Influence of Beach Slope on Morphological Changes and Sediment Transport under Irregular Waves

Sara Dionisio Antonio, Jebbe van der Werf*, Erik Horstman, Iván Cáceres, José Alsina, Joep van der Zanden, Suzanne Hulscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents new data from large-scale wave flume experiments. It shows the beach profile evolution and sediment transport for two different bed slopes (1:15 and 1:25), and three irregular high-energy erosive wave conditions and one low-energy accretive wave condition. The bulk cross-shore net sediment transport was investigated for the total active profile and for the surf and swash zone separately. It is shown that the steep slope is morphologically more active than the gentle slope, with faster and more pronounced morphological changes and larger sediment transport rates. For both slopes, the total and surf zone net sediment transport were offshore-directed for erosive waves and onshore-directed for the accretive wave condition. However, the net swash zone transport for the erosive wave conditions was offshore-directed for the steep slope and onshore-directed for the gentle slope. The direction and magnitude of the total and surf zone sediment transport correlate well with the slope-corrected Dean criterion with increasing offshore-directed sediment transport (erosion) observed for increasing wave energy and bed slope. This relation does not hold for the swash zone sediment transport along the gentle slope, suggesting that swash zone sediment transport processes are not well captured when using a simple predictor such as the (modified) Dean number. Differences in sediment transport in the swash for the different slopes are likely influenced by differences in incoming wave energy, wave–swash interactions and the relative importance of long- and short-waves.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2244
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of marine science and engineering
Issue number12
Early online date27 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Beach morphology
  • Sediment transport
  • Large-scale wave flume experiments
  • Swash zone
  • Surf zone
  • Irregular waves


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of Beach Slope on Morphological Changes and Sediment Transport under Irregular Waves'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this