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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Research project: Barrier Dynamic Experiment II

Currently Active: 

The Barrier Dynamics Experiment II (BARDEX II) is a large EU-funded project undertaken within the Hydralab IV programme. The prototype scale experiment, which follows on from the first Barrier Dynamics Experiment on gravel barrier behaviour, was conducted between May and July 2012, and brought together collaborators from 9 international universities, led by Prof Gerd Masselink (University of Plymouth). The project’s overall aim was to “collect prototype data set on sandy beaches to improve our quantitative understanding and modelling capability of shallow water sediment transport processes in the inner surf, swash and overwash zone”.

A 4.5-m high and 75-m wide sandy barrier, with a lagoon situated landwards, was constructed in the (old) Delta Flume, operated by Deltares. The barrier was subjected to a range of wave conditions and varying sea/lagoon water levels, and the morphological response was recorded. Six key objectives were identified, each of them linked to a specific work package covering barrier hydrology, swash and berm dynamics, swash-surf zone exchange and bar dynamics, barrier overwash, Sediment re-suspension and bed morphology, and numerical modeling

Dr Charlie Thompson, from the University of Southampton, led the 5th workpackage of the project which aimed to observe and measure vortex resuspension processes and bedform dynamics under shoaling and breaking waves in order to quantify changes in the magnitude and direction of bedload and suspended sediment transport in the region just outside the surf zone. Hachem Kassem, then an MSc ECE student, operated an instrumented frame (the ‘offshore rig’) collecting high frequency acoustic measurements of turbulence, bed morphology, and sediment resuspension, and carried our geospatial control (surveying and setting out) for the entire programme of experiments. The data collected is being analysed; and resulted, so far, in the following publications:

Research Papers:

Thompson, C. E. L., H. Kassem, and J. J. Williams (2013), BARDEX II: Nearshore sediment resuspension and bed morphology, In: Conley, D.C., Masselink, G., Russell, P.E. and O’Hare, T.J. (eds.), Proceedings 12th International Coastal Symposium (Plymouth, England), Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 65, pp. 1593-1598, ISSN 0749-0208.

Kassem, H., Thompson, C.E.L., Amos, C.L., and Townend, I.H. (2015), Wave-induced coherent turbulence structures and sediment resuspension in the nearshore of a prototype-scale sandy barrier beach, Continental Shelf Research, (In-press, Accepted Manuscript).

Master Thesis:

Brittan, A., 2015. Ripple relaxation times in the nearshore of a sandy barrier beach under the action of irregular waves, University of Southampton, M.Sc. Thesis submitted for the Engineering the Coastal Environment course.

Kassem, H., 2012. Intermittent turbulent bursting and sediment resuspension in the nearshore: Analysis of data from BARDEX II. University of Southampton, M.Sc. Thesis, 109p.

Charlie and Gerd surveying the offshore rig as the flume is filled for the first time.
Figure 1
 Hachem setting up the ADV's on the offshore rig. The huge wave-maker's paddle is visible in the distance.
Figure 2
Figure 3
Week 1 Group photo
Figure 3
Week 5 Group photo
Figure 4
Wave breaking in the nearshore
Figure 6
Hachem Surveying the barrier in-between wave runs.
Figure 7
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