Designing offshore breakwaters using empirical relationships

a case study from Norfolk, United Kingdom

Frank Thomalla*, Chris E. Vincent

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the applicability of several empirical relationships for the performance of shore-parallel breakwaters at Sea Palling in Norfolk, UK. The research presented here compliments the work of AXE et al. (1996), who applied the models of POPE and DEAN (1986), SUH and DALRYMPLE (1987), AHRENS and COX (1990) and MCCORMICK (1993) and compared their predictions with observations of beach response to the Elmer offshore breakwater scheme in West Sussex, UK. When these models were applied to the Sea Palling breakwaters, they generally revealed large inconsistencies in the predicted beach response. It is suspected that the inability of these methods to correctly predict beach response at this location is most likely caused by the overriding influence of factors such as wave transmission, longshore drift and a large tidal range, over geometrical relationships in the scheme design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1224-1230
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Coastal Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004


  • Beach response
  • Flood defence
  • Morphology
  • Plan shape
  • Shoreline protection

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