Storm Surge Barriers

Storm surge barriers could be important for the flood protection of densely populated coastal areas. Besides the reliability, also the durability of storm surge barriers and weirs has been a problem, because they have to operate for a long period in harsh conditions. So fixed parts like concrete piers and sill beams have to be designed and constructed with a concrete cover of sufficient thickness and density to protect the reinforcement against corrosion. For movable parts like steel gates there is a tendency to use other, non-corrosive materials like fibre reinforced fabric, Very High Strength Concrete (VHSC) or more recently Fibre Reinforced Polymers (FRP). Although there are already some small size applications in the Netherlands, the research is now focussing on much larger scales like a new barrier to protect Dordrecht (span ~ 200m), a substitute for the Hartel barrier (span ~ 50 m) and for the weirs in the river Lek (span three times ~ 40 m).

The “parachute barrrier” consisting of polymers (by F. van der Ziel)