Effect of sea level rise on the wave overtopping rate at berm breakwater

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Waterway


American Society of Civil Engineers


School of Engineering




Pillai, K., Lemckert, C., Etemad-Shahidi, A., Cappietti, L., & Sigurdarson, S. (2019). Effect of sea level rise on the wave overtopping rate at berm breakwater. Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering, 145(5), Article 04019019. Available here


This study quantitatively assessed the risk in the overtopping performance of berm breakwaters due to sea level rise (SLR). To achieve this, a recent overtopping prediction formula that includes the influence of water depth on the estimated overtopping rate was used for the analysis. Additionally, the probabilities of failure in terms of the overtopping rate for different SLR scenarios were estimated using the Monte Carlo simulations, and the optimal maintenance intervals were determined. The increase in the crest freeboard, required to maintain the design overtopping rate, was estimated to be less than the increase needed in berm width for the different sea level rise scenarios considered. Furthermore, the required crest freeboard was influenced less by the initial configuration of the berm width. Shorter maintenance intervals were required for structures with an initially wide berm compared to those with a high crest freeboard. The results indicated that the future design and maintenance of berm breakwaters need to consider the effects of SLR on the overtopping performance, especially in shallow water zones.



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