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rubble-mound breakwater
toe berm stability
very shallow water
physical model tests
Van Der Meer's formula

How to Cite

Marie, C., & Kyung-Wook, H. (2017). TOE BERM DESIGN FOR RUBBLE-MOUND BREAKWATERS: EXAMPLE OF THE SAFI POWER PLANT PROJECT. Coastal Engineering Proceedings, 1(35), structures.34.


DAEWOO E&C (Engineering & Construction) is in charge constructing a new 1320 MW coal-fired power plant located approximately 15 km south-west of the city of Safi in Morocco. ARTELIA Eau & Environnement was appointed by the Contractor to perform the hydraulic design review of the rubble-mound breakwaters protecting the intake and outfall. The toe berm is a key design feature of rubble-mound breakwaters built in breaking conditions, since it helps to support the armour layer and protect the structure from potential scour-induced damage. The initial toe berm design was based on Van Der Meer's empirical formula (1998). Due to the very shallow water conditions, the toe design was verified through physical model tests (2D and 3D) in ARTELIA's hydraulics laboratory located in Pont-de-Claix, near Grenoble (France). The physical model tests demonstrated that the toe berm (6t rocks, 3:1 slope) was not stable at key singular locations, namely roundheads and roots, where direct impacts of breaking waves caused severe damage. Given the site conditions and the construction methods, the usual solutions consisting in increasing the rock size and/or placing the toe berm in a trench had to be ruled out. It was hence decided to reinforce the toe with artificial blocks and to use rectangular concrete blocks with holes. These blocks reduced the anti-stabilizing pressure difference between the top and bottom of the blocks (Tanimoto et al., 1996) and drag force due to the considerable current. They are more usually used at the toe of vertical caissons.


Aminti, P., Lamberti, A., 1996. Interaction between main armour and toe berm.

Van der Meer, J.W. 1998. Geometrical design of coastal structures, in: Dikes and revetments: Design, maintenance and safety assessment, Pilarczk, K.W. (ed.), Balkema, Rotterdam

Tanimoto, K, K. Furukawa and H. Nakamura (1996): sliding fluid resistance force of upright part of composite type breakwater and model of slide estimation, Proceeding of Coastal Eng, JSCE, Col. 43, pp. 846-850

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