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Basic Theory
Wave Height Prediction
Design Criteria
Design Process
The main reason to construct
coastal embankment is


The development objectives can be
described as to achieve the followings:

Substantial and sustained reduction in the

risk, from natural hazards, of loss of life
and damage to property and economic
Equitable improvements in production
from agriculture, fisheries and related
Sustainable restoration of and
improvements to the environment
Why coastal embankments are needed?

Bangladesh is one of the severe cyclonic prone

countries in the world
A total 44 cyclones hit the coast of Bangladesh
since 1960
More than 90% death are caused by surge
It is essential to protect the areas from cyclonic
storm surge inundation
New threat is the climate change scenario
Vulnerabilities of coastal embankments

Storm surges due to Cyclones - loss of life and

property, flooding and embankment failure,
destruction of crops, slow recovery.
Drainage Congestion – Excessive rainfall, rising
river levels, ineffective structures, rising river bed
levels affect drainage and structures and cause
water logging
Salinity Intrusion -
In rivers: due to reduction of upstream flow and
sea level rise
In polders: due to damaged structures
Vulnerabilities of coastal embankments

Wave Action and Bank Ersosion:

Damages exposed the embankments
Flooding: Due to high seasonal rainfalls
and high river levels.
History of Coastal Embankments
History of coastal embankments are traces back as
early as the British Emperor in India
The Zamindars used to construct low height
embankments to protect agricultural land from
periodic saline water flooding during normal high
The farmers had to pay taxes for it
After 1950, a project named “Coastal Embankment
project” was aimed at to increase the crop
production through protection of agricultural land
from saline water intrusion.
History of Coastal Embankments

A maximum normal flood of 20 year return period was

The project area was divided into three regions
(i) Eastern region extending from Chittagong to Arakan
Hill Tracts

(ii) Central region is a funneled apex shaped area with

rivers with high erosion and siltation

(iii) western region is formed by deltaic action of Ganges-

Brahmaputra-Meghna river system.
Types of Coastal Embankment in
Three types of embankments exists in
Larger embankments are situated along the
sides of Bay of Bengal and major rivers where
high waves and currents are expected
Interior embankments are along the bank of
rivers where moderate waves and current
Marginal embankments are provided along the
bank of small rivers and streams of minor wave
and current.
Basic Theory
Waves on the surface of the ocean with periods
of 3 to 25 sec are primarily generated by winds
and are a fundamental feature of coastal
regions of the world.

Knowledge of these waves and the forces they

generate is essential for the design of coastal
projects since they are the major factor that
determines the geometry of beaches, the
planning and design of marinas, waterways,
shore protection measures, hydraulic
structures, and other civil and military coastal

Estimates of wave conditions are needed in

almost all coastal engineering studies.
Basic Theory (cont.)
The Regular Waves are waves of constant
height and period.

The Irregular Waves section does not have

constant wave height and period and
statistical methods are needed to analyze
irregular waves which are more descriptive
of the waves seen in nature.
Basic Theory (cont.)
The Regular Waves are always described by
the simplest mathematical representation by
assuming ocean waves are two-dimensional (2-
D), small in amplitude, sinusoidal, and
progressively definable by their wave height
and period in a given water depth.

In this simplest representation of ocean waves,

wave motions and displacements, kinematics
(that is, wave velocities and accelerations), and
dynamics (that is, wave pressures and
resulting forces and moments) will be
determined for engineering design estimates.
Basic Theory (cont.)
When wave height becomes larger, the
simple treatment may not be adequate.
This representation requires using
more mathematically complicated

These theories become nonlinear and

allow formulation of waves that are not
of purely sinusoidal in shape
Basic Theory (cont.)
The Irregular Waves is determined by an
alternative description

Statistical methods are used to describe the

natural time-dependent three-dimensional
characteristics of real wave

To quantify this randomness of ocean waves,

the Irregular Waves employs statistical and
probabilistic theories

Even with this approach, simplifications are

Basic Theory (cont.)
At the present time, practicing coastal
engineers must use a combination of these
approaches to obtain information for design.

For example, information from the Irregular

Waves section will be used to determine the
expected range of wave conditions and
directional distributions of wave energy in
order to select an individual wave height and
period for the problem under study.
Basic Theory (cont.)
Then procedures from the Regular
Waves section will be used to
characterize the kinematics and
dynamics that might be expected.

However, it should be noted that the

procedures for selecting and using
irregular wave conditions remain an
area of some uncertainty.
Identification of Wave Parameters
Basic Theory (cont.)
A progressive wave may be represented by
the variables x (spatial) and t (temporal) or by
their combination (phase), defined as θ = kx
– ωt

The values of θ vary between 0 and 2π.

