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Formulating Fine to Medium Sand Erosion for Suspended Sediment Transport Models

Laboratoire DYNECO/PHYSED, IFREMER, BP70, 29280 Plouzané, France
Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), PRP-ENV, SESURE, LERCM, Antenne de Radioécologie Marine, Centre Ifremer, CS 20330, 83507 La Seyne-sur-Mer, France
CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere Flagship, Private Bag 5, Wembley WA 6913, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Charitha Pattiaratchi
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2015, 3(3), 906-934;
Received: 13 May 2015 / Accepted: 14 August 2015 / Published: 19 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sediment Transport Modeling)
PDF [2755 KB, uploaded 19 August 2015]


The capacity of an advection/diffusion model to predict sand transport under varying wave and current conditions is evaluated. The horizontal sand transport rate is computed by vertical integration of the suspended sediment flux. A correction procedure for the near-bed concentration is proposed so that model results are independent of the vertical resolution. The method can thus be implemented in regional models with operational applications. Simulating equilibrium sand transport rates, when erosion and deposition are balanced, requires a new empirical erosion law that involves the non-dimensional excess shear stress and a parameter that depends on the size of the sand grain. Comparison with several datasets and sediment transport formulae demonstrated the model’s capacity to simulate sand transport rates for a large range of current and wave conditions and sand diameters in the range 100–500 μm. Measured transport rates were predicted within a factor two in 67% of cases with current only and in 35% of cases with both waves and current. In comparison with the results obtained by Camenen and Larroudé (2003), who provided the same indicators for several practical transport rate formulations (whose means are respectively 72% and 37%), the proposed approach gives reasonable results. Before fitting a new erosion law to our model, classical erosion rate formulations were tested but led to poor comparisons with expected sediment transport rates. We suggest that classical erosion laws should be used with care in advection/diffusion models similar to ours, and that at least a full validation procedure for transport rates involving a range of sand diameters and hydrodynamic conditions should be carried out. View Full-Text
Keywords: sand; 1DV model; erosion rate; suspended sediment transport sand; 1DV model; erosion rate; suspended sediment transport

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Dufois, F.; Hir, P.L. Formulating Fine to Medium Sand Erosion for Suspended Sediment Transport Models. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2015, 3, 906-934.

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