Spray water of jets from wave run-up against ship bows and steep walls


In Arctic and sub-Arctic open waters with harsh conditions, ship operations are intensifying due to the reduction of sea ice coverage: transits for transport, tourist and yacht cruises, and crew change transits to offshore operation sites. Their safety is affected by icing, i.e. sea spray that freezes upon contact with the ship. As climate change induces more and more intense storms, the damage and hindrance of spray jets on ships will aggravate. Similar observations hold for spray jets overtopping coastal structures such as levees, flood gates, breakwaters and quay walls, that impact their functionality and safety level of the hinterland. In order to enable better control of overtopping and icing, the formation of spray-jets from wave run-up needs to be investigated. The fundamental research questions in this context are: how much spray is formed and how does it break up in drops under various representative storm conditions. Understanding of the physical processes, and from there, computational modelling, will be based on an indispensable and so far non-existing data sets generated in an experimental research program. As proper scaling of the processes is of key importance, two different experiments are proposed aiming at representing the important physics at different scales.
The results will be used in the development of winterisation guidelines as related to IMO Polar Code operational guidelines. Fundamental knowledge on spray formation will also be used in the design of coastal defence structures.


Project number


Main applicant

Prof. dr. ir. W.S.J. Uijttewaal

Affiliated with

Technische Universiteit Delft, Faculteit Civiele Techniek en Geowetenschappen, Afdeling Hydraulic Engineering


01/01/2018 to 01/01/2022