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A simple method to analyse non-cohesive sediment mobility in coastal environment

Abstract : This paper presents a method to investigate the relative influence of waves, wind-induced currents and tidal currents on sediment mobility in coastal environment. It is based on the assumption that, knowing high uncertainties linked to sediment dynamics studies, simple sediment mobility indicators are sufficient tools to provide useful information. This method is based on five main steps: (1) assessing hydrodynamic conditions and related errors spatially and temporally for an area; (2) evaluating the bottom shear stress induced by these hydrodynamic conditions; (3) providing simple sediment mobility indicators; (4) analysing the sensitivity of these indicators to the existing hydrodynamic uncertainties; (5) interpreting indicators knowing their limits (identified in the sensitivity analysis). This methodology is applied to a test site on the inner shelf, seaward of the Pertuis Charentais region in France. Using wave (SWAN) and sea-level and currents (MARS-2DH) modelling, we study the spatial distribution of the relative contribution of waves, tides and wind-induced current in the non-cohesive sediment mobility under storm conditions. The deduced sediment dynamics indicators reveal the dominant action of waves in sediment initiation in the offshore area, in water depths of up to 60m. The sensitivity study, performed in order to evaluate the validity of results, shows that the sediment mobility indicators still provide relevant information, even for hydrodynamic uncertainties of 720% or furthermore when only a qualitative sedimentological knowledge of the area is available.
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Déborah Idier, Emmanuel Romieu, Rodrigo Pedreros, Carlos Oliveros. A simple method to analyse non-cohesive sediment mobility in coastal environment. Continental Shelf Research, Elsevier, 2010, 30, pp.365-377. ⟨10.1016/j.csr.2009.12.006⟩. ⟨hal-00509800⟩

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