AbstractThis work investigated the interaction of surface waves with a dual-barrier system comprising two vertical viscoelastic thin sheets with variable spacing in finite water depth without preassumption of its dynamic behavior. The two sheets were assumed to be made of the same material and under different tensions, and both penetrated into the water depth partially with unequal drafts. The viscoelastic behavior of the sheet material, which accounts for its elastic deformation and internal energy dissipation, is represented by the Voigt model. Using the eigenfunction expansion and least square determination, analytical solutions were obtained for the dual-barrier system, including the asymptotic case of a single sheet when the second sheet draft approaches zero. Subsequently, the effects of hydroelastic regimes and viscoelasticity were examined. With the single-sheet system, the wave transmission decreases as the tensioned sheet shifts from platelike to membranelike, and its material has higher internal energy dissipation (i.e., viscosity). When the size of the bottom opening increases to a gap ratio larger than ∼0.6, however, the wave transmission becomes dominated by the diffraction through the gap, and the influence of sheet material characteristics is no longer significant. With the double-sheet system, the results show that the performance of the wave barrier improves significantly by the presence of the second sheet, even with a small draft. Complex resonating patterns can be observed with increase in sheet spacing for the dual-barrier system, which reduces the wave transmission. The presence of viscosity of the double-sheet system dampens the resonance, but also reduces the wave transmission by itself through the viscous dissipation of the incident wave energy.