Establishing Uniform Longshore Currents in a Large-Scale Sediment Transport Facility
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER VICKSBURG MS COASTAL AND HYDRAULICS LAB
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A large-scale laboratory facility for conducting research on surf-zone sediment transport processes has been constructed at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center. Successful execution of sediment transport experiments, which attempt to replicate some of the important coastal processes found on long straight beaches, requires a method for establishing the proper longshore current. An active pumping and recirculation system comprised of 20 independent pumps and pipelines is used to control the cross-shore distribution of the mean longshore current. Pumping rates are adjusted in an iterative manner to converge toward the proper settings, based on measurements along the beach. Two recirculation criteria proposed by Visser Coastal Eng. 15 1991 563 were also used, and they provided additional evidence that the proper total longshore flow rate in the surf zone was obtained. The success of the external recirculation system and its operational procedure, and the degree of longshore uniformity achieved along the beach, are the subjects of this paper. To evaluate the performance of the recirculation system, and as a precursor to sediment transport experiments, two comprehensive test series were conducted on a concrete beach with straight and parallel contours 130 slope , one using regular waves and the other using irregular waves. In the regular wave case, the wave period was 2.5 s and the average wave height at breaking was approximately 0.25 m. In the irregular wave case, the peak wave period was 2.5 s and the significant breaking wave height was approximately 0.21 m. The longshore current recirculation system proved to be very effective in establishing uniform mean longshore currents along the beach in both cases.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography