Relating grass failure on the landside slope to wave overtopping induced excess normal stresses

Luc Ponsioen*, Myron van Damme, Bas Hofland, Patrik Peeters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


A high quality safety assessment of levee systems requires a good prediction of when the grass cover of levees fail. Current methods relate the onset of failure to the peak in momentum or energy of the flow, instead of the peak in momentum transfer or energy transfer to the grass cover. The critical velocity necessary in the current methods is thereby difficult to quantify. In line with determining the peak in momentum transfer to the grass, here is shown that the onset of damage of the grass cover can be related to the peak normal stresses acting on the grass cover during wave overtopping. The peak in momentum transfer is thereby assumed to be located at the point of reattachment of the flow with the landside slope. The method is validated against the results of two wave overtopping experiments and benchmarked against the cumulative overload method. An advantage of this method is thereby that both the time and location of the onset of damage can be predicted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-56
Number of pages8
JournalCoastal Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • Cumulative overload method
  • Grass failure
  • Levee
  • Wave impact method
  • Wave overtopping


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