Breaking waves on a dynamic Hele-Shaw beach

Onno Bokhove, Bram van der Horn, Avraham/Bram van der Horn, Roger M. van der Meer, Wout Zweers, Anthony Richard Thornton

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We report the formation of quasi-steady beaches and dunes via breaking waves in our tabletop ‘Hele-Shaw’ beach experiment. Breaking waves are generated by a wave maker, and zeolite particles act as sand. The tank is narrow, just over one-particle diameter wide, creating a quasi-2D set-up. Classical breaker types are observed on a time-scale of about a second. Beach formation under breakers occurs on a longer time-scale, and is a matter of minutes for a range of mono-chromatic wave frequencies. Alternating the wave maker motion between two frequencies generally leads to beach formation but occasionally to formation of a stable dune with water on either side. Finally, the Hele-Shaw configuration explored here experimentally lends itself to multi-scale modeling of beach dynamics.
Original languageUndefined
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente, Department of Applied Mathematics
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

Publication series

NameMemorandum / Department of Applied Mathematics
PublisherUniversity of Twente, Department of Applied Mathematics
ISSN (Print)1874-4850
ISSN (Electronic)1874-4850


  • METIS-296039
  • Breaking waves
  • Multiphase beach dynamics
  • Mathematical Hele-Shaw set-up
  • EWI-21539
  • IR-79723

Cite this

Bokhove, O., van der Horn, B., van der Horn, AB., van der Meer, R. M., Zweers, W., & Thornton, A. R. (2012). Breaking waves on a dynamic Hele-Shaw beach. (Memorandum / Department of Applied Mathematics; No. 1976). Enschede: University of Twente, Department of Applied Mathematics.