New clues to coastal erosion

phys.org | 6/26/2012 | Staff
entengo (Posted by) Level 3
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New research has uncovered a missing nutrient source in coastal oceans, which could promote better water quality and sand management on popular beaches.

While the release of nutrients buried in the seabed 'feeds' coastal marine ecosystems, the latest research at Flinders University has found a new physical mechanism which erodes seabed sediment at depths up to 20 metres, well outside (between 10km and 20km) from the surf zone closer to shore.

Process - Sediment - M - Nutrients - Surface

This powerful natural process that is energetic enough to erode seabed sediment at up to 20 m, also adds to the nutrients stirred and moved by breaking surface waves nearer the beach, according to the new hydrodynamic modelling.

"This new knowledge has significant implications for coastal sediment management practices such as dredging," says Flinders University oceanographer Associate Professor Jochen Kaempf.

Study - Erosion - Winds - Situation - Downwelling

The study reveals that major sediment erosion follows from coast-parallel winds in an oceanic situation known as downwelling.

"Such winds trigger a swift coastal current—left-bounded by the coast in the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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