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Coastal Engineering 57 (2010) 213–226

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Coastal Engineering
j o u r n a l h o m e p a g e : w w w. e l s ev i e r. c o m / l o c a t e / c o a s t a l e n g

MEPBAY and SMC: Software tools to support different operational levels of headland-bay beach in coastal engineering projects
André L.A. Raabe a,⁎, Antonio H. da F. Klein a, Mauricio González b, Raul Medina b
a b

Centro de Ciências Tecnológicas da Terra e do Mar, Universidade do Vale do Itajaí, Itajaí, SC. Cx. P. 360. CEP 88302-202 Brazil Environmental Hydraulics Institute, “IH Cantabria”, Universidad de Cantabria, Avda. de los Castros s/n, Santander 39005, Spain

a r t i c l e

i n f o

a b s t r a c t
This paper presents MEPBAY and SMC software tools that allow comprehending and solving problems in headland-bay beach through a parabolic model. These tools can be employed as coastal engineering design tools (including nourishment designs) and also for academic purposes. They are oriented to different endusers, including coastal technicians, scientists and undergraduates and as coastal engineering design tools, they can be applied to different operational levels (pre-design and design). The aim of the paper is to present design guidelines, the capabilities of the tools, their potential use and applications. Both tools were applied to analyze San Lorenzo Beach and demonstrate their ability at different project levels. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Available online 30 November 2009 Keywords: Headland-bay beaches Parabolic bay beach models Static equilibrium beach planform MEPBAY SMC

1. Introduction Although headland-bay beaches have existed naturally for hundreds of thousands of years, many have been unwittingly created as a by-product of modern engineers undertaking projects on shoreline protection and harbour construction. A curved beach in an unstable condition may result from construction, with updrift accretion accompanied by downdrift erosion within the embayment, unless artificial nourishment is implemented. As beach erosion problems have become serious in many countries, regardless of their national wealth, necessary measures against erosion are being considered to prevent improper human activities on beaches and rivers, which have frequently diminished sediment supply to a beach. In terms of beach stability, headland-bay beaches may be classified as being in static equilibrium, dynamic equilibrium or unstable (Silvester and Hsu, 1993, 1997; Hsu et al., 2000). Static equilibrium is reached when the predominant waves are seen to be breaking simultaneously around the whole bay periphery. At this stage, littoral drift is almost non-existent, and the curved beach is stable without long-term erosion or deposition, except during a storm period. For bays in dynamic equilibrium, balance in sediment budget is the key factor in maintaining the shoreline in its existing position. However, shorelines in dynamic equilibrium could retreat as sediment supply from updrift or from a river within the embayment is reduced, and even recede to the limit defined by the static equilibrium, if supply diminishes completely. On the other hand, for bays classified as un-

⁎ Corresponding author. Tel./fax: +55 47 33417544. E-mail address: raabe@univali.br (A.L.A. Raabe). 0378-3839/$ – see front matter © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.coastaleng.2009.10.008

stable, often resulting from wave sheltering by a structure added to the beach, the curved shoreline experiences accretion in the lee of the structure, accompanied by downdrift erosion in the process of natural beach reshaping. Because headland-bay beaches in static equilibrium are the most stable landform which do not require sediment supply under the action of a persistent swell in nature, construction of a bayed beach in static equilibrium has been recommended as a means of stabilising eroding shorelines (Silvester, 1960; Hsu and Evans, 1989; Silvester and Hsu, 1993, 1997; Hsu et al., 2000). Due to the morphological significance of curved beaches, several empirical long-term models based on equilibrium formulations have been proposed to fit curves to their peripheries. Notably, parabolic (Hsu and Evans, 1989), logarithm spiral (Yasso, 1965; Silvester and Ho, 1972) and hyperbolic tangent (Moreno and Kraus, 1999) provide mathematical expressions that can predict the coastline of these beaches. Among them, the parabolic bay shape model is the one that has received the most attention (CERC, 2002). Based on these models, it has been possible to build different kinds of applications, such as identification of beach stability, prediction of morphological changes after man-made constructions, creation of artificial beaches and many other engineering applications. Coastal projects follow detailed technical design phases, as is the case for a beach nourishment project (diagnostic, pre-design, design, monitoring and evaluation of the work). The tools presented in this document only deal with the pre-design and design phases, and are applicable to the reconnaissance and feasibility studies of any coastline. On the pre-design level, the aim is to identify and to evaluate the potential project alternatives of the solution with a minimum input data and using simple, relatively rapid and inexpensive methods, as well as using low-cost numerical tools. At this preliminary level, the designer better defines the problem, provides a

