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Coastal protection of the city of Oostende



The city of Ostend is situated in the centre of the Belgian Coast.  The Flemish Government has decided to enlarge the port significantly and to protect the city from storms with return periods of a 1000 years.

Technum-IMDC have been charged with the detailed design:

  • Statistical analysis of waves and water levels
  • Design of the cross–section for the new breakwaters
  • Design of beach nourishments: preliminary design, modelling the expected maintenance costs, design plans, …
  • Investigation of potential sand sources for the new beach.
  • Design of all civil structures (walk way for visitors, quay walls, …)
  • Calculation of expected sedimentation rates in the harbour and in the new navigation channel
  • Evaluation of wave overtopping in the harbour and over dikes

The wave statistics study consisted of:

  • Analysis of 75 years of water levels: tidal analysis to obtain storm surges
  • Looking up the wind direction corresponding to each storm surge
  • Analysis of 25 years of wave data on different locations: finding relations between different measuring locations in order to obtain 1 complete data series on deep water, using the different measurements
  • Idem for wind data
  • Analysis of the wave height - wave period relation
  • POT-analysis of wave height – wind velocity – storm surges for all directions
  • Combining storm surges distributions with astronomic water levels (tide) to obtain water level statistics
  • Setting up of a wave model to transform deep water wave characteristics to nearshore and verification of the model (using 5 years of near shore wave buoy data)
  • Transformation of deep water extreme value distributions to different output location (for all demands of the project: breakwaters, dikes, harbour entrance, beach), obtaining statistics for all directions (the statistics for a given direction interval in Ostend is often a combination of different direction intervals at deep water

In 2004 IMDC did the design (using beach erosion models) and following up of an emergency beach nourishment.   Since the construction, a detailed monitoring campaign is used as follow up (safety evaluation), calibration of the longshore sand transport model,…

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