Remote Sensing of Wave Overtopping on Dynamic Coastal Structures

Chris E. Blenkinsopp, Tom E. Baldock, Paul M. Bayle, Ollie Foss, Luis P. Almeida, Stefan Schimmels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


The development of coastal regions combined with rising sea levels is leading to an increasing risk of coastal flooding caused by wave overtopping of natural beaches and engineered coastal structures. Previous measurements of wave overtopping have been obtained for static coastal structures using fixed current meters and depth sensors or tanks. These are unsuitable for dynamically stable coastal protection structures however, because the geometry of these structures is expected to evolve under wave action. This study investigates the potential to use elevated 2D laser scanners (Lidar) to remotely sense the flow volumes overtopping the time-varying crest of a porous dynamic cobble berm revetment. Two different analysis methods were used to estimate the wave-by-wave overtopping volumes from measurements of the time-varying free surface elevation with good agreement. The results suggest that the commonly used EurOtop parameterisation can be used to estimate overtopping discharge to an acceptable precision. An advantage of the remote sensing approach reported here is that it enables the spatial distribution of overtopping discharge and infiltration rate to be measured. It was found that the overtopping discharge on a porous dynamic revetment decays rapidly landward of the structure crest, and that this has implications for safety and structure design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number513
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number3
Early online date21 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • 2D laser scanners
  • Coastal flooding
  • Coastal protection
  • Dynamic cobble berm revetment
  • Lidar
  • Overtopping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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