Modeling the effect of storm events and wind waves on sand wave dynamics


Persons involved
G.H.P. Campmans P.C. Roos S.J.M.H. Hulscher

Funding of the project
Technology Foundation STW
Rijkswaterstaat Water Verkeer en Leefomgeving
Netherlands Hydrographic Service

2014 – 2018

Many existing models do not include storm events in modeling sand waves while observations show significant modifications in the sand wave field after storm events. Even though the duration of storms is small compared to the morphodynamic time scale, the influence of storms appears to be relevant and deserves further investigation. By modeling the effects of a storm events we aim for a better understanding on formation, erosion and migration of sand waves during storm events.

The relevance of storm related processes on sand waves dynamics will be analyzed using idealized models in a linear stability analysis. Idealized models strongly simplify the physical problem, and reduce it to the processes of interest. In this way the model gives great insights in the processes involved. Also the computational costs are far less compared to complex numerical models. The downside of the linear stability analysis is that sand waves have to be assumed small in order to do the linear analysis.

The second step in the research will look into storm effects on finite amplitude sand waves. The linear analysis does not hold any longer, hence this involves non-linear modeling. Either non-linear idealized models will be used or complex numerical models such as Delft3D.

This research is part of a larger project called SMARTSEA. Being able to better predict sand wave dynamics will finally result in smart surveying policies to guarantee safety for numerous human activities in marine environments.