A MODEL OF BEACH PROFILE EVOLUTION INCLUDING WAVE-UNDERTOW INTERACTION

Chi Zhang, Jinhai Zheng, Titi Sui, Zeki Demirbilek, Lihwa Lin

Abstract


A numerical model of beach profile evolution is developed to study the onshore and offshore sandbar migration under different wave conditions. The integrated model consists of wave model, roller model, flow model, sediment transport model and bed evolution model. In particular, the interaction between waves and wave-induced undertow current is considered in the flow model. This is achieved by adding a mean pressure gradient term into the firs-order momentum balance equation of flow. A simple empirical method is also introduced to describe the variation in eddy viscosity during one wave cycle. A preliminary application of the present model shows good agreements of both onshore and offshore sandbar migration phenomenon with the laboratory observation. It is found that the offshore sandbar migration is dominated by undertow while wave affects the transport rate. For the onshore sandbar migration, although sediment transport is mainly driven by wave and the undertow is weak, the transport pattern is considerably modified by undertow. It is shown that the combined effects of wave and undertow are important in beach profile evolution.

Keywords


beach profile evolution; sandbar; wave; undertow; numerical model

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