A simple, periodic wave of permanent form

propagating over a horizontal bottom may be
completely characterized by the wave height
H wavelength L and water depth d.
Basic Theory (cont.)
The highest point of the wave is the crest and the
lowest point is the trough.

For linear or small-amplitude waves, the height of

the crest above the still-water level (SWL) and the
distance of the trough below the SWL are each equal
to the wave amplitude a. Therefore a = H/2, where H =
the wave height.

The time interval between the passage of two

successive wave crests or troughs at a given point
is the wave period T.
Basic Theory (cont.)
The wavelength L is the horizontal distance
between two identical points on two
successive wave crests or two successive
wave troughs.

Other wave parameters include ω = 2π/T the

angular or radian frequency, the wave
number k = 2π/L

the phase velocity or wave celerity C = L/T =

ω/k, the wave steepness ε = H/L, the relative
depth d/L, and the relative wave height H/d.
Wave Height Prediction
L  2d 
C  gT
L tanh 
T 2  L 
gL  2d  gT 2
 2d 
C tanh  L tanh 
2  L  2  L 
gT  2d 
C tanh 
2  L 
Wave Height Prediction (cont.)
Water waves are classified based on
the relative depth criterion d/L.

Classification of Water Waves

Classification d/L kd tanh (kd)
Deep water 1/2 - ∞ π-∞ 1

Transitional 1/20 - 1/2 π/10 - π tanh (kd)

Shallow water 0 - 1/20 0 - π/10 kd

Wave Height Prediction (cont.)
For deep water waves

gL0 L0 gT
C0   C0 
2 T 2
For shallow water waves

C  gd
Local Fluid Velocities and Acceleration
Wave Height Prediction
Irregular Waves
The term irregular waves will be used to denote natural
sea states in which the wave characteristics are
expected to have a statistical variability in contrast to
monochromatic waves, where the properties may be
assumed constant.

When the wind is blowing and the waves are growing in

response, the sea surface tends to be confused

a wide range of heights and periods is observed and

the length of individual wave crests may only be a wave
length or two in extent (short-crested).
Irregular Waves
Such waves are called wind seas, or often, just

Long period waves that have traveled far from

their region of origin tend to be more uniform in
height, period, and direction and have long
individual crests, often many wave lengths in
extent (i.e., long-crested). These are termed

A sea state may consist of just sea or just swell

or may be a combination of both.
Irregular Waves
Wave Height Prediction
Two approaches exist for treating irregular waves:
spectral methods and wave-by-wave (wave train)
Spectral approaches are based on the Fourier
Transform of the sea surface.

This is currently the most mathematically

appropriate approach for analyzing a time-
dependent, three-dimensional sea surface record.

Unfortunately, it is exceedingly complex and at

present few measurements are available that could
fully tap the potential of this method.

However, simplified forms of this approach have

been proven to be very useful.
Wave Height Prediction
The other approach used is wave-by-wave analysis.
In this analysis method, a time-history of the sea
surface at a point is used, the undulations are
identified as waves, and statistics of the record are
This is a very natural introduction to irregular waves
and simpler representation than spectral analysis.
The primary drawback to the wave-by-wave analysis
is that it cannot tell anything about the direction of
the waves.
Indeed, what appears to be a single wave at a point
may actually be the local superposition of two
smaller waves from different directions that happen
to be intersecting at that time.
Disadvantages of the spectral approach are the fact
that it is linear and can distort the representation of
nonlinear waves.
Wave Height Prediction
Wave Height Prediction

The adopted engineering procedure is the

zero-crossing technique, where a wave is
defined when the surface elevation crosses
the zero-line or the mean water level (MWL)
upward and continues until the next crossing
point. This is the zero-up crossing method.

When a wave is defined by the downward

crossing of the zero-line by the surface
elevation, the method is the zero-down
Wave Height Prediction
Design Criteria
The interaction between the areas behind the COASTAL
EMBANKMENTS (POLDERS) with the high water under
both monsoon tide and cyclonic surges;

Important to find out the baseline condition of coastal

polders against worst condition of storm surge in the bay
and estuaries in terms of depth area duration of flooding,
concentration area duration of salinity intrusion

Design conditions of water level and wave properties in

front of embankments within the study area.

The design condition should corresponds to return period

of 10, 20, 50 and 100 years;

Hydraulic variables like extent of wave run up, velocity,

angle of wave attack etc are important parameters for
Design Criteria
The coast of Bangladesh is vulnerable to different
types of coastal hazards.

The followings are the principal elements of coastal


Cyclones and storm surges

River floods
Sedimentation and accretion
Drainage congestion
Human interventions
Climate change and sea level rise
Design Criteria
These elements are continuously
deteriorating the coastal environment
with the results of the following effects:

Increase of risk of life and wealth

Reduction of wildlife habitat and marine
Increase in pollution and contamination
Increase in exposure to coastal hazards
Design Criteria
Most of the cyclones hit the coasts of Bangladesh
with north-eastward approaching angle.

