Performance Analysis Of An Innovative Field Measurement Setup For Wave Overtopping At A Dike On A Shallow Foreshore


  • VINCENT GRUWEZ Ghent University, Belgium
  • MARC WILLEMS Flanders Hydraulics Research, Belgium
  • JEROEN HILLEWAERE SBE Engineering, Belgium
  • PETER TROCH Ghent University, Belgium



Field Measurements, Shallow foreshore, Wave overtopping


Low-lying countries typically have mildly-sloping beaches as part of their coastal defense system. Many countries in north-western Europe have coastal urban areas that rely on this type of defense system, which consists of a low-crested impermeable sea dike with a relatively short promenade, and a long (nourished) beach in front that acts as a very/extremely shallow foreshore as defined by Hofland et al. (2017). Along the cross-section of this hybrid beach-dike coastal defense system, storm waves are forced to undergo many transformation processes before they finally overtop the dike. These hydrodynamic processes include shoaling, sea-swell (SS) wave energy transfer to sub- (also infragravity or IG waves) and superharmonics via nonlinear wave-wave interactions, wave dissipation by breaking and bottom friction, reflection against the dike, wave run-up and overtopping on the dike, bore impact on a wall or building, and finally reflection back towards the sea interacting with incoming bores on the promenade. Due to breaking of the SS waves and growth of the IG waves on the shallow foreshore, the IG waves can become as important or even dominant at the toe of the dike (Hofland et al., 2017; Lashley et al., 2020), which influences the overtopping process (van Gent, 1999).

Field measurements of all these processes at the same time are very challenging but necessary since field observations do not suffer from scale nor model effects. Field data are therefore crucial to evaluate design methodologies, which rely on physical and numerical modelling. This paper presents the field setup and the design features of the innovative research dike, unique in the world, including a performance analysis.




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