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Sediment Transport Processes during Barrier Island Inundation under Variations in Cross-Shore Geometry and Hydrodynamic Forcing

Department of Physical Geography, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7(7), 210;
Received: 5 May 2019 / Revised: 12 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Storm Erosion)
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Inundation of barrier islands can cause severe morphological changes, from the break-up of islands to sediment accretion. The response will depend on island geometry and hydrodynamic forcing. To explore this dependence, the non-hydrostatic wave model SWASH was used to investigate the relative importance of bedload transport processes, such as transport by mean flow, short- (0.05–1 Hz) and infragravity (0.005–0.05 Hz) waves during barrier island inundation for different island configurations and hydrodynamic conditions. The boundary conditions for the model are based on field observations on a Dutch barrier island. Model results indicate that waves dominate the sediment transport processes from outer surfzone until landwards of the island crest, either by transporting sediment directly or by providing sediment stirring for the mean flow transport. Transport by short waves was continuously landwards directed, while infragravity wave and mean flow transport was seaward or landward directed. Landward of the crest, sediment transport was mostly dominated by the mean flow. It was forced by the water level gradient, which determined the mean flow transport direction and magnitude in the inner surfzone and on the island top. Simulations suggest that short wave and mean flow transport are generally larger on steeper slopes, since wave energy dissipation is less and mean flow velocities are higher. The slope of the island top and the width of the island foremost affect the mean flow transport, while variations in inundation depth will additionally affect transport by short-wave acceleration skewness. View Full-Text
Keywords: sediment transport; barrier island inundation; numerical modeling (SWASH) sediment transport; barrier island inundation; numerical modeling (SWASH)

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Engelstad, A.; Ruessink, G.; Hoekstra, P.; van der Vegt, M. Sediment Transport Processes during Barrier Island Inundation under Variations in Cross-Shore Geometry and Hydrodynamic Forcing. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7, 210.

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