Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

An idealised study for the evolution of a shoreface nourishment

Chen, W.L.; Dodd, N.

An idealised study for the evolution of a shoreface nourishment Thumbnail


W.L. Chen

Professor of Coastal Dynamics


We develop an idealised one dimensional (cross-shore) morphodynamic model that couples wave, tide and sediment dynamics to study the effect and evolution of a shoreface nourishment. Sediment fluxes driven by wave skewness, wave asymmetry (both onshore) and return flow (offshore) are considered. With the aid of new analytical expressions for the skewness and standard deviation of wave velocity and acceleration, sediment fluxes are calculated. Nourishment is viewed as a perturbation to the system in equilibrium that is subject to the divergence of the perturbed sediment flux and a gravity driven diffusion term. Depending on the location, a nourishment may provide a feeder or lee effect. In moderate and mild wave conditions, the evolution of a nourishment primarily depends on the relative location of nourishment and break point. Placed well offshore of the break point, the nourishment induces an overall positive perturbation in sediment flux, resulting in onshore migration (feeder effect). Located closer to the break point, the nourishment induces an earlier wave breaking, which dissipates part of the wave energy (lee effect), leading to a negative sediment flux perturbation around this break point and a positive sediment flux perturbation around the break point of the un-nourished beach. Depending on the intensity of the earlier breaking, the nourishment either migrates onshore (weak break) or splits into onshore and offshore moving parts (strong break). The relative importance of the diffusion term and the divergence of perturbed sediment flux may lead to a primarily migrating or decaying evolution of nourishment. In storm wave conditions, the nourishment tends to move offshore due to the predominance of return flow driven sediment flux. The sensitivity to wave period and tide are also studied. Model results are consistent with observations, as well as prevailing theory on cross-shore sediment transport.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 27, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 2, 2019
Publication Date May 1, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 5, 2019
Publicly Available Date Apr 3, 2020
Journal Continental Shelf Research
Print ISSN 0278-4343
Electronic ISSN 1873-6955
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 178
Pages 15-26
Keywords Aquatic Science; Geology; Oceanography
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: An idealised study for the evolution of a shoreface nourishment; Journal Title: Continental Shelf Research; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


You might also like

Downloadable Citations