Sandy sediment budget of the midcoast of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Calculation of the coastal sediment budget involves estimation of the timing and intensity of processes of erosion, transport, and deposition, as well as an understanding of local and regional sediment dynamics. The modern sedimentary deposits present in the coastal zone constitute the physical basis of coastal ecosystems. Knowledge of the dynamics of these sediments from the source to sink area, through regional sediment management, is critical to understanding the long-term stability of the coastal zone and the fate of these important natural resources. In this article, the littoral cell concept has been applied to the midcoast of Rio Grande do Sul, a wave-dominated and dissipative-intermediate sandy coast in southern Brazil. To analyze littoral drift variations along the 275 km long study area, the shoreline was divided into 12 cells. Littoral drift rates were estimated and compared using the energy flux method. Wave parameters were obtained from WAVEWATCH III. The sand volume of the coastal dune field (4.20 billion m3) was quantified using satellite imagery and the aeolian transport rates estimated utilizing the sediment budget residual. The net annual longshore transport rates obtained with the Coastal Engineering Research Center equation range from 0.60 to 2.63 million m3 per year. The littoral drift rates obtained with the Van Rijn (2001) and Kamphuis (1991) equations range between 0.15 and 1.00 million m3 per year. Based on the sediment budget and dune field age, the CERC formula seems more appropriate to estimate longshore transport.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: May 1, 2015
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