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Analysis of nearshore placement of sediments at Ogden Dunes, Indiana

March 2, 2020

The harbor structures/shoreline armoring on the southern Lake Michigan shoreline interrupt sand migration. Ogden Dunes, Indiana, and the nearby Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore observed shoreline erosion due to engineered structures associated with Burns Waterway Harbor, east of Ogden Dunes, impeding natural east to west sediment migration. To remedy this, USACE placed over 450,000 cubic meters, or m³, of dredged material post 2006 in the nearshore of Ogden Dunes. However, the effectiveness of nearshore placements for shoreline protection and littoral nourishment is not fully established. To improve nearshore placement effectiveness, USACE monitored the June/July 2016 placement and subsequent movement of 107,000 m³ of dredged material in the nearshore region at Ogden Dunes. This involved an extensive monitoring scheme of three bathymetry surveys, and two acoustic Doppler current profiler deployments, a Coastal Modeling System numerical model of the changes following placement, and a prediction of sediment transport direction using the Sediment Mobility Tool. The SMT predicted sediment migration direction was compared to observations. Observations indicated that between 10/11/2016 and 11/15/2016 the centroid of the sediment above the pre-placement survey moved 17 m onshore. These observations agreed with SMT predictions onshore migration under storm and typical wave conditions. CMS accurately reproduced the hydrodynamic features.