AbstractThe flow of water on a beach is of fundamental importance in coastal engineering. It controls the sediment transport and hence beach morphology. It also affects coastal structures through forces imparted on them and coastal flooding when beach overtopping occurs. The most common approach to numerically model this flow is to use depth-averaged equations (also known as shallow water equations). However, there is a lack of fundamental understanding of the flow produced by different transient wave forms. A better understanding would lead to better validation of numerical models. It would also allow engineers to more easily evaluate fluid forces on coastal structures and the risks of beach overtopping without the need to carry out expensive numerical simulations.
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