Eiffel 101: Marine Construction Term Glossary
Trying to make sense of all the various terms used in marine construction? Here’s a glossary to help you out with some of the most common terms:
Acronym for the American Bureau of Shipping, a classifying organization that establishes standards for the design, maintenance, and use of offshore vessels and facilities.
Quarry stones or concrete blocks that serve as components of layers for mound dikes, foundation haunches, or dams; they protect against erosion due to swell.
A wall constructed parallel to shoreline, usually at or close to the high-water mark, that helps prevent erosion and damage from waves.
A watertight structure used for retention and keeping work areas dry that is commonly used for foundation, bridge, or dam construction; caissons are often a permanent part of a constructions.
A temporary watertight enclosure where water is pumped out to create a dry working environment.
Combi Wall –
A retaining wall that is a combination of sheet piles and large-diameter steel pipe piles.
Crane Access Trestle –
Platform made of steel pipe, sheet pile, and other materials that allows cranes and other equipment stable access to ordinarily out-of-reach areas.
Machinery used for excavation/extraction of debris and other solids within a seabed; common types of dredges include bucket dredges, elevator dredges, and suction dredges.
The excavation/extraction of debris and solid materials within a seabed for the purpose of preparing for marine construction and oil and gas operations as well as to assist in beach regeneration.
A rigid hydraulic structure that extends from the shore into the water, collecting coastal deposition and preventing erosion.
H Pile –
“H”-shaped steel piles with width that matches their depth, often employed as bearing piles in deep foundations to assist in supporting buildings, bridges, and other large, heavy structures.
Floating or fixed structure that extends out over water and serves as a landing stage or berthing quay.
Mooring Dolphin –
An independent structure extending above the level of water used for mooring and securing vessels, usually with the help of ropes; mooring dolphins are often employed near pier structures.
Pile Driving –
The act of installing a pile or multiple piles into the ground that eliminates the need to excavate the area beforehand, often used in deep foundation construction.
Pipe Pile –
A steel pipe structure that is driven vertically into the ground, often using of a large impact hammer, and for the purpose of adding deep underground support to foundations for large marine structures.
Push Boat –
Also known as a “pusher boat” or “pusher,” a type of boat used for pushing big rigs and vessels like barges.
A platform made of stone, concrete, or metal used for loading and unloading vessels; quays usually lie alongside water or project out into it.
Sectional Barge –
A barge made up of sectional pieces or modules that connect to create work platforms of various sizes; sectional barges are easy to install, uninstall, transport, and fit into tight areas.
Sheet Pile –
This is a type of pile made of steel, sheet metal, or vinyl that can be used to create piling installations such as a retaining wall; sheet piles are typically engineered to be able to interlock with each other.
Underwater Pipeline –
Pipe installed on the seabed used for discharging untreated or partially treated water at a significant distance from the coast.
Vertical Dike –
A structure with a vertical face intended to shield areas from waves, typically made of concrete.
Wide Flange Beam –
A beam made of rolled steel used to create structures such as cofferdams, retention walls, and falsework for structures like bridges.
This is a great place to start if you’re trying to learn the terms commonly used in marine construction. Be sure to read other posts on our blog to learn more about many of these terms!
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