Beach Stabilization Using Drains—An Experimental Model Study

by Michael R. Ogden, Lehigh Univ, Bethlehem, United States,
Richard N. Weisman, Lehigh Univ, Bethlehem, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Sediments


The use of the drain concept may be an attractive new tool for beach stabilization because it provides an alternative to hard structures and may enhance beach nourishment practices. Two-dimensional model experiments are performed in a 32.6 m long, 0.91 m wide, 0.91 m deep wave flume equipped with a programmable wave generator capable of generating spectral waves to assess the effectiveness of the drain on beach stabilization for the condition of a negligible tide. An undistorted Froude model is used with a scale large enough to preserve breaking wave characteristics. Sediment properties are scaled using the fall time parameter H/wT. Beach profiles are recorded at intervals throughout the testing program. In addition, the water table under the beach face and pumping requirements are monitored. The initial phase of the present research consists of establishing onshore/offshore transport criteria. The drain is then utilized for four wave climates to assess the effect of the drain on rates of erosion/accretion. This is repeated for two locations of the drain. Results indicate that while the beach drain alters the swash/backwash cycle and beach face geometry, the use of the drain may not be effective for locations with a negligible tide.

Subject Headings: Coastal management | Drainage | Beach protection and nourishment | Breaking waves | Beach profiles | Decision support systems | Structural models | Wave climates

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