The design formula for rubble mound breakwaters by Van der Meer has an unclear Notional Permeability term. This term causes a lot of confusion for designers. In the past many people have tried to derive a better formulation for that term by experimental and analytical research. The goal of this study was to obtain a better formulation along a numerical way. This study explores the numerical possibilities and tries to define which direction has to be taken in future research.
As a first step, a very simplified case is taken with a vertical homogeneous breakwater which interact with monochromatic waves. In total six different blocks were made of epoxy and elastocoast. Only 4 out of the 6 blocks were tested. Also the porosity (n), laminar friction (α) and turbulent friction constant (β) of the blocks were determined experimentally. This way the experimental results could be compared with computations.
Numerical tests were performed on some multi-layered combinations of the different blocks in order to derive a "Vertical P" value in a similar way as Van der Meer determined his P=0.4 structure. The results showed, nevertheless, quite some different patterns as the computations done by Van der Meer. However, taking into account all the problems with calibrating the SWASH model the results for the notional permeability seemed very promising. This numerical method shows the possibility of numerically calculating a notional permeability and should be investigated further in the future.