The seaport at Ennore north of Chennai on the southeast coast of India was built in the year 2000 as an additional facility to the existing main port. An important aspect of the newly built port was protection from the erosion and accretion processes so very characteristic of this region. With a view to preventing downdrift erosion, artificial beach nourishment—a soft engineering measure—was provided by placing dredged material north of the port. This paper discusses performance of the beach fill and consequent shoreline oscillations on the adjacent coast caused by the creation of the new port. A combination of remote sensing based data, field surveys, and numerical models was used to (i) quantify the impact of the port on adjacent areas and (ii) assess performance of beach fill. Based on beach profile (planform) analysis for the period March 1999–December 2004 for the 1-km coast on either side of the port, it was noticed that the southern coast is accreting at a rate of 44 m/y while the northern coast is eroding at a rate of 46 m/y. Beach fill, 1000 m long and 500 m wide (avg.) with a transition length of 500 m at the northern end, underwent erosion, with 1.43 × 106 m3 of fill material lost between 2000 and 2004, against a total beach fill of 3.5 × 106 m3. Numerical simulations were conducted with near-shore wave climate derived from the parabolic wave transformation model, which indicated that beach fill was lost for 3 y considering the present rate of erosion. The presence of coarser sediments with positive skewness at the beach fill region is suggestive of favorable conditions for longevity of fill, and simulations conducted with increased transition length yielded better results in terms of performance of beach fill.
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Vol. 24 • No. sp1