generated by regression analysis to fit the peripheries of the 27 prototypes and model bays. This is how it is determined from a map. these coefficients may be expressed by fourth-order polynomials as follows: C0 = 0:0707−0:0047β + 0:000349β −0:00000875β + 0:00000004765β 4 2 3 ð2Þ C1 = 0:9536 + 0:0078β−0:00004879β + 0:0000182β + 0:000001281β 4 2 3 ð3Þ C2 = 0:0214−0:0078β + 0:0003004β −0:00001183β + 0:00000009343β 4 2 3 ð4Þ These C values are bounded within 2. Employing this iterative procedure—checking the simple (pre-design) and more detailed methods (design)—allows a more rapid convergence to the final design. Moreno and Kraus (1999) mentioned that convenient software routines were written to automate the fitting process and make the application of hyperbolic tangent model objective. this alternative is analyzed and evaluated on a design level using more detailed and comprehensive predictive procedures. this paper will present a brief description of this model in Section 2. 1989). they may even turn up as a short straight segment behind a groin or protruding headland. Coastal Modeling System (SMC) has been developed by the Spanish Environmental Ministry and allows the study of coastal engineering projects based on a work methodology. from target users to programming language.214 A. developed MEPBAY. Definition sketch for parabolic bay shape model showing major physical parameters (after Hsu and Evans. They used different approaches and have different target users. 1). They may appear as a salience or tombolo behind an offshore island.L. such as pre-design and design. 1997). as well as future perspectives for new versions. a database of littoral morphodynamics information and numerical tools. especially when the results of several alternative options had to be compared. It is worth noting that any point on or near the straight downdrift segment of the beach could be conveniently chosen as a downdrift control point. The development process is a challenging activity that must handle practices and requirements of coastal engineering field considering technological restrictions and end-users expectations. Parabolic model Most headland-bay beaches have asymmetric shapes. the user can analyze the real coastline and the theoretical one (drawn by plotting the model graph) merged on the screen. the application of these models required manual calculation of the theoretical shoreline positions and tracing of the results on a map or aerial photograph. Brazil. vertical aerial photograph and even on a planning sketch. as seen in Fig. 1). Values of the nondimensional ratios Rn/Rß versus increments of 2º of ß from 20º to 80º have been tabulated for manual application (see Table 4. 4. 1997). 2003) and SMC software (González and Medina. 1993. It was initially dedicated to undergraduate students and was developed to improve practice with the parabolic model application using a user-friendly interface. 1.2 in Silvester and Hsu. which are the reference wave obliquity angle ß and the control line in length Rß (Fig. This paper discusses the application of MEPBAY and SMC software for the parabolic bay beach model. differences. numerical tools and elaborate input data. 1989). Hsu and Evans (1989) developed a parabolic bay shape equation for a headland-bay beach in static equilibrium in the form of Rn = Rβ = C0 + C1 ðβ = θn Þ + C2 ðβ = θn Þ : 2 ð1Þ Eq. harbour breakwater or other man-made structures. The same beach cases were evaluated with both software in order to identify similarities. a gently curved transition and a relatively straight tangential portion at the downdrift end (Fig. 1993. 2. This allows an accurate analysis of the beach equilibrium state. Y1). (1) has two primary physical parameters. for which the convenience and insensitivity were noted in Silvester and Hsu (1993. The main contribution of the paper is to present the application of software tools to aid different operational levels of coastal engineering projects.5 and − 1. In some situations. 2001). measured between the incident wave crest at the wave diffraction point and the control line. though straightforward. Section 3 details the MEPBAY software design guidelines and presents a pre-design analysis of the San Lorenzo Beach case study. Some of their applications in the academic field were also explored. and weak and strong characteristics of each. The parabolic model has been approached by MEPBAY (Klein et al.. The control line is also angled ß to the tangent at the downdrift beach end (Fig. Using computer software specifically designed for the task improves efficiency since software interfaces turn possible to set control points directly over digital map images or photos. Since both programs (MEPBAY and SMC) are applied to parabolic bay shape equation (Hsu and Evans. in order to fine-tune the preliminary design. Once an alternative is selected by the coastal managers and decision-makers. The radius Rn to any beach point around the bay periphery is angled θn from the same wave crest line radiating out from the point of wave diffraction. The former represents wave obliquity to the curved beach. 1989). The three C constants. Section 4 presents the SMC software and a detailed design project at San Lorenzo Beach. Researchers of UNIVALI University in Santa Catarina state. Y0) to the downdrift control point (X1. This procedure. and answers some preliminary questions. was repetitive and tedious.A. The process of developing a coastal project follows an iterative or “engineering approximation”. / Coastal Engineering 57 (2010) 213–226 deeper understanding of the predominant processes. The SMC encloses some numerical models to study beaches in different temporal and space scales. restrictions. Raabe et al. Before the use of software products.0 for the usual range of angle ß from 10º to 80º applicable in most field conditions (see Fig. Numerically. The conclusion assesses both software application and discusses future perspectives. In this way. 1). whereas the latter denotes the distance joining the updrift diffraction point (X0. characterized by a curved shadow zone. Fig. 1. . differ with reference angle ß (Hsu and Evans.25 in Silvester and Hsu. These software differ in many aspects. 1997). Researches involved with the definition and evaluation of these models have promoted the development of different software packages.

González and Medina (2001) introduced the “equilibrium beach” concept. by means of the definition of the front's orientation at the diffraction point in relation to the direction of the mean wave energy flux in the area. values of ß and Rß have to be determined first from a map or aerial photograph. For this. to define the local wave climate in the updrift control point (diffracting point). the stability of a bay beach can now be qualitatively assessed by applying the parabolic bay shape model. This methodology includes a modified equilibrium planform able to define the angle αmin. it is necessary. Manual application of parabolic model In the manual application of the parabolic model (Hsu and Evans. 1977). Based on this observation. To facilitate practical applications. 1997) have shown satisfactory verification of this equation on several bay shapes. Long Island. Despite having a variety of dimensions between the tip of a headland and its downdrift boundary. a downdrift tangent may be drawn. the curved planform in static equilibrium is sketched on the existing Fig. a map. locations for pairs of Rn and θn are then marked on the existing map with a curve drawn for the predicted static bay shape. the usual procedure for applying the parabolic model is described as follows: (1) Choose a control line with length Rß: a straight line is drawn connecting the updrift wave diffraction point to an appropriate control point on the straight section downdrift (see Figs.A. 1). Its primary design goal was to create a usable interface with minimum workload. All the definitions. drawing and calculus are made over this image. 1980) and a transitional bay beach in the gap of a revetment damaged during a hurricane event at Shinnecock Inlet. In order to employ this methodology. Silvester and Ho (1972) observed that. it is only necessary to have a planform of beach image. Also. / Coastal Engineering 57 (2010) 213–226 215 Silvester and Hsu (1993. which defines the downdrift limit from which Hsu and Evans's (1989) parabolic model is applicable. vertical aerial photograph or satellite image of a bay beach may be used to obtain the two primary parameters (ß and Rß) for the model. 2. which combines the static equilibrium plan and profile for long-term analysis. New York (Dean and Maurmeyer. the stability of an existing bay beach can be visually verified by comparing it with the static equilibrium shape under the same wave obliquity ß. rays Rn with angle θn at constant intervals of 10º are calculated using Eq. followed by manual calculation of the radii Rn for a range of corresponding θn. To accomplish this. Raabe et al.A.L. θn) values calculated represent the shoreline position radiating out from the updrift diffraction point for an idealized bay shape in static equilibrium. (4) Sketch the shoreline planform in static equilibrium: finally. The angle formed between the wave crest line and the control line is denoted as ß. for a bay beach in or close to static equilibrium. a user centered design approach was adopted. 3. Canada (Parker and Quigley. For a bay beach with known ß and Rß. This may be taken as the wave crest line. (3) Calculate ray lengths Rn to the beach: starting from θ = ß at the downdrift boundary. (1) to a maximum of 150º or 180º. topographical chart. Lake Erie. San Lorenzo Beach case analysis using MEPBAY. it allows predicting the planform of non-existing beaches. (2) Determine the predominant wave direction and reference wave angle ß: from the downdrift control point. in order to have input data. the wave crest at the downdrift limit of the bay aligns almost parallel to the downdrift tangent. and the same happens for the wave crest line starting at the point of updrift wave diffraction (Fig. MEPBAY software MEPBAY was developed to aid students to learn parabolic model application in several different beaches. Finally. 1 and 2). which is perpendicular to the incoming waves at the updrift diffraction point of the bay beach. 1989). in which the model manual application task was carefully analyzed to create an interface as similar as possible to this. . The pairs of (Rn. 3. including the downdrift beach at Port Stanley.1.

