Survivability assessment of fastnet lighthouse
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Historic rock lighthouses are unusual structures that are situated in hostile marine environments to provide warning to mariners. Even in an era of satellite navigation their role continues to be an important one, but their survivability into the future is not assured. Out of concern for their ongoing service, the multidisciplinary STORMLAMP project is assessing their survivability under wave loading. This paper presents the various stages of investigations into the structural integrity and stability assessment of the Fastnet lighthouse, situated just off the coast of Ireland. The paper describes: Extreme Bayesian analysis to quantify waves of particular return periods resulting in a 1 in 250 year return period wave with H0.1% of 17.6 m and an associated maximum force of 20,765 kN; logistically challenging field modal tests revealing the key modal parameters, like the modal masses of 1822 t and 1 675 t for 4.8 Hz and 5.0 Hz modes respectively, the cantilevered nature of the overall lighthouse and the directional effects due to the asymmetric contact with the granite rock; and details of a discontinuous finite element model that is used to determine the stability of the tower under the 1 in 250 year return period breaking wave condition, which is well within stability and material strength limits, causing maximum horizontal displacements in the order of 1 mm at the top of the tower. The overall assessment is that the sheer mass of the lighthouse and its interconnected joints are able to withstand the worst of the Atlantic storms.
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