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Morphodynamic Response to Low-Crested Detached Breakwaters on a Sea Breeze-Dominated Coast

1
Laboratorio de Ingeniería y Procesos Costeros, Instituto de Ingeniería, Unidad Académica Sisal, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Sisal 97356, Mexico
2
Laboratorio Nacional de Resiliencia Costera, Laboratorios Nacionales CONACTY, Sisal 97356, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(4), 635; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040635
Received: 2 March 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 27 March 2019
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Abstract

Low-crested detached breakwaters (LCDBs) have been widely employed as a mitigation measure against beach erosion. However, only a few studies have assessed their performance in sea-breeze-dominated environments. This work investigates the beach morphodynamics behind LCDBs deployed on a micro-tidal sea-breeze-dominated beach. The study area, located in the northern Yucatán peninsula, is characterized by low-energy, high-angle waves, which drive a persistent (westward) alongshore sediment transport (O(104) m3/year). High-resolution real-time kinematics global positioning system (GPS) beach surveys were conducted over a one-year period (2017–2018) to investigate the performance of LCDBs at three sites. Moreover, unmanned aerial vehicle flights were employed to evaluate far-field shoreline stability. Field observations revealed a distinct behavior in the three study sites, dependent on the breakwaters’ transmission characteristics, geometry, stability, and shoreline orientation. Impermeable LCDBs, made of sand-filled geosystems, induced significant beach accretion (erosion) in up-(down-)drift areas. On the other hand, permeable LCDBs, made of Reef Ball™ modules, induced moderate beach changes and small erosion in down-drift areas owing to higher transmission coefficients. Measurements of LCDBs’ freeboard height show that sand-filled geosystems’ breakwaters presented a significant loss of sand during the study period, which explains the unexpected beach morphodynamic response on the lee side of the structure. Observations suggest that the study area is highly sensitive to the presence of LCDBs with low transmissivity. View Full-Text
Keywords: beach morphodynamics; UAV flights; beach surveys; Reef Balls™; sand-filled geosystems beach morphodynamics; UAV flights; beach surveys; Reef Balls™; sand-filled geosystems
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Torres-Freyermuth, A.; Medellín, G.; Mendoza, E.T.; Ojeda, E.; Salles, P. Morphodynamic Response to Low-Crested Detached Breakwaters on a Sea Breeze-Dominated Coast. Water 2019, 11, 635.

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