Evaluation of directional analysis methods for low-frequency waves to predict LNGC motion response in nearshore areas
Because LNG terminals are located increasingly close to shore, the importance of shallow-water effects associated with low-frequency (LF) waves increases as well. The LF wave spectrum in these areas is generally complex, with multiple frequency peaks and/or directional peaks due to LF wave interaction with the shore. Both free and bound LF waves at the same frequency can be present. Since LF waves are potentially very significant for moored vessel motions, it is important to include their effect in an early stage of the terminal design. This requires an efficient and relatively simple tool able to estimate the LF wave spectrum in nearshore areas. The benefit of such a procedure with respect to state-of-the-art response methods is the ability to include the LF free wave distribution in a local wave field in the vessel response calculation. The objectives of the present study are to identify such a tool, and to evaluate the use of its output as input for a vessel motion calculation. Three methods, designed for the determination of wave spectra of free wave-frequency (WF) waves, were applied to artificial LF wave fields for comparison of their performance. Two stochastic methods, EMEP (Hashimoto et al., 1994) and BDM (Hashimoto et al., 1987) and one deterministic method, r-DPRA (De Jong and Borsboom, 2012) were selected for this comparison. The foreseen application is beyond the formal capabilities for which these three methods were intended. However, in this study we have investigated how far we can take these existing methods for the determination of directional LF wave spectra. Sensitivity analyses showed that the EMEP method is the most suitable method of the three for a range of LF wave fields. The reconstructed LF wave spectra using EMEP resembled the input spectra most closely over the whole range of water depths and frequencies, although its performance deteriorated with increasing water depth and wave frequency. Subsequently, a first effort was made to use the information in the reconstructed EMEP LF wave spectrum of a representative shallow-water wave field for a first estimate of the motions of a moored LNG carrier. The results were acceptable. This is a first indication that EMEP output might be used to calculate the motions of an LNG carrier moored in shallow water.