Lee, W.D.; Kang, C.; Hong, S.; Lee, T.K., and Lee, J., 2021. Effect of wave load on decompression of underwater workers: CFD-VPM simulation. In: Lee, J.L.; Suh, K.-S.; Lee, B.; Shin, S., and Lee, J. (eds.), Crisis and Integrated Management for Coastal and Marine Safety. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 114, pp. 614–618. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Hydrodynamic pressure from cyclic wave action causes water pressure increases and vibration, and these pressure changes can have a significant impact on underwater workers in high-pressure environments. This study investigated the impact of wave loading on decompression procedures for underwater workers using a coupled CFD-VPM. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) were used to simulate wave propagation, and the Varying Permeability Model (VPM) was used to simulate the dive profile. Results of the wave propagation simulation showed that wave height and nonlinearity increased due to shoaling when approaching a beach, and the period was shortened. The maximum dynamic pressure head exceeded 1 m at depths less than 45 m and reached 10.3 m at a depth of 3 m. Simulations of the dive profile revealed that decompression time increased by 11 m and 9 s (28.36 %) under extraordinary wave conditions when underwater work was performed for 2 hours at a depth of 20 m. Furthermore, decompression time increased by 12 min and 40 s (10 %) at a working depth of 30 m. For safe underwater work operations under extraordinary wave conditions, decompression procedures should account for the pressure rise and vibration caused by wave action.