Experimental investigations of debris dynamics over a horizontal plane

Ioan Nistor*, Nils Goseberg, Jacob Stolle, Takahito Mikami, Tomoya Shibayama, Ryota Nakamura, Shunya Matsuba

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents the results of an experimental research program dealing with spatial debris motion on a horizontal apron depicting a typical harbor wharf. Accordingly, scaled-down 6.1-m (20-ft) shipping containers were equipped with a novel yet nonintrusive real-time tracking system and motion sensors. The instrumentation allowed for the spatiotemporal tracking of debris specimens moving across the apron while entrained by an incoming tsunami-like broken bore. The system proved its capabilities and accuracy; this was particularly challenging since this was the first time the system was used in water. The experiments involved using various numbers of shipping containers that were either arranged in one layer or stacked in two layers. In addition, the effect of different numbers of container rows was also investigated to study the influence of the overall container count and placement with respect to their longitudinal displacement and dispersion (spreading) across the apron. Linear relationships were derived for both parameters, suggesting potential guidelines for future design efforts and disaster risk reduction and mitigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04016022
JournalJournal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 1


  • Entrainment
  • Experiment
  • Hydraulic bore
  • Shipping container
  • Smart debris
  • Spreading
  • Tsunami

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering


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