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The University of Southampton

CENV6175 Coastal and Maritime Engineering

Module Overview

This module will introduce you to the range of skills needed in the determination of design requirements and conditions, planning, and the design of coastal structures. These skills comprise the determination of wave conditions, the determination and analysis of the effect of waves, tides and currents on coastal structures, the design of new coastal structures, the evaluation of existing structures and the design for tsunami events. The module introduces state-of-the-art concepts and techniques used in the evaluation of environmental loadings on coastal structures and their design as well as characteristics of tsunami waves and their effects on coastal structures, examining the approaches used in the UK and elsewhere. The course will comprise a combination of lectures and a design study. Students should be aware that this module requires knowledge of mathematics extending to integration, differentiation and first and second order differential equations.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Wave generation, wave and tidal theory
  • Wave effects on coastal structures (loadings, overtopping, scouring)
  • Function and design of coastal structures
  • Characteristics of, and design for tsunami events
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Assemble knowledge on wave conditions and wave effects on coastal structures
  • Select suitable coastal defence structures
  • Perform economic and hydraulic calculations
  • Demonstrate through a design exercise a coherent understanding of techniques
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Problem analysis and problem solving
  • Numeracy and modelling
  • Effective communication
  • Specify design requirements for structures exposed to tsunami waves
  • Analyse existing data and apply in a design exercise
  • Accuracy of problem analysis and problem solving
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Carry out wave and tide prediction calculations
  • Perform simple hydraulic modelling of waves


INTRODUCTION TO COASTAL ENGINEERING Overview over coastal engineering, coastal structures, waves and tides, wave effects, current ‘state-of- the-art’, WAVES AND TIDES Wave generation, tides, linear wave theory, introduction to advanced theories, wave refraction and diffraction, wave breaking, breaker types. COASTAL STRUCTURES Types of coastal structures, areas of application, comparative analysis of structures, protection elements, rubble mound structures, earth structures. WAVE LOADINGS AND WAVE EFFECTS ON COASTAL STRUCTURES Reflected wave loads on vertical walls, breaking wave loads, wave impact pressure propagation into structures, broken wave loadings, downfall pressures, armour stability, overtopping (pulsating and impulsive using the Eurotop manual), wave recurve design, scouring, sediment transport. TSUNAMI ENGINEERING Tsunami generation, design wave heights, propagation velocity in the sea / on land, tsunami induced loadings, flooding, tsunami protection structures, early warning systems. DESIGN EXERCISE The existing Victorian breakwater on the Island of Alderney (Channel islands) is a blockwork structure which suffers recurrent damages. It will need to be replaced in the near future. In this design exercise, the outline design for a replacement will be developed based on an assessment of wave conditions, design requirements (harbour area and harbour wave conditions) and a diffraction analysis of the harbour basin. FIELD VISITS and GUEST LECTURES A field visit will be included, and engineers, planners and managers may give occasional guest lectures explaining current thinking and methodology in Coastal Engineering

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module consists of a series of lectures, a Design Exercise and lectures from visiting professionals. Additional contact hours are offered to discuss the design exercise as well as contact hours to discuss details of the lecture material and exercise examples. Visiting Lectures - Details to be confirmed.

Project supervision2
Preparation for scheduled sessions100
Completion of assessment task4
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

EurOtop (2018) Manual on wave overtopping of sea defences and related structures.

Coastal Engineering Manual, Parts I – VI.


Assessment Strategy

Repeat year method - External repeat as per referral method.


MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 40%
Final Assessment  60%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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