ICCE 2022

How to Cite

DESIGN SCOUR LEVELS FOR DUNE REVETMENTS AND SEAWALLS. (2023). Coastal Engineering Proceedings, 37, structures.1.


Particularly important for the design of dune revetments and seawalls subjected to breaking waves is the maximum depth of toe scour, the primary cause of failure of many coastal structures (Sutherland et al. 2006). Much of the published research on wave-induced toe scour has been under non-breaking waves with subaqueous seabed levels at the seawall/revetment toe. However, dune revetments and seawalls may become exposed to breaking waves for which this method has been derived. The method proposed herein assumes that the work done to excavate a scour hole is a function of the incident wave energy (Steetzel 1993), which incorporates wave period rather than wave height alone, and a formula for the toe scour level has been developed for a still water level datum at the wave breaking point. The formula has been calibrated with data derived from published laboratory studies covering a large range of scales, with some having been validated with prototype measurements.


Battjes (1974): Surf similarity. Coastal Engineering Proc., Vol 1, No14, pp466-480.

Boers, van Geer & van Gent (2011): Dike and dune revetment impact on dune erosion, Coastal Sediments 2011, WORLD SCIENTIFIC, pp810-823.

Dean (1986): Coastal Armouring: Effects, Principles and Mitigation. Proc. 20th Int. Conf. on Coastal Engineering, ASCE, Taiwan, pp1843–1857.

Hughes (1995): Physical Models and Laboratory Techniques in Coastal Engineering, WORLD SCIENTIFIC.

Noda (1972): Equilibrium beach profile scale model relationship J. Waterways, Harbors & Coastal Eng. Div., ASCE, Vol 98, No WW4, NY, pp511-528.

Pearce, Sutherland, Obhrai, Müller, Rycroft & Whitehouse (2006): Scour at a seawall - field measurements and physical modelling, Proc. 30th Int. Conf. on Coastal Engineering, ASCE, San Diego, 13pp.

Sager & Hales (1979): VII Inlets, In: Coastal Hydraulic Models, CERC Special Report No 5, USACE.

Salauddin & Pearson (2019): Experimental study on toe scouring at sloping walls with gravel foreshores, J. Mar. Sci. Eng., 7,198; doi:103390/jmse7070198, 12pp.

Silvester (1990): Scour around breakwaters and submerged structures, in: Handbook of Coastal and Ocean Engineering, GULF PUBLISHING, pp959-996.

Steetzel (1985): Systematic Research into the Functioning of Dune Revetment Structures - Model Study into Scour near the Dune Revetment Toe (in Dutch): Delft Hydraulics Technical Report, 135pp.

Steetzel (1988): Scour holes – analysis of the factors that determine the shape of a scour hole based on available literature of physical model tests (in Dutch): Delft Hydraulics Technical Report.

Steetzel (1993): Cross-shore Transport during Storm Surges. Thesis Tech. Univ. Delft, Published also as Delft Hydraulics Communication No. 476, September, 294pp.

Sutherland, Brampton & Whitehouse (2006a): Toe scour at seawalls: monitoring, prediction and mitigation. Proc 41st Defra Flood and Coastal Management Conf., York,12pp.

Sutherland, Obhrai, Whitehouse & Pearce (2006b): Laboratory tests of scour at a seawall. Proc. 3rd Int. Conf. on Scour and Erosion, CUR BOUWN & INFRA, 19pp.

Tsai, Chen & You (2009): Toe Scour of Seawall on a Steep Seabed by Breaking Waves, J. Waterway, Port, Coastal, Ocean Eng., 135(2): pp61-68

USACE (1984): Shore Protection Manual, Coastal Engineering Research Centre, Waterways Experiment Station, US Army Corps of Engineers, 2 volumes.

USACE (2006): Coastal Engineering Manual, Coastal Engineering Research Centre, Waterways Experiment Station, US Army Corps of Engineers, EM 1110-2-1100. 6 volumes.

Van der Meer & Pilarczyk (1988): Large verification tests on rock slope stability, Coastal Engineering 1988, Chapter 157, 13pp.

Van Rijn (2018): Local Scour Near Structures,, 48pp.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2023 Alexander Nielsen