HR Wallingford VIDEO: Designing Aberdeen Harbor Expansion

In a wave basin, in its physical modelling laboratories in Oxfordshire, HR Wallingford’s engineers have built a scaled model of the proposed new Aberdeen Harbor.

HR Wallingford has been involved in the project from its initial concept stages in 2010, and will be working with Aberdeen Harbor Board right through to construction and undertaking modelling work for the approved contractor, Dragados UK Ltd.

Ian Cruickshank, Director of Engineering and Delivery at HR Wallingford, said: “The physical model is crucial to ensuring the optimal design is achieved. It allows us to model accurately the weather conditions that the chosen location will be exposed to, and to make sure that the design is suited to the vessels that will be using the new harbor.”

“This includes checking that the height of the waves in the harbor would not become too high to make operating conditions, for example the loading and unloading of ships, difficult; that the breakwaters would be able to cope in storm conditions, and that the design of the new port would allow large vessels to enter the harbor, while preventing storm waves from doing the same.”

The new facilities in Aberdeen will include 1.400 meters of new quay, with a water depth of up to 10.5 meters. Construction will begin in early 2017, with the project due to be completed in 2020.

The new harbor involves the construction of:

  • Two new 600m long breakwaters that are 20m high to ensure safe sheltered berthing. The breakwaters will be protected with heavy concrete armor. Some of this armor will be over 40 tonnes in weight to prevent the breakwaters from becoming damaged during adverse weather. Over 1km of quay walls where vessels will be able to load and unload;
  • Dredging: 2 million m³ of dredged material will be dug out to provide water deep enough for larger vessels including 300m cruise ships and other larger vessels. Much of this dredged material will be used to make new land behind the quay walls.

The engineers are also using HR Wallingford’s UK Ship Simulation Center to simulate navigation in a virtual harbor extension to ensure safe navigation access, and assess operational conditions and procedures.

This time-lapse video shows the detailed work needed to build a hydraulic scaled model of a harbor and some of the tests series performed to assess the design: