CARIBBEAN BEACH-FACE SLOPES AND BEACH EQUILIBRIUM PROFILES

John D. Boon, Malcolm O. Green

Abstract


Field measurements performed on two Caribbean islands revealed that two-dimensional nearshore bottom morphology is well represented by Dean's (1977) model of the beach equilibrium profile, h - A xm, where h is depth below mean water level at a distance x offshore and A is a scale factor. For the curvature, m, we obtained an average value of approximately m - 1/2 through least squares curve fitting of observed profile data, yielding a more concave and therefore steeper profile inshore than m — 2/3, the average previously reported by Dean for quartz sand beaches in the United States. Furthermore, an objective measure of beach steepness was found to be A-*-'1", a quantity which utilizes both of Dean's parameters and which may serve as a surrogate for the beach-face slope, tan /3, on highly concave beaches. Reasonable correlations were found between A?-'m and the environmental parameter, H^ /gDT , where H^ is breaker height, D is sediment grain size, T is wave period and g is gravitational acceleration. Improved prediction of Caribbean beach slopes and beach equilibrium profiles is an important practical result.

Keywords


beach equilibrium profiles; beach profiles; Caribbean; beach slope

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