Sediment-level oscillations with heights of about 6 cm and shore-normal lengths of order 10 m have been measured in the swash zone of a high-energy, coarse-sand beach. Crests of oscillations were shore parallel and continuous alongshore. The oscillations were of such low steepness (height-to-length ratio approximately 0.006) that they were difficult to detect visually. The period of oscillation ranged between 6 and 15 min and decreased landward across the swash zone. The sediment-level oscillations were progressive landward with an average migration rate in the middle to upper swash zone of 0.8 m min-1. Migration was caused mostly by erosion on the seaward flank of the crest of an oscillation during a period of net seaward sediment transport. Thus, the observed migration was a form migration landward rather than a migration involving net landward sediment transport. The observed sediment-level oscillations were different than sand waves or other swash-zone bedforms previously described. ?? 1984.
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High-frequency sediment-level oscillations in the swash zone