Antoine Tresca, Marie-Hélène Ruz, Stéphane Raison, Pascal Grégoire


The shoreline of Dunkirk Seaport partly consists of a macrotidal beach oriented WSW-ENE backed by a 6 km long coated dike called “digue du Braek”. Aeolian sand transport was estimated on asphalt by means of sand traps. Also, time-averaged wind speed profiles were measured using cup anemometers under various wind velocities and directions along a transversal profile on the dike and the upper beach. High rates of sand transport enabled the setup of different kinds of experimental windbreaks on asphalt, in order to test potential dune formation on this kind of substrate. Under oblique onshore winds, it was regularly observed that amounts of sand captured in the traps placed on the dike were more important than those in traps placed on the upper beach. These results were related to sand sources: windblown sand captured on the dike originated from the coastal dunes developed at the dike toe, while sand trapped on the upper beach came from the tidal zone were aeolian transport is limited by complex intertidal bar-trough topography. It also appeared from the topographic surveys carried out on the windbreaks that although their location seemed to play a major role on the amount of sand captured, fences and synthetic fabrics deployed on sandy surfaces were also able to trap windblown sand on the seaport dike.


Aeolian sand transport; Windbreaks; In situ measurements; Dike; Nord-Pas-de-Calais; France

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