Structures integrated in a grass-covered dike may increase erosion development. Currently, safety assessment methods for flood defences are only applicable for a conventional grass-covered dike and the effects of structures on dike cover erosion are poorly understood. Since many dikes have a road on top, it is important to study the effect of such a road structure on erosion onset during wave overtopping.
To investigate this effect, Anouk Bomers and her co-workers developed a coupled hydrodynamic–erosion model. The erosion onset caused by overtopping waves was predicted by combining the time-varying bed shear stresses from the hydrodynamic model with a depth-dependent erosion model. The results show that roads on top of a dike increase the erosion of the neighbouring grass cover. This increase in erosion may have a negative impact on dike stability.
Based on these results, the authors recommend considering effects of constructions on top of dike profiles during safety assessments. Explicitly, consideration of the roughness transitions in the safety assessments of dikes is recommended.
The full paper was published in Natural Hazards.
Published 7th May 2018.