Depth of activation on a mixed sediment beach

Sherestha Saini, Nancy L. Jackson, Karl F. Nordstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The relationship between wave height and depth of sediment activation is evaluated on an estuarine beach to determine whether activation depth is less in pebbles than sand. Rods with washers were used to monitor three excavated beach plots filled with (1) pebbles with mean grain size of 11.5 mm; (2) sand and granules; and (3) sand, granules and pebbles. Plots were monitored for 26 events over 27 days. Significant wave heights ranged from 0.18 to 0.40 m and activation depths from 0.02 to 0.12 m. Activation depths in the pebble plot were less than the other two plots when waves reworked sediment not activated during previous tidal cycles. Proportionality coefficients for activation depth to wave height, when net change was < 0.02 m, were 0.24 in the pebble plot and 0.30-0.31 in the other plots when experimental fill sediments remained and 0.22 to 0.23 in all three plots over the entire monitoring period, which included activation of newly deposited native sediment. Results suggest that for similar wave heights, activation depths in pebbles is lower than in sand, granules and pebbles or sand and granules, but once waves have reworked the sediment there is little difference in activation depths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)788-791
Number of pages4
JournalCoastal Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering


  • Beach nourishment
  • Estuarine beach
  • Gravel
  • Sediment activation


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