AbstractMaximum wave overtopping volumes on sea defences are an indicator for identifying risks to people and properties from wave hazards. The probability distribution of individual overtopping volumes can generally be described by a two-parameter Weibull distribution function (shape and scale parameters). Therefore, the reliable prediction of maximum individual wave overtopping volumes at coastal structures relies on an accurate estimation of the shape factor in the Weibull distribution. This study contributes to an improved understanding of the distribution of individual wave overtopping volumes at sloping structures by analysing the wave-by-wave overtopping volumes obtained from physical model experiments on a 1V:2H sloped impermeable structure with a permeable shingle foreshore of slope 1V:20H. Measurements of the permeable shingle foreshore were benchmarked against those from an identical experimental set-up with a smooth impermeable foreshore (1V:20H) of the same geometry. Results from both experimental set-ups were compared to commonly used empirical formulations, underpinned by the assumption that an impermeable foreshore exists in front of the sea structure. The effect on the shape factor in the Weibull distribution of incident wave steepness, relative crest freeboard, probability of overtopping waves and discharge are examined to determine the variation of individual overtopping volumes with respect to these key parameters. A key finding from the study is that no major differences in Weibull distribution shape parameter were observed for the tested impermeable and permeable sloped foreshores. Existing empirical formulae were also shown to predict reasonably well the Weibull distribution shape parameter, b, at sloping structures with both impermeable and permeable slopes.
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