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Storm-induced readjustment of an embayed beach after modification by protection works

AuthorsSancho-García, Amanda ; Guillén, Jorge ; Ojeda, Elena
Issue DateApr-2013
CitationGeo-Marine Letters 33(2-3): 159-172 (2013)
AbstractThis paper examines storm-induced morphological and hydrodynamic changes after a submerged and a detached breakwater were constructed at La Barceloneta beach (Barcelona, NW Mediterranean) in 2006-2007. The shoreline configurations before and after beach nourishment and the construction of the protective structures were compared using a video dataset comprising 29 storm events spanning the pre- (2001 to 2005, n = 17) and the post-breakwater situation (2006 to 2011, n = 12), and hydrodynamic modelling based on the SMC coastal modelling system. As a result of the protection works, La Barceloneta was subdivided into two beaches separated by an artificial salient. The analysis of shoreline response to storms has been improved by using the shoreline hyperbolic tangent fit to represent the beach planform. Comparing the pre- and post-breakwater situations on the basis of these shoreline fits facilitated the identification of beach rotation processes because interference by smaller-scale morphological features was eliminated (e. g. the formation, changes in shape or migration of mega-cusps). In the current post-breakwater situation, there is evidence for a change in the behaviour of the north-eastern beach triggered by the submerged breakwater built in 2007. Furthermore, a counter-clockwise beach rotation has occurred at the north-eastern beach, whereas the south-western beach has experienced a clockwise beach rotation. This morphodynamic behaviour is caused by a new, complex wave-induced circulation system comprising two dominant alongshore currents flowing in opposite directions. In contrast to the pre-breakwater situation, the alongshore component of the radiation stress does not accomplish beach rotation in the post-breakwater situation. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Description14 pages, 10 figures, 3 tables, electronic supplementary material in http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00367-012-0319-6
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00367-012-0319-6
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s00367-012-0319-6
issn: 0276-0460
e-issn: 1432-1157
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