Monday, 12 May 2008

Sediment transport processes

The sediment on the seabed is transported when it is exposed to large enough forces, or shear stresses, by the water movements. These movements can be caused by the current or by the wave orbital velocities or a combination of both, the latter being the most important situation. The relevant parameters for the description of the sediment transport along a shoreline or in a coastal area are therefore the following:

  • The wave conditions at the site and the possible variations over the site plus the adjoining areas

  • The current conditions as well as the variations of these over the area

  • The water-level conditions, i.e. tide, storm surge and wave set-up

  • The bathymetry (the depth variations) in the area

  • The sediment characteristics over the area

  • The sources and sinks of sediment, such as rivers, eroding coasts or tidal inlets

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