FINAL DESIGN OF THE NAGS HEAD BEACH NOURISHMENT PROJECT USING A LONGSHORE NUMERICAL MODEL

Haiqing Liu Kaczkowski, Timothy W Kana

Abstract


Nags Head, located at the northeastern part of North Carolina in the U.S., has sustained chronic erosion over the past 50 years. In 2005, Coastal Science & Engineering (CSE) was retained by the town of Nags Head to develop an interim beach restoration plan. Profile volume change was used in the planning and preliminary design of the project, and longshore and cross-shore numerical models were used in the final design to refine the preliminary nourishment plan and increase potential longevity of the project. This paper focuses on the key factors of the longshore numerical model setup for the project. These include model selection, input data and parameters, model calibration, and applications under different design alternatives. The Generalized Model for Simulating Shoreline Changes (GENESIS) was used in this study to evaluate shoreline evolution under normal wave conditions during various stages of the design life following the beach nourishment project. The model was used to identify the potential occurrence of erosional hotspots and to optimize the nourishment design so that the effects of such hotspots could be avoided or minimized where possible. Model results were also used to evaluate the impact of borrow area dredging on longshore transport in the project area and the impact of nourishment on shoaling in the adjacent inlet. The project encompasses 10.11 miles (mi) (16.28 kilometers-km) of ocean shoreline, and the design nourishment volume is based on the total permitted volume of 4 million cubic yards (cy) (3 million cubic meters-m³). [Note: As-built length was 10.0 mi and volume was 4.615 million cubic yards.] The final design has fill densities varying from north to south in relation to historical erosion rates and model projections. The average fill density is 75 cubic yards per foot (cy/ft) (188 m³/m) and ranges from 38 cy/ft to 150 cy/ft (95 m³/m to 375 m³/m). In conclusion, it is shown that the numerical model selected in this study was capable of predicting the overall performance of the large scale beach nourishment project in Nags Head as well as the performance at a particular location within or adjacent to the project, and its design methods can offer guidance to future projects.

Keywords


beach nourishment, shoreline evolution, longshore sediment transport, GENESIS, STWAVE, Nags Head, North Carolina

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