Modelling storm impacts on beaches, dunes and barrier islands

Roelvink, D., Reniers, A., van Dongeren, A. P., de Vries, J. V. T., McCall, R., & Lescinski, J. (2009). Modelling storm impacts on beaches, dunes and barrier islands. Coastal Engineering, 56(11), 1133-1152.


A new nearshore numerical model approach to assess the natural coastal response during time-varying storm and hurricane conditions, including dune erosion, overwash and breaching, is validated with a series of analytical, laboratory and field test cases. Innovations include a non-stationary wave driver with directional spreading to account for wave-group generated surf and swash motions and an avalanching mechanism providing a smooth and robust solution for slumping of sand during dune erosion. The model performs well in different situations including dune erosion, overwash and breaching with specific emphasis on swash dynamics, avalanching and 2DH effects; these situations are all modelled using a standard set of parameter settings. The results show the importance of infragravity waves in extending the reach of the resolved processes to the dune front. The simple approach to account for slumping of the dune face by avalanching makes the model easily applicable in two dimensions and applying the same settings good results are obtained both for dune erosion and breaching.