XBeach simulation of a hybrid coastal protection: A Galveston Seawall test case

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


The City of Galveston is protected from extreme storm impact by a 17-km concrete seawall facing the Gulf of Mexico. Recent studies have shown that the seawall may not be sufficient to protect against a 100-year design storm. Since raising the seawall disconnects the city from the beach and may be very costly, a hybrid approach is explored in which the existing hard structure is fronted and covered by a layer of sand. By means of numerical simulations,the hydro- and morphodynamic effects of adding a sand cover to the Galveston Seawall under extreme storm conditions are further investigated. It was found that by adding a sand cover over the seawall, maximum dissipation is spread over a larger cross-shore extent. This led to the reduction of the wave height at the face of the hybrid structure, as well as the generation of more wave-induced setup. Different hybrid design configurations were simulated, which varied in sand cover dimensions. Differences in wave attenuation, wave-induced setup and required sand cover volumes are discussed. It was found that a hybrid measure shows potential in reducing wave impact during extreme storm events, thereby reducing the required elevation of the Galveston Seawall.
Period30 Dec 2018
Event title36th International Conference on Coastal Engineering, ICCE 2018
Event typeConference
Conference number36
LocationBaltimore, United States, MarylandShow on map


  • Coastal risk reduction
  • hybrid structure
  • XBeach
  • Building with Nature
  • Galveston Seawall