Leslie Mooyaart, Sebastiaan Jonkman, Peter de Vries, Ad Van der Toorn, Mathijs van Ledden


In this study an overview of existing and planned storm surge barriers in the world is provided. A systematic analysis relates functional requirements (e.g. navigation and tidal exchange) to the main barrier characteristics (e.g. gate type, dimensions). Furthermore, as the costs of barriers are an important issue in the planning, available cost information is analyzed and related to main barrier characteristics. An approach to provide a preliminary cost estimate of new barriers is presented. Finally, some critical technical challenges are discussed and related to functional requirements and boundary conditions. Overall, the results of this study can assist in the initial design and planning phase of storm surge barriers for new locations.


storm surge barrier, coastal structures, flood risk, coastal protection

Full Text:



Aerts, J.C.J.H., Botzen, W.J. and De Moel, H., 2013, Cost Estimates for Flood Resilience and Protection Strategies in New York City. In press: Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci (2013)

ANP, 2013, Oosterscheldekering jarenlang verwaarloosd, 10/09/13, 19:57

Brekelmans et al., 2012, Safe Dike Heights at Minimal Costs, Operations Research, 60(6), pp. 1342–

, ©2012 INFORMS

De Ridder, H.A.J., no date, Storm surge barriers in river deltas: an analysis of capital costs, Delft

University of Technology

De Vries, P.A.L, 2014, The Bolivar Roads Surge Barrier, A conceptual design of the environmental

section, TU Delft (master thesis)

Dijk. A., Van Der Ziel, F., 2010, Multifunctional flood defences (Dutch: Multifunctionele

waterkeringen), Rotterdam Climate Initiative

Dietz, J.W.; Nestmann, F.; 1994, Experimental study of flow at the Eider barrage, Mitteilungsblatt der Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau, 71

Dircke, P. T. M., Jongeling, T. H. G. and Jansen, P. L. M. (2009) ‘A global overview of navigable

storm surge barriers: Suitable gate types for New York from a Dutch perspective’, ASCE Proceedings of the 2009 Seminar Against the Deluge: Storm Surge Barriers to Protect New York City, 30–32 March 2009, pp. 93–102

Erbisti, P., 2004, Design of hydraulic gates, A.A. Balkema, ISBN: 9058096211

Glerum, A.; Vrijburcht, A.; 2000, Design of navigation locks (Dutch: Ontwerp van schutsluizen), Rijkswaterstaat Bouwdienst

Hallegate et al., 2013, Future flood losses in major coastal cities, Nature Climate Change, 3,, Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Kerssens, P.; Oorschot, J. van; Pot, B. v.d. ; 1989, Storm surge barrier in the Rotterdam Waterway; a new approach, Proceedings of the 6th Congress of the Asian and Pacific Regional Division of the IAHR, Kyoto, Japan, July 20-22, 1988, Delft Hydraulics Publications 424

Jonkman, S.N.; Hillen, M.M.; Nicholls, R.J.; Kanning, W., and van Ledden, M., 2013. Costs of adapting coastal defences to sea-level rise—new estimates and their implications. Journal of Coastal Research, 29 (5), 1212 – 1226, Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

Johnson, D.L., S.H. Ambrose, T.J. Bassett, M.L. Bowen, D.E. Crummey, J.S. Isaacson, D.N. Johnson, P. Lamb, M.

Saul, and A.E. Winter-Nelson (1997). "Meanings of environmental terms." Journal of Environmental Quality. 26: 581-589. doi:10.2134/jeq1997.00472425002600030002x

PIANC, 2006, Design of movable weirs and storm surge barriers, report of working group 26 of the inland navigation commission

Rijkswaterstaat, no date, Basisdocumentatie Maeslantkering

Rijkswaterstaat, 1986, Design documents Eastern Scheldt

Rijkswaterstaat, 1976, Policy analysis of Eastern Scheldt alternatives, Middelburg

Rijkswaterstaat, 2012, Richtlijn Vaarwegen

Rijkswaterstaat, 2014, Description Maeslantkering on website:

Rijkswaterstaat Deltadienst, 1958, Quarterly Notes Delta Works nr. 1 – 10.

Ruiz Fuentes, M.J., 2014, Storm surge barrier Tokyo Bay: Analysis on a system level and conceptual design (master thesis)

Sass, H.-H; 1986, Ein neues konzept für hochwasserschutzsperrwerke im Bereich der Großschiffart,

Bauingenieur, 61, pp 177-180, Springer-Verlag

Sehgal, C., 1996, Design Guidelines for Spillway Gates., J. Hydraul. Eng., 122(3), 155–165.

Small., C. and Nicholls, R.J., 2003, A global analysis of human settlement in coastal zones, Journal of Coastal Research, 19(3), 584-599, West Palm Beach (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208

Tappin, R.; Dowling, P.; Clark, P.; 1984, Design and model testing of the Thames Barrier gates, The Structural Engineer, Volume 62A (4)

TU Delft, 2013, Flood Risk Mitigation for the Jamaica Bay Area (Master students project)

Van Dantzig, D., 1956, Economic decision problems for flood prevention. Econometrica 1956, 24, 276-287

Van Ledden, M.; Lansen, A.J.; de Ridder, H.J.; Edge, B.; 2012, Reconnaissance level study

Mississippi storm surge barrier, Proceedings ICCE2102

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1999, Coastal adaptation strategies (technical paper)

USACE, 1997, Engineering and design vertical lift gates, Manual No. 1110-2-2701