Sheet flow and suspended sediment due to wave groups in a large wave flume

Catarine M. Dohmen-Janssen, Daniel M. Hanes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


A series of sand bed experiments was carried out in the Large Wave Flume in Hannover, Germany as a component of the SISTEX99 experiment. The experiments focussed on the dynamic sediment response due to wave group forcing over a flat sand bed in order to improve understanding of cross-shore sediment transport mechanisms and determine sediment concentrations, fluxes and net transport rates under these conditions. Sediment concentrations were measured within the sheet flow layer (thickness in the order of 10 grain diameters) and in the suspension region (thickness in the order of centimetres). Within the sheet flow layer, the concentrations are highly coherent with the instantaneous near-bed velocities due to each wave within the wave group. However, in the suspension layer concentrations respond much more slowly to changes in near-bed velocity. At several centimetres above the bed, the suspended sediment concentrations vary on the time scale of the wave group, with a time delay relative to the peak wave within the wave group. The thickness of the sheet flow changes with time. It is strongly coherent with the wave forcing, and is not influenced by the history or sequence of the waves within the group. The velocity of the sediment was also measured within the sheet flow layer some of the time (during the larger wave crests of the group), and the velocity of the fluid was measured at several cm above the sheet flow layer. The grain velocity and concentration estimates can be combined to estimate the sediment flux. The estimates were found to be consistent with previous measurements under monochromatic waves. Under these conditions, without any significant mean current, the sediment flux within the sheet flow layer was found to greatly exceed the sediment flux in the suspension layer. As a result, net transport rates under wave groups are similar to those under monochromatic waves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-347
JournalContinental shelf research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • METIS-217748
  • IR-60014


Dive into the research topics of 'Sheet flow and suspended sediment due to wave groups in a large wave flume'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this