Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

2005 Edition
| Editors: Maurice L. Schwartz

Cross-Shore Variation of Grain Size on Beaches

  • Philip D. Osborne
  • David P. Simpson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-3880-1_105

The distinctive sorting and cross-shore distribution of clastic beach particles is often evident even to the casual observer. The position at which a sediment particle comes to rest on a beach profile and the net patterns of particle size variation resulting from sediment transport processes have long been of interest to scientists and engineers attempting to understand the fundamental relationships governing process and form on beaches.

Beach particle equilibrium and the null-point hypothesis

The null-point concept was introduced to express stability of a beach profile and the associated distribution of sediment on the profile as a reflection of the equilibrium between asymmetric fluid forces (including wave asymmetry, steady currents, and the effects of percolation), bottom slope (gravity force), and the size and weight of sediment (Cornaglia, 1889). Details of the original hypothesis as expressed by Cornaglia did not predict particle and beach morphological behavior as observed,...

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  1. 1.
    Beach ProcessesGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cross-Shore Sediment TransportGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dynamic Equilibrium of BeachesGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sandy CoastsGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sediment Suspension by WavesGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Surf Zone ProcessesGoogle Scholar

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© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip D. Osborne
  • David P. Simpson

There are no affiliations available