Modelling the sedimentary signature of long waves on coasts: implications for tsunami reconstruction

D. Pritchard, L. Dickinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We describe a process-based mathematical model of suspended and bedload sediment transport under long, non-breaking waves on a plane beach, and we use this model to investigate the relationship between the hydrodynamics of run-up and run-down and the resulting erosive and depositional 'signature' which the wave leaves. In particular, we compare the results of our 'forward' model with several recently proposed methods for reconstructing tsunami hydrodynamics from their deposits. We find that sediment transport, both as bedload and in suspension, is strongly controlled by asymmetries in the direction of maximum velocity; in the latter case it is also affected by settling lag, especially around the point of maximum run-up. The combination of these effects appears to preclude simple methods of reconstructing tsunami hydrodynamics from the large-scale features of their signatures; however, our results suggest some promising avenues for further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-57
Number of pages16
JournalSedimentary Geology
Volume206
Issue number1-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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tsunami
hydrodynamics
bedload
sediment transport
coast
modeling
asymmetry
beach
method
effect

Keywords

  • tsunami
  • sediment transport
  • event deposits

Cite this

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Modelling the sedimentary signature of long waves on coasts: implications for tsunami reconstruction. / Pritchard, D.; Dickinson, L.

In: Sedimentary Geology, Vol. 206, No. 1-4, 2008, p. 42-57.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Dickinson, L.

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AB - We describe a process-based mathematical model of suspended and bedload sediment transport under long, non-breaking waves on a plane beach, and we use this model to investigate the relationship between the hydrodynamics of run-up and run-down and the resulting erosive and depositional 'signature' which the wave leaves. In particular, we compare the results of our 'forward' model with several recently proposed methods for reconstructing tsunami hydrodynamics from their deposits. We find that sediment transport, both as bedload and in suspension, is strongly controlled by asymmetries in the direction of maximum velocity; in the latter case it is also affected by settling lag, especially around the point of maximum run-up. The combination of these effects appears to preclude simple methods of reconstructing tsunami hydrodynamics from the large-scale features of their signatures; however, our results suggest some promising avenues for further investigation.

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