IAHR, founded in 1935, is a worldwide independent member-based organisation of engineers and water specialists working in fields related to the hydro-environmental sciences and their practical application. Activities range from river and maritime hydraulics to water resources development and eco-hydraulics, through to ice engineering, hydroinformatics, and hydraulic machinery.
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You are here : Technical Divisions : Hydro-Environment : IAHR Coastal and Maritime Hydraulics Committee

IAHR Coastal and Maritime Hydraulics Committee 

Next Events

  • 7th International Conference on the Application of Physical Modelling in Coastal and Port Engineering and Science (Coastlab'18) Santander, Spain, 22-26 May 2018 Website  Leaflets
  • 6th International Conference on Estuaries and Coasts (ICEC-2018) Caen, France, 20-23 August 2018 Website
  • III Cross border conference on climate and coastal change (IAHR co-sponsored) March 6-7 2018 Website Programme

Leadership Team 2017-2019


Dr. James Sutherland
Technical Director in the Coasts and Estuaries Group
HR Wallingford


Vice Chair


Past Chair

Dr. Ioan Nistor
Associate Professor 
Department of Civil Engineering
Chair of Hydrotechnical Division of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) 
University of Ottawa
(Chair Hydrotechnical Division CSCE)


Co-opted Members

IAHR Hydro-Environment Programme Officer


Maritime Hydraulics covers all aspects of maritime, coastal and estuarine problems including coastal morphology, waves, tides, currents, sedimentation and pollution. The activity of the IAHR Maritime Committee is focused on six topics:
  • Study of environmental parameters such as waves, tides and currents through: Field data collection, analytical methods and numerical and physical modelling techniques. Special emphasis is given to achieve a better understanding of non-conventional parameters such as wave groups, bounded short and long waves, wave asymmetries, directional waves, etc. and their relevance to structural response.
  • Design of ports & harbours and their optimisation through physical and numerical modelling including design of fixed and floating structures.
  • Analysis of bed load and suspended load, cross-shore and longshore currents involved in sedimentation and bed evolution, erosion and deposition problems related to structures, and dredging.
  • Study of pollution problems including convection of pollutants by currents, residual drift, dispersion and diffusion.
  • Coastal and ecosystem management including the interaction of the coastal environment with coastal developments.
  • Study of consequences of sea level trends and impacts on coastal engineering.
Contacts with other organisations, such as the Coastal Engineering Research Council (CERC) of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses (PIANC), the International Towing Tank Conference (ITTC), are well established.
The present effort is mainly focused on improving numerical and mathematical models of coastal processes through a better understanding of the associated complex physics. As well, there is the need for certain field data to validate these numerical models.
Many laboratories are now equipped with segmented wave generators that can simulate the multidirectional characteristics of natural sea states. Although the use of multidirectional waves provides a more accurate representation of wave interactions with structures, often resulting in more cost-effective and safer designs, there are limitations again in the lack of sufficient field data.
One of the priorities of the IAHR Maritime Hydraulics Committee is to form international Working Groups for standardising and validating analysis algorithms that can be used both in field and laboratory situations.


To deal with all aspects of offshore, coastal, and estuarine hydraulics pertaining to: natural processes, fluid interaction with structures, environmental impact, and shoreline erosion management. Its activity focuses on topics such as: waves and currents, effect of boundaries, sedimentation and coastal morphology, sea level change, relevant environmental issues.

Research Agenda

  • Beach Dewatering: Recent projects, academic publications, and the increasing focus on coastal erosion bring beach drainage technology into the forescene of research on retarding each erosion process
  • Refined wave modeling: A need to further refine wave models against well tested experimental results is seen as a first step towards combined laboratory/numerical approaches to complex maritime hydraulics problems
  • Sea outfalls: Sound technical guidelines based on scientific reasoning are required for the proper design of sea outfalls protection against environmental loading
  • Sea level rise: The expected rise in sea level and associated climate changes will most probably have severe consequences for coastal and estuarine ma

