Ecological Friendly Sea Dikes and Revetments for Coastal Protection


Short Description

Revetments, sea dikes and estuarine dikes along the German coastline are planned, designed and constructed according to the accepted requirements for a safe protection against storm surges. Ecological aspects are not or only insufficiently and inadequately considered in this process. The overall objective of this research project is to systematically consider and possibly enhance the ecosystem services of dikes and revetments while preserving or possibly enhancing the existing safety standards. Therefore, it is essential to understand the ecological function of dikes and revetments and the interactions between a „green dike“ and the sea on the basis of theoretical approaches, laboratory investigations, small and large scale model tests as well as field measurements. As these interactions and residual safety levels may substantially change over the intended lifetime of the structure, it is moreover required to develop a risk-based monitoring and maintenance strategy, including intelligent and innovative monitoring techniques as well as efficient maintenance methods to maintain or even increase the safety levels of dikes and revetments. As a result, a unique scientific / technical basis for green and innovative coastal infrastructures for the North Sea as well as the Baltic Sea coast is developed based on a new transdisciplinary approach taking into account consistently the increasing pressure on coastal zones as well as the possible impact of climate change and the functions of coastal ecosystem.


Time Period:

10/2016 - 09/2019

Grant Sum:

993.465,60 €


Coordinator: Institute for Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, RWTH Aachen University (IWW)

Project Partners:

  • Research Institute for Water and Environment, University of Siegen (fwu)
  • Grassland and Fodder Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Rostock (UR)
  • Leichtweiß-Institute for Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources, TU Braunschweig (LWI)
  • Institute for Environmental Research (Biology V), Department of Ecosystem Analysis, RWTH Aachen University (IUF)
  • Ludwig-Franzius-Institute for Hydraulic, Estuarine and Coastal Engineering, Leibniz Universität Hannover (LuFI)
  • Institute of River and Coastal Engineering, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH)




  • Project coordination
    Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Schüttrumpf
    Institute for Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management
    RWTH Aachen University
    Mies-van-der-Rohe Strasse 17
    52056 Aachen, Germany

    Phone: +49-(0)241-80-25262