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Field observations of an evolving rip current on a meso-macrotidal well-developed inner bar and rip morphology

Abstract : The Aquitanian Coast (France) is a high-energy meso-macrotidal environment exhibiting a highly variable double sandbar system. The inner and the outer bar generally exhibit a bar and rip morphology and persistent crescentic patterns, respectively. In June 2007, an intense five-day field experiment was carried out at Biscarrosse Beach. A large array of sensors was deployed on a well-developed southward-oriented bar and rip morphology. Daily topographic surveys were carried out together with video imaging to investigate beach morphodynamic evolution. During the experiment, offshore significant wave height ranged from 0.5 to 3 m, with a persistent shore-normal angle. This paper identifies two types of behavior of an observed rip current: (1) for low-energy waves, the rip current is active only between low and mid tide with maximum mean rip current velocity reaching 0.8 m/s for an offshore significant wave height (Hs) lower than 1 m; (2) for high-energy waves (Hs≈ 2.5–3 m), the rip current was active over the whole tide cycle with the presence of persistent intense offshore-directed flows between mid and high tide. For both low and high-energy waves, very low-frequency pulsations (15–30 min) of the mean currents are observed on both feeder and rip channels. A persistent slow shoreward migration of the sandbar was observed during the experiment while no significant alongshore migration of the system was measured. Onshore migration during the high-energy waves can be explained by different sediment transport processes such as flow velocity skewness, wave asymmetry or bed ventilation. High-frequency local measurements of the bed evolution show the presence of significant (in the order of 10 cm) fluctuations (in the order of 1 h). These fluctuations, observed for both low- and high-energy waves, are thought to be ripples and megaripples, respectively and may play an important but still poorly understood role in the larger scale morphodynamics. The present dataset improves the knowledge of rip dynamics as well as the morphological response of strongly alongshore non-uniform meso-macrotidal beaches.
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Soumis le : lundi 6 septembre 2010 - 15:28:39
Dernière modification le : mercredi 28 septembre 2022 - 16:20:10




Nicolas Bruneau, Bruno Castelle, Philippe Bonneton, Rodrigo Pedreros, Rafael Almar, et al.. Field observations of an evolving rip current on a meso-macrotidal well-developed inner bar and rip morphology. Continental Shelf Research, Elsevier, 2009, 29 (14), p. 1650-1662. ⟨10.1016/j.csr.2009.05.005⟩. ⟨hal-00514119⟩



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