In many offshore locations, storm generated steep waves are common and the survival of offshore structures in their presence is an important design condition. The design environment in depth-limited waters often includes waves of breaking and near-breaking conditions, in which currents may be present. Experiments were carried out in a wave tank with simulated steep waves with and without steady in-line current in which the wave profiles and the corresponding kinematics were simultaneously measured. The waves included both regular and random waves and often approached the breaking wave height for the water depth. These waves were analyzed by higher-order wave theory. In particular, the regular waves were simulated by the regular and irregular stream function theory. Especially steep wave profiles within the random waves were computed using the irregular stream function theory. The theory allows inclusion of steady current in its formulation for computation of wave kinematics. The correlation of the measured wave kinematics with the higher-order stream function wave theory showed that the wave theory could predict the kinematics of these steep waves (with and without the presence of current) well. However, in breaking waves, the vertical water particle velocity was not predicted well, specially near the trough. The effect of breaking and near-breaking steep waves on a fixed vertical caisson was also studied. The forces measured on the vertical caisson from the wave tank testing were analyzed to determine the effect of these waves and currents on the forces. It was found that the measured forces (and overturning moments) on the caisson model matched fairly well by the proper choice of force coefficients from the design guideline and the nonlinear stream function theory of appropriate order.

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