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1 April 2013 Suspended Sediment Transport in Rip Currents on a Macrotidal Beach
Antony Thorpe, Jon Miles, Gerd Masselink, Paul Russell, Tim Scott, Martin Austin
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Thorpe, A., Miles, J., Masselink, G., Russell, P., Scott, T., Austin, M., 2013. Sediment Transport In Rip Currents on a Macrotidal Beach

Rip currents are offshore-directed flows in the surf zone that may be responsible for significant offshore transport of sediment. In this study high frequency surface elevation and current velocity data were collected alongside suspended sediment concentrations in a rip channel on a high energy, macro-tidal beach. At low tide (water depth over the rip channel (h) = 0.9 m), when the rip current was active (maximum offshore directed flow = ~ 0.4 m/s), net suspended sediment transport was directed offshore, and 88% of the flux was due to the mean flow component. The rip current was found to pulse at very low frequencies (VLF) and this contributed significantly to offshore sediment transport, accounting for 48% of total oscillatory flux (not considering direction). Infra-gravity (IG) frequency oscillations had a marginal contribution to offshore sediment transport within the rip (10% of total oscillatory flux) and incident wave transport was onshore (42% of total oscillatory flux). The relative influence of the wave component increased as tidal elevations increased and the rip current became inactive. For comparison, at mid-tide (h = 3.5 m) the total suspended sediment flux was in the offshore direction and four times less than during low tide. The mean flux accounted for 34% of the total transport at mid-tide. At high tide (h = 6.1 m) the total sediment transport was in the onshore direction due to the incident waves, with a 0% contribution from the mean flux.

Antony Thorpe, Jon Miles, Gerd Masselink, Paul Russell, Tim Scott, and Martin Austin "Suspended Sediment Transport in Rip Currents on a Macrotidal Beach," Journal of Coastal Research 65(sp2), 1880-1885, (1 April 2013).
Received: 7 December 2012; Accepted: 6 March 2013; Published: 1 April 2013
field measurements
rip currents
suspended sediment transport
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