Comparison of Shoreline Change Obtained with Physical and Numerical Models

by Hans Hanson, Univ of Lund, Lund, Sweden,
Nicholas C. Kraus, Univ of Lund, Lund, Sweden,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Sediments


This paper describes a study performed to compare numerical simulations of shoreline response to coastal structures to the response measured in a large wave basin. Two cases are modeled that separately involve three equi-length groins and three equi-length detached breakwaters. For both cases, waves arrived at an oblique angle to the beach, producing a net direction of longshore transport. The numerical model well reproduced shoreline change that occurred in the physical model, including adjustment in the trend of the beach to the obliquely incident waves, size and shape of salients produced by the detached breakwaters, shape and magnitude of eroded and accreted areas at groins, and rate of approach of the beach planform to equilibrium under constant wave action. Values of numerical model sediment transport calibration coefficients were in the range reported for simulations of prototype shoreline change at coastal structures. The results suggest that physical models may be capable of correctly scaling the temporal and spatial characteristics of shoreline response to structures.

Subject Headings: Numerical models | Comparative studies | Shoreline | Physical models | Hydraulic models | Numerical analysis | Structural response | Littoral drift

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