Idier, D.; Falqués, A.; Garcin, M., and Rohmer, J., 2018. How observed kilometric sandy shoreline undulations depend on wave climate. In: Shim, J.-S.; Chun, I., and Lim, H.S. (eds.), Proceedings from the International Coastal Symposium (ICS) 2018 (Busan, Republic of Korea). Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 85, pp. 191–195. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Coastlines sometimes exhibit km-scale undulations, also called shoreline sandwaves. This work focuses on self-organized undulations and investigates how frequent they are, on which parameters they depend and whether existing theories of morphodynamic instabilities can explain them. We perform a wavelet analysis on shoreline data from areas appearing free of human or geological constraints and representing totally 1268 km around the world. It is found that 61% of cases exhibit undulations with wavelengths in the range 1–10 km. The wave parameter that correlates the best with their existence is the incidence angle with respect to shore normal and, to a lesser extent, the closure depth. The shoreline undulation probability increases with the angle, from 50% for low angles to almost 100% for large angles, suggesting that the High-Angle Wave Instability mechanism (HAWI) would be their primary cause, but that Low-Angle Wave Instability (LAWI) may also play a role. These results are consistent with recent theoretical investigations.