How Tides and Waves Enhance Aeolian Sediment Transport at The Sand Motor

Bas Hoonhout, Nicholas Cohn, Sierd de Vries, Dano Roelvink, P Ruggiero, Laura Moore, Orencio Duran Vinent, Evan B. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific


The Sand Motor is an artificial sandy peninsula extruding from the Dutch coast about 1 kilometer into the North Sea (Stive et al., 2013). It is virtually permanently exposed to tides, waves and wind and is consequently highly dynamic. In order to understand the complex morphological behavior of the Sand Motor, it is vital to take both subtidal and subaerial processes into account.

About 70% of the Sand Motor area is located above 2m+MSL and is therefore uniquely shaped by subaerial processes. These dry areas are hardly eroded due to the presence of a coarse sand armor layer that was naturally established over time. However, significant aeolian transport is observed originating from the intertidal beaches surrounding the Sand Motor. Due to periodic flooding no armor layer can be established in the intertidal zone. Consequently, subtidal processes significantly influence the subaerial morphology.

An international collaboration initiated the development of the open-source Windsurf modeling framework that enables us to simulate multi-fraction sediment transport due to subtidal and subaerial processes simultaneously. The Windsurf framework couples separate model cores for subtidal (XBeach; Roelvink, 2006) and subaerial morphodynamics (Coastal Dune Model; Duran and Moore, 2013) and multi-fraction aeolian sediment supply (AeoLiS; based on work by de Vries, 2015). Preliminary model results from a one-year one-dimensional simulation show a concentration of aeolian sediment supply from the intertidal beach area during calm conditions and an elevated aeolian activity shortly after a strong wind or surge event. The period of elevated transport may last for over a week resulting in the immediate initiation of recovery after a surge.

Here we will present an application of the Windsurf modeling framework on the Sand Motor and a detailed description on how the interaction between subtidal and subaerial processes explain its complex morphological development.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventOcean Sciences - New Orleans, United States
Duration: 21 Feb 201626 Feb 2016


ConferenceOcean Sciences
CountryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Internet address


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