PROVERBS: Probabilistic Design Tools for Vertical Breakwaters

Funding body: European Commission. Marine Science and Technology Program (MAST-III). MAS3-CT95-0041. 1996-1999.

The overall objective is to develop and implement a framework for probabilistic calculation and associated tools for the design of vertical breakwaters, jetties and other coastal monolithic structures. For use in design, it is common to apply the methods of partial safety factors (PSFS) which must be consistent with the relevant Eurocode Standards, however the approach proposed in the project is more advanced because it uses a target failure probability structure throughout the useful life as an input parameter to the system. So the tools to define the aforementioned failure probability of the structure have also been the target of the project.

The specific objectives of the project were:

  • Improved understanding of the physical processes and failure mechanisms that are involved in the wave-interaction-foundation structure.
  • The development of databases and reliable calculation methods for the analysis of the dynamics of the dam and its base.
  • Improved methods for the analysis of field and laboratory measurements.
  • The generation of a scientific and technical basis that can be used in the future by different institutions and personnel committees to establish the sectoral rules of design and development of innovative structures that meet the functional requirements technical, economic and ecological.

PROVERBS secondary objective was also to demonstrate the advantages of probabilistic design methods compared to conventional design approaches based on deterministic approaches. The methods developed in the project are generic in the sense that it can be applied to different types of coastal structures.


Martin, F.L., M.A. Losada, R. Medina (1999) "Wave loads on rubble mound breakwater crown walls". Coastal Engineering, Elsevier Ed. Vol 37. No. 2 Pages: 149-174

Martin, FL, Losada, MA, Vidal, C., Diaz-Rato, JL, (1996). "Prototype Measurements of Wave Pressures on a Wave Screen: Comparison to Physical and Analytical Models". Proc 25th Intl Conf on Coastal Engineering (ICCE 25, Orlando, USA in September 1996).

Martin, F. L., Losada, M. A., Medina, R., Vidal, C., Losada, I. J. (2000). "Wave forces on crown wallsFinal Report on Probabilistic Design Tools for Vertical Breakwaters". Balkema Ed. Chapter 6.2. , 34 pp.

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