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J. de Rouck1
J.W. van der Meer2
critically on the performance of coastal structures in defending these areas against storm surges, wave attack, flooding and erosion. Continuing sea level rise and climate change (storms are becoming rougher) emphasise the need for reliable and robust predictions as higher storm surges and bigger storms may lead to flooding. Population pressures on land use in coastal regions have sometimes ignored age-old appreciation of coastal hazards. The CLASH research project EVK3-CT-2001-00058 is being funded by the EU to provide \u201cCrest Level Assessment of coastal Structures by full scale monitoring, neural network prediction and Hazard analysis on permissible wave overtopping\u201d. It is intended to produce generally applicable prediction methods based on permissible wave overtopping and hazard analysis. This paper describes the general approach of this major European project and more specific the development of a homogeneous overtopping database, which will be the basis for the general prediction methods.
prediction methods for structure design. However, there exist several overtopping formulae for coastal structures. They rely on empirical fitting of equations to overtopping data, which are available from model tests. These present methods are however applicable to a limited range of structure configurations and only give partial predictions, see Van der Meer et al. (1998) for dikes, Franco et al. (1994) for vertical walls and Besley et al. (1998) for shallow water conditions. So the available overtopping data for different structure types have not been integrated to give a single design method.
In addition, present prediction methods may be subject to scale or model effects. Scale effects refer to unwanted effects that appear as a result of the impossibility of correct scaling of a process, e.g. surface tension and kinematic viscosity. Model effects refer to unwanted effects that appear because of difficulties with correct modelling, e.g. the granulometry of the core of a rubble mound breakwater or wind effect on overtopping. The fact that present prediction methods may be subject to scale or model effects follows from a conclusion of the EU projectOP TI CRES T (De Rouck et al., 2001). In this project it has been found that wave run-up Ru2% on rubble mound slopes, measured during full scale storms, was about 20% higher than modelled by selected hydraulic laboratories in small scale test facilities. This may lead to the tentative conclusion that scale or model effects may also be present for small scale testing on wave overtopping. Relatively few site measurements of overtopping have been made before. A single series of tests at large scale have been completed by the VOWS and Big-VOWS team (universities of Edinburgh, Sheffield and Manchester and HR Wallingford) to compare small and large scale tests to identify the occurrence and magnitude of possible scale effects. These results suggest that scale effects are not significant in mean overtopping for vertical walls, although these tests do not cover the model effect of not including wind (Bruce et al., 2002, and Pearson et al., 2002).
The CLASH research project (January 2002 - December 2004), funded by the European Community and consisting of 13 partners (see table1), is intended to deal with these problems and so improve knowledge about the overtopping phenomenon.
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