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A series of process-oriented numerical simulations is carried out in order to evaluate the relative role of locally generated residual flow and overtides on net sediment transport over linear sandbanks. The idealized bathymetry and forcing are similar to those present in the Norfolk Sandbanks, North Sea. The importance of bottom drag parameterization and bank orientation with respect to the ambient flow is examined in terms of residual flow and overtide generation, and subsequent sediment transport implications are discussed. The results show that although the magnitudes of residual flow and overtides are sensitive to bottom roughness parameterization and bank orientation, the magnitude of the generated residual flow is always larger than that of the locally generated overtides. Also, net sediment transport is always dominated by the nonlinear interaction of the residual flow and the semidiurnal tidal currents, although cross-bank sediment transport can occur even in the absence of a cross-shore residual flow. On the other hand, net sediment divergence/convergence increases as the bottom drag decreases and as bank orientation increases. The sediment erosion/deposition is not symmetric about the crest of the bank, suggesting that originally symmetric banks would have the tendency to become asymmetric.


Sanay, R., Voulgaris, G., & Warner, J. C. (2007). Tidal asymmetry and residual circulation over linear sandbanks and their implication on sediment transport: A process-oriented numerical study. Journal of Geophysical Research, 112 (C12015), 1-15.

© Journal of Geophysical Research 2007, American Geophysical Union