Break Water

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Break Water


a hydraulic-engineering structure for protecting harbor areas, roadsteads, approaches to canals and locks, or the shoreline of a sea, lake, or reservoir from wave action. The energy of the arrested waves is damped by the breakwater or reflected from it.

Depending on the characteristics of the structure and on the type of its function, a distinction is made between enclosing breakwaters, which are surrounded by water and may be continuous (of vertical or sloping profile), open, floating, pneumatic, and hydraulic; and shore-protection breakwaters, which are located directly along the shore.

Continuous vertical-profile breakwaters may be of the gravity type or of pile design. Continuous sloping-profile breakwaters are constructed in the form of sand embankments with a sloping protective cover or a course of rock and concrete blocks. Open breakwaters have protective screens that do not touch bottom and which rest on individual bridge-type supports. Floating breakwaters are anchored pontoons or other floating devices that damp part of the wave energy. To damp the waves’ energy, pneumatic breakwaters use jets of compressed air discharged from outlets in a pipeline laid along the bottom. Hydraulic breakwaters damp wave agitation by means of a surface countercurrent generated by jets of water ejected from the nozzles of feed pipes. Shore-protection breakwaters are among the active means of shore reinforcement. In combination with jetties, they help to widen and secure the strip of coastal beaches on which the wave energy is damped. They are mainly constructed from rock or concrete blocks.


Forty i portovye sooruzheniia. Moscow, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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