Observations and modelling of nearshore sediment sorting processes along a barred beach profile

Y.B. Broekema*, A. Giardino, J. J. van der Werf, A.A. van Rooijen, M.I. Vousdoukas, B.C. van Prooijen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


The understanding of cross-shore sediment sorting is of primary importance for the design of sand nourishments and for assessing the suitability of the seabed to different ecological species. In this paper, sediment sorting processes were investigated by using a combination of physical and detailed numerical modelling. Data from large-scale wave flume experiments were used to validate a 2DV cross-shore Delft3D model. The model solves coupled short-wave averaged equations for flow, sediment transport, bed composition and bed level change. The infra-gravity wave motions were explicitly resolved. In order to investigate sorting processes, eight sediment fractions were used as well as a layered bed stratigraphy. The effects of different wave conditions (high energetic and more moderate energetic waves) on the morphodynamic profile development and sorting processes were investigated. The Delft3D model reproduced the profile development and bar position very accurately. Additionally, model predictions of sediment sorting across the profile fitted very well with the available observations. The numerical model simulations showed the importance of including short-wave grouping and infragravity wave effects in order to reproduce the cross-shore profile development, especially the breaker bar dynamics and sediment sorting processes. Infragravity waves contribute to larger sediment entrainment and more offshore bar development. Besides leading to a better prediction of the bed profile, infragravity waves also lead to a better prediction of the bed composition. Model results are in agreement with experimental data, showing its capabilities in functioning as a tool to predict sorting processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-62
JournalCoastal engineering
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Sediment sorting
  • Bar morphology
  • Delft3D
  • Nearshore
  • Infragravity waves
  • Sediment transport
  • GWK Hannover
  • 2023 OA procedure


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