimedean screws and waterwheels. This practice enabled them to carry out much of their foundation work in the dry; and the use of their famous hydraulic cement, pozzolana, gave their structures a durability far exceeding that afforded by the lime cement available to their predecessors. Among the more interesting harbours of the ancient world are Alexandria, which had on the island of Pharos the first lighthouse in the world; Piraeus, the port of Athens; Ostia, the port of Rome; Syracuse; Carthage, destroyed and rebuilt by the Romans; Rhodes; and Tyre and Sidon, ports of the earliest important navigators, the Phoenicians. Breakwaters Because the function of breakwaters is to absorb or throw back as completely as possible the energy content of the maximum sea waves assailing the coast, they must be structures of considerable substance. The skill of the designer of a breakwater lies in achieving the minimum initial capital cost without incurring excessive future commitments for maintenance. Some degree of maintenance is of course unavoidable.

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