On wave-driven "shingle" beach dynamics in a table-top Hele-Shaw cell

Onno Bokhove, A.J. van der Horn, Devaraj van der Meer, Anthony R. Thornton, Wout Zweers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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The primary evolution of beaches by wave action takes place during storms. Beach evolution by non-linear breaking"waves is 3D, multi-scale, and involves particle-wave interactions. We will show how a novel, three-phase extension to the classic "Hele-Shaw" laboratory experiment is designed to create beach morphologies with breaking waves in a quasi-2D setting. Idealized beaches emerge in tens of minutes due to several types of breaking waves, with about 1s periods. The thin Hele-Shaw cell simplifies the inherent complexity of three-phase dynamics by reducing the turbulence. Given the interest in the Hele-Shaw table-top demonstrations at ICCE2014, we will also discuss how different versions of the Hele-Shaw cell have been constructed. Construction can be inexpensive thus yielding an accessible and flexible coastal engineering demonstration as well as research tool. Beach evolution is sufficiently fast and can start very far from equilibrium, allowing an unusually large dynamical range to be investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 34th Conference on Coastal Engineering 2014
EditorsP.J. Lynett
Place of PublicationKorea
PublisherCoastal Engineering Research Council
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)978-0-9896611-2-6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2014
Event34th International Conference on Coastal Engineering, ICCE 2014 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 15 Jun 201420 Jun 2014
Conference number: 34

Publication series

NameCoastal Engineering
PublisherCoastal Engineering Research Council
ISSN (Print)2156-1028


Conference34th International Conference on Coastal Engineering, ICCE 2014
Abbreviated titleICCE
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
Internet address


  • Table-top realization
  • Shingle beaches
  • Wave breaking
  • Hele-Shaw cell


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