Development, calibration and validation of a phase-averaged model for cross-shore sediment transport and morphodynamics on a barred beach

Peng Zheng*, Gugum Gumbira, Ming Li*, Joep van der Zanden, Dominic van der A, Jebbe van der Werf, Xueen Chen*, Xiaonan Tang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Simulating cross-shore sediment transport and associated sandbar migration is still a challenging task for phase-averaged coastal morphological models. Numerical studies have mostly relied on beach morphology prediction for calibration and validation, without examining in much detail the underlying hydrodynamics, sediment concentrations and transport rates. This paper reports on a new three-dimensional coastal morphodynamic model based on the hydrodynamic model of Zheng et al. (2017), combined with an advection-diffusion type suspended sediment transport model and the extended SANTOSS near-bed sediment transport formula of Van der A et al. (2013), to represent the key cross-shore transport mechanisms. The model is are calibrated based on comprehensive measurements from a large-scale laboratory experiment involving regular plunging breaking waves over an evolving sandbar, covering detailed comparisons on hydrodynamics, sediment suspension, transport rates, and bed level evolution. Separate validation using large scale wave flume experiments were also conducted to confirm the model's performance on different conditions. Good agreements are obtained between measurements and model results, which demonstrates the model's ability to reproduce cross-shore sediment transport processes under breaking waves correctly, given that the appropriate parameterizations for intra-wave processes are included. Model results also reveal the onshore near-bed transport is related to wave-induced near-bed streaming, wave skewness and asymmetry, and bed slope effects at different locations across the beach surface. Wave breaking-induced turbulence enhances the near-bed transport within the bed boundary layer which needs to be taken into account in order to achieve good model prediction skills.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104989
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023


  • Beach morphology
  • Cross-shore
  • Numerical modelling
  • Sediment transport
  • Wave asymmetry


Dive into the research topics of 'Development, calibration and validation of a phase-averaged model for cross-shore sediment transport and morphodynamics on a barred beach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this