Beach response in front of wave-reflecting structures
Several studies have previously demonstrated that sediment transported as bed load under a standing wave will be moved from between node and antinode towards the node where it accumulates. The end result is the generation of areas of scour in the bed between node and antinode and areas of sediment accretion around the node. However, these studies have failed to provide an adequate description of the mechanisms which led to this so-called "N-type" response. Consequently it has been the purpose of this study to examine the phenomenon of N-type beach response in some detail. As a first step an experimental programme was conducted in a random wave flume using a model beach and vertical, impermeable wall N-type conditions were produced, observations are made on the mechanisms of sediment transport and flow-field measurements are also reported. The experimental results demonstrate that N-type beach response is the direct result of an asymmetry in the main flow-field caused by the superposition of incident and reflected non-linear waves. A second experimental programme examines the N-type equilibrium profile shape using measurements of profiles generated under a range of wave conditions. An equation defined for a given profile amplitude and profile limits is found to predict the underlying characteristic N-type profile shape very well. Finally, a model of N-type beach response is developed. This model follows a relatively simple "grab-and-dump" concept with coefficients based on the understanding gained of the N-type response processes. It is shown that N-type profiles can be predicted reasonably well for the range of wave conditions used in the experiments here. Outside of this range predictions are less good, suggesting a re-examination of the model coefficients is required.