e. A user may visually examine the stability of the beach by the proximity of the existing shoreline to that predicted in static equilibrium. shoreline in a bayed beach in dynamic equilibrium may advance or degrade as net supply increases or decreases. The same process may be repeated for other sets of ß and Rß. However. i. If the existing shoreline periphery is landward of the predicted one. (2) With the beach image on the screen.2.. (3) From the “Points” sub-window and with the mouse. MEPBAY use The manual process described in the previous section. The main goals for developing computer software of this kind is (1) to provide a user with a friendly environment to apply the parabolic model. Raabe et al. the existing beach is in or close to static equilibrium. 3. thus giving the control line.A. the severity of beach erosion differs with changes to ß.1. which becomes viable with only one input data (beach image). updrift control point) to the screen. the user then locates three points on the image required for the parabolic model application. three line Fig. and (2) to help a user arrive at an optimum design from several different options. (ii) point “E” for the downdrift control point on the beach. In order to improve the efficiency of applying the parabolic model to headlandbay beaches. though seemingly straightforward. Poniente Beach. the software package offers an interface that allows a user to indicate the relevant control points on the beach and to automatically trace the complete bay periphery in static equilibrium. 1989). after applying the parabolic model to simulate beach changes (Hsu and Evans. which represent different engineering or management options arising from different structural conditions that may alter the position of the updrift control point on an existing beach. Should they coincide with each other or be very close. because the graphical result generated by the software is the consequence of his or her conscious selection of the control points for the beach under consideration. the beach is said to be in dynamic equilibrium. a user first loads the screen of a computer with a beach image of a map or aerial photography in raster format (extensions BMP or JPG). is repetitive and laborious. the user then selects an option that indicates “Beach Orientation” to indicate relative orientation of the beach and headland (i. After these actions. also showing the visual display of the beach using MEPBAY. / Coastal Engineering 57 (2010) 213–226 map or aerial photograph by joining all the (Rn. θn) points calculated for qualitative assessment of beach stability. Computer displays are used for the manipulation of graphic images. Importing parabolic model to MEPBAY The importation of the parabolic model to MEPBAY not only makes the application of this model more efficient but also streamlines the physical interpretation of the result for practical applications.216 A. in relation to the control points selected from the display on the screen. A user will benefit from the learning process. The operation of MEPBAY follows a set of procedures as follows: (1) From the “File” option on the menu bar. 3. 1 and 3). when the tip of the headland is modified by a structure or when the wave approaching direction changes seasonally. in which the shoreline periphery remains unchanged due to the balance in sediment budgets from all sources.e. and (iii) point “W” for an end point along the downdrift tangent on the beach (see Figs. the point of wave diffraction.2. The third kind of beach stability is termed unstable and it happens when natural beach reshaping occurs within a bayed beach due to wave sheltering by structures. 3. MEPBAY was written in Object Pascal language.L. The software facilitates experimentation in an efficient way for the graphic representation of the idealized shoreline in static equilibrium. . These are: (i) point “’H’” for the updrift control point. It is particularly important in the pre-design phase of an engineering project.. Starting from the planform (files in raster format) of a headlandbay beach on an aerial photograph or map. for drawing the wave crest line. However. software development is most desirable.

