Erosion at either dam or spillway foundations, destabilization in riverbanks, and damage in the natural environment located downstream of either dams or spillways represent crucial elements to be taken into account in the risk assessment of hydraulic structures. One of the main problems is related to the scouring that water flow may induce at the downstream boundary of spillways. This issue is exacerbated in the case of undersized stilling basins, i.e., when a significant level of energy migrates downstream by acting on unprotected natural riverbed. If the scour depths are large enough, the structural stability of the infrastructure will be threatened. This paper aims to illustrate an innovative technical solution suitable to protect the riverbed located just downstream of stilling basins by means of artificial Antifer blocks. These kinds of artificial blocks are widely used in the field of maritime construction, but in the literature, there are no theoretical formulations for their design within the frame of river engineering. In order to demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed technical solution, it is applied to a real case investigated by means of physical modeling. The riverbed located just downstream of the stilling basin of Liscione Dam (Campobasso, Italy) experienced scour due to high discharges during and after extreme rain events. Different protection strategies have been tested to assess the influence of different placement methods and packing densities on the stability of Antifer block armor layers. Experimental findings reveal that regular placements behave more stable than irregular placements with a similar packing density.
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