Sediment transport under nonlinear waves in a predominately sheet flow condition is investigated using a two-phase model. Specifically, we study the relative importance between the nonlinear waveshape and nonlinear boundary layer streaming on cross-shore sand transport. Terms in the governing equations because of the nonlinear boundary layer process are included in this one-dimensional vertical (1DV) model by simplifying the two-dimensional vertical (2DV) ensemble-averaged two-phase equations with the assumption that waves propagate without changing their form. The model is first driven by measured time series of near-bed flow velocity because of a wave group during the SISTEX99 large wave flume experiment and validated with the measured sand concentration in the sheet flow layer. Additional studies are then carried out by including and excluding the nonlinear boundary layer terms. It is found that for the grain diameter (0.24 mm) and high-velocity skewness wave condition considered here, nonlinear waveshape (e.g., skewness) is the dominant mechanism causing net onshore transport and nonlinear boundary layer streaming effect only causes an additional 36% onshore transport. However, for conditions of relatively low-wave skewness and a stronger offshore directed current, nonlinear boundary layer streaming plays a more critical role in determining the net transport. Numerical experiments further suggest that the nonlinear boundary layer streaming effect becomes increasingly important for finer grain. When the numerical model is driven by measured near-bed flow velocity in a more realistic surf zone setting, model results suggest nonlinear boundary layer processes may nearly double the onshore transport purely because of nonlinear waveshape. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.
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Sediment transport under wave groups: Relative importance between nonlinear waveshape and nonlinear boundary layer streaming