Since there are no currently active contests, we have switched Climate CoLab to read-only mode.
Learn more at
Skip navigation
Share via:


Used technologies are: underwater barriers, diffraction, additional friction, and acoustics



The method belongs to the field of meteorology, hydro-acoustics, and protective structures for the mouths of rivers and sea shores. The protective system includes several elements, namely: (1) underwater obstacle-breakwaters located in parallel rows on an underwater slope below sea level. Obstacles are located (2) at distances of half a wavelength from each other in the direction of wave propagation to get the maximum water return mass of the reflected wave from the next breakwater at the previous one. It is also proposed (3) to tie the system of ropes to obstacle-breakwaters to attenuate the flow near the rope’s surface. The length of each rope is about 2 meters of ten pieces per each meter on the top of each breakwater. We suggest, (4) direct impact on the wave near the coast with an additional acoustic signal from a special underwater generator (KHz).The purpose of the system is to protect the coasts of the seas and oceans from powerful storm waves, as well as protect the mouths of rivers and canals from the penetration of a large wave upstream over long distances with flooding. The effect of a complex method of protection will be manifested in a decrease in the amplitude of waves above submarine breakwaters in the sea, at a distance of 5-100 meters from the sea line or from mouth of the river. We note the uniqueness of this system for effectively protecting the mouths of rivers (or channels, gulfs) from the penetration of high waves during a storm. It is important to emphasize that the underwater elements of this protective system will not interfere with navigation.

Is this proposal for a practice or a project?


What actions do you propose?

New complex protective system, technology specification.  

Each system element creates its own item in decreasing the amplitude of the storm waves near the coast. Explanatory estimates and calculations are given.

I. The element of the protective system is several rows of underwater artificial barriers and/or-breakwaters, located parallel to each other and to the shore. The system of artificial obstacles must be placed in the sea on the underwater part of the slope at a distance of about 5 and up to 100 meters from the shore, or the mouth of the river. The height h of these breakwaters can be small in comparison with the depth of the sea, H, that is, H >> h. The effectiveness of interaction with the incident wave for flooded breakwaters will increase significantly in comparison with traditional ones. The average pressure at the wave front and its vertical velocity distribution become more uniform on the coastal slope compared to the wave in the ocean. The effect is caused by the fact that in the region of narrowing of the waveguide of the submarine slope, additional high-frequency components in the waves spectrum will prevail to provide mixing with water speed averaging in vertical coordinate. Here is a visually simple speculation for effect demonstration. Pressure P(H) = qgH under water increases by 1 atm for every 10 meters H; here g=10 m/s2 - acceleration of free fall, and water density q = 1000 kg/m3. The impact force of a wave on an underwater obstacle is equal to the recoil force in the direction opposite to the wave motion at a speed V. We assume that the vertical averaged pressure at the wave front on the slope is uniform, P = qV2/2, and wave horizontal velocity is constant on all front, approximately. Let's assume the depth H of the bottom at the barrier location. The height of the underwater barrier is, for example, h = 3 m. When the barrier is immersed to a depth of H = 10 meters, the water pressure near the barrier will be P(H) = 1 atm, but this value tends to zero then barrier locates near sea surface. The average pressure in whole front of the wave will become Pav = P – P(H)h/H. In the case of an underwater barrier, we obtain a smaller result pressure of running wave, and velocity of the wave will decrease proportionally; therefore the underwater breakwater is more effective. Calculation of the velocities of the wave V (x, y, z, t) in terms of coordinates and time can be performed with high accuracy on the basis of available algorithms and programs.

II. We offer additional elements that create a slowing flow on the additional total surface.  To breakwaters, we would attach (tie) much pieces of ropes, which, like brushes, will lie on the bottom in the absence of a storm. During the storm, the ropes will be involved in the movement of the wave, they can rise from the bottom to the top and will effectively quench the flow rate by additional friction on their surface, with their number, for example, over 10 per each meter at breakwaters with the length of each rope from 1 to several meters. Such elements of the system are easy to manufacture, and it would be effective. The ropes can be easily replaced after each storm if necessary. Ropes would be attached to special metal braces on the upper parts of breakwaters.

