Beach Sand Transport: Distribution and Total Drift

by Paul D. Komar, Assoc. Prof.; Estuarine and Coastal Research Program, School of Oceanography, Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, Oreg.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Waterway Port Coastal and Ocean Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 2, Pg. 225-239

Document Type: Journal Paper


Considerable data have been collected in laboratory wave basins in an attempt to relate the sand transport rate to the wave conditions. This study undertakes a review of laboratory data in an attempt to determine if any scaling laws can account for the scatter, laws which might indicate how the transport rate is a function of grain size and density. No such systematic laws were found; the laboratory data did not even demonstrate a relationship between the sand transport rate and the settling velocity of the beach sediment. Solutions are developed for the distribution of longshore sand transport across the beach width. One solution ignores the stress due to the longshore currents, including only the stress of the waves; a more complicated solution includes both stress contributors. In both cases the distributions are made to yield the correct total sand transport rate, according to the field data, when the distributions are integrated across the surf zone width.

Subject Headings: Littoral drift | Transport rates | Laboratory tests | Beaches | Sand (hydraulic) | Sandy soils | Sediment transport | Stress waves

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