Physical linkages between an offshore canyon and surf zone morphologic change

Jeff E. Hansen, Britt Raubenheimer, Steve Elgar, Jeffrey H. List, Thomas C. Lippmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The causes of surf zone morphologic changes observed along a sandy beach onshore of a submarine canyon were investigated using field observations and a numerical model (Delft3D/SWAN). Numerically simulated morphologic changes using four different sediment transport formulae reproduce the temporal and spatial patterns of net cross-shore integrated (between 0 and 6.5 m water depths) accretion and erosion observed in a ∼300 m alongshore region, a few hundred meters from the canyon head. The observations and simulations indicate that the accretion or erosion results from converging or diverging alongshore currents driven primarily by breaking waves and alongshore pressure gradients. The location of convergence or divergence depends on the direction of the offshore waves that refract over the canyon, suggesting that bathymetric features on the inner shelf can have first-order effects on short-term nearshore morphologic change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3451-3460
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


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