WAVE-INDUCED OVERWASH AND DESTRUCTION OF SAND DUNES

Jens Figlus, Nobuhisa Kobayashi, Christine Gralher, Vicente Iranzo

Abstract


Numerical modeling of the rapid dune profile changes that may occur due to wave overtopping and sediment overwash during a storm is challenging. One of the reasons is the limited amount of available field and laboratory data related to the problem. Another reason is the complex interaction of hydrodynamics, morphological changes and sediment transport in the intermittently wet and dry zone of the dune profile. We modified the cross-shore numerical model CSHORE on the basis of three laboratory overwash tests with different dune geometries in front of a low-crested vertical wall to include the capability to predict profile evolution due to wave overtopping and overwash. Experimental results show that the transition from minor to major overwash is fairly rapid and that the resilience of the dune against destruction by wave-induced overwash is dependent on its geometry. Computed results compare well with the measured hydrodynamics, profile changes, wave overtopping rates and sediment overwash rates, requiring only one empirical parameter to be calibrated. Only the erosion in front of the vertical wall in the last phase of each test is not predicted well by the model. Additional comparisons with field data on profile evolution involving overwash verifies the field capabilities of CSHORE.

Keywords


overwash; dune erosion; sediment transport; numerical modeling

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