Felice D'Alessandro, Giuseppe Roberto Tomasicchio, Fausta Musci, Andrea Ricca


The present paper provides an overview of the large-scale physical model experiments performed at the Canal d’Investigaciò i Esperimentaciò Marìtima (CIEM), Laboratori d’Enginyeria Marìtima (LIM), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, within the EU-Hydralab III Integrated Infrastructure Initiative. The model tests have been carried out in a flume with a sandy dune exposed to a combination of water levels and wave conditions. Different regimes of wave attacks on the sandy/beach dune system have been investigated; in particular, the study provides a unique set of large-scale physical data concerning the storm waves induced dune overwash (Tomasicchio et al. 2011a; Tomasicchio et al.2011b). The effects of various “load parameters” on the dune erosion process generation, including dune recession rates in terms of the retreat of the dune face, Δx, and the eroded volume, ΔV, have been investigated and discussed. The laboratory data sets have been adopted to calibrate and verify the analytical model proposed by Larson et al. (2004) in order to calculate the values of ΔV at specific time intervals. Furthermore, the profile measurements have been used to calibrate and verify the numerical model C-SHORE (Kobayashi et al. 2007) predicting the beach-dune profile modifications over the near-shore region (Tomasicchio et al. 2011a; Tomasicchio et al.2011b).


dune erosion; overwash; large-scale experiment; numerical model; analytical model

Full Text:



Battjes, J.A., and Stive, M.J.F. 1985. Calibration and verification of a dissipation model for random breaking waves. Journal of Geophysical Research, 90 (C5) 9159-9167.http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/JC090iC05p09159

D'Alessandro, F., Tomasicchio, G.R. 2008. The BCI criterion for the initiation of breaking process in Boussinesq-type equations wave models. Coastal Engineering, (55) 1174-1184.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coastaleng.2008.05.002

Delft Hydraulics 1982a. Dune erosion during an extreme storm surge, Noorderstrand Schouwen. Research report M1797.

Delft Hydraulics 1982b. Dune erosion at the hotels 'La Specia' en 'De blanke top' in Zeeuwsch –Vlaanderen. Research report M1811.

Delft Hydraulics 1984a. Scale series on dune erosion, large scale tests in the Delta Flume. Research report M1263, part III.

Delft Hydraulics 1984 b. Dune erosion due to design storm surge at Walcheren, Golflinks en Vijgeter, investigation of stability and effect of the dune revetments. Research report M1958.

Delft Hydraulics 1987. Systematic research on the effectiveness of dune toe revetments, large scale model investigations. Research report H298, part I.

Delft Hydraulics 2004. Model study of dune erosion: experimental results of small scale pilot tests (in Dutch), Report H4265, Delft, The Netherlands.

Delft Hydraulics 2006. Dune erosion, large-scale model tests and dune erosion prediction method, Report H4357, Delft, The Netherlands.

Delft Hydraulics 2007. Technical Report Dune Erosion (in Dutch), Report H4357, Delft, The Netherlands.

Dette, H.H., Peters, K., Newe, J. 1998. Large wave flume experiments '96/97, experiments on beach and dune stability. Rep. No. 830, Leichtweiss Inst., Tech. Univ. Braunschweig.


Donnelly, C., Kraus, N.C., Larson, M. 2006. State of knowledge on measurement and modeling of coastal overwash, Journal of Coastal Research, 22(4), 965-991, West Palm Beach, Florida.http://dx.doi.org/10.2112/04-0431.1

Emanuel, K., Sundararajan, R., Williams, J. 2008. Hurricanes and global warming: results from downscaling IPCC AR4 simulations. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 89 (3), 347-367.http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-89-3-347

Figlus, J., Kobayashi, N., Gralher, C., Iranzo, V. 2011. Wave overtopping and overwash of dunes. Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering, ASCE, 137(1), 26-33.http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)WW.1943-5460.0000060

Fisher, J.S., Overton, M.F., Chisholm, T., 1986. Field measurements of dune erosion, Proceedings of the 20th Coastal Engineering Conference, ASCE, pp. 1107– 1115.

