Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Fundamentals concerning wave loading on offshore structures

James  Lighthill a1
a1 University College, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK

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This article is aimed at relating a certain substantial body of established material concerning wave loading on offshore structures to fundamental principles of mechanics of solids and of fluids and to important results by G. I. Taylor (1928a, b). The object is to make some key parts within a rather specialised field accessible to the general fluid-mechanics reader.

The article is concerned primarily to develop the ideas which validate a separation of hydrodynamic loadings into vortex-flow forces and potential-flow forces; and to clarify, as Taylor (1928b) first did, the major role played by components of the potential-flow forces which are of the second order in the amplitude of ambient velocity fluctuations. Recent methods for calculating these forces have proved increasingly important for modes of motion of structures (such as tension-leg platforms) of very low natural frequency.

(Published Online April 21 2006)
(Received May 2 1986)