STORMLAMP - Structural behaviour of rock mounted lighthouses at the mercy of impulsive waves

The STORMLAMP project investigates the resilience of the lighthouse network in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. These lighthouses play a vital role in safe navigation around perilous reefs for over one century now. However, their longevity is threatened by battering waves which may increase with climate change. The work is mainly focused on iconic heritage lighthouses such as Eddystone, Wolf Rock, Bishop Rock, Longships, Les Hanois, Dubh Artach, and Fastnet Rock. Within this framework, UCL is involved in the structural analysis and protection of such rock mounted historic lighthouses exposed to extreme ocean waves.

For studying this complex problem, an interdisciplinary approach was adopted combining academic partners, industrial partners and Lighthouse authorities. Accessing the rocks by helicopter, data is obtained by on-site measurements and by long-term monitoring systems installed on the lighthouses.

This data is used by UCL for creating and calibrating numerical models of the lighthouses in order to perform advanced structural analysis with the Finite Element Method code Abaqus and the Discrete Element Method code 3DEC. Detailed numerical models are built based on on-site investigation, archival research and original archival drawings representing the built state. The analysis results reveal whether the intensity of estimated wave impacts, together with parameters such as the impact height and the geometry of the structure, can compromise the safety of the lighthouse.

Skills and knowledge obtained by UCL within the STORMLAMP project can find valuable use in analysing similar structures under extreme wave load conditions both in the UK and in a global level.

Funding: EPSRC (EP/N023285/1)

Epicentre Staff Involved: Dina D'Ayala, Athanasios Pappas

Partners: Plymouth University, University of Exeter, Trinity House - Northern Lighthouse Board (UK), Commissioners of Irish Lights (Ireland), AECOM, ATKINS, HR Wallingford, Environmental Agency