Johnson, B.D., Gravens, M., Wamsley, T., Kobayashi, N. 2009. A predictive model for beach profile evolution. Proc. of Coastal Dynamics 2009, 1-9, World Scientific.

Hancock, M.W. 1994. Experiments on irregular wave overtopping and overwash of dunes, Master Thesis, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.

Hancock, M.W., Kobayashi, N. 1994. Wave overtopping and sediment transport over dunes, Proc. 24th International Conference on Coastal Engineering, 2028-2042, Kobe, Japan, ASCE.

Hunt, I.A., 1959. Design of seawalls and breakwaters. Journal of the Waterways and Harbors Division, 85, 123–152.

Kobayashi, N., Tega, Y., and Hancock, M.W. 1996. Wave reflection and overwash of dunes, Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering, ASCE, 122(3), 150-153.http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-950X(1996)122:3(150)

Kobayashi, N., Agarwal, A., and Johnson, B.D. 2007. Longshore current and sediment transport on beaches, Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering, ASCE, 133(4), 296-306.http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-950X(2007)133:4(296)

Kobayashi, N, Buck, M., Payo, A., and Johnson, B.D. 2009. Berm and dune erosion during a storm, Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering, ASCE, vol. 135 (1), 1-10.http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-950X(2009)135:1(1)

Kraus, N.C., Smith, J.M. 1994. Supertank laboratory data collection project. Technical Report CERC 94-3, U.S. Army Engineers Waterways Experiment Station, Coastal Eng. Research Center, Vicksburg, USA.

Larson, M., Erikson, L., Hanson, H. 2004. An analytical model to predict dune erosion due to wave impact. Coastal Engineering, (51) 675-696.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coastaleng.2004.07.003

Nishi, R., Kraus, N.C., 1996. Mechanism and calculation of sand dune erosion by storms, Proceedings of the 25th Coastal Engineering Conference, ASCE, pp. 3034–3047.

Overton, M.F., Fisher, J.S., Fenaish, T., 1987. Numerical analysis of swash forces on dunes. Proceedings of Coastal Sediments '87, ASCE, pp. 632– 641.

Sallenger, A.H., Howd, P., Stockdon, H., Guy, K., Morgan, K.L.M. (2003). On predicting storm induced coastal change, Proc. Coastal Sediments, Clearwater Beach, Florida, USA.

Tomasicchio, G.R. 2004. Surface roller of breaking waves at barred beaches. Journal of Coastal Research, SI 39, pp. 875-879.

Tomasicchio, G.R., Sanchez Arcilla, A., D'Alessandro, F., Ilic, S., James, M., Fortes, C.J.E.M., Sancho, F., Schüttrumpf, H. 2011a. Large-scale flume experiments on dune erosion processes. Journal of Hydraulic Research, Vol. 49, No. S1, pp. 20-30.http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00221686.2011.604574

Tomasicchio, G.R., D'Alessandro, F., Barbaro G. 2011b. Composite modelling for large-scale experiments on wave-dune interactions. Journal of Hydraulic Research, Vol. 49, No. S1, pp. 15-19.http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00221686.2011.604576

USACE, US Army Corps of Engineers 2003. Coastal Engineering Manual, Part. V. Coastal and Hydraulics Lab., U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, Mississippi, USA.

van Gent, M.R.A., van Thiel de Vries, J.S.M., Coeveld, E.M., de Vroeg, J.H., van de Graaff, J. 2008. Large-scale dune erosion tests to study the influence of wave periods. Coastal Engineering, (55) 1041-1051.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coastaleng.2008.04.003

van Thiel de Vries, J.S.M., van Gent, M.R.A., Walstra, D.J.R., Reniers, A.J.H.M. 2008. Analysis of dune erosion processes in large-scale flume experiments. Coastal Engineering, (55) 1028-1040.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coastaleng.2008.04.004

Vellinga, P. 1986. Beach and dune erosion during storm surges, Doctoral Thesis, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands (Publication 372, Delft Hydraulics).

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.9753/icce.v33.sediment.32