Investigating the effects of box girder bridge geometry on solitary wave force using SPH modeling

Gaoyuan Wu, Maria Garlock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The potential increase of the intensity and frequency of natural disasters led by climate change indicates higher risks for coastal bridges: they may be lifted off the pier or otherwise fail during hurricane and tsunami strikes because of elevated water and wave forces. This paper investigates various geometries of box girder bridges via smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) modeling, evaluating effective geometric forms and vulnerability. Specifically, we investigate the influence of the angle difference between the web and the top flange, as well as the integration of parapets on wave forces, including the maximum uplift force and the maximum horizontal force. Different wave characteristics and bridge elevations are considered. While both hurricane-induced and tsunami-induced waves would cause damage to coastal box girder bridges, we limit the scope to tsunami-induced waves and thus, solitary waves are employed. The numerical scheme is first validated by existing data in literature and then implemented for a parametric study. It is shown that the angle difference between the web and the top flange plays a significant role in the magnitude of the wave forces, especially when the bridges are elevated and tall waves strike. Moreover, the integration of parapets leads to higher risks for coastal bridges. The results provide insights on effective box girder bridge forms for coastal hazard mitigation, facilitating future research on innovative design of coastal bridges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104430
JournalCoastal Engineering
StatePublished - Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering


  • Box girder geometry
  • Coastal bridges
  • Smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH)
  • Wave force
  • Wave-deck interaction


Dive into the research topics of 'Investigating the effects of box girder bridge geometry on solitary wave force using SPH modeling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this