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Portal to full text versions of reports, studies and articles on hydraulic engineering
On this page reprints are given (as pdf) of classical papers.

International papers:

Dutch papers in English:

Dutch papers in Dutch:

International papers

Bagnold, R.A.

In November 1935 it was announced in the Journal of the Institution of Civil Engineers that a Committee had been formed to investigate the problems of wave pressures on sea structures, and proposed preliminary investigations were outlined. Those investigations were duly carried out, and it was reported inDecember 1936 that they had indicated the value of small-scale model experiments and that a programme of such experiments had accordingly been drawn up in collaboration with the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. The initial programme provided for 1 year's work, to be carried out by Dr. Bagnold. The main results were publilshed in the Interim report on wave-pressure research in the Journal of the ICE of 1939 (vol 12).

Blum, Hermann

Blum wurde 1931 an der Technischen Hochschule Braunschweig promoviert (Einspannungsverhältnisse von Bohlwerken), wobei er ein danach sehr verbreitetes baupraktisches Bemessungsverfahren für Spundwände entwickelte. Später war er bei der Hoesch AG in Dortmund, dem führenden deutschen Spundwandhersteller, der auch eine statische Berechnungsabteilung hat.
Zusammenfassung aus 1950: Beitrag zur Berechnung von Bohlwerken (Bautechnik 1950)

Hasselman (Jonswap)

Report of the commission on the Joint North Sea Wave project {Measurements of wind-wave growth and swell decay during the Joint North Sea Wave Project (JONSWAP)}, as published in the Journal of the Deutsches Hydrographisches Institut, Ergänzungsheft 8-12. This document is the basis of the famous Jonswap spectrum.

Robert Y. Hudson

This paper describes the original tests by Hudson for the development of his famous formula on stability of armour units in breakwaters. The paper "Laboratory Investigations of rubble-mound breakwaters" was published in the Journal of the Waterways adn Harbors Division of ASCE as paper 3213 in September 1959.

Ramon Iribarren Cavanilles

Iribarren did quite some research on waves and wave-structure interaction in the period 1938-1947; but most of this research became only known to the rest of the world several decades later. For example he made a very basic study on harbour diffraction in 1941 (in Spanish).
In 1949 he published with Casto Nogales on the PIANC congress of 1949 a paper in French with the title Protections des Ports. In this article he describes how to compute refraction, diffraction and reflection in practical cases. Also he derives a critical slope; steeper slopes give reflective waves, more gentle slopes dissipate energy. This ratio has later been further developed by Battjes to what is now known as the Iribarren parameter (or surf similarity parameter).
In 1953 he published a paper (also with Casto Nogales) on the PIANC congress in French without a title (it is called only Rapport) on the interaction between waves and rocks on a breakwater. Here he defines the stability number H/Delta D. In fact the ppaper describes the work earlier done by Iribaren in 1938 in Spain (Una Formula para el calculo de los Digues de Escollera, published by M. Bermejillo, Pasajes). Also this work did not get much attention outside Spain. It was translated in 1949 in the "Bulletin of the Beach Erosion Board". On the basis of this work Hudson has developed his formula.
The original papers of Ramon Iribarren in the Revista de Obras Publicas can be found on their website Type in the search box "Iribarren" and select "autor" in the second box.

Sergey Vladimirovich Izbash (Сергей Владимирович Избаш)

Izbash (Lausanne, 1904) graduated in 1929 for the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute and got his PhD in 1938. In that time he did research on the closing of rivers with rock and concrete elements. In 1939 he wrote:  Гидравлика производства работ по преграждению русла (Hydraulics of river damming), published by Госстройиздат, which contains the basics of his stability formula; but already in his publication of 1932: Постройка плотин наброской камня в текущую, [Госстройиздат, 1932]  ("Construction of Dams by Dumping of Stones") this formula was outlined. 
He had to stop this scientific work during the second World War, where he was assigned to design fortifications. After demobilisation in 1942 he received a chair in Hydraulics at MEI (Институт Энергомашиностроения и Механики) in Moscow, which he kept until 1976.  Together with Kh.Yu. Khaldre (Х. Ю Халдре) he wrote in 1959 the book "hydraulics of river channel closures" [Гидравлика перекрытия русел рек], published by Гос. жнерж. изд-во.  This book was translated by G.L Cairns of CIRIA and published in 1970 via Butterworth. In this books he gives an overview of his work and also describes the derivation of his formula (eq. 69 in this book).

Mansard and Funke

Paper by E.P.D. Mansard and E.R. Funke from the 17th ICCE 1980 (Sydney) " The measurement of incident and reflected spectra using a least squares method". The described method is at this moment the standard for determining the incoming wave on a structure in laboratory experiments (measuring with three wave gauges the wave spectra and split the signals in an incoming wave and a reflected wave). 

Meyer-Peter, E., and Müller, R.

