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Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering
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EN420: Coastal Engineering

Catalog Description

EN420: Coastal Engineering (2-2-3)

This course is designed to give an overview of the analysis and design procedures used in the field of coastal engineering. The course covers three major topic areas: (1) basic oceanographic properties in the near-shore region, (2) coastal sediment transport processes, and (3) the preliminary design of shore and harbor protection structures. This course exposes students to an empirical field of study where most design information is obtained from charts, graphs, or empirical equations in an engineering design manual rather than from rigorous theory. Lecture material is supplemented with laboratory experiments, “real world” examples, case studies, and a day-long field trip to visit coastal engineering projects.


  • Coastal Engineering Manual (US Army Corps of Engineers, 2002)


  1. Analyze water level, wind, and wave conditions necessary for coastal design.
  2. Understand sediment transport processes in the coastal environment.
  3. Design non-structural erosion control systems (beach fill).
  4. Design structural erosion control systems (revetments, breakwaters, etc).
  5. Identify advantages and disadvantages of erosion control system alternatives.
  6. Design a typical rubble mound breakwater for use in harbor protection.


  • 1/C Standing As EOE Major, OR
  • Approval of NAOE Department Chair

Class Topics

  1. Tides and Tidal Datums
  2. Storm Tides and Storm Surge
  3. Extreme Value Analysis of Storm Tides, Winds, and Waves
  4. Wind-Wave Forecasting Using Wind Speed and Fetch
  5. Wave Transformation – Shoaling, Breaking Runup
  6. Sediment Properties
  7. Sediment Transport Mechanisms and Beach Dynamics
  8. Equilibrium Beach Profiles
  9. Beach Response to Sea Level Rise and Storm
  10. Longshore Sediment Transport and Beach Response
  11. Erosion Control Using Nonstructural Methods – Bypassing and Beach Fill
  12. Erosion Control Using Structural Methods – Revetments
  13. Erosion Control Using Living Shorelines – Breakwaters and Sills with Marsh
  14. Harbor Breakwaters
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