Sediment scarcity: modelling the morphodynamics of sandbanks when sand is limited

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Abstract

Sandbanks are large-scale dynamic bedforms of sandy sediment that are found in shallow seas. They may occur in areas where the sediment supply is limited such as on the Belgian Continental Shelf. These sandbanks serve important ecological and economic functions (e.g. sand extraction). However, our understanding of the long-term morphodynamics of tidal sandbanks under sediment-scarce conditions is limited due to a lack of process-based modelling support. Here, we study equilibrium cross-sections and the morphodynamic evolution towards an equilibrium by extending a process-based model to account for sediment scarcity. Our model includes a non-erodible layer, which limits sediment entrainment. The model results show that the presence of a non-erodible layer limits the amplitude of a sandbank and sharpens the crest in its equilibrium state. The bank width remains unaffected. Furthermore, our results show that sandbanks reach equilibria faster when a non-erodible layer is present. However, the rate of amplitude growth of a bank crest is unaffected for a long period after the non-erodible layer is exposed under the conditions in this study. Our results are valuable for identifying potential impacts of sand extractions in sandbank fields with limited sand available in the seabed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 39th IAHR World Congress, 19-24 June 2022, Granada, Spain
EditorsMiguel Ortega-Sánchez
Place of PublicationGranada
PublisherIAHR
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)2521-716X
ISBN (Print)978-90-832612-1-8
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event39th IAHR World Congress 2022: From snow to sea - Granada, Spain
Duration: 19 Jun 202224 Jun 2022
Conference number: 39

Conference

Conference39th IAHR World Congress 2022
Country/TerritorySpain
CityGranada
Period19/06/2224/06/22

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