as exemplified by the Sunderland docks adjacent to the mouth of the river Wear, and the Havre docks at the outlet of the Seine estuary (fig. 2). Some old ports, originally established on sandy coasts where a creek, maintained by the influx and efflux of the tide from low-lying spaces near the shore, afforded some shelter and an outlet to the sea across the beach, have had their access improved by parallel jetties and dredging; and docks have been readily formed in the low-lying land only separated by sand dunes from the sea, as at Calais, Dunkirk (fig. 6) and Ostend (see Harbour). In sheltered places on the sea-coast, docks have sometimes been constructed on low-lying land bordering the shore, with direct access to the sea, as at Barrow and Hartlepool; whilst at Mediterranean ports open basins have been formed in the sea, by establishing quays along the foreshore, from which wide, solid jetties, lined with quay walls, are carried into the sea at intervals at right angles to the shore, being sheltered by an outlying breakwater parallel to the coast, and reached at each end through the openings left between the projecting jetties and the breakwater, as at Marseilles (fig. 5) and Trieste, and at the extensions at Genoa (see Harbour) and Naples. Where, however, the basins are formed within the partial protection of a bay, as in the old ports of Genoa and Naples, the requisite additional shelter has been provided by converging breakwaters across the opening of the bay; and an entrance to the port is left between the breakwaters. The two deep arms of the sea at New York, known as the Hudson and East rivers, are so protected by Staten Island and Long Island that it has been only necessary to form open basins by projecting wide jetties or quays into them from the west and east shores of Manhattan Island, and from the New Jersey and Brooklyn shores, at intervals, to provide adequate accommodation for Atlantic liners and the sea-going trade of New York.
|Fig. 5.—Port of Marseilles. Basins and Extensions.|
The accessibility of a port depends upon the depth of its approach channel, which also determines the depth of the docks or basins to which it leads; for it is useless to give a depth to a dock much in excess of the depth down to Approach channels. which there is a prospect of carrying the channel by which it is reached. The great augmentation, however, in the power and capacity for work of modern dredgers, and especially of suction dredgers in sand (see Dredge), together with the increasing draught of vessels, has resulted in a considerable increase being made in the available depth of rivers and channels leading to docks, and has necessitated the making of due allowance for the possibility of a reasonable improvement in determining the depth to be given to a new dock. On the other hand, there is a limit to the deepening of an approach channel, depending upon its length, the local conditions as regards silting, and the resources and prospects of trade of the port, for every addition to the depth generally involves a corresponding increase in the cost of maintenance.
|Fig. 6.—Dunkirk Docks and Jetty Channel.|
|Fig. 7.—Tilbury Docks.|
At tidal ports the available depth for vessels should be reckoned from high water of the lowest neap tides, as the standard which is certain to be reached at high tide; and the period during which docks can be entered at each tide depends upon the nature of the approach channel, the extent of the tidal range and the manner in which the entrance to the docks is effected. Thus where the tidal range is very large, as in the Severn estuary, the approach channels to some of the South Wales ports are nearly dry at low water of spring tides, and it would be impossible to make these ports accessible near low tide; whereas at high water, even of neap tides, vessels of large draught can enter their docks. At Liverpool, with a rise of 31 ft. at equinoctial spring tides, owing to the deep channel between Liverpool and Birkenhead and into the outer estuary of the Mersey in Liverpool