Field Studies of Sediment Transport in the Nearshore Environment
WASHINGTON UNIV SEATTLE SCHOOL OF OCEANOGRAPHY
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Small-scale fluid-sediment interactions are the link between large-scale hydrodynamic forcing and beach morphology change. Changes in morphology are the cumulative result of many small-scale sediment movements integrated over time and space. The long-range goal of this research is to understand the process of small-scale sediment transport with emphasis on the resuspension and vertical distribution of suspended sediment by turbulence. Spatial gradients of fluxes of suspended sediment ultimately lead to changes in nearshore morphology. We wish to evaluate the role of wave-breaking in suspending and transporting sediment in the surf zone. In general, models used to predict sediment suspension include only boundary shear relationships e.g., boundary shear stress in their calculations. The influence of wave breaking is not well understood, so the challenge has been to measure wave breaking kinematics, to parameterize breaking characteristics in terms of eddy diffusivity, and to develop an eddy diffusivity profile for the surf zone that includes bottom boundary shear and wave breaking characteristics.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
- Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology