Growth of large-scale bed forms due to storm-driven and tidal currents: a model approach
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An idealized morphodynamic model is used to gain further understanding about the formation and characteristics of shoreface-connected sand ridges and tidal sand banks on the continental shelf. The model consists of the 2D shallow water equations, supplemented with a sediment transport formulation and describes the initial feedback between currents and small amplitude bed forms. The behaviour of bed forms during both storm and fair weather conditions is analyzed. This is relevant in case of coastal seas characterized by tidal motion, where the latter causes continuous transport of sediment as bed load. The new aspects of this work are the incorporation of both steady and tidal currents (represented by an M2 and M4 component) in the external forcing, in combination with dominant suspended sediment transport during storms. The results indicate that the dynamics during storms and fair weather strongly differ, causing different types of bed forms to develop. Shoreface-connected sand ridges mainly form during storm conditions, whereas if fair weather conditions prevail the more offshore located tidal sand banks develop. Including the M4 tide changes the properties of the bed forms, such as growth rates and migration speeds, due to tidal asymmetry. Finally a probabilistic formulation of the storm and fair weather realization of the model is used to find conditions for which both types of large-scale bed forms occur simultaneously. These conditions turn out to be a low storm fraction and the presence strong tidal currents in combination with strong steady currents during storms.
CitationWalgreen, M.; Calvete, D.; Swart, H. Growth of large-scale bed forms due to storm-driven and tidal currents: a model approach. "Continental shelf research", Desembre 2002, vol. 22, núm. 18-19, p. 2777-2793.