Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 455–468 | Cite as

Breakwater control system and structural analysis: physical and numerical modelling (Port of Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal)

  • M. Pereira
  • A. C. Teodoro
  • F. Veloso-Gomes
  • S. Oliveira


The objective of this work was to analyze the behavior of the Funchal Port (Madeira Island, Portugal) breakwater using physical and numerical models in order to analyze the evolution of the underwater layers, combining information between the two models as well as simulating storm conditions and atypical docking/undocking impacts of cruise ships. Regarding the physical model using a wave generation system, the data collected and the test conditions were addressed considering different scenarios (return periods of 20, 50 and 100 years). It was found that for return periods of 20 years, the behavior of the infrastructure as a whole was stable. For return periods of 50 years, wave overtopping became more frequent and intense, and began to impact the superstructure. For the 100-year return period the behavior of the infrastructure was found to be unstable, with persistent wave overtopping. The morphology of the submerged layers also changed. The main objectives of the numerical model approach were to estimate the natural frequencies of vibration (when materials suffer a considerable modification, a change in their frequencies of vibration can be detected), and to calculate the expected displacements corresponding to cruise ship docking processes (agitation in a protected area) and the associated maximum maritime (agitation in an exposed area) forces. The maximum displacements obtained for the two cases were about 0.03 m, which is a high value. Considering the results obtained from this work, the Port authorities decided to maintain the monitoring program and perform an underwater video inspection.


Port infrastructures Physical model Numerical model GNSS 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the Direção Geral do Território for the GNSS data of the Funchal station; the LNEC for their collaboration in the field campaigns, “Portos da Madeira” for logistical support, and Leica Geosystems, Portugal.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Pereira
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. C. Teodoro
    • 1
    • 3
  • F. Veloso-Gomes
    • 4
  • S. Oliveira
    • 5
  1. 1.Geo-Space Sciences Research Centre (CICGE), Faculty of SciencesUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Geosciences, Environment and Land Planning, Faculty of SciencesUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.Institute of Earth Sciences (ICT), Faculty of SciencesUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  4. 4.Hydraulics and Water Resources Institute (IHRH), Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  5. 5.Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil (LNEC)LisbonPortugal

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