Estimation for this part. A decrease in pressure decrease Pfr in the wavefront section where the ropes are added can be estimated on the basis of the Darcy-Weisbach formula: Pfr=(Nkl/D)(qV2/2). For example, a length of each of the ropes is l , the distance between them is D, N is number of ropes. Here the Reynolds number determines the coefficient, k, in this case of turbulent flow. For example, then rope number per 1 meter of breakwater is N = 30, rope length l = 2.5 m, D = 0.1 m, V = 5 m / s, and k = 0.004. The result is a large decrease in pressure at the outlet from this part of the system of Pfr = 0.38 atm. More precisely, the contribution of the decrease in the water velocity, dV/dr, in the boundary layer near the surface can be calculated taking into account another approach and the friction force on the rope surface.

III. Diffraction effects should be widely used in a comprehensive protection system. The distance between breakwaters should be optimized as follows. The largest reflection of an incident wave will be on the obstacle with the number i, if the wave reflected from the next (i + 1) obstacle reaches the first (i) with the maximum amplitude and opposite speed direction. We determine in advance the wavelength, L, for waves for a significant storm in this coastal area. Neighboring submarine breakwaters in the direction x (perpendicular to the shore) should be spaced at x(i + 1) - x(i) = L / 2. For example, for L = 10 m, the mutual distances of breakwaters: x(i+1) – xi = L/2 = 5 m.

On the contrary, in the y direction, it is required to obtain conditions for maximum wave propagation - to weaken its impulse on the coast in the x direction. Between submarine breakwaters there should be no more than y(i + 1) - yi = L / 4; then the wave in the y direction, reflecting from the obstacle i + 1, will return to i in a half of phase with minimum amplitude. In the y direction, we obtain, in this example: y(i+1) – yi = L/4 = 2.5 m.

IV. There is also the possibility of using an acoustic signal and, accordingly, an acoustic generator on a slope under water. The principle of acoustic impact is that the incoming wave will experience small reflections in amplitude at each small cell with the increased water density in a sound wave. The acousto-optical deflectors are developing for modulating and scanning optical radiation based on Bragg diffraction on acoustic waves, so the effect can be considered as prototypes of this new offered effect. In mentioned devices the effect of optical reflection (or diffraction) results on periodic micro changes in the environment which are made by an acoustic wave at its distribution in the same area of space. For simplest estimation, a sum of a large number of small reflections from a high frequency signal will create a decrease in the water velocity and amplitude for one or more of the nearest water waves when they roll to the shore. The advantage of an acoustic signal is the ability to direct it in the form of a narrow beam toward the optimal region of the incoming wave, and the possibility of focusing rays from several sources. The power of hydroacoustic sources could be more than 100 kW [4]. The optimum signal frequency is expected in the range from 1 KHz up to 1 MHz [7];  whole acoustic energy will be invested on the first ten of meters to avoid inefficient power losses at large distances from the shore. The frequency of sound and the direction of the beam of the acoustic signal can be varied, that is, it is easy to change the wavelength and power during the process. The acoustic source is intelligently made to be portable. The power density of the source in [7] would be Wi = 1500 W/cm2. Power equipment can be used also to increase the amplitude of pressure fluctuations in liquids up to 6-20 MPa, which is used for oil production under the ground. Estimates according to the Bernoulli formula show that the pressure is about 0.1 MPa in the incident wave with a height of 10 meters. More exact calculations of process can be executed taking into account changes of forward speed of water in every period of an acoustic wave and totally at all distance. We propose now that acoustic sources can effectively weaken storm waves when they roll to the shore.

Research plan.

1. Theoretical problems.

1.1. The models of long waves, deep water, equations of linear and nonlinear dispersion theory will be considered for transformation of the wave on the slope. The new mathematical model will be developed with a system of underwater breakwaters optimally located.

1.2. The propagation of a wave in a channel with a parabolic cross section will be considered. The model will be modified by the basic equations of motion, taking into account the influence of breakwaters.

1.3. The model for acoustics influence to a water wave will be developed.

1.4. The algorithm for numerical calculations will be developed.

1.5. The calculations will be performed on the basis of one natural area for the underwater slope and waves during a recent severe storm.

