ICCE 2022

How to Cite

DIRECT HAZARD FROM WAVE OVERTOPPING: A REVIEW AND FORWARD LOOK. (2023). Coastal Engineering Proceedings, 37, structures.82.


A primary purpose of many coastal defences is to protect people from direct hazard due to wave overtopping. This is reflected by the use of an admissible overtopping as a key parameter in design or assessment of structures. Despite this long-established design driver, it is less than 20 years since guidance on admissible overtopping started to move from being based simply upon mean discharge to consider the volumes associated with individual wave overtopping events. Only in the past five years or so has attention zoomed in further, to associate the influences of direct hazard on the actual flow parameters (typically water depth and speed at the pedestrian). This paper will provide a developed view of the current state of the art and improved guidance, and the research from which it has emerged.


Allsop et al. (2005), Hazards to people and property from wave overtopping at coastal structures, Proc. Coastlines, Structures and Breakwaters.

Cao et al. (2021) Assessment of wave overtopping risk for pedestrian visiting the crest area of coastal structure, Appl. Ocean Res. 120 (2022) 102985

EurOtop, 2007, European manual for the assessment of wave overtopping, Pullen, Allsop, Bruce, Kortenhaus, Schüttrumpf & Van der Meer, eds.

EurOtop, 2018. Manual on wave overtopping of sea defences and related structures. Van der Meer, Allsop, Bruce, De Rouck, Kortenhaus, Pullen, Schüttrumpf, Troch & Zanuttigh

Geeraertset al. (2007), Wave overtopping at coastal structures: prediction tools and related hazard analysis, J. Cleaner Production 15, 514-521

Kooshehet al. (2021), Individual wave overtopping at coastal structures: A critical review and the existing challenges, Applied Ocean Research 106, 102476

Sandoval & Bruce (2017) ,Wave overtopping hazard to pedestrians: video evidence from real accidents. Proc. Coasts, Marine Structures and Breakwaters Conf. (ICE).

Van der Meer et al. (2022) Admissible post-wave overtopping flow for persons on a horizontal surface, J Coastal & Hydraulic Structs.

Creative Commons License

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

Copyright (c) 2023 Tom Bruce, Jentsje van der Meer, William Allsop