Amos, C.L.; Kassem, H.; Townend, I.; Umgiesser, G.; Madricardo, F.; Zaggia, L.; Manfe, G.; Lorenzetti, G., and Gomez, E., 2020. Using historical data to examine the accuracy of sand transport field measurements in two nearshore marine settings. Journal of Coastal Research, 36(5), 1013–1028. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
A re-analysis of historical data from two field campaigns was undertaken to examine the accuracy of measurements of bed load (Qb) and total transport (Qtot) of sand in (1) a wave-dominant shoreface off western Newfoundland, Canada, and (2) a tide-dominant inlet of Venice Lagoon, Italy. Video tapes recorded within Sea Carousel (a benthic annular flume) deployed off Newfoundland were used to determine the transport of medium to coarse sand under controlled unidirectional flow conditions. These results were compared with Helley-Smith sand trap measurements of bed load of fine to medium sand in a tidal inlet of Venice Lagoon, Italy. Ripple migration rates in Sea Carousel were similar to those measured in rivers and shallow marine settings at similar flows. Accuracy of sand transport rate (derived from ripple motion) was assessed by comparison to fundamental methods presented in the literature. Some of the scatter in correlations with earlier methods was removed by using a nondimensional form of total sand transport and correlating it to excess stream power (i.e. above a traction threshold). Better correlations were found between immersed (bed load) transport rate and excess stream power by applying a published adjustment to the observations for flow depth and grain diameter. Total immersed (normalized) sand transport () in Sea Carousel correlated with excess stream power in a fashion similar to results reported in the literature: = 0.288(ω – ωcr)1.65 kg m–1 s–1, where the immersed total sand transport is normalized with respect to flow depth and grain diameter. The sand trap data also followed this fit in part (2006 data only) but demonstrated greater scatter. The data herein thus fell in line with those reported in the literature from a wide variety of flume and field settings and for a wide variety of grain sizes. It is concluded that annular benthic flumes offer a reasonable and reliable method of assessing sand transport under controlled conditions of flow. The results from Sea Carousel and the Helley-Smith traps appear to follow the same relationships and so appear compatible. However, benthic sand traps show a higher degree of scatter, perhaps due to the uncertainties in how they sit on the seabed, and due to the arbitrary conditions of flow to which they are subjected when deployed.