2. Experimental work in the laboratory.

2.1. The necessary collection of geological and meteorological data for one or more sections of the ocean shore will be analyzed, as well as data on the structure of waves during known powerful storms.

2.2. The experimental stand for “pilot-scale system” will be designed to test theoretical  results. The experimental stand will be fabricated as a large aquarium with a reduced copy of one part of the sea shore. This aquarium will be filled with water to simulate wave/shoreline interaction, and the layout will have a mechanical system to create  waves of the desired height and wavelength. The experimental stand must have a camera or other system of observations and fixation. Dye will be used to track wave motion.

2.3. For the aquarium model it is necessary to develop and create miniature models of underwater breakwaters with upper threads tied. The scale of the reduction in the size of these parts should correspond to the relative Freude, Reynolds, and Weber hydraulic numbers for the shoreline in the aquarium.

2.4. Measurements of the dynamics and height of waves with the participation of a new system of underwater breakwaters will be performed, and this system without breakwaters installed will be performed for benchmark purposes

2.5. Manufacture or purchase of an underwater acoustic source.

2. 6. Carrying out different acoustical experiments in laboratory or in situ conditions of the sea water at the sea slope with varying power and frequency will be done to determine the water wave attenuation.

3. Real tests for a new integrated system on coast.

3.1. Selection of the optimal material for the parts for the new system. Selection of the necessary equipment for the construction of a protective system in the sea coast area according to accurate calculations and laboratory measurements.

3.2. Development of a monitoring system to determine results of integrated protection during a storm.

3.3. Measurement of the acoustic storm spectrum during a real storm event for each section of the sea coast before the calculation and construction of an integrated protection system. Knowledge of the frequencies and amplitudes of large waves in a given region of the coast will allow optimization of the protective system.

3.4. The construction of a protective system on a section of the Southeastern sea coast and near the mouth of a river or canal.

3.5. Measure the protection of the coastline during a real storm.

3.6. Analyze all monitoring data of the optimized protective system. Report and publication on the results of work.

Who will take these actions?

We presume that if financing is received, the first and second stages of the bottom project can be performed by the firm of USA, mentioned below. The authors of this proposal can be joined by the project developers as additional employees of this firm.

Data Mining Intl.(ADMi), . The researchers and engineers of this firm have between 30 and 40 years experience in working with water quality, soil quality, flow monitoring and estuarine modeling, and industrial water systems. Further, ADMi has developed sophisticated models to predict climate change effects, water quality run-off impacts, water resources, water flow and salinity migration and intrusion,  and similar applications. ADMi developed empirical modeling applications for the Beaufort, Savannah, and Charleston Harbors along the Southeastern coastline. Researchers-theoreticians, including Drs. Tulaykova and Amirova, physicist and mathematician, respectively, have significant working experience with a series of published papers and monographs in this area of expertise of the project. Dr. Comet has substantial expertise in chemical kinetics and applied physics, especially in studying Gulf of Mexico environmental problems. Recent our climate publications are [2-5].

Authors of this project are ready to cooperation with other profile organizations or universities in the case of additional external finances to get fast development of this actual theme.

Where will these actions be taken?

The research team proposes one or two demonstration sites. The sites will be located along coastal North Carolina and/or South Carolina, USA to take advantage of relatively stable weather conditions. The demonstration process will begin with identifying two demonstration sites meeting the established criteria. Further, once sites have been tentatively determined, approval for their use by the land owners or the appropriate State Office or Coastal Management will be obtained. Collaboration with the applicable State officials will be sought. ADMi participants have an excellent working relationship with State and Federal agencies.

The theoretical and experimental activity will be performed continually at our ADMi laboratory. The experimental pilot model will be constructed and located in Greenville, SC, USA. ADMi’s official address is:

Advance Data Minig Intl., 3620 Pelham Rd., PMB 361, Greenville, SC 29615, USA

In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.


Country 2


Country 3


Country 4


Country 5

United Kingdom


What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?

