Basic Coastal Engineering


The linear and nonlinear wave theories function as a tool to calculate the wave-induced flow patterns and related effects on sediments, coastal strucures and other barriers. The basic tools for calculating wave transformation with help to determine the effect of the foreshore slope in shallow water (shoaling, refraction, etc.) and the effect of strucutres and other barriers (reflection, diffraction, etc.) on wave parameters (height, length, direction) as well as their stability (breaking criterion) at the given planning location.

The fundamentals for development, parameterisation and mathematical/statistical description and prediction of sea states are used for calculating design waves for functional and constructive design. The fundamentals for development and prediction of tides in coastal zones and in estuaries as well as the prediction of storm surges at the German North Sea and Baltic Sea coast are taught to determine design water levels. Furthermore, nearshore currents are explained and this knowledge is primarily used to calculate hydrodynamic effects and mass transport (e.g. sediments) in coastal zones.


  • Introduction to Coastal Engineering (sociological and ecological importance of the coastal zone, tasks and future of coastal engineers)
  • Linear and nonlinear wave theories, including scopes of application
  • Wave transformation in shallow water (shoaling, refraction, breaking) and interaction with barriers (reflection, diffraction)
  • Development mechanism of real sea states, including procedures for parametrisation and prediction
  • Development and prediction of tides in coastal zones and estuaries, including varieties, importance and use
  • Development and prediction of storm surges and design water levels; development and calculation of nearshore currents
  • Development and calculation of nearshore currents

The courses in coastal Engineering are complemented by the Learning Platform Coastal Engineering. There you find the tutorial videos, which are part of the practice lessons in coastal engineering. In addition the learning platform provides complementary media like interactive diagrams and more videos.