Problems Associated with Deterministic Modelling of Extreme Beach Erosion Events

by Robert B. Nairn,

Abstract: Recent developments in numerical modelling of cross-shore sediment transport and beach profile evolution have generally been based on a deterministic approach to the problem. That is to say, the wave heights, hydrodynamics and associated sediment transport are computed locally across the profile (in a time-averaged sense) and the gradients in the sediment transport rates result in bed level changes based on the continuity of mass. In an extensive investigation of this type of beach profile modelling, Nairn (1990) has elucidated potential problems associated with the conventional application of an Energetics sediment transport approach for the case of extreme beach erosion, particularly in conjunction with direct dune attack. The implications of these problems to the predictive capability of the model are investigated for three examples of extreme beach erosion.

Subject Headings: Sediment transport | Numerical models | Hydrologic models | Mathematical models | Erosion | Beach profiles | Hydrodynamics

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