The development of a system for the reliable protection of coasts from storm surges and floods within river basins is one of the measures adapted to the changed climate. Today, there are extreme climatic phenomena with no forecast for major reductions in climatic forcing functions [1]. All mechanisms of natural climate recovery have limited dampening rates in terms of the amount of incoming pollution into the atmosphere and the ocean. Global warming and related climate change will make large tropical storms and hurricanes more frequent and powerful. Therefore, the proposal to develop a reliable protection system is a timely and necessary action. At present, the concentration of  CO2 is about 410 ppm in the atmosphere, and reducing GHG emissions is a long-term process. In addition to storms, anticyclones prevent the penetration of overheated ocean air into the continent with poor mixing of the atmosphere; results are droughts in the summer and anomalously cold winters in the center of the continents. Increased overheating of the ocean and atmosphere facilitate more frequent and powerful hurricanes over the oceans: today, superheated air with lighter water vapor immediately rises up instead of traversing by wind from the ocean to the mainland. Now a record number of natural disasters have occurred in the US since the beginning of 2017, and losses of coastal areas amount to billions of dollars. Two recent examples are Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Irma wind speed reached 300 km / h, and the height of storm waves reached 15 meters in the sea and up to 10 meters near the coast. A distinctive feature of "Irma" was a very wide field. Hurricane wind speed spread 95 km from the center, mainly in the western sector; storm winds covered a radius of 665 km. Please note that Hurricane Irma was one of the most powerful hurricanes in human history. Hurricane Harvey, which landed in Houston and was accompanied by a record amount of rainfall and flooding, was one of the most costly weather disasters in the US due to a lot of destructions on the coasts. It is estimated that together Harvey and Irma cost the US economy more than $ 290 billion [6].

What are other key benefits?

Reducing the amplitude and power of storm waves near the coast will clearly benefit a nation’s economy as well as the local  economies of coastal cities and their residents.

The proposed method includes several parts of a protective system and has several distinctive redundant features to ensure its effectiveness.

An advantage of the new approach over traditional breakwaters is the optimization due to using a variety of mitigating infrastructure and acoustic technology.

The unique protective feature of this system is due to the fact that  storm waves would be unable to penetrate into the mouth of rivers, thus eliminating the danger of upstream wave propagation and flooding of coastal areas at great distances from the ocean. The application of the method will lead to a decrease in the amplitude of the wave immediately prior to its entry into the mouth of the river (canal, or gulf).

Additional advantages of such a system are the following: 1) under water the system of barriers will not be visible, i.e., it would therefore be more aesthetic; 2) This system will not impede the movement of boats and small vessels at h <<H. Near a port, the proposed system can be installed at a greater depth, but have more protective elements.


What are the proposal’s projected costs?

I. First stage research expenses.

The costs of the research part of the project will be about $ 1 million for the first year of work. These finances will be spent on the following items:

The salary payment for the 6 - 10 scientists, engineers, and laboratory assistant, working as needed over the project schedule.

Contracts with meteorological organizations, NOAA, universities or the US Weather Service, and US Geological Survey will be needed to obtain necessary input data. (Data on the structure of the seabed on the selected investigated section of the coast, data on the dynamics of waves and other meteorological parameters during several past storms in this area.)

Purchase of materials and special devices for experimental pilot-scale construction in the laboratory (see details in technology description).

Purchase two acoustic generators for experiments in laboratory and along real ocean coasts, the equipment to measure sound reflection (hydrophones), water flow, and other necessary parameters.

Leasing or contracting of boats or other vessels and use radar to measure water flow and wave’s parameters.

II. Second stage research expenses deals include manufacturing the new protection system at one part of the ocean near the shoreline. It would include  manufacturing and installation of breakwaters and research monitoring of new protection system operation during real storms to create an optimal protection algorithm. The total cost is estimated to be on the order of about $10 millions; the system would include 5 rows of submarine wave lengths of 100 meters each, in addition to installing  an acoustic generator.

III. Last stage expenses include new system replication for the application to other coastal areas. Each similar system cost will be $5 -10 million.


