Statistical analysis of the stability of rock slopes

Marcel R.A. van Gent, Ermano de Almeida*, Bas Hofland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
163 Downloads (Pure)


Physical model tests were performed in a wave flume at Deltares with rock armoured slopes. A shallow foreshore was present. At deep water, the same wave conditions were used, but by applying different water levels, the wave loading on the rock armoured slopes increased considerably with increasing water levels. This allowed an assessment of the effects of sea level rise. Damage was measured by using digital stereo photography (DSP), which provides information on each individual stone that is displaced. Two test series were performed five times. This allowed for a statistical analysis of the damage to rock armoured slopes, which is uncommon due to the absence of statistical information based on a systematic repetition of test series. The statistical analysis demonstrates the need for taking the mean damage into account in the design of rock armoured slopes. This is important in addition to characterising the damage itself by erosion areas and erosion depths. The relation between damage parameters, such as the erosion area and erosion depth, was obtained from the tests. Besides tests with a straight slope, tests with a berm in the seaward slopes were also performed. A new method to take the so-called length effect into account is proposed to extrapolate results from physical model tests to real structures. This length effect is important, but is normally overlooked in the design of rubble mound structures. Standard deviations based on the presented model tests were used.
Original languageEnglish
Article number60
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Berm
  • Erosion
  • Length effect
  • Repetition tests
  • Rock slopes
  • Sea level rise
  • Stability
  • Wave flume


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