ICCE 2022

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BEACH GROUNDWATER IMPACTS ON WAVE OVERTOPPING FLOODING. (2023). Coastal Engineering Proceedings, 37, management.91.


Coastal flooding is a growing socioeconomic and humanitarian hazard (e.g., Nicholls, 2010). Increased beach groundwater levels may inundate low-lying areas and simultaneously propagate swash impacts onto higher beach and backshore elevations. Generally, coastal flood modeling and risk assessment characterize only surface flows, neglecting beach groundwater and swash zone processes such as infiltration and porous media flow. Numerous studies have considered the effects of swash on groundwater (e.g., Gourlay, 1992). Infiltration leads to reduced wave runup (Pintado-Patino et al., 2015) and is promoted by low beach groundwater levels (Bakhtyar et al., 2011), suggesting that beach groundwater plays a critical role in infiltration/exfiltration processes. Notably, the impacts of beach groundwater on swash flows and subsequent consequences on coastal flooding have not been explored. Coastal flooding from wave overtopping is expected to occur around the maximum tide. However, recent field observations suggest maximum overtopping lags behind high tide and is in phase with maximum groundwater levels. In this study, a turbulence and depth resolving numerical model is developed to examine the interaction between beach groundwater and wave overtopping processes.


Bakhtyar, Brovelli, Barry, Li (2011): Wave-induced water table fluctuations, sediment transport and beach profile change: Modeling and comparison with large-scale laboratory experiments, Coastal Eng., 58(1):103–118.

Gourlay (1992): Wave set-up, wave run-up and beach water table: Interaction between surf zone hydraulics and groundwater hydraulics. Coastal Eng., 17(1-2):93–144.

Higuera, Lara, Losada, (2013): Realistic wave generation and active wave absorption for Navier-Stokes models: Application to OpenFOAM®, Coastal Eng., 71, 102-118.

Kikkert, Pokrajac, O'Donoghue, Steenhauer (2013): Experimental study of bore-driven swash hydrodynamics on permeable rough slopes, Coastal Eng., 79, 42-56.

Kim, Cheng, Hsu, Chauchat (2018): A numerical study of sheet flow under monochromatic nonbreaking waves using a free surface resolving Eulerian two-phase flow model, JGR: Oceans, 123(7), 4693-4719.

Nicholls (2010): Impacts of and responses to sea-level rise. Understanding Sea-Level Rise and Variability. Eds J.A. Church, P.L. Woodworth, T. Aarup, and W.W. Wilson, Wiley-Blackwell, pp 17-51.

Pintado-Patiño, Torres-Freyermuth, Puleo, Pokrajac (2015): On the role of infiltration and exfiltration in swash zone boundary layer dynamics, JGR: Oceans, 120(9): 6329–6350.

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Copyright (c) 2023 Marie-Pierre Delisle, Yeulwoo Kim, Timu Gallien