A paradise for surfers - the construction of the largest artificial river wave

In 2020 in Ebensee (Austria) a year-round paradise for surfing was created under the direction of the consulting engineers from “concon”. During the implementation of the award-winning project “THE.RIVERWAVE”, civil engineer Benjamin Di-Qual was faced with a number of challenges, for which he used, among others, the FRILO Software.

A few years ago, the idea emerged to Maximilian Neuböck to create an artificial river wave in the mountains of the Salzkammergut, to enable the year-round surfing in Austria. But would he also find a suitable location for his ambitious project? After all, such an impact on nature requires the fulfilment of numerous criteria and official requirements. After a long search, Neuböck, today the owner and operator of "THE.RIVERWAVE", finally found what he was looking for on the upper Traun near Ebensee. At that place there is a block stone ramp in the main water of the river Traun. The difference in height between the upper and lower water is there about one meter in mean water. This difference in height of the water and the year-round high flow of the Traun offer favourable conditions for the construction of a standing wave.

The project

In order to enable the operation of a surfable river wave, a diversion from the Upper Traun was first built directly above the ramp on the orographic left bank. The diversion was led back into the Traun directly below the ramp. It was essential for the operation of the standing surf wave to consider the greatest possible adjustability of the hydraulic steel water structure, in order to react to the strongly fluctuating water levels. To be able to handle the existing level fluctuations of up to 1,20 meters during operation, the shaft system was dimensioned with a large degree of freedom. For this purpose, a steel hydraulic construction flap was installed into the canal. Both the upper and the lower flap parts run laterally in guiding bars, where hydraulic cylinders move the massive construction. From a planning point of view, this resulted in a complex reinforcement layout. On the one hand, it was necessary to make the side walls of the canal so thick that they can withstand the large support forces that affect the protruding wall parts when the flap moves. On the other hand, it was necessary to build the wall as thin as possible so that the construction would not be located too far from the river. In order to finally absorb the support forces economically, the canal walls were designed as panels due to the complex geometry and the inclined recesses for the hydraulic cylinders. For this, "concon" used the FRILO program for walls SCN. On the basis of the tension curves shown, it was possible to understand the load distribution in the side walls very well and to optimize the reinforcement in the walls.

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