Patent application title: Erosion Control Barrier
Lester Ray Wisegerber (Dayton, TX, US)
Elmo S. Peddy (Hankamer, TX, US)
IPC8 Class: AE02B306FI
Class name: Bank, shore, or bed protection wave or flow dissipation openwork or concave face
Publication date: 2011-09-29
Patent application number: 20110236132
Protection of a shoreline from erosion caused by wave action and
reclaiming lost land areas by use of one or more barriers having a
porosity to allow a portion of the wave to pass through the barrier at a
reduced force causing the slower water to release sediment behind the
barriers. Further by redirecting and dissipating the full force of waves,
additional damage can be prevented.
1. A barrier device for use in controlling water action comprising; an
elongated barrier having a vertical wall section with a plurality of
transverse openings distributed throughout; a horizontal base section;
and vertical anchor points.
2. A barrier as described in claim 1 wherein the base section further comprises an upwardly curved surface.
3. A barrier as described in claim 2 wherein the upwardly curved surface continues and blends with one face of the vertical wall to form a continuous, outwardly curved surface.
4. A barrier as described in claim 1 further comprising end connection points for adjoining adjacent barrier section thereby creating an elongated barrier.
5. A barrier as described in claim 4 wherein the end connection points comprise a lapped joint.
6. A barrier as described in claim 4 wherein the end connection points connect three or more sections at an end location.
7. A barrier as described in claim 1 wherein the transverse openings are of various sizes.
8. A barrier as described in claim 7 wherein the various size openings are distributed from top to bottom approximately according to size of the opening.
9. A barrier as described in claim 1 wherein the vertical anchor points are bores from the top of the vertical wall to the bottom.
10. A barrier as described in claim 1 wherein the vertical anchor points are bores from the top of the base to the bottom of the base.
11. A barrier as described in claim 1 wherein the transverse openings provide at least a twenty percent (20%) porosity in the wall section.
12. A barrier as described in claim 1 wherein the transverse openings provide no more than an eighty percent (80%) porosity in the wall section.
13. A barrier as described in claim 1 wherein at least one face of the vertical wall section comprises an outwardly curving face.
14. A barrier as described in claim 1 wherein the transverse openings are angled from the transverse angle such that openings on opposite faces of the vertical wall do not align.
15. A barrier as described in claim 1 wherein the barrier is tinted to effect visibility in the intended target environment.
16. A barrier as described in claim 1 wherein the barrier is constructed of reinforced concrete.
17. A barrier as described in claim 14 wherein the reinforcement comprises tensile strengthening materials.
18. A barrier as described in claim 14 wherein an elastomer material is intermixed to adjust buoyancy and weight.
19. A barrier as described in claim 1 wherein the barrier comprises a substantially hollow shell wherein said shell has openings for filling with various materials to adjust buoyancy and weight.
20. A method of protecting from water damage comprising erecting a plurality of barriers wherein said barriers comprise a vertical wall section with a plurality of transverse openings distributed throughout; a horizontal base section; and vertical anchor points.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) from co-pending U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/318,292, by Lester Ray Wisegerber and Elmo S. Peddy, titled "Barrier" filed 27 Mar. 2010, which, by this statement, is incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 Each year the Galveston Bay System alone loses an average of 3 feet of shoreline and in some places the loss is as much as 15 feet. This loss does not reflect the added impact of hurricanes and other extreme weather conditions. These are the losses of just one area of shoreline in Texas. Countless millions of dollars are spent on temporary methods to combat erosion such as hay bales, in the Gulf of Mexico alone.
 The problem is not unique to the Gulf of Mexico. It is a reflection of what is occurring along the vast majority of shorelines all over the world where ocean tides meet land. In addition, similar issues plague high velocity locations in channels and rivers where erosion wears the land.
 Traditional barriers have been used to stop wave action, but they can cause a buildup of sediment in front of the barrier and subsequently create a semi-stagnant pool behind the barrier. The other result of traditional barriers is a redirection of the waves' energy causing a scouring effect at the base of the barrier which ultimately results in the barriers becoming instable and ineffective.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a barrier in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the invention.
 FIG. 2 illustrates securing a barrier with anchoring rods in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the invention.
 FIG. 3 illustrates a top view of a barrier in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the invention.
 FIG. 4 illustrates joining a plurality of barriers in accordance with the teachings of the inventor.
 FIG. 5 illustrates the dissipation of wave forces in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the invention.
 FIG. 6 illustrates a curved barrier in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the invention.
