Investigation Of Coastalock Performance On A Breakwater With Porous Core


  • LAWNICZAKA A.D. Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
  • HOFLAND B. Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
  • GUTIÉRREZ J. ECOncrete, Spain
  • VAN DEN BOS J. Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
  • VAN GENT M.R.A. Delft University of Technology, Netherlands



Breakwaters, Ecological Enhancement, Nature Inclusive Design, Armour Unit, Physical Modelling, VAN DEN BOS, J.


Hard stabilization methods have traditionally been employed to mitigate coastal erosion. Concrete armour is widely used due to its high level of dependence, robustness, ease of production and cost effectiveness (Cooke et al., 2020; Pikey and Cooper, 2012). It is inevitable that coastline ‘armouring’ will continue to rise because of the growing human population and urbanization, desire for and value of coastal property, opposed to predicted climate change (Chapman and Underwood, 2011). The environmental impact of such 'armouring' on coastal systems can be detrimental, resulting in a degradation or destruction of habitats and the loss of ecologically trivial species (Gittman et al., 2015).

The CoastalockTM, a single-layer armour unit, aims to blend coastal protection with marine habitat creation. This armour unit is designed to mimic inter- and sub-tidal habitats, with chemical composition of substrate and micro and macro features that provide niches for various species. The key feature of CoastalockTM is the cavity that is integrated into the design, that caters to diverse marine life needs depending on its orientation (ECOncrete Tech Ltd., 2019). CoastalockTM's hydraulic performance is under research. Preliminary tests conducted in the Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory (HEL) of the Technical University of Delft (TUD) on a 2V:3H impermeable slope in deep water conditions highlighted that with tight placement of the units significant pressure gradients across the top layer led to damage. The introduction of spacings between units for enhanced permeability improved stability significantly (Gutiérrez et al., 2023). A redesign of the unit was proposed incorporating protrusions to enforce the spacings between the blocks (Molenkamp, 2022).

This research focuses on evaluating the influence of a porous core on the hydraulic performance of a CoastalockTM armour layer, specifically assessing its stability, overtopping, and reflection on a 2V:3H breakwater slope in deep water conditions—from the toe to just below the crest. A pivotal aspect of this research is the investigation of the impact of protrusions on the hydraulic performance. Furthermore, the study explores the influence of different toe configurations, aiming to comprehend the vulnerability of the armour layer to sliding. Toe scour falls outside the scope of this study.




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