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Title: Relation between beachface morphology and wave climate at Trafalgar beach
Authors: Ortega-Sánchez, M.
Fachin, S.
Sancho, F. E.
Losada, M. A.
Keywords: Video-imaging;Beachface morphology;Beach cusps;Offshore waves
Issue Date: 2008
Abstract: Two years of offshore wave data and daily time exposure images from Trafalgar beach, a 2-km-long sandy beach located on the southwest coast of Spain that frequently exhibits rhythmic features, were used to (1) explore the variability of the beachface morphology and (2) determine environmental conditions associated with the different morphological states. The beachface morphology at three distinct alongshore sectors was analyzed and classified and five different morphological states were found that are related with the presence or absence of beach cusps and a berm: (1) large beach cusps, (2) small beach cusps, (3) low-tide terrace; (4) plane beach berm and (5) plane beach. The predominant beachface morphology is characterized by the presence of large beach cusps, and the main wave climate consisted of offshore significant wave heights ranging from 0.5–1 m and wave periods between 4 and 12 s. An alongshore variation of the morphology is found which might be related to the nearshore wave variability (SWAN wave model results). The morphologies are, in some cases, well-correlated with the daily offshore incident wave climate (described by the daily maximum significant wave height and the corresponding period), particularly for the moderate to high energy wave conditions. Small beach cusps appear under short period waves, whereas when the wave periods are longer the morphology tends to change to large beach cusps. This transition only occurs if the forcing is maintained as constant for a certain duration, which depends itself on the wave energy. It is concluded that correlations over 90% are only found for the highest wave energy conditions or under long wave periods. For the remainder, it is not possible to generally correlate the beachface morphology based only on the wave forcing because the previous morphological state cannot be ignored.
Appears in Collections:DHA/NEC - Comunicações a congressos e artigos de revista

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