The basic paper on the famous sediment transport formula of Meyer-Peter and Müller, as published on the 2nd IAHSR meeting on 7 june 1948 in Stockholm, titled: Formulas for Bed-Load transport

Morrough O'Brien

The original paper of O'Brien on Equilibrium flow areas of inlets on sandy coast is a classical paper on the stability of tidal inlets and has been the basis of many developments. The paper was originally published int he Journal  of the Waterways and Harbors division of ASCE, february 1969.

Amreek Singh Paintal

The PhD thesis of Paintal: The probabilistic characteristics of bed load transport in alluvial channels is (University of Minnesota, 1969) is together with the thesis of Shields the present basis of all bed stability formulas.

Osborne Reynolds

In 1883 Reynolds published the results on his turbulence research. This is the basis of tthe Reynolds number:  An Experimental Investigation of the Circumstances Which Determine Whether the Motion of Water Shall Be Direct or Sinuous, and of the Law of Resistance in Parallel Channels The paper was originally published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 174 (1883), pp. 935-982

Albert Shields

A digital copy of the original Ph.D. thesis of Shields (1936, in German). " Anwendung der Aenlichtkeitsmechanik und der Turbulenzforschung auf die Geschiebebewegung". Published in 1936 by the Preußischen Versuchsanstalt für Wasserbouw. (Application of similarity principles and turbulence research to bed-load movement). In this (very short) Ph.D.thesis Shields describes the development of the formula for stability of sand and gravel on a bed under flow conditions. We have also found an English translation of this thesis.

Georges Sainflou (1891-1936)

Digital copy (in French) of the paper of wave forces on vertical walls (Essai sur les digues maritimes verticales), published in 1928 in the "Annales de ponts et chaussées, vol 98, tome II, 1928(4) pp 5-48".

John F.A. Sleath

Dr. Sleath of Cambridge University developed a method to combine flow and wave action in order to determine the stability of stones under wave conditions. His paper on measurements on bed load in oscillatory flow was published by ASCE in the Journal of the waterway, port, coastal and ocean divisions, int 1978 WW4, pp291-307. Dr. Sleath retired from Emmanuel College of Cambridge University in 2005.


Dutch papers in English

Dronkers, Breusers, Vinjé, Venis and Spaargaren

Dr J.J. Dronkers, Ir. H.C.N. Breusers, Ir. J.j. Vinjé, Ir. W.A. Venis and ir. F. Spaargaren pubished in 1968  a series of papers on the" Closure of estuarine channels in tidal regions":

The papers were originally published in "De Ingenieur".

Johan van Veen

Ir Johan van Veen was one of the "founding fathers" of Dutch Hydraulic Engineering. In 1936 Van Veen did his Ph.D.-thesis work on the effect of the currents and sediment transport in the Strait of Dover on the stability of the Dutch coast. (Onderzoekingen in de Hoofden, in old fashioned Dutch, the Strait of Dover was called “De Hoofden”, this name is not used nowadays and only very few people know this). This work is the basis for modern coastal morphology. The thesis has an extensive summary of 25 pages in English.
In 1950, Van Veen's paper, "Eb- en vloedschaarsystemen in de Nederlandse getijwateren" (Ebb- and flood-channel systems in the Dutch tidal waters) was published. This paper should be considered as Van Veen's most important publication since his thesis. It summarizes the results of 20 years of intensive study of estuarine and tidal- basin morphodynamics in The Netherlands. The paper is testimony to Van Veen' s keen observational and artistic skills. His approach is nearly "Da Vincian" in the sense that he is not only a fascinated but also sharp observer of nature and tries to capture the essentials of the dynamic behavior of complex coastal systems in apparently simple sketches. Many of the natural systems that Van Veen studied have been regulated since; thus, this paper contains a set of irreplaceable, high- quality observations on the natural dynamics of tidal systems. Along with Robinson' s (1960) paper on ebb-flood channel systems, it forms an excellent introduction to the study of channel dynamics in estuaries, tidal inlets, and tidal basins. Unfortunately, Van Veen's paper was published in Dutch, with only a brief summary in English. Understandably though, the paper has received very limited recognition in the international literature. The present publication is a tribute to Professor Kees d'Angremond, who retired on November 28, 2001, from the chair of Coastal Engineering at Delft University of Technology. We have seized this occasion to publish an English version of Van Veen' s paper. The translation is annotated in order to put it in the perspective of our present-day ideas on coastal dynamics. It contains contributions by several researchers of our group. 