Surge wave generated at the deeper sea is driven

towards the coast by the wind and

propagates over land being amplified near the coast.

The coastal areas around the Meghna estuary are

one of the most vulnerable areas that experience
very high surge attack.

Very high surge height is caused by the shoaling

effect in shallower zone funnelling effect of the land
geometry and sometimes coinciding with tidal
Design Criteria
As a result, the surge level at the north of Sandwip
Island, which is the tip of the converging land
geometry, attains the highest elevation in most of the

The Bay of Bengal is one of the favourable areas for

the generation of tropical cyclones. About one-tenth
of the global total cyclones forming in different
regions of the tropics occur in the Bay of Bengal
(Gray, 1968; Ali, 1980).

Not all of the tropical cyclones formed in the Bay of

Bengal move towards the coast of Bangladesh.

About one-sixth of tropical storms generated in the

Bay of Bengal usually hit the Bangladesh coast.
Design Parameters
Resisting storm Surges
Surge heights with and without climate
Extreme waves – select the appropriate
return periods (based on a number of
cyclone simulations)
Wave propagation and wave run-up should
be considered.
Design Parameters
Embankment Drainage
The drainage capability of the drainage
network and structure system
With and without climate change scenario
(rainfall intensity and river water level)
Design Parameters
Morphology and Salinity
Assessing the performance of drainage
based on morphology
Also performance of irrigation, agriculture
and fisheries should be included
Design Crest Level
Extreme value analysis of storm surge
Return period 25years or 50 years???
Speed of recovery (from overtopping for a
Quality of construction need to be
Basic Design Features
EMBANKMENT Sea-side/River side Country side slope Crest Width (m)

Sea Dykes 1 : 7 or 1 : 5 1 : 3 or 1 : 2 4.27

Interior Dykes 1:3 1:2 4.27

Marginal Dykes 1:2 1:2 2.44

Environmental Studies
Strategic Environmental Assessment
Global assessment of interventions
Phasing for future stages
Environmental Management Framework
Guidance for project planning
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
Monitoring plan
All clearences from GoB guidelines and
Design Criteria
Disadvantage of the Previous Embankments
The system of coastal embankments was
initially constructed during the Sixties.

The design used for the construction was

“institutionalised“ in a study by Leedshill
DeLeuw Engineers (LDL) completed in 1968.

The purpose of the embankments was to

enable cultivation of land in areas otherwise
exposed to tidal flooding of saline water.

The embankments were designed with no

regard to cyclone surges, and very little regard
to waves.
Disadvantage of the Previous Embankments

Crest height of the embankments was determined as

“the maximum normal high tide” (as recorded during
1960-1968) plus a freeboard of 5 feet.

Since the construction, numerous embankment

rehabilitation schemes have been implemented with
the purpose of mitigating problems caused by the
combined effect of
(i) the total absence of normal routine maintenance,
(ii) damage to the embankments caused by unusual
monsoon water levels, by waves and by cyclone
Past studies on Cyclone Surge
A number of engineering projects have been
carried out to study cyclone surge and
embankment. Out of these the followings are the
most recent ones.

The “Probable Maximum Storm Surge” (PMSS)

study by S.K. Gosh has developed the variation of
the Probable Maximum Storm Surge along the
entire Indian and Bangladeshi coast.

The derived PMSS for the Bangladeshi coast is very

high along the entire coast, with a maximum of 13.2
m at Dhakin Shahbazpur between Patuakhli and
Past studies on Cyclone Surge

The basis for the derived PMSS is an analysis of

historical cyclones revealing the following
parameters for the 'worst probable cyclone' in
the Bay of Bengal.

The results illustrate that the Bangladeshi coast

is very vulnerable to cyclone surges, and that it
is not realistic to consider the construction of
coastal embankments high enough to eliminate
the risk of being over-topped by cyclones.
Past studies on Cyclone Surge

The “Multipurpose Cyclone Shelter Programme”

(MCSP) made a very thorough analysis of
various aspects of the generation of cyclone
surges and its penetration inland and introduced
a number of important statistical considerations
to take into account when studying surge
heights for engineering purposes.

Ultimately it was decided to base the design

surge heights on an empirical formula by Reid
that relates surge height to the cyclone wind
speed and the length of the continental shelf.
Past studies on Cyclone Surge
The yearly maximum wind speed should be analyzed
statistically resulting in a relationship between
return period and wind speed (for example for Bay of
Return Period (years) 5 10 20 25 50 100
Wind Speed (km/h) 165 195 223 233 261 289
By using Reid’s formula the following design surge
heights may be derived
The High Risk Area is defined as any area having
experienced flooding of one meter or more. The
design flood depth within the area is subsequently
determined by linear interpolation between the one
meter on the landward boundary and the height of
the surge (derived as described above) plus spring
tide at the coast.
Design Surge Height
Design parameters needed
Knowledge on the following aspects is essential for
the calculation of design surge height for coastal
embankment design

1) The bathymetry of the sea bed and the land area.

