2018 Coastal Engineering and Oceanography

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Civil and Environmental Engineering
Nadaoka Kazuo  Kuriyama Yoshiaki  Nakamura Takashi 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue3-4(W322)  Fri3-4(W322)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

Oceans are, along with space, one of the great frontiers of the human race. Recently, it has been noticed that the ocean plays a key role in the processes of water/heat balance and material cycles in the geosphere-hydrosphere-atmosphere related to global environmental problems such as global warming. The coastal area is a connecting area between ocean and land, and experiences higher human activity. In our country, buildings and roads have been extended to near the shoreline because the inhabitable area is small and limited, and the coastal area is facing dangers from high waves and high tide due to typhoons, tsunamis, etc. Therefore, how to protect the hinterland from these disasters has been a large issue. Tsunami damage due to the Great East Japan Earthquake in Mar. 2011 is obvious proof of how serious the issue is. Moreover, rising sea-levels, larger typhoons, etc. due to global warming are expected. Thus, these are becoming additional issues. The coastal area is also characterized as an area of higher primary production and biodiversity. However, the area is affected by many kinds of environmental loads because of a connecting area between land and ocean. In fact, wide scale degradation of important ecosystems, such as the tidal flat, seagrass/seaweed, coral reef ecosystems, etc., are progressing. Therefore, a suitable conservation plan and action are required.
Coast/ocean have some different phenomena from open channels or pipe flows learned in hydraulics. Wave phenomena such as “wind wave”, “swell”, “tide”, “tsunami”, etc. are good examples of the specific characteristics. Several types of current phenomena, such as “ocean current”, “tidal current”, “wind induced current”, “nearshore current” also exist, and hydrokinetics in the coast/ocean remain complex and highly varied. The background mechanics of the phenomena are much different from channel/pipe flows acting as a simple unidirectional flow induced by gravity and a pressure gradient. In this course, the instructor explains the basic theories for various types of waves and currents in coastal areas with their physical processes, and issues of wave forces on coastal structures and nearshore sediment transport, which are important for coastal engineering. Moreover, the instructor explains important aspects of coastal environmental problems, fishery/marine resource problems, integrated coastal zone management, the relationship with global environmental problems, etc., and the outlines of future coastal ecosystem conservation are discussed.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this class, students will be able to:
1) understand the basic theories on various types of waves and currents in coastal areas with their physical processes,
2) understand mechanisms and quantitative evaluation methods of wave forces on coastal structures and nearshore sediment transport with their control methods,
3) understand the important aspects of coastal environmental problems and the points for the coastal ecosystem conservation,


Water wave dynamics, wave force on coastal structures, tides, storm surge, tsunami, tidal & ocean currents, littoral drift & beach deformation, coastal environmental problems, coastal ecosystem conservation, global environmental problems, Integrated coastal zone management, sustainable fishery resource management, ocean energy and resource development

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Guidance on the course plan will be given at the first lecture. The presentation material for each lecture will be uploaded onto OCW-i before the lecture. Brief tests will be conducted at some lectures. In addition to the 14 lectures, students will visit the Port and Airport Research Institute (PARI).

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction, Basic theory on water waves (part 1) Examples to show importance of coastal disaster prevention and environmental conservation issues will be given with a guidance on the lecture plan. Students will learn about basic characteristics of water waves as a kind of interfacial waves.
Class 2 Basic theory of water waves (part 2) To learn about linear water wave theory and the effects of nonlinearity on wave characteristics
Class 3 Nearshore wave deformation (wave shoaling, refraction, diffraction, reflection and breaking) To learn the mechanism and quantitative evaluation methods on nearshore wave deformation.
Class 4 Wave force on coastal structures, Wave generation and growth, Storm surge To learn mechanism and quantitative evaluation method on wave force on coastal structures and storm surge
Class 5 Tsunami To learn mechanism and quantitative evaluation method on tsunami with several cases of tsunami disasters
Class 6 Tidal waves, Tidal currents, ocean currents and wind induced currents To learn generation mechanism and evaluation method on tides, tidal & ocean currents and wind induced currents
Class 7 Nearshore currents, Mechanism of coastal sediment transport (littoral drift) and siltation To learn generation mechanism and characteristics of nearshore currents and sediment transport
Class 8 Budget of littoral drift and nearshore deformation, Countermeasures and control of beach deformation To learn mechanism of beach deformation in terms of the budget of littoral drift and countermeasures of beach deformation
Class 9 Basics of ocean chemistry related to environmental problems To learn about the basics of ocean chemistry (e.g. carbonate system, nutrients, etc.) for understanding ecosystems and environmental problems
Class 10 Basic characteristics of coastal ecosystems and subjects on coastal environment conservation To understand basic characteristics of coastal area in terms of primary productivity and to learn basic characteristics of coastal ecosystems and conservation issues
Class 11 Environmental problems in semi-enclosed bays  To learn about the basic generation mechanism behind environmental problems in semi-enclosed bays like Tokyo Bay and challenges for improving the environments
Class 12 Environmental problems in coral reef ecosystems To learn characteristics of coral reef ecosystems and their environmental issues
Class 13 Global environmental problems and coastal ecosystem conservation, Integrated coastal zone management To learn about the recent declining situation of coastal ecosystems under combined local and global environmental stresses and their effective conservation scheme
Class 14 Sustainable fishery resource management, Ocean energy development Marine resource management To get an overview of fishery resource management and ocean energy & resource development and to learn about the sustainable resource management
Class 15 Visit to Port and Airport Research Institute (PARI) To visit Port and Airport Research Institute (PARI) and submit a report on the visit



Reference books, course materials, etc.

Horikawa, Kiyoshi. “Coastal Engineering”. University of Tokyo Press, ISBN-13: 978-4130611084 (in Japanese, original title translated)
Unoki, Sanae; Kubota, Masahisa. “Wave and Currents in the Ocean”. Tokai University Press, ISBN-13: 978-4486013808 (in Japanese)
Kuriyama, Yoshiaki. “Beach Dynamics -Monitoring, Prediction, and Countermeasures”. Gihodo Shuppan, ISBN-13: 978-4486013808 (in Japanese, original title translated)

Assessment criteria and methods

Learning achievement is evaluated by combining results from brief tests 20 %, report about PARI visit 10 %, and final exam 70%.

Related courses

  • ZUT.B202 : Hydraulics I

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)


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