bays with double curvature. some improvements were made to the interface.. the total volume of the fill materials and budget was estimated. (2004) have used MEPBAY software to illustrate that the parabolic model is not suitable only for single headland beaches. By applying MEPBAY. the application of “Headland Control” (Hsu et al. MEPBAY calculates the wave reference angles β. Rβ and radii Rn for each increment of θn. to produce an artificial beach. For this reason. and it was translated to English. Finally. two breakwaters were built at Poniente Beach. for both sides. (1). MEPBAY academic applications The very first experiment conducted with MEPBAY is probably the only one concerned with pedagogical issues. Piorewicz (2004) has analyzed beach changes at Yeppoon Main Beach (Capricorn Coast—Australia) after the reconstruction of the existing seawall.. 3. 3. MEPBAY can be used to facilitate this predesign engineering task of locating the updrift and downdrift control points in order to have a static equilibrium beach planform. the results are also saved in a raster format and may be printed out later. The recorded shoreline was used to verify the local wave direction and the best agreement was obtained for nearshore wave direction in the order of 90º azimuth. (4) Upon clicking on the “Bay”-like graphic option in the “Tools” sub-window.L. Secondly. Spain. others are improvements. Applying MEPBAY to San Lorenzo Beach. In the second version (still the current one). – To handle files larger than 20 MB. especially the point of wave diffraction. 2010-this issue. the user not only gains insight on the physical processes of beach changes. Jackson and Cooper. in order to enhance the applicability of the study. Brazil. 2). there was also a tutorial for students to read and understand the theoretical basis of the parabolic model. Many researchers (e. the software was conceived to be easy to use. Practical MEPBAY application (San Lorenzo Case Study) MEPBAY could be most suitable for project evaluation to determine the optimum design options from several proposals with variations in configuration (in length. Lausman (2006) has been applying MEPBAY in an ongoing project to measure the subjectivity in the setting of the three control points of the parabolic model. a rational beach retreat was calculated using SBEACH software. – To provide more image tools (such as fit zoom. but also achieves the best solution for shoreline protection and coastal management. the use of MEPBAY has achieved its initial purpose. . On the other hand. Raabe et al. many of the design goals are being revised in order to create a new version that can be more suitable for the needs of advanced researches in the area. in Spain. In this way.. The authors of the software searched for empirical evidence of improvement in learning potential when equilibrium states in headland-bay beaches was taught at the oceanography undergraduate course at UNIVALI University. 2009. Firstly. Many researchers of the area have reported (through e-mail to Coastal_list) that they used MEPBAY with students which found it easy to understand and useful. if required. Santa Catarina.A. They are: – To handle TIFF images. The results indicated that over 95% of the students have found it much more interesting to learn using MEPBAY.5. – To allow more than one curve to be drawn over an image. Hsu et al. Chiou (2004) has used MEPBAY in combination with SBEACH software for estimating the beach nourishment process of Nanbin– Beibin Beach.. and for the angle between the control line and wave crests in the order of 38º. which was used as a minimum buffer width for a proposed bayed beach using MEPBAY. Thus the crenulateshaped bay theory may find applicability in the analysis of beach restoration.. At the same time. As a result of this unexpected use of the software. it is shown that the existing beach planform is identical to the static bay shape given by the parabolic bay shape equation. The environmental impact of a structure on beach stability can be verified through the screen display of the predicted static bay shape. made it possible to identify the dynamic equilibrium situation with potential erosion on the west side of the beach (Fig. 2004. According to Piorewicz (2004). 3. Many equilibrium evaluations and measurements of differences between real coastline and model coastline have been conducted. rotate etc. and bays in complex dynamic and static equilibrium. – To provide information about precision and error of the measures (based on pixel resolution). before the breakwater construction. Thirdly. The analysis covered observed changes to the beach since October 2001. (5) Finally. Eq. Some of the new characteristics to be implemented have originated from restrictions in the current version. in Taiwan. pan. 2010-this issue). The user can then analyze the effect of any likely modification to the beach arising from the construction of a structure for shore protection and of a harbour facility. Because littoral drift is very low in the region of the Yeppoon Main Beach. As shown in Fig. based on interaction essays conducted with the first version. – To improve tools of scale and measurement. The MEPBAY model was used for this analysis. Many images with different point settings for the same beach were built using MEPBAY “save as” functionality and are going to be presented to experienced users in order to accomplish the measurement (see also Lausman et al. due mainly to its simplicity in applying the parabolic model and the graphic visualization of the results. They extended the model application to other unique beach configurations not previously covered in the literature. location and orientation) of a structure.A. 2000) to develop an artificial beach shows that the human intervention was successful. Future perspectives The initial purpose of MEPBAY was to aid students with a practical learning tool to test the equilibrium situation of several beaches. The parabolic bay shape equation can be applied to identify the effect of constructing a man-made structure on an embayed beach. In its first version (available only in Portuguese). The teacher also reported an increase in interest and comprehension about control points positioning (Vargas and Raabe. when the new seawall was almost complete. Benedet et al. 2001).g.3. 3. headland control approach was suggested using artificial headlands in a curved shape rather than the traditional straight groin and detached breakwater in narrow gaps. / Coastal Engineering 57 (2010) 213–226 217 segments are drawn upon clicking on the “Z” option in the “Tools” sub-window. Benedet et al. considering its stability and the protection of the seawall. from which the condition of beach stability can be visually assessed. such as bay shapes between coastal structures. the program MEPBAY allowed analysis of several positions of artificial headlands to obtain optimal improvement of the beach. MEPBAY draws the predicted static bay shape overlaying the image of the existing beach.4. 2010-this issue) have used it as a practical tool for fast application of the parabolic model. This erosion could be minimised with the construction of a headland-attached breakwater. an urban beach in the city of Gijón. the cross-shore sediment transport plays a much more important role in the reshaping of the beach.). MEPBAY may also motivate user's curiosity for working on various engineering and management applications. the stability of the beach in relation to the total length of the Eastern Breakwater of Hualein harbour was assessed by MEPBAY software. As shown before. 2008.

