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Cross‐Shore Distribution of the Wave‐Induced Circulation Over a Dissipative Beach Under Storm Wave Conditions

Abstract : This study explores the spatial distribution and the driving mechanisms of the wave-induced cross-shore flow within the shoreface and surf zone of a dissipative beach. Unpublished results from a field campaign carried out in early 2021 under storm wave conditions are presented and compared with the predictions from a state-of-the-art phase-averaged three-dimensional circulation modeling system based on the vortex force formalism. Under storm wave conditions, the cross-shore flow is dominated by a strong seaward-directed current in the lower part of the water column. The largest current velocities of this return current are located in the surf zone, where the dissipation by depth-induced breaking is most intense, but offshore-directed velocities up to 0.25 m/s are observed as far as 4 km from the shoreline (≃12 m-depth). Numerical experiments further highlight the key control exerted by non-conservative wave forces and wave-enhanced mixing on the cross-shore flow across a transition zone, where depth-induced breaking, whitecapping, and bottom friction all significantly contribute to the wave energy dissipation. Under storm conditions, this transition zone extended almost 6 km offshore and the cross-shore Lagrangian circulation shows a strong seaward-directed jet in the lower part of the water column, whose intensity progressively decreases offshore. In contrast, the surf zone edge appears clearly delimited under fair weather conditions and the seaward-directed current is weakened by a near bottom shoreward-directed current associated with wave bottom streaming in the shoaling region, such that the clockwise Lagrangian overturning circulation is constrained by an additional anti-clockwise overturning cell at the surf zone edge
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Contributor : Xavier Bertin Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 18, 2022 - 10:28:34 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 20, 2022 - 3:53:28 AM


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Marc Pezerat, Xavier Bertin, Kévin Martins, Laura Lavaud. Cross‐Shore Distribution of the Wave‐Induced Circulation Over a Dissipative Beach Under Storm Wave Conditions. Journal of Geophysical Research. Oceans, 2022, 127 (3), pp.e2021JC018108. ⟨10.1029/2021JC018108⟩. ⟨hal-03818795⟩



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