Hydrodynamics under Large-Scale Waves Breaking Over a Barred Beach

Pietro Scandura, Dominic Van der A, Joep van der Zanden, Carmello Petrotta, Carla Faraci, James Cooper, Simon Clark, Bjarke Eltard Larsen, Stefan Carstensen, David R. Fuhrman, Ivan Cáceres, Stuart McLelland, Guillaume Fromant, David Hurther, Gerben Ruessink, Joost Brinkkemper, Ming Li

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


This paper shows preliminary results of experiments obtained in a large-scale wave flume under monochromatic waves plunging over a fixed bar. Velocity measurements were conducted using acoustic and optical instruments at 22
cross-shore locations ranging from the final part of the shoaling zone up to the inner surf zone. The measurements included the bottom boundary layer and the lower part of the water column and provided insights on the mean velocity distribution, turbulent velocity fluctuations and Reynolds stresses. The mean velocity is generally seaward directed. Magnitudes of the mean velocity are small in the shoaling region and increase above the bar crest, especially in the higher part of the water column, while magnitudes in the boundary layer are relatively small. Fluid from the inner surf zone is transported offshore by the undertow and pushed up near the shoreward face of the bar, thus partly feeding the onshore mass transport above trough level. This illustrates the occurrence of a large recirculation cell located just above the trough of the bar where currents and turbulent velocity fluctuations are strong.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event7th International Conference on the Application of Physical Modelling in Coastal and Port Engineering and Science - Santander, Spain
Duration: 22 May 201826 May 2018


Conference7th International Conference on the Application of Physical Modelling in Coastal and Port Engineering and Science
Abbreviated titleCoastlab18

Bibliographical note

This work is part of the transnational access project HYBRID supported by the European Community’s Horizon 2020 Program through the grant to the budget of the integrated infrastructure initiative HYDRALAB+, Contract no. 654110. We are grateful to CIEMLAB staff Oscar Galego, Andrea Marzeddu, and Joaquim Sospedra for their technical support.


  • breaking waves
  • surf zone
  • barred beach
  • turbulence
  • undertow


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