Oscillation of piles in marine structures

This book describes an investigation of pile oscillation in an estuary using a full-scale rig throughout the tidal cycle.

Oscillation of piles in marine structures
Oscillation of piles in marine structures

Who wrote this?

L.R. Wootton


It was first published in January 1972.


To understand the pressures on piles caused by tides, to improve design safety for marine structures.

Who should read this?

Anyone who is involved in designing structures that have piles in seawater.


This 25-page out-of-print book, available to buy as a photocopy from CIRIA, gives a shorter description of a full-scale investigation into the vortex-induced motion of circular steel piles in seawater using a specially constructed full-scale rig, built at Immingham. 


This incorporated three test piles of 457, 610 and 762 mm diameter driven into the estuary bed and held at the top by short capping beams. 

What was measured?

The responses of the piles to the flow as the speed changed over the tidal cycle were measured. To obtain a better understanding of the cause of the motion, the pressure fluctuations in the wake behind the 762-mm pile were studied. 


The motion was found to be affected by changes in the angle of the capping beam relative to the flow direction. 


Sufficient information has been obtained to distinguish the parameters controlling the motion and to suggest possible methods of avoiding or preventing it. In particular, it was found that the flow speed for the onset of oscillations was significantly lower than had been anticipated prior to this work. 

For more information and questions, please contact management@ice.org.uk.

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