Earthworks and bank protection

In the earthworks and bank protection team we deal with the maintenance and upgrading of stretches of federal waterways and their hydraulic structures (e.g. culverts and water bridges), as well as embankments and earthworks. We draw up geotechnical expert opinions and advise the WSV during the planning and execution of construction projects.

In our work we focus, among others, on the use of revetments to protect banks and bottoms of waterways from the impacts of natural and ship-induced waves and currents.

This type of bank protection measure consists of:

  • the erosion-proof cover layer, usually consisting of armourstones;
  • an underlying geotextile or mineral filter;
  • a surface seal if necessary.

Nature-orientated upgrading of waterways plays an increasingly important role. In a joint research project the BAW and the Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG) have therefore developed safe, ecologically enhanced technical-biological measures to stabilise banks. For more information, please visit the portal ‘Technical-biological bank protection on inland waterways’.

In projects dealing with bank and bottom protection we develop design rules, define the requirements made of the individual protection components and monitor these during the construction phase. Our research focus is guided by the tasks listed here. It includes, in particular, investigations of the mechanical and hydraulic interactions affecting the bottom of a water body and the relevant physical properties of protection components.