Sand Ridges and Internal Waves on Continental Shelves

by Barbara Boczar-Karakiewicz, Univ du Quebec, Rimouski, Canada,
Jerry L. Bona, Univ du Quebec, Rimouski, Canada,
Bernard Pelchat, Univ du Quebec, Rimouski, Canada,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Sediments


Large-amplitude internal waves generated by tidal fluctuations at the outer edge of the continental shelf propagate shoreward and interact with sediment on the shelf. A crude mathematical model describing the propagation of such internal waves is used to predict wave-induced sediment flux and to thereby provide a possible explanation of sand-ridge formation on continental shelves. The predictions of the model are tested against field data garnered from Canada's eastern coast, particularly around Sable Island Bank off Nova Scotia and the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. The comparisons between predictions and measurements are encouraging, especially in light of the fact that the model has no free parameters.

Subject Headings: Wave propagation | Sand (hydraulic) | Sandy soils | Internal waves | Sediment | Field tests | Mathematical models | Soil water | Nova Scotia | Canada

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