2) The interpretation of the meteorological
conditions properly.
3) The effect on the flooding of low-lying areas
4) Very good information about the topography
5) Wind speed and direction
6) Time of the year
7) Information about the bed friction.
Data needed for design

Hydrometric data
Meteorologic data
Bathymetric and Topographic Data
Hydrometric data

This is to be mentioned that the collected data should

corresponds to normal tide gauges.
No surge gauge exists in the coastal area of

Meteorologic data
The main meteorologic data required for the design are
cyclone, wind and pressure.
Cyclone Data
The historical records of the past major cyclones
should be taken into consideration for design.
During cyclone periods, parameters such as the
position of cyclone, cyclone intensity, pressure drop
(DP), maximum wind speed (Wm) and radius to
maximum wind (Rm) are needed for design.
Field Data Collection

The following field measurements are

Embankment alignment and crest
Water level
Surge Height in Bangladesh
It has been found that the most sensitive region is the northern
corner of the bay that covers the region around the Sandwip
Island and the Meghna River mouth. The maximum surge level
found is approximately 10m.
The Sandwip Island, Hatia and coastal areas of Noakhali District
is flooded by surge level of more than 7m (PWD).
In terms of physical vulnerability, Hatia and Sandwip are most
vulnerable regions as the land levels in these areas are only 1-2m
above the mean sea level.
Funnelling effect and sudden change in depth close to the coast
causes such amplification of surge height.
Results show that the embankment at northern Bhola plays a
very important role, as it obstructs direct inflow of surge into the
island, which is more than 6m (PWD) in elevation.
High surge levels also occur at the south of Bhola and Barguna.
Surge Height in Bangladesh

Understanding on wave dynamics in the coastal region of

Bangladesh is fairly poor.
Normally for design of embankments it does not include the
wave impact to determine
the coastal processes.
Such simplicity may impose considerable errors while
computing the design hydraulic loads for coastal protection
Particularly the south-eastern coast is subject to noticeable
wave attack during monsoon.
Cyclonic wave field across the coast as well as for normal
monsoon condition should be considered
The goal of the wave study is to gain understanding on
nearshore wave parameters in the context of Bangladeshi
Cyclone Condition
Cyclone wind is necessary to calculate the nearshore wave
Boundary wave parameters are: significant wave height, mean
wave period, mean wave direction, spreading index and
deviation of mean wave direction (DMWD).

Monsoon Condition
Significant wave heights and wave periods are required from
the irregular wave train
If wave data are not available then offshore wind speed and
wind direction are necessary
Boundary value are calculated using the Shore Protection
Manual (SPM) formulae.
Assessment of Extreme Wave Height

Assessment of maximum wave height for the

embankment design should be based on the cyclonic
Because the normal monsoon wind does not have the
capacity to create wave height more than the cyclonic
The maximum wave height at the eastern coast is more
than 2.5m.
The maximum wave height at the north of the Sandwip
island is 1.25m to 1.75m.
The wave height at the river mouths of Shahbazpur and
Tentulia channel varies between 0.50m to 0.75m.
Assessment of Design Freeboard

The wave heights may grow considerably high

during cyclonic heights, particularly in the
regions where water level is significant in
combination with surge.
Though such events occur for short period of
time, large wave attacks may lead to
consequence of wave overtopping and failure of
In practice, suggested wave runup and
overtopping magnitudes are used as criterion for
designing embankment heights.
Design wave parameters are used in combination
with the embankment slope and suitable factors
dependent on local features to estimate the wave
runup and overtopping.
Wave runup is usually indicated by Ru2.
This is the runup level vertically measured with respect to still
water level, which is exceeded by 2% of incoming waves
Setting of the crest level following this guideline is commonly
known as 2% wave-runup criterion. The relative runup can be
shown as function of breaker parameter i.e.,
Ru2/Hs = 1.5*γ*tanα(Hs/L0)
Here, tan α = embankment slope, Hs= significant wave height, L0=
wave length at
deep water, γ = reduction factor for embankment berm, shallow
slope roughness, angle of wave attack.
For the coastal area of Bangladesh all the wave reducing factors
can be considered significant and a minimum value of 0.5 can be
Use of such value also can be justified on the ground that the
measured surge peaks in Bangladesh most cases do not separate
the wave peaks and the design still water level are already
somewhat elevated.
Figure shows the relation between significant wave height and
crest freeboard for different embankment slope.
Wave Runup