(3) to better know the dynamics and evolution of the Spanish coastline. (1999) and the equilibrium profile affected by refraction–diffraction (Gonzalez and Medina. The Nourishment Design and Evaluation Methodology allows the analysis of coastal projects through detailed technical design phases (diagnostic. (2) to design actions in order to prevent coastal retreat and to estimate flooding risks of low Spanish littoral zones. 4. 2003c) and Environmental Engineering Impact for Coastal Actions (GIOC. including different elements (sand fills in equilibrium beaches: plan and profile. (3) The middle. 2003f). but rather magnitudes aggregated to them. The goal of the long-term analysis is to determine which will be the final shape (plan-profile) of the beach and/or the temporal evolution of said shape on a scale of years in order to assure that the beach functionality continues throughout its useful life. The SMC is structured in five modules: (1) A pre-process module which generates all of the input data for the short-.and long-term module allows the analysis of the middle-term processes (seasonal changes) and longterm response of the system on a scale of years. and (5) The tutorial module (TIC) includes the theoretical background in a numerical system and provides some data process systems for time series (e. 4. (4) The bathymetry renovation module permits easy updating of the actual bathymetry. buoys and tidal gauges). Regarding the equilibrium planform. the definition of the mean and extreme flooding level in terms of the number of waves (mean regime). The science-based documents are organized to lead the reader from fundamental scientific principles and littoral processes. 2003a). / Coastal Engineering 57 (2010) 213–226 – To export the curve pairs of (Rn. execute and follow-up coastal projects. 5). return period (extreme regime). Y) screen coordinates to a Comma Separated Values file (CSV). 2003d). The two engineering-based documents. – To allow defining imprecision for the wave crest direction. The objectives of this SBM are: (1) to establish a methodology to design. It includes four subdivisions: Coastal Hydrodynamics (GIOC. the equilibrium profile in reef-protected beaches by Muñoz-Pérez et al. monitoring and evaluation). (2) The short-term module includes the numerical evolution of morphodynamics models for monochromatic and irregular input waves. The system permits the design of nourishment projects using the concept of “equilibrium beach”. This methodology has been applied to various Spanish beaches on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts with good results. including the islands) all the Spanish bathymetry.. Requejo et al. wave directional regimes and the littoral flooding risk. The user-friendly SMC encloses some numerical models that allow the application of the methodologies and formulations proposed in the previous documents in coastal projects (GIOC. Structure of a new Spanish Beach Nourishment Manual (SBM). This long-term analysis was carried out based on data from the Spanish networks of wave-buoys and tidal gauges. For an overview of the SMC. and the Beach Nourishment Design and Evaluation Methodology are oriented toward a project-type approach. Raabe et al. and (3) numerical tools (Fig. This module supports the science-based documents and is subdivided into four items: dynamics. middle-. This SBM contains three major parts: (1) science-based documents. coastal structures and environmental impact. 2001). coastal structures etc. The SMC includes a graphic user interface module to test stability or to design new equilibrium beaches taking into account the equilibrium plan and profile (Fig. The input data for all of these equilibrium formulations are Fig. (2004). 2005).. The existing formulations for this time scale do not analyze the processes (for example. wave-to-wave sediment transport). The former is a risk-based analysis along the Spanish coastal border in order to estimate the extreme sea level due to the combined effects of tides. Coastal Littoral Processes (GIOC. Coastal Protection Structures (GIOC. the Littoral Flooding Atlas for the Spanish Coast. constituting a practical easy-to-use engineering tool in beach regeneration projects (see González and Medina. 2003b). The risk-based analysis allows. (2) engineering-based documents. The SBM was developed by the DGC and the Ocean and Coastal Research Group (GIOC) of the University of Cantabria between 1995 and 2003.g. coastal processes. (2001) and González et al. in a process on a scale of hours to days. Another possible improvement being analyzed is to allow the creation of log spiral and tangent hyperbolic curves (besides parabolic) for comparison purposes. 4). A summary and some details regarding the different long-term beach formulations and the design nourishment methodology employed in the SMC are presented in González et al. and long-term numerical models. (2010-this issue) to the equilibrium profile. see Medina et al. several formulations are included in the system. storm surge and wave run-up on beaches (see details in GIOC. for any location along the Spanish coast. the SMC includes: the parabolic formulation of Hsu and Evans (1989) and the modification proposed by González and Medina (2001).218 A. 1997. . 2003e). Coastal Modeling System (SMC) The user-friendly numerical system called Coastal Modeling System (SMC) is part of the Spanish Beach Nourishment Manual (SBM). the bi-parabolic profile proposed by Medina et al. design. which combines different equilibrium profile and planform formulations. such as: Dean's (1991). (2000).A. This module obtains (for any location along the Spanish coast.L. θn) and (X. pre-design. local orientation of the coastline and average bottom slope (cross-shore).). and (4) to compile the Spanish experience in the coastal engineering field. in order to evaluate the different alternatives proposed using the numerical models.

