K.W. Pilarczyk


The increasing shortage and costs of natural materials in certain geographical areas has resulted in recent years, inter alia, in the rapid development of artificial (concrete) block revetments. In general, two main types of revetments can be distinguished: permeable (stone pitching, placed relatively open block-mats) and (relatively-) impermeable (closed blocks, concrete slabs). Regarding the shape and/or placing technique a distinction can be made between: a) free (mostly rectangular-) blocks and b) interlocking blocks of different design (tongue-and-groove connection, ship- lap, cabling, blocks connected to geotextile by pins etc.). In all these cases the type of sublayer (permeable/impermeable) and the grade of permeability of the toplayer are very important factors in the stability of these revetments. The design also needs to be made (executed) and maintained. Both aspects must therefore already be taken along within the stadium of designing. At the moment there is a large variety of types of revetment-blocks and other defence systems (i.e. block-mats), see Fig. 1. Until recently no objective design-criteria were available for most types/systems of blocks. The choice (type and size) of the revetments built sofar is only based on experience and on personal points of view, sometimes supported by small-scale model investigations. In the light of new (stricter) rules regarding the safety of the Dutch dikes, as they have been drawn up by the Delta-Commission, the need for proper design-criteria for the revetments of dikes has evidently grown. Because of the complexity of the problem no simply, generally valid mathematical model for the stability of the revetment are available yet. For restricted areas of application however, fairly reliable criteria (often supported by large-scale tests) have been developed in the Netherlands not only for the kind of revetment, but also for conditions of loads. This new approach is discussed in (Klein Breteler, 1988). This paper presents a short state-of-the-art review of existing knowledge on the designing of different types of revetments and, where ever possible, the available stability criteria are mentioned. There is also given some comparison of the different types of revetments with their advantages and disadvantages and suggestions regarding their practical application.


block revetment; revetment; revetment design

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