Ocean Dynamics

, 59:731

First online:

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Effect of wave–bedform feedbacks on the formation of, and grain sorting over shoreface-connected sand ridges

  • Nicolette C. Vis-StarAffiliated withInstitute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht University
  • , Huib E. de SwartAffiliated withInstitute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht University Email author 
  • , Daniel CalveteAffiliated withDpt. de Física Aplicada, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Campus Nord


The influence of wave–bedform feedbacks on both the initial formation of shoreface-connected sand ridges (sfcr) and on grain size sorting over these ridges on micro-tidal inner shelves is studied. Also, the effect of sediment sorting on the growth and the migration of sfcr is investigated. This is done by applying a linear stability analysis to an idealized process-based morphodynamic model, which simulates the initial growth of sfcr due to the positive coupling between waves, currents, and an erodible bed. The sediment consists of sand grains with two different sizes. New elements with respect to earlier studies on grain sorting over sfcr are that wave-topography interactions are explicitly accounted for, entrainment of sediment depends on bottom roughness, and transport of suspended sediment involves settling lag effects. The results of the model indicate that sediment sorting causes a reduction of the growth rate and migration speed of sfcr, whereas the wavelength is only slightly affected. In the case where the entrainment of suspended sediment depends on bottom roughness, the coarsest sediment is found in the troughs; otherwise, the finest sediment occurs in the troughs. Compared to previous work, modeled maximum variations in the mean grain size over the topography are in better agreement with field observations. Settling lag effects are important for the damping of high-wavenumber mode instabilities such that a preferred wavelength of the bedforms is obtained.


Sand ridges Stability analysis Storm-driven current Hiding Long Island shelf