On the mean overtopping rate of rubble mound structures

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Coastal Engineering






School of Engineering




Etemad-Shahidi, A., Koosheh, A., & van Gent, M. R. (2022). On the mean overtopping rate of rubble mound structures. Coastal Engineering, 177, 104150. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coastaleng.2022.104150


Estimation of the mean overtopping discharge is a major task in the design and assessment of the crest level of rubble mound structures such as breakwaters and seawalls. The tolerable mean overtopping rates are given based on the associated risk and wave characteristics. Several empirical formulas have been developed for the prediction of mean overtopping discharge at coastal structures. These formulas can be applied to a wide variety of coastal structures, but have limited accuracy and/or do not reflect the physics of the phenomena. The main aim of this study is to overcome these issues for rubble mound structures by considering the physics of the process in the formula development. To achieve this, first, the references used in the extended CLASH database (also called the EurOtop-2018 database), were scrutinized, the reported wave characteristics were corrected (if required) and the rubble mound structure subset was extended using a recent study. Then noting that overtopping occurs when the wave runup exceeds the freeboard, the difference between the maximum wave runup and crest freeboard was considered as the governing parameter in the mean overtopping discharge formula. In the developed formula, a semi-empirical relationship between the mean overtopping and wave runup has been established. The performances of the developed formulas and existing ones were evaluated both qualitatively and quantitively. Accuracy metrics such as RMSE and BIAS indicated the superiority of the developed simple formula. Finally, a design formula to consider uncertainty and some guidelines are provided for practitioners.



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