Two-phase modeling of sheet-flow beneath waves and its dependence on grain size and streaming

Wouter Kranenburg, T.J. Hsu, Jan S. Ribberink

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We study erosion depth and sediment fluxes for wave-induced sheet-flow, and their dependency on grain size and streaming. Hereto, we adopt a continuous two-phase model, applied before to simulate sheet-flow of medium and coarse sized sand. To make the model applicable to a wider range of sizes including fine sand, it appears necessary to adapt the turbulence closure of the model. With an adapted formulation for grain–carrier flow turbulence interaction, good reproductions of measured erosion depth of fine, medium and coarse sized sand beds are obtained. Also concentration and velocity profiles at various phases of the wave are reproduced well by the model. Comparison of sediment flux profiles from simulations for horizontally uniform oscillatory flow as in flow tunnels and for horizontally non-uniform flow as under free surface waves, shows that especially for fine sand onshore fluxes inside the sheet-flow layer increase under influence of progressive wave effects. This includes both the current-related and the wave-related contribution to the period-averaged sheet-flow sediment flux. The simulation results are consistent with trends for fine and medium sized sediment flux profiles observed from tunnel and flume experiments. This study shows that the present two-phase model is a valuable instrument for further study and parameterization of sheet-flow layer processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-70
JournalAdvances in water resources
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • METIS-298833
  • IR-91981


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