Dutch papers

Andries Vierlingh wrote in 1579 his "Tractaet van dyckagie", which is the first hydraulic engineering manual made in the Netherlands. The manuscript was not published during his lifetime. It was published for the first time in 1920 by De Hullu and Verhoeven. The document is republished in 1960 by the VBKO (Dutch union of Hydraulic Engineering Contractors) and published in digital form in 2008 by DNBL. Via the Website of DNBL also a HTML-version of the document is available.
Leeghwater was born as Jan Adriaanszoon. Only later did he adopt the name Leeghwater, from laag water or low water. It is not clear exactly how the prevalent spelling of Leeghwater's name came about. Leeghwater himself spelt his name alternatively as Leegwater, Leegh-water, Leeghwater and Leechwater. Official documents of the time also mention Laechwater and Laachwater. Leeghwater, as a hydraulic engineer, was pivotal to land reclamation programs along the flooded coast of the Netherlands.
He was involved in the reclamation of the polder Beemster, the first polder in the world created from a lake by draining the water using wind mills. The reclamation of the Beemster was started in 1607 and Leeghwater supervised the milling. Between 1607 and 1635, the polders Purmer, Schermer and Heerhugowaard were also created under his supervision. Leeghwater was among the first to advocate reclamation of the Haarlemmermeer, a lake whose growth presented a danger to the surrounding towns (several villages were swallowed and even Amsterdam and Leiden were eventually threatened). About this he wrote the 'Haarlemmermeer-boek' (this link shows the 13th reprint from 1838), not only describing his plans for making a polder in the Haarlemmermeer, but also some overview of his previous achievements.  (text from Wikipedia)

Mr. Pieter van Bleiswyk wrote his dissertation at Leiden University in 1745 in Latin language (its original title was "Specimen Physico Mathematicum inaugerale de Aggeribus"), which is the first dissertation that we know of that treats the design of dikes on basis of a scientific approach. This work was of high importance to the awareness of the people involved in the design and maintenance of dikes. However, the Latin language was an obstacle for many people, so dr. Jan Esdré translated this work into Dutch with the title  Natuur- en wiskundige verhandeling over het aanleggen en versterken der dyken (Physical and Mathematical dissertation on the construction and reinforcement of dikes) and expanded it with clarifications and exemplifications. This work was published in 1778. We scanned one of the survived copies of this work and placed it on the internet to make it available for a broad public.
L.G. van Breen published in 1920 the book "Holland's Rijshout; het gebruik van rijsmaterialen bij stroomleidende werken en oeververdedigingen langs bovenrivieren en aan zee". This is a detailed handbook on the construction of all kind of bedprotections with fascine mattresses (brushwood, etc).

Frederik Willem Conrad was Railroad and hydraulic engineer. He was asked by the viceroy of Egypt, , as chairman of a commission to review the design of the the Suez canal, and also the first plans of the Aswan dam. He wrote a very readable book about this trip "Reizen naar de landengte van Suez, Egypte, het Heilige Land" (580 pages, 1859). A lecture given at the Royal Academy of Science on the same topic "Over de doorgraving der landengte van Suez" ( 31pages, 1858) is also available.

ir. P.J. Wemelsfelder published in 1939 his paper "Wetmatigheden in het optreden van stormvloeden" where he developed the method of determining the height of a storm-surge with a given probability (given return period). After 1953 this became the standard way of determining design waterlevels for sea dikes.
He also published in 1965 his paper "Bodemdaling, blijvend actueel aspekt van de Nederlandse Waterbouw" on the aspects of sea level rise. In this presentation Wemelsfelder analyses the effect of sea level rise and land subsidence on the hydraulic engineering works int he Netherlands, and concludes that this always will require attentsion. Interesting is his position regarding lifetime of buildings, streets and towns.
Jhr Ir. R.R.L de Muralt presented in July 1931for the Union of Waterboards in Zeeland an extensive paper on the use of concrete in Dike building: "Klei of Beton als Zeedijksverhoging" (Clay or concrete as sea dike improvement). De Muralt is the inventor of several concrete type dike reinforcement structures (both small wall ont top of the dikes, comparable to the I-walls used in the New Orleans area, as well as concrete revetment plates. In this presentation he gives a lot of technical details.
Ir. T. Edelman published in 1954 a paper on unbreacheable sea dikes ( Doorbraakvrije Zeedijken). This is an internal memorandum of Rijkswaterstaat, and not published. Edelman advocated tht dikes should not be constructed to such a height that overtopping becomes zero, but only to a height to prevent regular overflow. This will lower the cost, and gives a better benefit/cost ratio. He states that in order to achieve this, more attention has to be paid to the quality of the inner slope of he die (slope 1:3 and a good quality of grass). In a reply his colleague Wemelsfelder argues that it is also necessary to make a threshold level to prevent overflow, in order to make clear to the public that they will not suffer from inconveniences of overflowing water on a regular basis.
Ir. A.G. Maris, J. van Veen, ir. J.W. de Vries and ir H.A.M.C. Dibbits published in 1956 a series of papers regarding the studies for the preliminary design of the Deltaplan. They describe the plan itself and the state of the works in 1956. The papers were originally published in "De Ingenieur". J.Th. Thijsse has published in a technical encyclopedia (Technische Vraagbaak, 1951) a nice overview of basics of hydraulics. It is still a very useful basic document.