Past Events and Publications

  • 6th International Conference on the Application of Physical Modelling in Coastal and Port Engineering and Science (Coastlab'16), Ottawa, Canada, 10-13 May 2016, http://www.coastlab2016.com/,booklet, proceedings
  • 5th International Conference on the Application of Physical Modeling to Port and Coastal Protection (CoastLab'14) Varna, Bulgaria, 29 September - 2 October 2014 Website
  • 4th Int Conference on the Application of Physical Modelling to Port and Coastal Protection (CoastLab'12), Ghent, Belgium, 17-20 September 2012. Book of Proceedings. Available at the IAHR Secretariat
  • 3rd Int Conference on the Application of Physical Modelling to Port and Coastal Protection (CoastLab'10) Barcelona, Spain, Sept 28-30, Oct 1, 2010. Book of abstracts. Available at the IAHR Secretariat
  • 2nd Int Conference on the Application of Physical Modelling to Port and Coastal Protection (CoastLab'08) Bari, Italy, 2008. Book of Proceedings (incl. CD). Available at the IAHR Secretariat and eShop
  • 1st Int Conference on the Application of Physical Modelling to Port and Coastal Protection (CoastLab'06) Porto, Portugal, 8-10 May 2006. Book of Proceedings. Available at the IAHR Secretariat and eShop
  • 10th Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics (RCEM), University of Trento and the University of Padova, Italy, 18-21 September 2017  rcem2017@unitn.it  website
  • 9th IAHR Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics (RCEM) Iquitos, Peru, August 30 - September 3 2015 http://www.crearamazonia.org/rcem2015/
  • 8th IAHR Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics (RCEM) Santander, Spain (2013)
  • 7th IAHR Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics (RCEM) Beijing, China (2011)
  • 6th IAHR Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics (RCEM) Santa Fé, Argentina (2009)
  • 5th IAHR Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics (RCEM) Twente (2007). 2 volumes. Published by Balkema.
  • 4th IAHR Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics (RCEM) Illinois, Usa, October 4-7, 2005. 2 vols, 1246 pages, GBP 169. Contact: Gary Parker, E-mail: parkerg@uiuc.edu
  • 3rd IAHR Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics (RCEM) Barcelona, Spain, September 1-5, 2003. Available at the IAHR Secretariat.
  • 2nd IAHR Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics (RCEM) Hokkaido, Japan, September 10-14, 2001. ¥ 5000, plus shipping. From: Werawan Manakul, Graduate School of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-8628, Japan. Tel/Fax: +81 11 7067 291 or E-mail: egpsee@eng.hokudai.ac.jp
  • 1st IAHR Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics (RCEM) Genova, Italy, September 6-10, 1999. Institute of Hydraulics, University of Genova, Via Montallegro 1, 16145 Genova, Italy. E-mail: recem@idra.unige.it
  • 34th PIANC World Congress, Panama City, Panama, May 7-12, 2018, full papers listed by topic http://pianc.info/proceedings
  • 5th International Conference on Estuaries and Coasts, Muscat, Oman, 2-4 November 2015 Website Table of contents Contact membership@iahr.org
  • Special Session on Marine Renewable Energy, IAHR World Congress, The Hague June 28- July 3rd, 2015  Call for abstracts
  • Joint IAHR-COPRI Symposium on Long Waves and Relevant Extremes More info
  • Congress on Mathematical Modelling of Coastal Sedimentation, February 14-16, 2005. Castellon, Spain. E-mail:martinez@mat.uji.es
  • Marine Waste Water Discharges Conference and Coastal Environment (MWWD), Catania, Italy. September 27- October 2, 2004. E-mail: organization@mwwd2004.com 
  • 6th International Conference on Coastal and Port Engineering in Developing Countries (COPEDEC VI), September 15-19, 2003, Colombo, Sri Lanka. E-mail: acetrvl@eureka.lk
  • Long Waves Symposium. Jointly organised hy IAHR and COPRI in parallel to the XXX Biennial Congress. Thessaloniki, Greece, August 25-27, 2003. E-mail: Michael.j.briggs@usace.army.mil
  • 2nd International Conference on Port and Maritime R&D and Technology. Singapore, September 10-12, 2003. E-mail:admin@acedaytons-direct.com
  • 6th International Conference on Coastal and Port Engineering in Developing Countries, Colombo, Sri Lanka, September 15-19, 2003. Website: http://www.copedec.lk
  • 5th International Conference on Coasts and Ports & Marine Structures (ICOPMAS) Ramsar, Iran; October 14-17, 2002. From: Secretariat of ICOPMAS, Ports and Shipping Organization of Iran (P.S.O.), No. 751, Enghelab Eslami Ave., Tehran 1599661464, Iran. Tel: +98 218 904 096 Fax: +98 218 904 193 or e-mail: icopmas@ir-pso.com
  • Marine Waste Water Discharges Conference (MWWD) Istanbul, Turkey; September 16-20, 2002. US$ 130, plus shipping, addit. CDs US$ 30. From: Dr. Carlo Avanzini, E-mail: org-mwwd2002@mwwd2002.com 
  • 5th International Conference on Coastal & Port Engineering in Developing Countries (COPEDEC V) Cape Town, South Africa, April 19-23, 1999. Lanka Hydraulic Institute, 177 John Rodrigo Mwahta, Katubedda, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. E-mail:copedec@sri.lanka.net
  • IAHR Seminar on Multidirectional Waves and their Interaction with Structures. XXVII IAHR Congress, 1997, San Francisco, USA.Table of contents Contact membership@iahr.org
  • International Symposium on Mathematical Modelling of Sediment Transport in the Coastal Zone, Copenhagen, Denmark, May 30-June 1, 1988. From Symposium Secretariat, Danish Hydraulic Institute, Agern Allé 5, DK-2970 Horsholm, Denmark. Telephone: (45)-4576-9555, fax (45)-4576-2567.
  • International Seminar of the IAHR Committee on Coastal and Maritime Hydraulics, Lausanne, Switzerland, Sept. 1-4, 1987 "Wave analysis and generation in laboratory basins", 459 pages. From Publication Sales and Distribution, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R6, Canada

Related Links
Community Area (only for members)
Directory of Members
IAHR Marine Renewable Energy Working Group
Wave Basins