 FIG. 7 illustrates joining a plurality of curved barriers in accordance with the teachings of the inventor.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
 The inventors address the need to develop an economical method for shoreline erosion protection. The inventors have developed barriers which are designed to reduce wave action that erodes the shoreline while allowing sediment build up behind the barrier to restore shoreline previously destroyed. By varying the placement of the barriers with regard to depth of the water, and the distance from the existing watermarks, sediment build up can be controlled to comply with desired goals and land use or conservation laws and regulations.
 The invention comprises a plurality of barriers which are constructed with a porosity which allows a portion of the water to pass thorough the barrier but impedes such passage to reduce the speed of the water and subsequently limit damage to the shore. Further, as the water washes back through the barrier with the receding wave action it is further slowed such that sediment settles to the bottom between the barrier and the shore causing the protected area to be replenished. The front and/or base of the barrier is shaped to cause the portion of the water which is blocked to roll back on the incoming wave to help dissipate the wave's energy without causing excessive scouring at the base of the barrier.
 In preliminary studies conducted on the shore of Lake Anahuac, an exemplary barrier approximately 64 inches in height and approximately 160 feet in length was placed approximately 5 feet from the bank. Over a course of two years the area behind the barrier accumulated a sediment build up of approximately two and one half (21/2) inches per month. Vegetation was observed to grow on the sediment thus establishing evidence of a permanent reclamation. Subsequent modifications and improvements resulted in the current embodiments. Those embodiments were used in a scale test model situated in a tidal pool at High Island, Tex. which began showing build up of sediment behind the barrier in a matter of hours.
 In the present innovation, the inventors have constructed a barrier section to be used in erosion control. This barrier section is to be used in conjunction with a plurality of additional barrier sections to form a protection for a portion of coastline. The protection can be a single line of barrier sections, or groups of barriers with gaps left for the passage of boats and or animals. The gaps can still offer protection if one or more lines of barriers running substantially parallel to the shore overlap causing the gaps to be substantially perpendicular to the shoreline and thus the wave action. By curving the barriers into an arc shape a flexibility to follow the shoreline can be achieved. If all barriers have substantially an arc shape, then by reversing the arc from one barrier to the next a substantially straight line can be formed. Further, if the wall of the barrier extends from the base, then by placing two barriers next to each other with their arc's facing in opposite directions, a third barrier could be joined opposite them allowing a liner chain to be extended in a new third direction to follow inlets, bays, etc. Using a plurality of additional barriers and different configurations many shapes can be achieved to conform to the unique terrain of the coastline to be protected.
 In an effort to be environmentally and/or fiscally conscious the inventors have attempted to incorporate recycled materials when doing so was possible without sacrificing functionality. In one embodiment shredded tires (AKA crumb rubber) is used as filler and to add elasticity, along with a cement binder to add weight to the barriers. In another embodiment, the barriers are hollow shells formed from recycled plastic. The hollow shells are then filled on site with sand, gravel, or other weight adding materials to give them stability in the water and overcome the buoyancy of the plastic.
 The shape of the barrier overall resembles that of an inverted "T" extrusion. The barrier is comprised of a vertical wall section and a transverse base section. The barrier may be of varying height and lengths, and can be straight or curved. The preferred embodiment of the barrier is a ten (10) to twenty (20) foot arc with a center radius of approximately forty (40) feet and with a height of two (2) to four (4) feet and a base section width of two (2) to four (4) feet. In the preferred embodiment the vertical wall section meets the transverse base section in substantially the middle of the base section's width, but this can vary depending on the construction technique, tidal forces to be expected at the placement site to ensure maximum stability. Stability is further enhanced with anchor rods which pass through anchor holes which pass vertically through the vertical wall and/or the base in a plurality of locations.
 The base section has an upwardly facing cycloid surface on at least one side of the vertical wall section. The cycloid surface may continue upward to encompass the wall as well. The ends of the barrier contain a joining configuration to allow neighboring barriers to anchor to each other for additional stability and support. In one embodiment the joining configuration comprises a tongue and groove configuration, comprising a connector tongue and a connector recess. In another embodiment the joining configuration comprises a plurality of tongues with mating holes through which bolts, cables, or some other securing device are passed to securely join neighboring barriers.
 In one embodiment the barriers are left a natural color derived from the material used in their formation. In another embodiment the barriers are colored either by a surface painting, a staining, or an embedding of dyes or stains. Coloring can be used to blend the barriers with the surrounding environment and prevent them from distracting from the scenery. In other embodiments the colors can be used to contrast the barriers with the surrounding environment as a warning or indicator of possible hazards. This is particularly useful when the barriers are placed in navigable waterways.
 In one embodiment the barriers are formed from detachable bases and walls which may be easier to mold, store and transport. In this embodiment the vertical walls are attached to the bases or anchored individually to the ground and the base portions are secured to them to prevent scouring by the waves being dissipated.
