Dean Patterson


To date, no suitable theoretical basis has been derived to predict with reliable accuracy the shoreward sand transport under waves in the deeper water outside the surf zone. This is important for understanding the rate of recovery of beaches after major storm erosion and, in some circumstances, to quantify net shoreward supply of sand to the shoreline from the active lower shore-face below the depth of storm erosion bar development. Even a relatively low rate of long term shoreward net supply may contribute to shoreline stability where it offsets a gradient in the longshore sand transport that would otherwise lead to recession. This paper outlines the results of analysis of a 41 year dataset of beach and nearshore profile surveys to quantify annual average rates of shoreward net sand transport in 6-20m water in an area where the profiles are not in equilibrium due to the existence of a residual river mouth ebb delta bar lobe. Additionally, an empirical adaptation of the sheet flow relationship of Ribberink and Al-Salem (1990) to provide for the effects of ripples has been derived from large wave flume data and correlates well with the measured Gold Coast transport rates. These have been applied to a new coastline modelling system developed as part of research into the long term evolution of Australia’s central east coast region in response to sea level change and longshore sand transport processes, which combines the one-line concept of shoreline profile translation within the zone of littoral sand transport with cross-shore profile evolution across the deeper shore-face profile below that zone. It demonstrates the importance of providing for both the shoreward supply from the continental shelf and the varying profile response time-scale across the shore-face in predicting shoreline evolution.


cross-shore sand transport; equilibrium beach profile; profile evolution; profile response time-scale


Bijker E.W., E. van Hijum and P. Vellinga 1976. Sand transport by waves. Coastal Engineering, 1976 pp 1149-1167.

Bruun, P. 1962. "Sea Level Rise as a Cause of Shoreline Erosion". Journal of Waterways and Harbours Division, American Society Civil Engineering, 88: 117-130.

Bruun P. 1986. The Bruun Rule of erosion by sea-level rise: A discussion on large scale two and threedimensional usages. Journal of Coastal Research, 4(4), 527-648. Charlotteville.

Corbella, S. and D.D. Stretch 2011. Shoreline recovery from storms on the east coast of South Africa. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 2011.

Cowell, P.J., P.S. Roy and R.A. Jones 1992. Shoreface translation model: Computer simulation of coastal sand body response to sea level rise. Mathematics and Computers in Simulation 33 (1992), pp603-608, Elsevier Science Publishers B.V.

Cowell, P.J., M. Stive, P.S. Roy, G.M. Kaminsky, M.C. Buijsman, B.G. Thom and L.D. Wright 2001. Shoreface sand supply to beaches. Proc. 27th International Conference on Coastal Engineering, ASCE, 2496-2508.

Dohmen-Janssen, C.M. 2000. Sheet flow under monochromatic waves and large wave groups – CCM measurements in the large wave flume, Hannover. University of Twente, Civil Engineering and Management, Report 2000R-003/MICS-012.

Fenton, J. 1988. The numerical solution of steady water wave problems, Computers and Geosciences 14, 357–368.

Hallermeier, R.J. 1977. Calculating a yearly limit depth to beach erosion. Proc. 16th Coastal Engineering Conf., Hamburg, Germany, pp 1493-1512.

Hallermeier, R.J. 1981. A profile zonation for seasonal sand beaches from wave climate. Coastal Engineering., 4, pp. 253-277.

Hurther, D. and P.D. Thorne 2011. Suspension and bedload sediment transportprocesses above a migrating sand rippled bed under shoaling waves. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, C07001, Nielsen, P. 1981. Dynamics and geometry of wave-generated ripples. Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol 86, No C7, pp 6467-6472.doi:10.1029/2010JC006774.

Nielsen, P. 1992. Coastal bottom boundary layers and sediment transport. Advanced series on Coastal Engineering – Volume 4, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., Published 1992.

Nielsen, P. and D.P. Callaghan 2003. Shear stress and sediment transport calculations for sheet flow under waves. Coastal Engineering, 47(3): 347-354.

Patterson, D.C. 2007. Sand transport and shoreline evolution, Northern Gold Coast, Australia". Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue 50.

Ribberink, J.S. 1998, Bed load transport for steady flows and unsteady iscillatory flows. Coastal Engineering, 34 (1998) 59-82, Elsevier Science B.V.

Ribberink J.S. and Al-Salem A. (1990). Bed forms, sediment concentration and sediment transport in simulated wave conditions. Proc. 22nd International Conference on Coastal Engineering, ASCE, Delft, pp 2318-2331.

Ribberink, J.S., I. Katopodi, K.A.H. Ramadan, R. Koelewijn and S. Longo 1994. Sediment transport under (non)-linear waves and currents. Proc. 24th International Conference on Coastal Engineering, ASCE, Kobe, Japan.

Ribberink, J.S., C.M. Dohmen-Janssen, D.M. Hanes, S.R McLean and C. Vincent 2000. Near-bed sand transport mechanisms under waves - a large-scale flume experiment (Sistex 99). Proc 27th Inernationalt Conference on Coastal Engineering, ASCE, Sydney, pp. 3263-3276.

Roelvink, D. 1988. Large-scale cross-shore transport tests. Report H596, Delft Hydraulics, Delft, Netherlands.

Roy, P.S. 1998. Cainozoic geology of the New South Wales coast and shelf. In E. Scheibner (ed. H. Basden), Geology of New South Wales – Syntheses, Volume 2, Geological Evolution: Precambrian to Present. New South Wales Geological Survey, Australian Memoir, Geology, Volume 13(2), 361-385.

Roy, P.S. 2001. Sand deposits of the NSW inner continental shelf. Geoscience Surveys report, NSW, Australia.

Schretlen J.J.L.M., J.S. Ribberink and T. Donoghue 2010. Boundary layer flow and sand transport under full scale surface waves. Coastal Engineering 2010.

Teakle, I. 2006. Coastal boundary layer and sediment transport modelling, PhD thesis, University of Queensland.

Full Text: PDF

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.