MEDVSA“MEDVSA” (“MEtodología de Diseño de los Vertidos de SAlmuera - Methodology for the design of Brine Discharges) is an R&D project carried out between 2009-2011 and financed by the Spanish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Environment.  IH Cantabria, lead partner, together with CEDEX were the first to develop in Spain a methodology to design brine discharges into the sea from water desalination plants. 

Within the framework of the MEDVSA project,  IH Cantabria was able to advance in the investigation of such discharges . Among other tasks,  the commercial models which were used throughout the study were analyzed and validated, specific experimental facilities were built to utilize advanced optical techniques, ad hac numerical models were designed for the disposal of brine (tools " brIHne " ) and subsequently recalibrated with experimental data obtained from the tests. A methodological guide for the design of these discharges  was also obtained.

To ensure that the information reached the interested stakehoders and that the knowledge generated was transferred,  a web portal 
( was developed, where the Methodological Guide and its accompanying tools , as well as information courses brIHne tools can be downloaded.

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Published in R&D projects
The project EXPERIMENTAL AND NUMERICAL MODELING of SURF ZONE RELATED HYDRODYNAMICS has concentrated on improving the understanding of the hydrodynamic processes that occur in the surf and swash zone of beaches. A unique feature of the surf zone is that it co-exists with dynamics very different time scales ranging from the scale of turbulence to the wave ranges. These dynamics have their own mechanisms for generation, transformation and dissipation and interact to result in major energy transfers. The methodology used was based on the integration of a laboratory experimental work including high resolution measurements at different scales and using a numerical models based on equations by RANS which has integrated all scales simultaneously, and without the need for own settings or simplifications of existing models. Moreover, to help improve our understanding of the processes and our modeling capability, the project has explored the feasibility of applying the model to analyze natural beaches and simplifications and parameterizations commonly used in models currently used for natural beaches remarkable success.

Also, from the progress made in the project, it was possible for the first time a complete case analysis of the hydrodynamics of the surf zone in which effects are modeled turbulent break, the broken wave evolution, transforming waves and generating infragravity return currents, using a model which meets a three-dimensional flow and absence of simplifications for the definition of the break. Project development and scientific breakthroughs have opened a new line of work for the study of the hydrodynamics of the surf zone from non-simplified models of Navier-Stokes, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional. It has also developed a model based on extended Boussinesq equations with improved parameterization for simulating processes in the surf zone and swash, in order to make their integration in Coastal Modelling System (SMC). Sistema de Modelado Costero (SMC).

Published in R&D projects

Large scale measurements of wave loads and mapping of impact pressure distribution at the underside of parapets

Hydralab IV, More than Water: 2010 – 2014

Facility: Large Wave Channel (GWK)

The Hydralab programme aims to provide access to eclusive hydraulic structures and facilities within the EU research area.

The Hydralab IV framework has a specific call for "Large scale measurements of wave loads and mapping of impact pressure distribution at the underside of parapets". The main goal of this project is to study the pressures that broken waves have on monolithic structures. The magnitude of the forces caused by this type of impact Ees much greater than that of non broken waves. In the past however n research ahs been carried out on this specific effec t of the phenomena. The information obtained will be used, together with the measurements of the incident wave hydrodinamic conditions and the generated overtopping, to increase the knowledge on this type of phenomena and to improve the existing numerical models. (Losada et al. (2008), Lara et al. (2008)). Design guidelines will also be presented.

The following are some of the secondary goals of the project: Como objetivos parciales del proyecto se pueden detallar:

  • Measure the forces induced by the broken waves and pressures on the monolithic structure.
  • Register the velocity and thickness of the overtopping jet and relate these variables with the incident wave conditions, the localization of the structure regarding the sea level , its longitude, shape and the registered overtopping.
  • Use the obtained results in the two previous goals to improve our knowledge on these types of events as well as on the numerical models used to simulate these phenomena.
Published in R&D projects
PROVERBS: Probabilistic Design Tools for Vertical Breakwaters

Funding body: European Commission. Marine Science and Technology Program (MAST-III). MAS3-CT95-0041. 1996-1999.

The overall objective is to develop and implement a framework for probabilistic calculation and associated tools for the design of vertical breakwaters, jetties and other coastal monolithic structures. For use in design, it is common to apply the methods of partial safety factors (PSFS) which must be consistent with the relevant Eurocode Standards, however the approach proposed in the project is more advanced because it uses a target failure probability structure throughout the useful life as an input parameter to the system. So the tools to define the aforementioned failure probability of the structure have also been the target of the project.

The specific objectives of the project were:

  • Improved understanding of the physical processes and failure mechanisms that are involved in the wave-interaction-foundation structure.
  • The development of databases and reliable calculation methods for the analysis of the dynamics of the dam and its base.
  • Improved methods for the analysis of field and laboratory measurements.
  • The generation of a scientific and technical basis that can be used in the future by different institutions and personnel committees to establish the sectoral rules of design and development of innovative structures that meet the functional requirements technical, economic and ecological.

PROVERBS secondary objective was also to demonstrate the advantages of probabilistic design methods compared to conventional design approaches based on deterministic approaches. The methods developed in the project are generic in the sense that it can be applied to different types of coastal structures.


Martin, F.L., M.A. Losada, R. Medina (1999) "Wave loads on rubble mound breakwater crown walls". Coastal Engineering, Elsevier Ed. Vol 37. No. 2 Pages: 149-174

Martin, FL, Losada, MA, Vidal, C., Diaz-Rato, JL, (1996). "Prototype Measurements of Wave Pressures on a Wave Screen: Comparison to Physical and Analytical Models". Proc 25th Intl Conf on Coastal Engineering (ICCE 25, Orlando, USA in September 1996).

Martin, F. L., Losada, M. A., Medina, R., Vidal, C., Losada, I. J. (2000). "Wave forces on crown wallsFinal Report on Probabilistic Design Tools for Vertical Breakwaters". Balkema Ed. Chapter 6.2. , 34 pp.

Published in R&D projects
Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan for the Coastal Areas between Marsa Mathuh and El Sallum, Egypt. Vol 1

(see pdf )

Published in R&D projects
Guidelines for the ICZM Plan for the Coastal Areas between Marsa Mathuh and El Sallum, Egypt. Vol 2
(see pdf))
Published in R&D projects

Mariut Lake and Valley ICZM Plan
(ver pdf adjunto)

Published in R&D projects
Tsunami Vulnerability & Risk El Salvador
see pdf
Published in R&D projects
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