A framework for assessing the remaining life of storm surge barriers

Hidde Vader*, Alexander M.R. Bakker, Sebastiaan N. Jonkman, Martine van den Boomen, Esther van Baaren, Ferdinand L.M. Diermanse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Over the course of the last century, storm surge barriers have been built in several countries and proven to be successful in preventing flooding. However, the operation, reliability, and remaining life of these structures have come under increased pressure due to changing demands, intensified utilisation, and climate change. Yet, there is relatively little known about how these factors affect the remaining life of storm surge barriers. To address this issue, a framework is presented to assess the impacts of external drivers on the remaining life in a systematic manner. The framework considers both the technical state and functional performance and uses scenarios to evaluate the impact of external drivers. The application of the framework is demonstrated for the Hollandsche IJssel barrier (the Netherlands). The results indicate that sea level rise (SLR) is the dominant physical driver. Even in moderate SLR scenarios, the lifespan of the barrier may end in the 2040s if the functional performance with respect to flood protection and navigation cannot be improved. Ultimately, the study demonstrates how the remaining life of storm surge barriers could be assessed systematically and the impact of external drivers on the remaining life could be evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalStructure and Infrastructure Engineering
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Flood defences
  • functional life
  • hydraulic structures
  • lifespan
  • remaining life
  • sea level rise
  • storm surge barriers

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