Therefore. It is a 1. supplied by the Odin. the goal is to design the nourishment project for a new urban beach. These profiles present two decreasing parabolic sections. The analysis of this last case is presented in detail in González et al. Practical SMC application (San Lorenzo Beach Case Study) The Cantabrian coast of Spain is divided into a series of pocket beaches. and to propose solutions to minimize these impacts.3.2. where the dark areas correspond to the rocky bottom and the clear zones to the sandy bottom. It is one of the most important beaches in the area. as shown in Fig. 9. The slope of the surf profile starts gradually to decrease along the beach towards Santa Catalina Cape.1.1.L. San Lorenzo Beach morphology The orientation of San Lorenzo Beach is W10ºN–E10ºS. as shown in Fig. Raabe et al. 5. The goal of the San Lorenzo Beach case is to quantify the impact on this beach of a harbour enlargement.3 km-long sandy beach confined between two rocky capes. Due to the tourism importance of San Lorenzo Beach. with the typical seaward and landward profile displacement associated to summer and winter climate conditions. The Gijón Harbour Authority is studying the possibility of a future enlargement of the facilities. it can be concluded that the beach has no evidenced erosion/accretion net processes. 8.1. Coastal Modeling System (SMC) interface and concept of “equilibrium beach” combining equilibrium profile with static equilibrium plan form. as shown in Fig.. 4. with steeper surf profiles to the east of the beach. The wave height behind the Príncipe de Asturias Breakwater from the east to west decreases due to diffraction and refraction effects caused by both the breakwater and an important shallow area called the Amosucas shallow. especially during summer. and a recreational space for the inhabitants of Gijón. which are located in the city of Gijón on the Cantabrian coast. some morphodynamical changes are expected locally at the beach. Atlas and Baco pre-process programs. including San Lorenzo Beach. Marine dynamics More than 75% of deep water waves approach the harbour from the northern (N) to north-western (NW) sector. The annual average significant height is about 1 m with typical winter storm significant waves of about Hs = 5 m. in the Cervigón Cape east of San Lorenzo Beach. From all these bathymetric data.1. we can consider that the beach has been in equilibrium in plan and profile for the last several years. Several alternatives have been proposed and one of them consists of a new exterior harbour protected by a 2km breakwater. Hence. to the east of the Gijón harbour (Fig. In this figure. Santa Catalina Cape to the west and the Cervigón Cape to the east. The large dimensions of this harbour alternative would modify the marine dynamics in the area. 4.A.1. / Coastal Engineering 57 (2010) 213–226 219 Fig. 1995 and 2001).5 m. 4. most of the headlands extend into deep water and appear to be effective in confining littoral sand to the embayment. which is located in front of the breakwater tip. Thus. Case description of San Lorenzo Beach San Lorenzo Beach is an urban beach located in the city of Gijón. Tpo = 16 s at high tide sea level show an important wave concentration generated by the offshore shallow. the typical storm wave conditions from NW with Hso = 4 m. This figure shows how the Santa Catalina and Cervigón Capes extend seaward under the sea bottom. . Regarding the Poniente Beach case. Bathymetric profiles and sediment samples have been surveyed along the beach over the last 20 years (1985.A. 6). as will be shown later. (2010this issue). being a tourism spot. 6). One of these littoral cells is San Lorenzo Beach and Poniente Beach.g). 1994. The geophysics studies developed in the zone demonstrate a continental shelf with rocky bottom and some small deposits of sand. 4. A detailed description of the long-term module can be found in GIOC (2003f. The semi-diurnal tides in Gijón have a mean tidal range of 3 m and a mean spring tidal range of 4. and a side wall to the south (see Fig. 7. These features will be important for local wave refraction and current system in the beach. the coast is divided into a series of littoral cells. several studies have been carried out throughout the years.

In summary. This rip current's position is moving toward the west of the beach. the current system on the beach displays important changes. toward the eastern area of the beach. respectively. Raabe et al. (3) a longshore current. One of the harbour enlargement alternatives. The current system has been calculated with the wave-driven current model 2DH called Copla-SP (see GIOC. As a summary of the wave and current system at San Lorenzo Beach.L. / Coastal Engineering 57 (2010) 213–226 Fig. the seaward rip current occurs in the eastern zone of the beach. and finally. Spain. A wave propagation study was carried out employing the Oluca-SP spectral model (see GIOC. generating two weak cellular current systems. Gijón. 9. 10. as has been demonstrated with field evidence during the last 20 years. Under winter conditions. Under the mean wave conditions in the area. generating two close cellular circulations. Fig. From the current simulations on San Lorenzo Beach. (2) two longshore currents. a net current does not exist which can generate a net sediment transport out from the beach. wave period. Location map of San Lorenzo Beach. to such an extent that the offshore incoming waves move from the NW to the north. The position of the starting point in the middle of the beach can change depending on the offshore wave conditions. This wave behaviour along with the beach conditions is responsible for the wave-induced currents and morphological response of San Lorenzo Beach. whose direction and intensity depend on the wave energy and the location of the wave concentration. which is based on the parabolic approximation solution to the mildslope equation. and (3) on the beach ends these currents return seaward where they are intercepted by some weak currents coming along the capes. wave period. 9). Under this condition. wave height on a tidal level) with the harbour breakwater and by the Amosucas shallow. it can be concluded that the current system is composed of four currents: (1) a current along the Cervigón Cape. with local wave energy concentrations on the beach (see Fig. From the wave propagations. which start in the middle of the beach and move toward the two capes at its ends. such as: wave incident angle. the Amosucas shallow and the local bottom bathymetry. Therefore. (2) a current along the Santa Catalina Cape. The hydrodynamic model is waveinduced by the wave gradient of radiation stresses obtained as an output from the Oluca-SP. toward the western area of the beach. it can be concluded that the waves at the beach are conditioned mainly by the interaction of the offshore wave conditions (wave direction. it can be concluded that the waves coming from the N to NNW concentrate the wave energy from the west to the middle area of the beach.220 A. Some small wave concentrations are presented in the middle of the beach. The location of the wave energy concentrations on the beach is mainly governed by the influence of the Amosucas shallow on the offshore incoming waves and the characteristics of these incoming waves. which is located at the meeting point of the longshore currents. The wave concentrations move toward the east of the beach for waves coming from the NW. These systems are composed of: (1) a coastward current in the middle of the beach. tidal level and wave height. as described previously. with a concentration of the wave energy in the zone of the Cervigón Cape. This is a weakly nonlinear combined refraction and diffraction model included in the SMC. The equilibrium plan and profile formulations require defining the wave conditions locally on the beach. which are confined between the lateral and bottom boundaries of the beach. The current system is composed of cellular currents. The wave-induced currents are responsible for the stability in plan and profile of the beach. the waves at San Lorenzo Beach are principally affected by the Principe the Asturias Breakwater. 7. (4) a rip current. which is also included in the SMC. as shown in Fig. it . 6.A. 2003h). as shown in Fig. Gijón Harbour. 2003i. the wave storms usually come from the NW with wave energy concentrations in the Cervigón Cape. as explained in the following sections. There is a remarkably important wave height variation along the beach. For Dean's equilibrium profile.

