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Investigating the Collapse of the Puerto Colombia Pier (Colombian Caribbean Coast) in March 2009: Methodology for the Reconstruction of Extreme Events and the Evaluation of their Impact on the Coastal Infrastructure

Juan Carlos Ortiz, Bladimir Salcedo and Luis Jesús Otero
Journal of Coastal Research
Vol. 30, No. 2 (March 2014), pp. 291-300
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43290055
Page Count: 10
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Abstract

On March 7, 2009, a 200-m section of the Puerto Colombia pier collapsed when a cold front passed through the Atlántico Department of Colombia on the Caribbean coast. Herein, the most important meteo-marine event of the last 10 years in the Colombian Caribbean area was reconstructed using SWAN software and the WAVEWATCH III global wave model, which uses wind fields as input. The modeling method involved a nested grid approach for wave generation and propagation in a particular sector of the central Caribbean coast of Colombia. To validate the numerical model, the time series for the event generated using modeling data was compared with the recorded wave data from two buoys: buoy 42058, which is located in the Caribbean Sea and operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and buoy 41194, which is located near the Magdalena River mouth and operated by the General Maritime Directorate (DIMAR). The simulation results were incorporated into the CMS-Wave and CMS-Flow models for reconstruction of the cold-front event. The modeling results were also compared with previously reported data for the waves generated by hurricanes Joan (1988) and Lenny (1999). The results revealed that the analyzed study area was more heavily affected by the ocean conditions than the 2009 cold front event produced compared with conditions produced by other hurricanes that have affected the Colombian Caribbean coast. The findings also indicate that the proposed methodology, which utilizes several wave propagation models, produces results that adequately characterize the processes in deep, intermediate, and shallow waters.

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