Experimental investigations of secondary load cycle formation in wave force on a circular cylinder under steep regular waves

Jinxuan Li, Haochen Zhang, Shuxue Liu, Yuping Fan, Jun Zang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)
47 Downloads (Pure)


When a large wave interacts with a marine structure, it would lead to a high-frequency structure response, and impose great threats to marine structures. In this paper, wave forces on a vertical cylinder in regular waves with moderate to extreme steepness were measured experimentally. The secondary load cycle phenomenon in wave force time history was observed and its generation mechanism was analyzed. It is found that secondary load cycle strongly depends on wave steepness. When the wave steepness exceeds critical values, the secondary load cycle phenomenon appears in the time history of wave force, and a high frequency response accompanied this phenomenon. Further, a new critical wave steepness kA = 0.3tanh(kh) (A is wave crest height, k is wavenumber and h is water depth) is found to distinguish the secondary load cycle occurrence. Here the wave steepness threshold value is no more a constant value that was proposed before, it varies with water depth and becomes smaller with the decrease of water depth. Moreover, the secondary load cycle and the subsequent high-frequency response are divided from the wave force signal based on the empirical mode decomposition (EMD) method. The results show that the high-frequency response locates in the natural frequency region of cylinders, which is much higher than the high-order wave components. Finally, the generation mechanism of this phenomenon is explained. As a steep wave passes a cylinder, a large wave run-up would be generated on the front side of the cylinder. One part of water body of the run-up swashes down and impacts the wave surface heavily. The other part of wave run-up fills into the cavity on the lee side of the cylinder, and generates violent turbulence. Both processes are found to lead to an instant impact on the structure, and then excite structural high-frequency vibration. This instant impact expresses as secondary load cycle in wave force history. These new findings from experimental studies have provided new insights into the generation mechanism and the associated changes in wave properties during the formation of secondary load cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111265
JournalOcean Engineering
Early online date4 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 51739010 , 51579038 ), the Natural Science Foundation of Liaoning Province and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China .


  • High-frequency response
  • Secondary load cycle
  • Wave run-up
  • Wave-structure interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental investigations of secondary load cycle formation in wave force on a circular cylinder under steep regular waves'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this