For that. with a 1-hour time interval. Tp and Ym) and tidal level conditions. h* (Hallermeier. P2). These equilibrium profiles have been obtained based on the mean significant wave height and peak period at points P3. h* ~ 6. For the bi-parabolic equilibrium profile (Medina et al. with coarser sediment where the currents' intensity is stronger. also showing the visual display of the beach using MEPBAY. Puertos del Estado (PE). using the wind forecast as an input. in addition to the local wave data. As an example.34 mm to the eastern zone (near Cervigón Cape). and the calibration of these data has been carried out by the University of Cantabria using the buoy data. It can be concluded from this figure. the methodology proposed by González and Medina (2001) is employed. A persistent longshore gradation has been identified (Fig. Mean grain size values have been obtained as the average value of the profile samples in each zone. 8. Ymef = N18E is obtained. based on equilibrium plan and profile formulations. this wave data is available for the different scale plan and profile models. 16 shows the San Lorenzo high tide shore line and the equilibrium shoreline (detached line). with changes in the marine dynamics (waves and currents) and the beach stability in plan and profile. several transfer interpolation functions have been obtained for five points along the beach. the Gijón 1 is a 20-year scalar buoy located in a 23-m water depth. some sediment data are necessary. the mean sediment size in each zone and the mean spring tidal range in the area (M). there are two buoys close to the study area from the Spanish Wave Network. D50 = 0. is necessary to define the local seaward limit Depth of Closure. B. the equilibrium planform requires defining the direction of the mean energy flux of the local waves in the control point. it is necessary to propagate the offshore waves to the coast. The wave and sea level hindcast has been carried out by the Spanish holding of harbours. Based on 350 wave cases obtained as a combination of different wave (Hs. 11 (e. The equilibrium biparabolic model in this figure represents the beach profile quite well.5 m ( Hallermeier. will be presented in this section..g. Based on the 20-year field data of sediment samples along the beach. In order to obtain the wave climate near the beach. the 30-year offshore wave data.L. 1981. 2010-this issue). the local fall speed parameter. 1998). The αmin angle (= 90º−β) has been obtained using Ts12 = 16 s and a mean water depth h = 10 m (which include a 4. 12) with a mean sediment size of D50 = 0. The wave energy reduction is also associated with the diffraction effect of the new breakwater. the historical data evidence shows variations of the profile slope and shape along the beach. Poniente Beach. This mean distribution of grain size along the beach is in accordance with the intensity of the currents along it.29 mm in the middle zone. Based on the wave climate in P1 (Santa Catalina Cape). and the Gijón 2 is a 10-year directional buoy in a 450-m water depth.. with a small variation of sediment size throughout the years. Additionally. is available for several offshore points throughout the study area. 15). Thus.A. 2000). a longterm analysis.. 4. Littoral morphodynamics In order to study the beach stability in San Lorenzo Beach. for the bi-parabolic equilibrium profile. Raabe et al.5-m tidal range). the equilibrium bi-parabolic profile has to be calculated for the three zones.. as shown in Fig. P1 and Cervigón Capes. 4. 13. 7 will generate changes in the beach morphodynamics. 1981). The first effect on the marine dynamics is the reduction of the wave energy reaching the beach and the rotation of the wave fronts due to the diffraction effect. such as the mean sediment size (D50). and D50 = 0. 14. has been transferred to several beach points near the beach. / Coastal Engineering 57 (2010) 213–226 221 Fig. P4 and P5.1. Thirty-year wave data. with a 1-hour time interval.5. In order to test the equilibrium plan form in San Lorenzo Beach. The same behaviour can be predicted using the equilibrium plan form. waves are predicted as an output from the numerical model's WAM cycle 4. As mentioned previously. that the beach is in equilibrium plan form. it is necessary to define the direction of the mean energy flux of the waves (Ymef) in the control or diffracting points P1 and P2 (Fig. Harbour enlargement impact on the stability of San Lorenzo Beach The breakwater enlargement proposed in Fig. which are located at Depth of Closure. the mean summer profile (2001) in Zone 1 and the bi-parabolic equilibrium model are presented in Fig.A. Nicholls et al. It is noted that when the sea level is in high tide. C and D coefficients (see González et al. the diffracting points in Santa Catalina. First. In fact. and in a similar way in P2 (Cervigón Cape). 1996. and using the Spectral propagation model Oluca-SP. it can be concluded that San Lorenzo Beach is composed of fine sand. combined with the disappearance of the wave concentration .4. Therefore.1. when the longshore wave and sediment variations are merged. the beach is not a dry beach in the western zone (near the Santa Catarina Cape). see Fig. Ω (Ω = Hb / ωT) allow us to define the A.27 mm to the west of the beach (near Santa Catalina). Ymef = N4W is obtained. Fig.

On the other hand.0 level. with a steeper profile in the three zones. the bi-parabolic equilibrium profile predicts a more reflective condition due to the wave energy reduction.g. The two cellular current systems described in the previous section disappear. the equilibrium shoreline (in detached line) is presented in Fig. (2) the second hypothesis consists of obtaining the equilibrium beach (plan and profile) without any retreat of the high tide shoreline in winter conditions. By propagating again the offshore wave climates from the last 30 years to five points on the beach (see Fig. 17. 16 (see detached line). two hypothesis can be assumed: (1) the first hypothesis is not to provide a sand filling on the beach.5) Spectral wave propagation. Ymef (=N12E) is also obtained. 14a shows the same typical wave storm condition from NW with Hso = 4 m. Wave-driven current system for a wave storm from the NW (Hso = 4 m. and to let the beach re-accommodate in plan and profile to get an equilibrium beach. Wave storm from the NW (Hso = 4 m. High tide sea level).222 A. The SMC system allows the combination of the equilibrium profile with the equilibrium plan. Tpo = 16 s. / Coastal Engineering 57 (2010) 213–226 Fig. as presented in Table 1. In this situation the equilibrium shoreline presents an average advance of 50 m in the western zone. As an example. in order to define the “equilibrium beach”. The wave-driven current system along the beach is further modified. an erosion process would occur in the middle and the south of the beach. 14b. the equilibrium planform is presented in Fig.A. A net current from the east to the west along the beach is generated in all the wave conditions.0 level and the SES at the 5. as shown in Fig. and in a similar way in P2 (Cervigón Cape). Based on the wave climate in P1 (Santa Catalina Cape). For the first alternative. a net sediment transport tendency toward the western zone (Santa Catalina Cape) is expected. 15) presents some rotation. . where the wave concentration generated by the offshore shallow on the beach practically disappears. parabolic model (Oluca-SP). numerical simulation with the (Copla-SP) model. 10. In order to predict the equilibrium shoreline under the influence of the new breakwater. Tpo = 16 s. 15) and keeping the same mean sediment size in the zones. In this situation. with a profile retreat in order to fit the shoreline rotation with the seaward profile advance in the western zone.L. Regarding the equilibrium planform. the biparabolic profile coefficients are obtained. 17. generated under specific wave conditions by the Amosucas shallow. Hence. taking into account different local sea level elements (e. Tpo = 16 s at high tide sea level. the mean energy flux in diffracting points P1 and P2 (see Fig. In this case. In Fig. the designed equilibrium beach for the second alternative is presented. Ymef (=N30E) is obtained. Raabe et al. Fig. the goal is to avoid the shoreline retreat in the middle of the beach. Fig. For the second alternative. It is remarkable that the equilibrium shoreline response is in accordance with the tendency shown for the wave-induced currents. 9. High tide sea level = +4. The beach berm has been defined at the 6.