I. The development of new protection system assumes, at the first stage, theoretical development and laboratory experiments. Theoretical work includes the development of models and calculations to optimize the operation of various parts of this protective system. Laboratory experiments include the creation of a pilot-scaled  mock-up of one (or 2 - 3) sections of the sea shore in a large aquarium. The layout should copy the details of the underwater slope, and a system should also be built for generating sea waves reduced in size, respectively, using fluid mechanics. This laboratory model will serve to verify the calculations and validation of the work of various parts of the defense system. The scientific work of the first stage will require from 2 to 3 years.

II. The second stage involves the creation of a protective system (or its individual elements) along a portion of the sea coast. It will be necessary to develop systems for monitoring the operation of protection systems during storms. It will be essential to correct theoretical and computational models using actual data and from continual  optimization on pilot-scale models. This work can take 2 to 5 years.

III. It is assumed that the integrated system of protection of sea coasts and mouths of rivers in the most dangerous areas is developed and used everywhere during next 1 – 10 years.

About the author(s)

Ph.D. Tamara Tulaikova, leading researcher in practical application of physics. Expertise: wave processes, acoustics, lasers, optical devises, micro mechanics, clouds, climate, mathematics. She is an author of 140 published papers, 7 patents and 5 monographs.

John B. Cook, engineer, has been the CEO for ADMi LLC for the past twelve years. Formerly Director of Engineering, COO and CEO of Charleston (S.C.) Water System. He has developed computerized models for water and wastewater treatment processes, and as President of the Cooper River Water Users Association, oversaw development of the 3-D EFDC model and waste load allocation for industrial and municipal users.

Edwin A. Roehl, Jr., ADMi Chief Technical Officer, engineer, and co-founder. Expertise: Advanced process engineering using AI, signal processing and multivariate analysis, heavy industrial and environmental applied R&D, financial analysis, process economics, decision support systems.

Ph.D. Svetlana Amirova is a co-author of 4 monographs, 18 scientific papers. Key skills: applied Mathematics which includes application of stochastic processes to climate, theoretical dynamic elasticity; multi-layer analysis of deformation for non-stationary processes, applied statistics, applied physics, etc. Visiting Assistant Professor, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, Mathematics Department, University of Texas at El Paso, USA. Ph.D

Ph.D. Paul A. Comet, leading-edge geochemist researcher. Expertise: petroleum & mining industry mapping the oils of the Gulf of Mexico source rock appraisal unconventional reservoirs.

Ruby C. Daamen, engineer with Advanced Data Mining Intl, LLC. Mrs. Daamen has over 30 years experience in software development and data analysis, event detection, environmental science, air and space technology, pulp and paper process control.

Related Proposals



1. IPCC, Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Summary for Policymakers, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2014.

2. Edwin A. Roehl Jr., Ruby C. Daamen, John B. Cook, Estimating seawater intrusion impacts on coastal intakes as a result of climate change. Journal of American Water Works Association, 2013.

3. John B. Cook, Svetlana R. Amirova, Edwin A. Roehl, Paul A. Comet, Tamara V. Tulaykova. An Approach to Removing Large Quantities Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases. American Journal of Environmental Protection. Special Issue: New Technologies ans Geoengineering Approaches for Climate. Vol.5, No.3-1, 2016, pp 21-25.

4. Tamara Tulaikova, Alexandre Michtchenko, Svetlana Amirova. Acoustic rains. Physmathbook, Moscow, 2010.

5. Paul A. Comet. An Integrated Model of Sustainability and Emission Control: The Concept of Society as a Super Organism That Lives by Consuming Its Own Waste Using Alternative Energy as Currency. American Journal of Environmental Protection. Special Issue: New Technologies and Geoeng.Appr. for Climate. 5 (No.3), 2016, p. 17-20. doi: 10.11648/j.ajep.s.2016050301.13

6. AccuWeather predicts economic cost of Harvey, Irma to be $290 billion. AccuWeather News, New York, USA. Accessed 11 September 2017.

7. Mikhail Dudko, Musa Tagiev, Evgeny Lukshin.. The generator of acoustic oscillations of an ultrasonic range and a way of creation of acoustic fluctuations of an ultrasonic range.  Patent RU 2325959, C2, Issued 1 May 2006.

8. Eugen Skudrzyk. The foundation of acoustics. Springer-Verlag, New York,  1971