Scour Protection

Where water and ground meet, scour can occur. Well-designed scour protection can prevent damage to structures and foundations. Firm Ground Engineering designs effective protection against erosion of soil for both large and small-scale projects. We can also advise you about the best ways to avoid negative effects of erosion on your project.

Erosion or scour occurs when moving water exudes forces on the soil. Depending on the type of soil and the energy levels of the moving water, soil particles can be loosened and transported. Over time, the effects can be truly significant and lead to damage to structures, foundations, and shores. Well-designed scour protection can precent such damage.

Scour protection (or erosion protection) locally protects shores, banks and structures. Commonly used materials are rip-rap rock armour, grass, geotextiles, concrete or a combination thereof.

It’s important to realise that scour protection does not eliminate scour completely. Rather, it moves the zone of scour away from the structure we aim to protect. At its edges, the scour will still occur. Well-designed scour protection takes into account what structures to protect, and is designed to move with the erosion at the edges in a controlled way.

An important application of scour protection is of course the use in dikes or levees. The Dutch dikes are often only protected by grass and/or clay, which has been proven to be very effective. Another application is the use of rip rap rock armour on breakwaters, dissipating the energy inflicted by the pounding waves.

Storm water runoff and outfalls can lead to concentrated flows of water and often required some form of erosion protection. This becomes more urgent as climate change increases the likelihood of high-intensity rainfall events.

Ronald Damen has been involved in the design of scour protection for many years, both on large and small-scale projects. He has worked in the role of technical manager for the design of the scour protection and breakwaters for the Magnum Powerplant cooling water outfall, in collaboration with Deltares. Other projects include the design of the erosion protection for the Lexkesveer river expansion project and for the Brammenterminal in the Port of Rotterdam.

Do you want to learn more on this subject? Or would you like to discuss your project with us? Then contact us.