Coastal infrastructure operativity against flooding - A methodology

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Rodriguez-Delgado, Cristobal
Bergillos, Rafael J.
Iglesias, Gregorio
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Elsevier B.V.
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The operativity of the transport infrastructures and urban developments protected by coastal structures is conditioned by flooding events and the resulting wave overtopping. This work presents a methodology to assess the operational conditions of infrastructures located in coastal areas based on the combination of advanced statistical techniques, laboratory experiments and state-of-the-art numerical models properly validated. It is applied to a case study in the SW coast of England, the railway seawall at Dawlish, which was subjected to recurrent wave overtopping until its dramatic collapse in February 2014. To quantify the increase in overtopping discharges with wave height and water level, we define an ad hoc variable, the effective overtopping forcing, which explains 98% of the variability of the overtopping discharge. The return periods associated to the operational thresholds for coastal structures protecting people and railways are also obtained. The proposed methodology enables the assessment of the overtopping discharge induced by a given sea state and, thus, check if a coastal infrastructure will be or not operational under any expected marine condition. This innovative methodology can also be used to analyse the flooding event consequences on urban areas protected by coastal infrastructures.
Coastal flooding , Seawall , Operationality , Statistics , Laboratory experiments , Numerical modelling
Rodriguez-Delgado, C., Bergillos, R. J. and Iglesias, G. (2020) 'Coastal infrastructure operativity against flooding - A methodology', Science of the Total Environment, 719, 137452 (11pp). doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137452