The use of Morison’s equation together with the linear wave theory is considered a first approximation to evaluate the inline wave forces on a surface-piercing cylinder. Significant second-order forces are expected to arise from the waterline and dynamic pressure effects, even when a wave is described by the linear theory. Experiments have been carried out at the MUN (Memorial University of Newfoundland) wave tank facility to identify these second-order forces for various wave frequencies and for various cylinder diameters. A strain gage force transducer has been used for this purpose. First and second-order force components have been identified using a Fast Fourier Transform. Theoretical evaluation of wave forces involved computing components from Morison’s equation using second-order Stokes theory. The waterline forces and convective acceleration forces which contribute toward the total second-order force have also been evaluated. First-order results are in acceptance with previously established data. Theoretical considerations for second order are satisfactory. Scatter in second-order experimental results were observed. Different approaches to the second-order inertia force are compared. It is expected that the inclusion of second-order forces will lead to a better representation of wave loading on offshore structures.

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