Experiments were conducted in the Large-scale Sediment Transport Facility (LSTF) at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center to investigate the importance of wave height, period, and breaker type (spilling and plunging breakers) on total rate of longshore sediment transport (LST) and the cross-shore distribution of LST.
Estimates computed by the CERC formula and Kamphius were compared to the accurately measured total LST rates. Several K-values were used with the CERC formula, including the recommended value of 0.39 and calculated values by Kamphuis and Readshaw, Ozhan, Bailard, and Del Valle et al. The recommended K-value and most of the calculated K-values overpredicted the measured total LST rates, but methods that included parameters to indicate breaker type gave good estimates. The Kamphuis and Readshaw equation, in which K is a function of surf similarity parameter, gave consistent estimates with measurements. The Kamphuis equation, which includes wave period and beach slope that in turn influences wave breaking, also compared well with the measurements. Additionally, the CERC formula has been used successfully if K is calibrated, and the formula gave excellent results if K was calibrated with measured data and applied to similar breaker types. The findings indicate that total LST rate is strongly influenced by breaker type.
The cross-shore distribution of LST indicated three distinct zones of transport: the incipient breaker zone, the inner surf zone, and the swash zone. Transport in the incipient breaker zone was influenced by breaker type. Transport in the inner surf zone indicated that wave height was the dominating factor and independent of wave period. Swash zone transport, which accounted for a significant percentage of the total transport, showed a dependence on wave height, period, and beach slope.