American Society of Civil Engineers

Storm Damage Reduction Potential via Beach Nourishment

by Robert G. Dean, (Professor, Civil and Coastal Engineering Department, University of Florida, 345 Weil Hall, PO Box 116580, Gainesville, FL 32611-6580 E-mail:
Section: Part IV Coastal Processes and Sediment Transport, pp. 3305-3318, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Coastal Engineering 2000
Abstract: Beaches are effective dissipaters of wave energy during storms. The presence of a wide beach will absorb wave energy reducing the energy available for damage to upland structures. Beach nourishment creates a wider beach which has the relative effect of displacing a structure landward, thus reducing the forces on the structure. The storm damage potential reduction due to beach nourishment is demonstrated through simulating wave breaking over unnourished and nourished profiles. The wave breaking model of Dally is utilized to represent wave transformation with the maximum drag force on a piling serving as a measure of damage potential. Wave height transformation and associated damage potential are demonstrated for several profiles, including an idealized monotonic profile, a profile with a nourishment mound present and a profile which has responded to storm water levels and waves. It is shown, consistent with field documentation, that the greatest benefits per unit of additional beach width are provided for the initial additional beach widths.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Beach nourishment
Energy efficiency
Wave power