As for the preprocessing programs. Fig. On one hand. Profile sectors. / Coastal Engineering 57 (2010) 213–226 223 Fig. The nourished equilibrium profile and the native profile in a central zone of the beach (see location in Fig. 17 also represents the interception between the sand filling with the native bottom. mean sediment sizes and local wave climate points.2. Future lines for the SMC The SMC is a non-static system. The bi-parabolic profile coefficients for each beach zone (see Fig. On the other. 4. Fig. thus allowing the improvement of the system's pre-processing programs. 18. Raabe et al.A. it is important to include new data sources for Fig. surf beat.L.0 levels. based on the local wave characteristics and assuming that the borrowed sand has a similar sediment size compared to the actual situation. The volume of sand for the sand filling in this project has been evaluated in 450. Equilibrium shoreline at high tide sea level.000 m3. 13. Summer profile in Zone 1 (2001) and bi-parabolic equilibrium profile.A. 11) are presented in Table 1. 11. The cross-shore profile has been defined employing the biparabolic equilibrium profile. which is between the −2. 12.0 and − 3. it must incorporate new scientific knowledge that could be included in the system by means of direct usage applications. 17) are presented in Fig. wave swash). it should evolve by completing and incorporating new data bases. astronomical and meteorological tides. inside the cape confinement. .

the one causing the least erosion.g.A. While MEPBAY was built concerning purely the original theory. Conclusions The parabolic bay shape model. which has coupled long-term series (50 years) to a high resolution data (every hour). provides a theoretical framework that allows us to under- stand headland-bay beach morphology dynamics and consequently to predict the impact of engineering projects. For example. there are other more complete sources of data. the application of MEPBAY to beach analysis needs only the beach planform image. at the pre-design level of a new headland breakwater construction. an important aspect in morphodynamic beach evolution models from the middle-term scale (months) to the long-term scale (yearsdecades). 5. Equilibrium shoreline under a new harbour alternative. 15. SMC supports the design phase because it uses numerical methods which increase forecast precision. MEPBAY does not provide accurate data for the design phase.. MEPBAY can be used to rapidly compare a number of different options with various combinations in length and orientation. Therefore. These data bases supply very important information that in the near future will allow us to define more precisely some input for the different SMC's models. It will allow the improvement of long-term analysis and prediction reliability for beach nourishment projects. and identify the best option. as defined by Hsu and Evans (1989). (a) Wave storm from the NW (Hso = 4 m. High tide sea level). Raabe et al. Regarding the long-term formulations (e. The SMC software integrates Medina et al. (2001) contribution for the parabolic bay shape equation theory. Its data is extracted exclusively from the image and the quality of the output data depends directly on the image resolution. Furthermore. which combines the static equilibrium plan and profile for long-term analysis. the re-analysis of wave data will allow the inclusion of the wave persistence effect. the orientation of the mean energy flux on the diffracting points can be defined with great accuracy. .224 A. the static equilibrium shoreline). New Gijón harbour geometry. being necessary for a set of historical input data such as Fig. exterior waves. However. (b) Wave-driven current system.L. / Coastal Engineering 57 (2010) 213–226 Fig. (Assuming no sand filling on the beach). and the same is true for the equilibrium profile. Tpo = 16 s. González and Medina (2001) complemented this theory introducing the “equilibrium beach” concept. 14. Nowadays. such as the hindcast or re-analysis wave series. SMC includes Gonzales and Medina's concept.

/ Coastal Engineering 57 (2010) 213–226 225 Fig.A.0180 C 0.1450 0.1510 0. trying to identify the main trends of morphological changes and choose the best cost–benefit choice. The designed equilibrium beach plan and its interception with the native bathymetry (application obtained with the SMC). (Assuming a sand filling without shoreline retreat).1510 B 0. SMC is more accurate for use at the design phase.1800 0. M. González wishes to express his gratitude to the Spanish Ministry of Science and bathymetry and wave direction information. Zone I II III A 0. Raabe and A.L.0220 0.A. . Acknowledgements A. increasing impact precision forecast by using numerical methods and historical input data.0150 0.1800 D 0.0160 The case study using both software at San Lorenzo Beach illustrates how they can be used in a complementary way in pre-design and design phases. While MEPBAY allows rapid experimentation of many project configurations. Table 1 Bi-parabolic profile coefficients in San Lorenzo Beach for the new harbour geometry. 16.1880 0. In this manner.0180 0. Fig. SMC allows a deeper analysis of the chosen alternative. Equilibrium shoreline under a new harbour alternative. however it needs additional input data.0160 0. (Assuming a sand filling without shoreline retreat). Raabe et al. Klein would like to thank Ariel Vargas for his dedication to the MEPBAY development and also the PROPPEC Research Support at UNIVALI University. 17.

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