Junior Research Group Coastal Engineering


Challenges and goals

Laboratory tests on the resistance of buildings to tsunamis © H. Selvam

Coastal areas have always been among the most densely populated places on earth. A further significant increase in the population can be expected in these areas in future. As a result of rising sea levels due to climate change and in combination with changes in the spatial and temporal distribution or intensity of meteorological events, more frequent and more intense threats may occur in the future in these areas.

Various measures were adopted to protect the coast, including coastal vegetation like Mangroves, sea dikes, seawalls, groynes, revetments, etc. The type and nature of these measures depend to a large extent on the wave conditions, threat situation, spatial and financial possibilities and the cost-benefit factor. Particularly intense events such as tsunamis require specially adapted measures ranging from massive protective structures such as breakwaters to natural and near-natural measures such as mangrove belts and innovative constructive efforts aimed at mitigating energy rather than preventing it altogether.

The objectives of the research group range from studies on coastal protection structures from normal wave conditions to extreme wave conditions such as tsunamis and develop strategies for adaptation to climate change and basic hydrodynamic research.



Task and research methods

© J. Oetjen Calculated water displacement on a flat grid according to the tsunami / earthquake model of Okada (1985)

Our research group deals with all issues that are directly or indirectly related to the coast. Currently, our research group focuses on wave impact propagation, flow overtopping the dikes, and mitigation measures for extreme events such as tsunamis or storm surges and tsunami-structure interactions. These research problems are closely linked to the consequences of ongoing climate change and ways of countering them.

In our research, we utilise the full range of modern research tools. The most frequently used tools include physical model experiments, the application of hydro-numerical models such as OpenFOAM and DualSPHysics, remote sensing, field investigations and GIS analyses.


  © A. Mozer Laboratory study on the influence of vegetation properties on air-water flow