Mengual, B.; Bertin, X., and Martins, K., 2020. Importance of wave non-linearity for 3D morphodynamic modelling. In: Malvárez, G. and Navas, F. (eds.), Global Coastal Issues of 2020. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 95, pp. 1201-1205. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
The effect of wave non-linearity on morphological changes of a sandbar is investigated through a realistic application at Duck Beach (North Carolina, USA) of a 3D state-of-the-art process-based morphodynamic model, which couples sediment transport, currents and waves (vortex force formalism). From simplified 1D/2DH models, previous studies highlighted that acceleration skewness of non-breaking waves over a sandbar could promote its progressive onshore migration. This process can counterbalance the offshore migration occurring under breaking waves through the development of strong offshore-directed “undertow” currents near the seabed. Based on the existing literature, an additional bedload flux associated to acceleration skewness of waves is implemented in the 3D model. Numerical experiments with and without this additional term clearly demonstrate the need to account for this supplementary wave-induced transport to reproduce onshore migration phases of the sandbar. Effectively, even a model integrating wave asymmetry effects on bedload flux estimates and 3D wave-current interactions fails to reproduce the observed onshore migration of the sandbar.