Sea defences, such as urban seawalls can fail due to the development of a scour hole at the toe of the structure. The scour depth or the information on ground levels at the structure toe is required for the sustainable management of coastal defences, due to its influence on the structural performance. This research reports and summarises the main findings of a new laboratory study on toe scouring at a smooth sloping wall with permeable gravel foreshore. A set of small-scale laboratory experiments of wave-induced scouring at sloping seawalls were conducted. Two gravel sediments of prototype d50
values of 13 mm and 24 mm were used to simulate the permeable 1:20 (V:H) gravel beach configurations in the front of a smooth 1 in 2 sloping wall. Each experiment comprised of a sequence of around 1000 random waves of a JONSWAP energy spectrum with a peak enhancement factor of 3.3. The relationship of the scour depth with toe water depth, Iribarren number, and wall slope were investigated from the test results of this work and through a comparison with available datasets in the literature. The results of this study showed that the relative toe water depth and Iribarren number influence the relative toe scour depth at a sloping structure on a shingle beach. Within the experimental limitations, the maximum toe scour depths were observed for the experiments under spilling and plunging wave attack.
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