Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Wave Overtopping of Stepped Revetments

Version 1 : Received: 18 April 2019 / Approved: 19 April 2019 / Online: 19 April 2019 (12:38:01 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Kerpen, N.B.; Schoonees, T.; Schlurmann, T. Wave Overtopping of Stepped Revetments. Water 2019, 11, 1035. Kerpen, N.B.; Schoonees, T.; Schlurmann, T. Wave Overtopping of Stepped Revetments. Water 2019, 11, 1035.


Wave overtopping, i.e., excess of water over the crest of a coastal protection infrastructure due to wave run-up, of a smooth slope can be reduced by introducing slope roughness. A stepped revetment ideally constitutes a slope with uniform roughness. Apart from reducing overtopping, a stepped revetment provides safer access to a beach compared to conventional rubble. In recent years, research studies on stepped revetments have provided valuable findings regarding the performance and design optimization of stepped revetments as a typical mean of coastal protection. A stepped revetment can reduce overtopping volumes of breaking waves up to compared to a smooth slope. The effectiveness of the overtopping reduction decreases with increasing Iribarren number. However, up to date a unique approach applicable for a wide range of boundary conditions is still missing. The present paper critically reviews previous findings, gathers and analyzes data from previous studies and proposes a new formula for robust prediction of overtopping of stepped revetments. By means of this approach a critical assessment based on beforehand disclosed parameter ranges between a smooth slope on the one hand and a plain vertical wall on the other are contrasted. By analysis of a new data set compounded from different original studies a novel empirical formulation is derived to predict the roughness reduction coefficient of a stepped revetment for breaking and non-breaking waves. This coefficient is developed and adjusted for a direct incorporation into the present design guidelines. Underlying uncertainties are clearly addressed and quantified. Scale effects are highlighted.


stepped revetment; wave overtopping; surface roughness; physical model test


Engineering, Civil Engineering

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