 The wall section has openings to allow portions of the wave to pass through the barrier carrying sediment which is then deposited by the slower water on the shoreline side of the barrier. In one embodiment a wire mesh is used as an internal support to a concrete barrier to add tensile strength. Openings in the wall can be of varying size and shape. In the preferred embodiment an assortment of sized openings are used which are randomly spaced across the wall section to achieve an approximately fifty percent (50%) porosity. In one embodiment larger openings are located near the base and small openings are used near the top of the wall section. In another embodiment smaller openings are located near the base and larger openings are located toward the top of the wall section. In one embodiment the holes pass through the wall in a substantially perpendicular direction to the wall face. In another embodiment holes are angled from the perpendicular in one or more directions to further dissipate the wave forces.
 FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a barrier in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the invention. The Barrier (10) is shown with a straight vertical wall section (11) and a traverse base section (12). The cycloid upwardly facing face (13) extends and blends into the frontwardly facing face of the vertical wall (11). A plurality of anchor holes (14) is shown on the base (14A) and down through the vertical wall (14B). Connecting tongues (15) are shown at either end of the vertical wall for joining to neighboring barriers (10), or for tying anchor cables (not shown). Anchoring is accomplished by passing bolts, bars, straps, ropes, or cables through anchoring holes (18). Openings in the wall (22) allow a portion of a wave's water to pass through the vertical wall (11).
 FIG. 2 illustrates securing a barrier (10) with anchoring rods (17) by passing the rods down through the anchor holes (14A) in the base section. In addition, or in place of such anchoring, anchoring rods (17) could also be passed down through anchor holes (14B) in the vertical wall section. Anchor rods can comprise, rebar, threaded rod, fence post, etc. They can be made of metal, wood, fiberglass, reinforced plastic or other similar materials which provide the shear and tensile strength to anchor the barrier to the surrounding environment. In addition, a cable or chain (not shown) could be used to thread through the anchor holes tying barriers to neighboring barriers or natural or manmade anchoring points in the environment where the barriers are placed.
 FIG. 3 illustrates a top view of a barrier in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment the anchor holes (14A and 14B) are shown to pass through the barrier to allow anchoring to the ground or nearby objects. The connector tongue (15) and the mating groove (16) allows an overlapping joint which limits the water passing between the barrier. From the top view it is clear to see the openings in the wall (22) may be angled to further restrict water flow and disrupt a wave's impact on the protected shoreline.
 FIG. 4 illustrates joining a plurality of barriers in accordance with the teachings of the inventor. By placing barriers (10) next to each other, and aligning the connectors (15) a bolt (19) can secure the barriers together. This method is especially useful if one or more of the barrier's (10) anchor holes (14) falls over a large rock, or other obstacle which prevents inserting an anchoring rod.
 FIG. 5 illustrates the dissipation of wave forces in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the invention. By looking at a cross section of the barrier, it is clear how the main wave force (30) striking the cycloid surface of the barrier is both dissipated into small forces (35) passing through the openings in the wall (22), and deflected (32). The deflected force (32) is pushed up by the cycloid surface (13) preventing scouring in front of the barrier's base. Further, the dissipated forces (35) slowing in momentum causes sediment (40) to be deposited on the back side of the barrier.
 FIG. 6 illustrates a curved barrier in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the invention. In this illustration the entire barrier is curved to provide more flexibility in deploying the barriers to follow a shoreline. In one embodiment the entire barrier may be curved (10'). In another embodiment only the vertical wall may be curved and the base may still be straight. In another embodiment, the base may have clipped or angled corners (12') to prevent the curved sections from interfering with each other's base placement.
 FIG. 7 illustrates joining a plurality of curved barriers in accordance with the teachings of the inventor. By joining in different configurations shorelines can be closely mimicked with the barriers and branches can be used to protect inlets, bays, rivers, etc. The barriers can also be used to protect structures such as bridge and pier pylons (50) to prevent scouring at their base.
 The diagrams and descriptions presented herein, in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention, are provided as examples and should not be construed to limit other embodiments within the scope of the invention. Sizes, including but not limited to height, length, and weight are adjustable within reasonable limitations. Shapes, colors configurations and materials can be adjusted within the principles as present by the inventors and thus should be included as encompassed in their teachings herein. Further, specific numerical data values (such as specific quantities, numbers, categories, etc.) or other specific information should be interpreted as illustrative for discussing exemplary embodiments. Such specific information is not provided to limit the invention.
 The above discussion is meant to be illustrative of the principles and various embodiments of the present invention. Numerous variations and modifications will become apparent to those skilled in the art once the above disclosure is fully appreciated. It is intended that the following claims be interpreted to embrace all such variations and modifications.
Patent applications in all subclasses Openwork or concave face