Cross-shore Distribution of Longshore Sediment Transport Rates on a Barred Non-Tidal Beach

Reinhard Lampe, Karl F. Nordstrom, Nancy L. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study was conducted to relate the cross-shore distribution of longshore sediment transport and gram size characteristics to cross-shore and longshore current velocities on a sandy low-energy beach in a non-tidal embayment of the Baltic Sea. Simultaneous measurements of current velocities and amount of sand caught in streamer traps were made on 31 sampling runs on 6 d in April 1999 at three fixed sites, including the swash zone on the upper foreshore, the lower foreshore, and the crest of the most landward of four bars. Spilling waves broke frequently on the bar but rarely on the lower foreshore, even during onshore wind speeds up to 11.0 m s-1. Waves always broke as plunging waves at the step at the base of the upper foreshore and were converted directly into swash. The greatest longshore current velocities in the swash occurred when wind speeds and water levels were greatest, but wind direction was nearly directly onshore. Longshore velocities were greater in the swash zone than at other sites except when relatively strong winds blew nearly parallel to the shoreline, causing a pronounced wind-induced current at the other two sites. Calculated longshore shear stress and rate of sediment trapped were highly correlated on the bar (r = 0.90), less highly correlated in the swash zone, and least highly correlated (r = 0.66) on the lower foreshore. Mean trapping rates in the swash were 14.6 times greater than on the lower foreshore and 7.2 times greater than on the bar. Greater trapping rates in the swash are attributed to the greater turbulence mobilizing sediments in the uprush and backwash. Little of the finer-grained sediment on the offshore sites was reworked under low energy conditions. The study reveals the dominance of swash transport on steep, reflective, low-energy beaches where wave energy dissipation takes place over small distances on the upper foreshore.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1426-1436
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • General Environmental Science


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