How to Cite

Palma, G., Formentin, S. M., & Zanuttigh, B. (2020). ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT PROCESS AT DIKES WITH CROWN WALLS AND PARAPETS. Coastal Engineering Proceedings, (36v), papers.55.


This paper is focused on the analysis of the impact process at dikes with crown walls and parapets under breaking and non-breaking waves. A small-scale laboratory campaign was performed at the Hydraulic Laboratory of Bologna. The experiments were aimed to analyze the vertical pressure distribution along the crown wall and the resulting wave forces, by varying geometrical and hydraulic parameters. The tested configurations included different off-shore slopes, dike crest widths, crown-wall heights, dike crest freeboards and the inclusion of the parapet. The measurements were combined with the image analysis of the run-up and of the wave impact process. A sub-set of the experiments was numerically reproduced, with the openFOAM modelling suite, to support and to extend the experimental results. The results confirmed the link between the air content, the shape and the magnitude of the pressures according to the breaker type, already observed for larger-scale experiments.


Bullock, G.N., Obhrai, C., Peregrine, D.H. and Bredmose, H. (2007). Violent breaking wave impacts. Part 1: Results from large-scale regular wave tests on vertical and sloping walls, Coastal Engineering, 54, 602-617.

Burcharth, H.F., Lykke Andersen, T., Lara, J.L. (2018). Upgrade of coastal defence structures against increased loadings caused by climate change: a first methodological approach, Coastal Engineering 87, 112-121.

Castellino M., Sammarco P., Romano A., Martinelli L., Ruol P., Franco L. and De Girolamo, P. 2018. Large impulsive forces on recurved parapets under non-breaking waves. A numerical study. Coastal Engineering 136, 1–15.

De Finis, S., Romano, A., & Bellotti, G. (2020). Numerical and laboratory analysis of post-overtopping wave impacts on a storm wall for a dike-promenade structure. Coastal Engineering, 155, 103598.

Formentin, S.M. and Zanuttigh, B., 2019. A Genetic Programming based formula for wave overtopping by crown walls and bullnoses, Coastal Engineering 152, 103529, 17 pp.

Franco, L., Belotti, G. and Cecioni, C., 2018. Physical model tests of wave overtopping and forces on breakwater crown walls, in Proceedings of 36th ICCE, Baltimore (MD), 2018.

Jacobsen, N. (2017). waves2foam manual. Deltares, The Netherlands.

Kortenhaus A., Pearson, J. Bruce, T. Allsop W., Van der Meer J., 2003. Influence of parapets and recurves on wave overtopping and wave loading of complex vertical walls. Proc. Coast. Struct. 2003, 369–381.

Liu, S., Gatin, I., Obhrai, C., Ong, M. C., & Jasak, H. (2019). CFD simulations of violent breaking wave impacts on a vertical wall using a two-phase compressible solver. Coastal Engineering, 154, 103564.

Ma, Z., H., Causon, D., M., Qian, L., Mingham, C. G., & Ferrer, P. M. (2016). Numerical investigation of air enclosed wave impacts in a depressurised tank. Ocean Engineering, 123, 15-27.

Martinelli L., Ruol P., VolpatoM., Favaretto C., Castellino M., De Girolamo, P., Franco, L., Romano A. and Sammarco, P., 2018. Experimental investigation on non-breaking wave forces and overtopping at the recurved parapets of vertical breakwaters, Coastal Engineering 141, 52–67.

Oumeraci, H., Klammer, P., & Partenscky, H. W. (1993). Classification of breaking wave loads on vertical structures. Journal of waterway, port, coastal, and ocean engineering, 119(4), 381-397.

Battjes, J. A. (1975). Surf similarity. In Coastal Engineering 1974 (pp. 466-480).

Plumerault, L.R., Astruc, D. and Maron, P. (2012). The influence of air on the impact of a plunging breaking wave on a vertical wall using a multifluid model, Coastal Engineering, 62, 62-74.

Van Doorslaer, K., De Rouck, J., Audenaert, S. and Duquet, V., 2015. Crest modifications to reduce wave overtopping of non-breaking waves over a smooth dike slope, Coastal Engineering, 101, 69–88.

Van Doorslaer, K., Romano, A., De Rouck, J., & Kortenhaus, A. (2017). Impacts on a storm wall caused by non-breaking waves overtopping a smooth dike slope. Coastal Engineering, 120, 93-111.

Zanuttigh B. and Formentin S.M. (2018). Reduction of the wave overtopping discharge at dikes in presence of crown walls with bullnoses, Proc. of XXXVI ICCE, Baltimore.

Zelt, J. A., & Skjelbreia, J. E. (1993). Estimating incident and reflected wave fields using an arbitrary number of wave gauges. In Coastal Engineering 1992 (pp. 777-789).

Creative Commons License

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