Numerical modelling of wave overtopping at dikes using OpenFOAM®

W. Chen*, J.J. Warmink, M.R.A. van Gent, S.J.M.H. Hulscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Accurate calculation of wave overtopping is important for determining the required crest height and geometry of a dike. Berms and roughness elements are widely used to reduce the average overtopping discharge at dikes while the reductive effects of berm and roughness are still not fully understood. Several empirical formulae are available to predict the overtopping rate at coastal structures. However, the extrapolation of these empirical formulae is not always applicable for complex structures (e.g. a dike that has a berm and/or roughness elements on the waterside slopes) or wave conditions that are outside the applicability of the empirical predictors. A 2D numerical model based on OpenFOAM® is set up in this study for predicting wave overtopping at dikes that have complex configurations with berms and roughness elements. The validation results show that this OpenFOAM® model is capable of reproducing the incident waves accurately and predicting the wave overtopping discharge with good accuracy. Subsequently, the numerical model is applied to study the reductive influence of a berm and protruding blocks on the mean overtopping discharge at dikes. The roughness of protruding blocks is incorporated by explicitly modelling the protrusions using refined mesh. The model shows reasonable behaviour of the reduction of wave overtopping influenced by a berm and roughness. This indicates the capabilities of the numerical model in the design and safety assessment of dikes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103890
Number of pages16
JournalCoastal engineering
Early online date28 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Overtopping discharge
  • Dikes
  • Numerical model
  • waves2Foam
  • Block revetment
  • Berm
  • Roughness


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